Austral Islands/Raivavae: Mount Hiro

An absolutely epic hike in Raivavai is to climb to the top of the highest peak on the island – Mount Hiro. At 437 metres (1,434 ft) above are level, the high along the narrow ridge and the views from the top are stupendous – you literally see the entire emerald green island of Raivavae and the surround aquamarine lagoon and all the 28 white sand motu islets that encircle the lagoon. It’s an 8km hike that is quite steep in the initial part and quite precipitous along the knife edge of the ridge. Feral goats live near the top of the mountain, enjoying the wilderness completely free of people. The 360-degree panorama is almost fairytale and feels surreal, making this perhaps the most scenic mountaintop climb in my life.