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Fiji: Off the Beaten Track

Fiji
Inspire Magazine South Pacific 13
Fiji
Rainbow-Reef_Fiji

Fiji: Off the Beaten Track

story by: House of Travel

The alluring Fiji archipelago brings to mind endless lagoons, gently swaying palm trees and the most perfect blue stretching from the sky down to the sea.

Fiji offers all this and more with plenty of off the beaten track adventures to give you a break away from the resorts and pools – if you dare!

FIJI’S NORTH - SECLUDED SPLENDOUR
Venture up north to Vanua Levu and Taveuni. These islands are known for being even more laid back than your average Fijian resort and they’re only an hour’s flight away from Nadi or Suva, Fiji’s main cities.

Both islands are otherworldly in their beauty and leave visitors awestruck. You might say that this is the ‘real Fiji’. Smaller, intimate resorts here aim to amalgamate luxury with sustainable, eco-tourism values.

Divers will love the Rainbow Reef, Great White Wall and Vuna Reef with their contrasting colours and abundance of sealife.

Make your way to Savusavu town and visit the hot springs, used by locals for cooking root crops. Spend a day out on the water game fishing, then head down the main street and choose from a variety of restaurants and bars and see how the locals like to wind down.

Enter the mists of Tavenui’s tropical rainforest and majestic mountains and discover more than 100 species of birds. Trek to Des Voeux Peak as the sun comes up for a great shot at seeing birds soar through the orange-red sky.

WATCH THE SUNSET - THE SUN AND PACIFIC COASTS
The Sun Coast, a beautiful coastal region stretching around the northern shores of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, will transport you back in time. As you wander its dry, dusty streets, sugar trains chug past and time stands still.

Along the coast is Rakiraki, the gateway to Dolphin Island Resort with its own special New Zealand connection - it’s a sister property to Taupo’s Huka Lodge. Arrive by private boat to this exclusive, intimate accommodation and bask in the sun while you enjoy tropical cocktails, juicy papayas and mangoes, and absolute tranquillity. Glimpse Fijian culture on the Pacific Coast, just south of Suva, famous for its adventurous streak. Watch the firewalkers of Beqa Island brave molten rock and delight in singing, dancing and storytelling around a bonfire on the beach with the locals. Truly a memorable experience to behold.

At sunrise, jump on a board for a spot of surfing or raft through the Upper Navua River’s breathtaking gorges amidst the shrouded rainforest. Cascading waterfalls, rapids and canyons showcase the true essence of this rugged and untouched part of Fiji.

You can also soar along a 45-metre zipline above the rainforest for awe-inspiring views. You might even spot a flying fox or tree frog!

You can also explore the Beqa Lagoon aboard a jet ski or head to Fiji’s capital, Suva. Immerse yourself in the island’s rich colonial past by visiting the president’s residence in Albert Park, or amble through the Thurston Botanical Gardens and visit the city’s museum.

For a local slice of life, head to the markets for a spot of bargain hunting. Look out for traditional tattoo designs inspired by the lines, curves and symmetry of the Tapa cloth. The art of tattooing originally spread from Samoa to Fiji, where it evolved into its own art form.

THE BEST OF THE REST
You may also want to enjoy the tranquillity of the Yasawa Islands, several hours on a fast catamaran from the coast of Nadi. Stroll, swim and socialise with locals in the village. Whilst there are some world class resorts in this region, there is a good range of simple accommodation that makes for genuine interactions with Yasawa’s inhabitants. Share in a bowl of kava with the locals and you might just make a friend for life.

Jump on and off a Feejee Experience bus as it circum-navigates Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. The drivers will book your accommodation along the way plus transport you to many adventurous activities throughout the day. Try out sand-boarding, sea kayaking, waterfall swims, kava ceremonies and more, with friendly guides who will be delighted to explain their way of life.

WHEN TO GO
  • Fiji enjoys a mild, tropical maritime climate with an average temperature of 25°C throughout the year. 
  • The best time to travel is during the dry season May-Oct when humidity sits at a comfortable level. 
  • Nov-Apr is also good as there are fewer tourists around and you’re more than likely to find great deals on accommodation. If you’re travelling during this time, head to the drier regions such as the Mamanuca and Yasawa Groups. Whilst this is the wet season, showers are brief and localised. 
  • Casual dress is perfect for both day and night. Book at least 2 months in advance to avoid disappointment.
GETTING THERE 
  • Just a 3 hour flight from Auckland and 4 hours from Christchurch to Nadi.
  • Fiji Airways operates 13 flights a week to Fiji including a weekly direct flight from Christchurch. Fiji Airways is a full service airline offering complimentary in-flight beverages, snacks, selected entertainment and checked in luggage of 23kg per person over 2 years. 
  • Air New Zealand operate daily services from Auckland and once a week a direct service (Jul- Sep) from Christchurch and Wellington 
  • Nadi International Airport is 9km north of downtown Nadi.
To find out more call 0800 838 747, visit houseoftravel.co.nz or come instore!

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