The Top Family Activities on Savai’i
We know how hard it is to get the family, time and finances together for an unforgettable holiday, let alone to a destination as breathtaking yet remote as Savai’i. Let us make the rest easy for you, such as listing all of the best things to do on Savai’i with kids! From adventures in caves to having a splash in waterfall pools, freshwater pools, at the beach, at the resort… there’s certainly enough on Savai’i to keep all ages entertained.
1. Have a Splash at the Afu Aau Waterfall
Who doesn’t love a good waterfall?! One of the most stunning waterfalls and swimming holes in Samoa (and the South Pacific) awaits down a short and gorgeously maintained jungle trail on the southeast side of Savai’i. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the aqua-blue waters at the base of the Afu Aau Waterfall where there are plenty of shallow sections and rocks to climb for an awesome natural playground for kids. Pay your fees at the fale just off the main road (the entry sign is easy to spot) then it’s a 650m (711-yard) drive on a flat dirt road to the car park with a toilet block and changing room. For more waterfalls to find, check out the 10 Best Waterfalls in Samoa.
Location: Palauli village, signposted off the main road on the southeast coast.
2. Watch the Awesome Alofaaga Blowholes
An icon of Savai’i and Samoa, the Alofaaga Blowholes put on a spectacular show of wave power between the fissures of volcanic rock on the coast. Although a treat at any time, the best time to go is high tide. It’s a short but rugged walk that can be slippery, so sturdy shoes are best. Note that you may have to pay two entry fees (totalling approximately ST$10 per person) as the attraction crosses two family lands. Locals will sometimes put coconuts on the blowholes for extra drama. It’s also worth asking for directions to the culturally significant Pa Sopo’ia Cave also at the site. See more of Savai’i’s top attractions in the 50 Best Things to Do on Savai’i.
Location: Taga village, signposted off the main road on the southwest coast. Note that the road to the blowholes is about 1.5km (0.9 mi) of rough unsealed road. 2WDs will just manage but drive carefully.
3. Snorkel Among Coral, Fish and Turtles
Savai’i and snorkelling are just a given with a new white-sand and blue-lagoon paradise to discover each day. Popular snorkelling beaches include Lano (safest for young kids), Manase, Asau, Vaisala and Faleaupo where seeing amazing pockets of coral swarming with tiny tropical fish is all part of the experience. You’re even highly likely to spot turtles too! Some accommodations hire snorkelling gear for a small fee, but these aren’t always great quality or well-suited to small faces. For this reason, we highly recommend bringing your own or hiring some from Dive Savai’i or one of the gear rentals on Upolu.
Location: All over Savai’i! Check out The Best Snorkelling in Savai’i: Top 10 Places to Snorkel for locations.
4. Explore the Saleaula Lava Fields
Discover the remnants of the destructive Mt Matavanua 1905-1911 eruption at the enchanting Saleaula Lava Field. It’s a short walk to the lava field’s most striking feature, the LMS Church which sits in ruins with a lava flow solidified right through its arching entrances. Walk approximately 300m (328 yards) west following the sign and you’ll encounter the mysterious “Virgin’s Grave” where the lava flow is said to have avoided the grave of a young girl. Past the church ruins is an attractive wetland viewpoint, then head back on the trail and go northeast for approximately 900m (984 yards) over an exposed lava flow to the striking lava cliffs. Walks are mostly flat and suitable for most mobile and energetic kids.
Location: Saleaula village, signposted off the main road on the northeast coast.
5. Get the Imagination Running at Laauoleola Cave
Savai’i is home to quite a few exciting caves, with the best one for kids being Laauoleola Cave. The enchanting 15-minute forest trail down a well-maintained track is just the beginning… As you begin to approach the cave entrance, you’ll hear the unusual clicking of swiftlets as they move in and out of the caves. Then, it’s up to you to decide how far you dare to walk through the large lava tube that is said to span 5km (3.1 mi) under the surface! It’s a short flat walk (with a few muddy patches) through the cave to the first descent, which the guides can organise a ladder should you want to continue – let them know you would like to do this before you begin the tour. Otherwise, just the first portion of the cave is exciting enough for little ones. The walk is fully (and casually) guided. The guide has a torch but you might want to also bring your own.
