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Travel to & around Samoa

Tanu Beach Fales - Samoa
Travelling to Samoa from New Zealand is easier than ever with both Air New Zealand and Polynesian Blue flying into Faleolo International Airport. There are flights almost every day between Auckland and Apia.


Once you arrive in Samoa you have a few options for getting around.


Taxis are always available and the fare from the airport to Apia is approximately ST$50.


There are 24 rental car companies to choose from and you can hire everything from sedans and soft top 4WDs to 12 seater vans if you have a big group.

Most vehicles are still left hand drive as the country has only recently changed (in September 2009) from driving on the right hand side of the road to driving on the left. There are lots of signs to remind the driver which side of the road they should be on.

If you do decide to drive in Samoa you will need to validate your foreign driver’s license by taking it to the Ministry of Works Transport & Infrastructure in Apia, across the road from the flea market or to the Transport Control Board office in Vaitele near the Vailima factory.

Cost for validation is ST$12, and some rental car companies will also assist in getting your license endorsed.

In Samoa things don’t move fast. Roads are often used by locals for socialising, so slow down and watch for children and livestock. Don’t forget to wave, smile and call out talofa!

The speed limit is 40 km/hr in Apia and 56km/hr everywhere else.

Public Transport

Another fun way to explore the islands is to take a map and board a local bus.

These are very colourful and offer an opportunity to experience the local life. Buses come in a variety of colour schemes and all the seating is wooden. If the bus is full when you board, locals will sit on another person's lap. If the bus is heading into to either Apia or Salelologa, the locals will carry their produce on board to the markets.

The are no bus stops around the islands, so just wave down a bus if you want to get on, and when you want to get off simply pull the cord to ring the buzzer.

You pay your fare as you leave the bus.


The Samoa Shipping Corporation runs the passenger/vehicle ferry between the main islands of Upolu and Savaii.

The ferry departs from the Mulifanua Wharf on Upolu near the international airport, so if you are coming from Apia, allow 45 minutes for the journey.

The ferry departs from the Salelologa Wharf on Savaii for the return journey. The trip takes 75 minutes each way and it pays to arrive early at the wharf to purchase your tickets.

There is usually a ferry leaving from either wharf every 2 hours from 6am till 4pm, the one way passenger fares are ST$9 for adults and ST$5 for children 2-12 years.

Depending on the size of your vehicle, charges to carry your vehicle on the ferries are between ST$50 – ST$100 each way.

To get the Manono Island, boats operate from the Manono-uta at the western end of Upolu, just down the road from Mulifanua Wharf. One way fares cost ST$1 for children and ST$3 for adults one way.

*The Small Print
We’ve tried to make this destination guide as accurate as possible but please double check the essentials like visas, health and safety, airport information etc with the relevant authorities before you travel.  STA Travel takes no responsibility for loss, injury or inconvenience caused as a result of this guide.  All prices listed are in the currency of the destination, unless otherwise stated.