How to make the most of Fiji
Written by Chloe Hambidge
Whether ocean deep or mountain high, the Pacific Oceans glimmering asset is brimming with spectacles set to make your eyes twinkle and mind wander in serene awe. With renowned beauty and picture postcard perfection allow sandy beaches to glow before you, crystal clear aquiline lapping shores to caress your toes and exotic palm trees sprouting above your head like a runway into holiday bliss. This diverse cluster of idyllic islands is packed with limitless opportunities from lush mountain treks to scuba diving techno-colour coral reefs stretching into the depths of vibrant waters. So without further ado, feel free to jump right in for the best island adventure…
As your approaching the patchwork intertwining’s of clustered island perfection from air bound advantage you will approach the multi-cultural epicentre of Nadi. An eye catching and welcoming start to Fijian adventure you will be introduced to the warm nature of feel good locals and tempting multi-coloured shop fronts lining the streets like a rainbow walk way into beach bliss. With markets and the immense marvel of Sri Subramaniya Hindu temple, the largest in the Pacific we must add, you will be blown away by culture and intricate details just begging to be explored and celebrated. Yours eyes will be darting around in child like abandon with amazement awaiting you at every corner. Truly unwind in Sabero Hot Springs, swim free down the Coral Coast (just a 1-2 hour drive from Nadi Aiport), or run freely with Fijis wildlife scene at Sigatoko River Safari or Kula Wildlife Park.
Translating to ‘heaven’, Yasawa islands are promised to live up to these expectations. Renowned for its beautiful backdrops and picture perfect vistas, this region can be highly regarded as the most captivating region amongst a selection of prized island beauty. Swim into unique and pristine wonder of the Sawai-i-Lau caves, transporting you into a foreign world, or snorkel amongst majestic manta rays as they dominate the islands turquoise waters. Dive alongside the gentle sharks circling the depths in unrushed leisure, the whole island being a hotspot for adventure where tranquillity meets the adrenaline junkies thrill. Continue adventures above water through dense greenery guiding you up the sensational Mount Tamasua with its jungle-strewn peaks, where sweeping views will simply add to the regions many accolades. If you want to dive into these gorgeous islands delights and Fijis cultural offerings in family friendly excitement then the Yasawa island strip is sure to impress. The classic island getaway of Kuata will prove this with secluded beaches, secret caves and hiking trails awaiting you with open arms and divine backdrops. To transport between these islands hop on the Yasawa Flyer ferry departing from Port Denarau Marina, tucked close to the airport, stopping at more than 12 of these breath-taking islands. Waya Island is also part of these striking islands and is home to famously hospitable locals and a quaint village packed with traditional fixtures painting the enlightening and enjoyable authentic Fijian culture.
For a more humble experience of isolated island amazement, Kadavu is the gem awaiting exploration. For off-the-beaten track adventures and quality time spent intimately with your loved ones in picturesque flawlessness, Kadavu is the island haven for you. To access this remote hideaway, this almost untouched yet perfectly accessible island can bring you here by plane or ship from the charming Viti Levu. Eco-adventurists will thrive here where happiness is provided in bucketloads through natural beauty provided by our worlds cherished flourishings. Venture into welcoming villages and luxury resorts that grow their own organic products and work together in creating a fulfilling community for all. No matter where you stay, dreamy boat transfers through the island are inevitable, floating serenely past pre-historic-looking jungle coves chirping with rare and exotic endemic birds grasping your attention at every song. Wander to the east part of the island holding the colourful asset of the Great Astrolabe Reef, the fourth largest barrier reef in the world, fringing the island in vibrant peace. Explore these renowned reefs and its incredible underwater landscapes, high or low, sea or sand, there is always something on this island to gawk at. From geographical wonder to the eye opening honour of natural beauty provided by manta rays and phenomenal fish species flying by.