Location: A’opo village, signposted off the main road on the northern coast.
6. Spend the Day at the Beach
Beaches are always a reliable go-to for a family day of fun. Savai’i has a wonderous selection of white-sand beaches scattered around its perimeter, with highlights being Falealupo, Manase, Faiaai, Lano (safest for young kids) and Satuiatua. Some convenience stores sell kids’ beach toys like buckets and spades and inflatables that will provide hours of fun. Otherwise, swimming, snorkelling and crab hunting are some other simple ways for the whole family to enjoy their time. Note that beaches have entry fees on Savai’i, usually the rate to hire a beach fale for the day.
Location: All over Savai’i! Check out the 10 Best Beaches on Savai’i for recommendations and locations.
7. Head Out on a Family Kayaking Excursion
Most accommodations on Savai’i, especially the ones listed in the 10 Best Family Accommodations on Savai’i, have kayaks available to hire usually for a small fee. Whether it’s your little one’s first or fifth paddling experience, there’s always something fun about drifting over the lagoon, looking at the fish through the clear water, and teaching little ones to paddle. Be careful of passages in the reef, however, as the currents can be strong even for those in a kayak.
Location: All over Savai’i!
8. Take Part in a Weaving or Siapo Demonstration
For some cultural flair to your family getaway, why not join in on a crafting demonstration? Some accommodation staff are happy to show kids and adults alike how to weave baskets, hats and headbands with a fantastic demonstration being on offer at the Amoa Resort, for example. Alternatively, next to the Afu Aau Waterfall (see point #1), there’s the refreshingly authentic cultural experience of the “Siapo Demonstration” where you’ll be invited into a local family’s fale for a demonstration of traditional canvas-making and painting techniques. Kids, mum or dad will be invited to try different parts of the process, from hammering the bark of a mulberry tree to painting with natural materials. The demonstration lasts approximately 45 minutes. For more ways to immerse in the Samoan culture, check out the 8 Best Cultural Activities on Savai’i.
Location: Amoa Resort – Faga village, just off the main road on the east coast. Siapo Demonstration – Palauli village, signposted off the main road on the southeast coast (near the Afu Aau Waterfall).
9. See the Bizarre Moso’s Footprint
There are plenty of quirky attractions in Samoa – just take a look at the 10 Most Unique Things to Do in Samoa, with one of them being the bizarre Moso’s Footprint on Savai’i. The 2m (6.6ft)-long foot-shaped depression on the way to Falealupo Beach has an interpretation panel beside it describing the legend of Moso who stepped his right foot onto Savai’i, extending his left foot across the Pacific onto Suva in Fiji. Trust us, kids will find the story truly fascinating! The sign also describes the geological interpretation, should you want to get all scientific.
Location: Signposted approximately 6km (3.7 mi) down Falealupo Road from Falealupo-uta village on the northwest coast.
10. Let the Kids Loose at a Village or Resort Pool
Finally, if you needed more excuses to swim, there are plenty of swimming pools across Savai’i. The local version of a swimming pool is a concreted section on the coast known as a vai taele (village pool), usually where a freshwater spring enters the ocean. Most of these village pools are free; some pools to look out for include Vaga Freshwater Pools (Lefagaoali’i), Vai Safe’e (Safotu) and behind the John Williams Memorial (Sapapalii). Mataolealelo Pool is Savai’i’s most famous village pool and made a paid attraction due to its relation to a Samoan legend of “Sina and the Eel”. Otherwise, simply choose to stay in an accommodation with a swimming pool, such as Amoa Resort, Stevensons on Manase, Jet Over Hotel or the Savaiian Hotel.
Location: All over Savai’i! Mataolealelo Pool – Matavai village, signposted off the main road on the northeast coast.
More Things to Do on Savai’i with Kids
That’s it for our mega list of things to do on Savai’i with kids! If, for some crazy reason, you didn’t find everything you were looking for on this list, then check out these other recommendations:
- 50 Best Things to Do on Savai’i
- 20 Best Things to Do in Samoa with Kids
- Fun Facts About Samoa for Kids
Finally, if there’s any part of your family vacation that you haven’t planned, you’re likely to find the right advice in The Complete Travel Guide to Samoa for Families and 25 Tips for Your Family Samoa Vacation with Kids.