Samoa, an independent island nation in the southern Pacific Ocean,
located about 2,900 km northeast of New Zealand, occupies the large
western portion of the Samoan archipelago. Western Samoa consists
of nine islands.
The largest of these is Savai'i, which covers 1610 sq km, Upolu,
the second-largest (1120 sq km/433 sq miles), lies 8 miles to the
southeast across the Apolima Strait. The islands are quiescent volcanoes
and reach heights of up to 6097ft on Savai'i and 1100m 3608ft on
Upolu. The main city, Apia, is located in the north of Upolu.
Samoa has a warm tropical climate tempered by trade winds between
May and September. Temperatures remain relatively constant throughout
the year, becoming cooler at night.
There are more than 2500 hours of sunshine annually. Rainfall is
heaviest between December and April. Sea temperatures rarely fall