Brimming with lush jungle, transfixing waterfalls and enlightening hikes with views promised to change your perception of life itself allow Taveuni to talk for itself. Crowned the third largest island, this tranquil delight is known as the ‘Garden Island’ where flourishing vegetation and exotic wildlife go hand in hand in garden of Eden like heaven. Taveuni is highly regarded as the lushest, tropical-flower-laden, waterfall-heavy and hiking friendly island of Fiji. With the sweet scents of flora guiding you on your adventures and the lulling hush of waterfalls dropping into pools of serene shimmering waters. Explore Bouma Heritage National Park which dominates most of the island, this welcoming takeover means the islands beauty is mostly protected. Peaks meet the golden shores of crystal coastlines in an unexpected match of sheer paradise bliss. Celebrate this through the highlight that is Lavena Coastal Walk where you follow the forests edge and meet check boards of white and black sand mirages, stumble upon hidden waterfalls lined with idyllic wildflowers like your own private slice of beauty. The rainbow reef is also easily accessed from Taveuni and other smaller islands like Qamea and Matagi- the world truly is your oyster. Accommodation is as diverse as Fiji itself on this island with ultra-lux hotels to retreats ready to entertain backpacker galore. If bird watching is up your street, then this is the honey pot ready to make you dreams come true, get the binoculars at the ready as you can watch as over 100 species of bird sore just above your head. Stand in awe as orange or flame doves, Fiji goshawks, wattled honeyeaters and grey and white herons come to life before your eyes.
Lau & Moala Groups
Connected by an intricate net of coral reefs it would be rude not to explore this islands shores. The Lau & Moala island groups are an understated community of authentic archipelago greatness, virtually untouched by tourism this getaway is promised to whisk you away from it all, and escaping home life has never been so appealing. Flights and boat services between the islands are few and far between, but with access to a sail boat the islands are all yours to explore. This friendly paradise is a peaceful retreat away from any hustle and bustle, allow this truly friendly paradise to unfold before you like a perfect sunset, packed with trademark blue waters and traditional villages. In Fulaga you’ll b overwhelmed by the sheer vividness of a turquoise lagoon marked with hundreds of limestone islets and beaches laying untouched awaiting your footprints into relaxation. Vanua Balavu also has a variety of impressive islands connected by coral reefs. On Kabara you can stroll through eye-opening villages packed with Tongan-influenced architecture keeping you on your toes throughout your wanderings. Branching out to Lau, you will stumble upon desolate beaches, the only sign of life being gentle coconut crabs, being the sole residents of these gorgeous beaches. Overgrown trails await you to join you on a journey to a picturesque salt water lake, in a cacoon of leaves and chirping birds. Between these dreamy motifs, search for bats tucked atop limestome caves in gothic beauty and peek at coral reefs swaying in glowing waters after being undisturbed for millenia.
Have you ever been somewhere that truly encapsulates your ideals of a ‘tropical paradise’? Well, allow this cliché to burst to life with the Mananucas’ beauty ticking every box in a kaleidoscope of beauty. This mirage may seem to good to be true, with romance, relaxation and brochure perfect vista, these islands are unspurprisingly regarded as Fijis most popular destination. Coral reefs shining from the depths, an air of serence calmness amongst the masses of marine life darting through their crystal clear waters and masses of natural attributes that contribute to the irrisistable nature of the Mananucas. Also iconic for its great surf scene and a strong lure for the paddle power seekers, activities also await you on land for the adventure seeking day-tripper. Life here is celebrated and in all the right ways. Understand why this lifestyle is so tempting as you can walk I the shoes of most care-free Fijians, the sun is always shining in this magical Mamanucas. If these depictions of utter bliss tickle your fancy, then allow Fiji to truly take your breath away. Live like Tom Hanks (hopefully in more luxury), and Brook Sheilds as these A class actors have starred in these paradises in iconic films from Cast Away to Blue Lagoon. Indulge in Kava and the ceremony that goes with it as even drinks come packed with a joyous act, the Sevusevu celebration being a sign of respect to many Fijians. Become a true Bulanaire on this trip of a lifetime, these locals being renowned for being rich with uncapped happiness and joyous rose tinted glasses matching their caring and open community. This paradise and its many islands hold every travel wish you could desire, allow these dreams to come true as the pristine Fiji beckons you onto their shores.