Come away with us to the tropical Polynesian paradise that is Samoa. Sydney based photographer and mama, Justine Curran shares her tribe’s recent getaway to this pristine corner of the Pacific where her family immersed themselves in lush rainforests, swam in azure seas teaming with marine life and explored secluded coves, enjoying the intense natural beauty and 3000 year old culture with their little ones in tow.
Who’s in your tribe?
My little brood includes my two children, Dante and Abigail Rose, along with my husband Johl.
Where do you call home?
We live close to the Blue Mountains on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia. Its where both Johl and I grew up and where we have family around for support. I do believe that home is where the heart is and we have dreamt many times of places around the world and the kinds of adventures that they could hold for us.
We were looking for a short getaway - somewhere tropical and secluded - so when we were looking at different islands I paused at Samoa; it’s not a destination many people talk about. About 10 years ago I travelled to New Zealand for my uncle’s beautiful, traditional Maori wedding. I loved the cultural experience and ever since, I’ve been drawn to destinations where we can enjoy a unique cultural experience and discover beautiful landscapes.
As a photographer, when are you most inspired?
Motherhood has definitely been my muse for my work majority of the time. I enjoy journaling our experiences as a family and hope that by documenting these experiences and random daily happenings, it helps build a sense of self worth and identity for my children as they grow up - a window to a past time they and myself can always revisit.
True inspiration is to be moved by something and I am always trying to narrow down to things that truly move and affect me, whether its a song, a gesture or an experience.
Where did you stay?
We stayed at the Saletoga Sands Resort in Upolu
Can you share one special memory from your trip?
The landscape was so breathtaking. As we drove around the country side enjoying the lush tropic jungle our son Dante would look and shout ‘Dinosaurs in there?’ Then give a low grumbling roar. Haha I think he asked us everyday.
Describe a dream day in Samoa?
We would wake early morning. Enjoy a light breakfast of delicious tropical fruits then head down to the beach. We would swim and play with the kids, enjoy a snorkel and look out for fish. Sometimes have a whole school of them swirling around us. Then head up to our bungalow for a late lunch and a siesta. We would go for another swim, perhaps the resort pool and the kids loved Virgin Pina Coladas as a treat. By sunset we would enjoy a walk on the jetty and sit. They would be exhausted by the end of the day.
Any tips for Samoa or family-friendly gems we should know about?
If you need to be forced to slow down then Samoa is the place to be. Surrounded by breathtaking blue waters, it was too inviting to ignore. A remote developing island there are no shopping centres nearby, no tv. We really enjoyed a trip to Numua Island. It felt like having a piece of paradise all to ourselves. We advise taking life jackets for non strong swimmers if swimming in To Sea Ocean Trench. It was amazing but safety was a concern. It has a surprisingly strong current.
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