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UNDER THE RADAR FIJI

By Anna Sarjeant



We all know Fiji is famed for its beautiful islands and beaches, but right now, we’re all about Fiji's lesser-known attractions: adventure, culture and wellness. All this, just three hours from New Zealand. 



1. FIJI HAS AN ADVENTURE CAPITAL 
Dishing out enough golden shoreline to rival the rest of Fiji, Pacific Harbour might be known as “Adventure Capital”, but it’s also home to ample relaxing resorts. Just under an hour’s drive from Suva, it’s the perfect combination of relaxation mixed with jet skiing, kayaking and white-water rafting. Zip lines will swoop you over Fijian jungle and shark dives will submerge you into a watery underworld. From Jetski tours to self-drive buggies, and back to your resort for a cocktail, Pacific Harbour is equal parts adrenaline and glorious downtime. IE, holiday perfection.  

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2. SWIM WITH SHARKS
Just south of Pacific Harbour, Beqa Island is where you can take an almighty big gulp and embark on a shark dive with the biggest predators in Fiji’s sea – tiger sharks. One of only few places on the planet where you can do this, it’s a huge bucket-list achievement. Snorkellers needn’t miss out on the action either, with various resorts littering the Yasawas offering shark snorkelling excursions. A speedboat will transfer you out to a reef, where white tip sharks appear, and if you’re lucky, a few black tips too. Reef sharks will swim inches from your face and soar silently beneath your stomach; gracefully and with surprising elegance.  

 


3. SMALL SHIP DISCOVERY CRUISES
Getting off-the-beaten track in Fiji could involve getting off the ground altogether – and onto a Captain Cook discovery cruise. These ships are small, with no more than 63 cabins, while itineraries forge a route through some of Fiji’s most jaw-dropping islands. Vanua Levu, albeit Fiji's second-largest island, is an under-travelled mecca of sugarcane plantations and secret villages hiding out in swathes of forest. Then there’s Taveuni, often referred to as Fiji’s Garden Island, it’s a magically green drop of land rich in tropical rainforest - and birdlife hooked on its verdant allure. The Lau Islands and Kadavu, which are rarely seen by tourists, are also home to remote villages and stunning coral gardens, so snorkels and flippers are recommended. 

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4. GENTLE RIVER RAPIDS
Enveloped in towering rainforest, Navua River is a beautiful stretch of water sandwiched between Fiji’s lush Namosi Highlands. Sitting within an inflatable donut you can meander down mild rapids and deep gorges as part of a river tubing expedition – the ideal way to chill out while still being intrepid. Tube the rapids, take a dip in passing waterfalls, stop for lunch and enjoy a stroll through local villages. Simply ask us how to add a tubing experience to your Fiji holiday. Children and adults are both welcome, but the minimum age is usually six years.

 



5. PERSONALISED WELLNESS
The sun’s vitamin D, beachside massages and a local fave - 'Bu' (green coconut juice) will all make you feel divine, but for a little extra indulgence, Fiji’s resorts all max-out on wellness. Koro Sun Resort Fiji’s Rainforest Spa, situated in Fiji's North, is nothing like the quick spa fix you'd find on your lunch break. This is the full shebang - nestled in virgin rainforest and beside its very own waterfall. You're in paradise. We also love the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa, especially the hydro-therapy pool and on-site steam and ice room. For those after a detox, Six Senses’ personalised wellness program starts with a wellness screening. Following that, you’ll receive one unique-to-you treatment and one activity per day, plus nutritional advice. There’s also the hillside Yoga Pavillion, complete with flying yoga hammocks, which is a really fun way to get fit.

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6. SURF’S UP
Home to some of the most challenging waves in the world, watch the pro-surfers keep their cool at ‘Cloudbreak’ off Tavarua Island. Frequently attracting big surf names such as Kelly Slater, they come for the top surf breaks and tough swells. If you possess similar talent, you might like to give it a crack. For the rest of us, simply watching is a treat.

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7. CAVE EXPLORATION
The famed Sawa-i-lau Caves are an ancient limestone formation, carved by waves and crafted into a chamber of vertical walls. Often described as the ‘Heart of the Yasawas’, the caves are located on a pretty island, complete with pockets of inviting blue sea water. The outer chasm is accessed via a stairwell but there’s a secondary, more hidden cave entered by an underwater tunnel. In here it’s dark, not completely black but enough to make your neck hairs stand tall. It's a dive into the unknown, but with rocky curtains and swim-through tunnels, it’s also enchanting. Ask us about tour options with expert guides.




8. STAY LOCAL
Build your own awesome adventure with the aptly named “Awesome Adventures”. Island hopping the Yasawa Islands is their speciality, and with their popular Bula Pass you can even build your own itinerary. From high-energy exploration to relaxing escapes, you might choose to stay at a small family-run resort, or inside a beautiful beachfront bure. There are eco-havens and rustic lodges, and plenty of ways (as well as islands) to immerse yourself in the Fijian way of life. With flexible transfers on-board the Yasawa Flyer boat, switch between snorkelling and sunbathing, to traditional lovo meals and banana tree planting - if the fancy takes you.

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Ready to get into a Fiji state of mind? Our best Fiji holiday deals are right here. 

 

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