Saturday, 24 May 2014

Things To Do in Fiji

Fiji had always been one of exotic destinations I'd thought I'd never go to. Having cocktails in the South Pacific on white, palm fringed beaches, that's the stuff of dreams. Until a few years ago, when my job at Air New Zealand made that dream real and gave me the opportunity to fly to Nadi, first class no less. Here's what my friend and I got up to.

Things To Do in Fiji
photo by Mark Heard
Our first days were spent lying by the pool, but after we'd recovered from our 24 hours flight and the resulting jetlag, we hopped on a local bus and had a wander around Nadi. The ride there was much more interesting than the town itself as it took us through the outskirts and even on a loop on the beach. Island life, eh! In town there are some shops that sell souvenirs and some cafes and restaurants, nothing to write home about. The only point of interest in town is the colourful Sri Siva Subramaniya temple, which is the largest Hindu temple in the southern hemisphere.

Yasawa Islands
We booked a 7 night/8 day islands hopping package that took us to three islands in the Yasawa archipelago. You get there on a big yellow boat called the Yasawa Flyer which is the perfect way to meet fellow travellers. We spent the first two nights at Coralview Island Resort, a budget resort on Tavewa Island in our private bure and didn't get up to much other than sleep, tan, eat and repeat. We did book ourselves on a boat tour across to Nacula island for some cave snorkeling.

Things To Do in Fiji
photo by Mark Heard

Then it was back onto the Yasawa Flyer as we headed for Naviti Island a bit more south. Here we stayed at Korovou Eco Tour Resort, where we fell into a similar routine as on Tavewa. Although we spiced up our days on the beach a bit, with a hike to the highest point on the island, a visit to an island village where we were serenaded by some very cute school kids, and a snorkel trip during which we spotted some of the bluest starfish I'd ever seen. In the evenings we sat by a bon fire on the beach and tried some of the local kava drink.

Things to do in fiji
photo by Tim Parkinson

Our final stop was Beachcomber Island Resort. This resort sits on its own private island in the Mamanuca island group, just off the coast of Nadi. Although this resort has a bit of a party reputation, we still found it to be relatively tranquil although guests are entertained with the obligatory fire dancers and hula dancers in the evenings, but things did wind down quickly before midnight. During the day we got up close and personal with the sea life, so close in fact that I even got bitten in the lip by a fish.

Things to do in fiji
Photo by Behang

We spent one last day in Nadi before hopping back on the Air New Zealand plane to London. Touching down at a grey and dreary looking Heathrow, it felt as if our trip to Fiji had indeed all been a dream. But our glowing tans and sun bleached hair said it had been real. Very real.

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