Wanderlust Fiji

BULA.

Hello. Welcome!

 

Located in the heart of the South Pacific, is the tropical paradise of Fiji. An archipelago of over 300 volcanic islands, Fiji is renowned for it’s postcard worthy emerald lagoons, white sand beaches and relaxed vibe. One aspect I’ve found to be consistent is the friendliness, warmth and hospitality of the Fijian locals. As long as you can remember to say BULA! (Fijian greeting), you will always be welcomed with a sincere smile. After visiting the Coral Coast for a wedding last year, I was left so impressed and wanting more of Fiji. I just couldn’t wait to get back to this picturesque slice of heaven for the second time, so when I recently flew on Jetstar’s new route from Gold Coast to Nadi (YAY, 3.5 hour flight), I was certainly not disappointed.

 

Caution: Reading this may cause green-eyes and a severe case of wanderlust.

Instead of getting jealous, I suggest you book now…

 

10 reasons that Fiji should be your next getaway:

 

 

  1.  PRISTINE BEACHES-

 

Think bungalows over turquoise water, palm-lined shores and a horizon of rugged volcanic mountains and distant neighbouring islands. The beaches of Fiji are breathtaking and certainly rival the likes of the Maldives, Bahamas and the Gold Coast. There are plenty of beachside restaurants, bars and beauty spas as well if you want to take in the view whilst escaping the sand.

 

 

2.  ACCESSIBILITY-

 

As I already mentioned, Jetstar now flies direct from the Gold Coast to Fiji, now making the islands more accessible than ever to Australians. Flights leave three times a week between Coolangatta (Gold Coast) and Fiji (Nadi). One way lead-in fares start from $269 for selected travel dates, checked baggage not included and conditions do apply. This flight felt so fast for an international flight, you take off and land in paradise before you know it! This service operates three times per week on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays.

Bookings available through www.jetstar.com and you will be drinking coconuts, with your toes in the pool in no time.

 

 

  1. EXPLORE THE YASAWA ISLANDS-

 

Undoubtedly, the highlight of my trip to Fiji would definitely be exploring the Yasawas by Seaplane, with Pacific Island Air Destinations. I now believe that you have not experienced the magic of Fiji until you have seen it from the sky. The birds-eye view is an exquisite display of miles of pristine coastlines, clear turquoise waters, colourful reef, mountain ranges and lush rainforest that are mostly untouched. Pacific Air Destinations have various seaplanes and helicopter tours available, including scenic flights, island trips and transfers between accommodations. Flights depart from both Nadi Airport and Denaru Marina, with around a 20-30 minute journey to the Yasawa Islands. One of the more famous areas of Yasawa Island is the “Blue Lagoon” cave, hidden beneath a volcanic peak; it is one of the settings for the 1980 movie.

http://www.pacificislandair.com

 

 

  1. EXTREME ACTIVITIES OR EXTREME RELAXATION-

 

The best part of Fiji is that you can decide how much or how little you want to do! There is an endless list of adrenalin-pumping activities that will make your trip an unforgettable experience. Or you can lay back and enjoy the tranquillity of the island by taking part in one of the many culture-rich tours or volunteering missions to give you a real taste of “Fiji Life”.

 

Some recommendations:

 

  • Free dive with the sharks or manta rays
  • White water rafting
  • Snorkel the Fijian Coral Reef
  • Kayaking, paddle boarding
  • Day trip to Cloud 9 (a definite!!)
  • Sunset horse riding
  • Skydiving
  • Ziplining
  • Polynesian dancer show
  • Traditional Kava Ceremony
  • River village/local school tour
  • Helicopter scenic flight
  • Sail the Manamuca Islands
  • Visit Blue Lagoon Caves
  • Bouma National Heritage Park

 

 

5.   SPECTACULAR SUNSETS-

 

I always find the most magical moments of my holidays are the sunsets. Watching the sky turn from bright turquoise to different shades of pink and orange as the sun disappears after another busy day of exploration. Well, Fiji did not disappoint on this account. Sitting on board The Captain Cook Sunset Cruise, with a cocktail in hand created the perfect atmosphere and location to enjoy the changing from day to night. We were even lucky enough to have a visiting cruise ship in the horizon to make the view than much more spectacular.

www.captaincook.com.au/fiji-cruises/

 

 

6.  MUD POOLS-

 

Located midway between Nadi and Lautoka on the main island of are the Sabeto Mud Pools and Thermal Spring. Entry is FJ$15 and this includes your guide around the pools and access to changing facilities (bring your own towel and wear old swimwear). The fun begins by generously lathering warm mud over your body and lying in the sun until it dries. Then, enter the “mud pool” to wash off the mud, leaving the skin exfoliated and smooth. Follow this by relaxing in the 3 outdoor thermal pools of varying temperatures. The locals believe these sulphur-rich pools to have therapeutic properties and have been used for generations for anti-aging benefits and healing philosophies. I found the whole experience very… interesting!

 

Note: The garden of the sleeping giant is only 5 minutes from here so it’s worth adding it to the itinerary if you’re venturing to the pools.

 

 

7.  VARIED ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

 

Fiji has something to suit every type of traveller, with lodging options ranging from affordable hostels to exclusive 5-star resorts. For a more family friendly atmosphere with convenience and accessibility to activities and tours, then Port Denaru is the place for you. Or you could jett off to a private island if isolated and untouched is more your style. For my recent trip, I stayed at the luxurious Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, located on Denaru Island. This resort effortlessly blends local customs and style with modern sophistication. My room had a private balcony overlooking the ocean, with close proximity to the lagoon style pool. I found the various restaurant options to be a highlight of my stay, with both high-class dining and café style available. The buffet breakfast was high quality and the selection was widely varied between Fijian style, fresh fruit and a cooked breakfast. If you do choose to stay with the Sofitel, I would definitely recommend spoiling yourself with a tranquil massage treatment at the So Spa overlooking the ocean… Okay, maybe this was tied for first place of the highlight!

www.sofitel.com/booking/hotels-list.shtml

 

 

 

8.  FIJI TIME-

 

You will find that everything runs on “Fiji time” and that there is no pressure or stress for things to run to schedule. It took me a little while to adjust to not looking at the clock or worrying when things were late, then I realised that’s the beauty that is Fiji! Kick back, relax and enjoy the chance to re-evaluate life and appreciate the simple things.

 

 

  9.  HONEYMOON + ROMANCE

 

Beachside, candlelit dining, ocean-view bungalows and chapels over the water… Fiji is a destination of ultimate romance and makes the perfect place to tie the knot or honeymoon. Very good friends of mine, Jen and Ben, proved this with the most perfect tropical wedding full of emotion, love and good friends celebrating life…

 

 

10.  FOOD-

 

Food is definitely the way to win over my heart… and Fiji did not disappoint! The first thing I did when on the way to the hotel in the taxi was stop at a local fruit market and purchase local produce. They have the most amazing fruit and it’s so cheap.

Coconuts, watermelon, pineapples and bananas galore!

When visiting, trying papaya with fresh lime is a must! Or if you’re feeling adventurous you can try Kava, a local ceremonial drink made from the root of a plant.

Beware: It has similar effects to alcohol and has relaxing qualities… you will fall asleep with a numb face when drunk in large quantities!

 

 

Loloma Hannah xx

 

 

Photography: Tim Caraco

www.timcaraco.com.au
Instagram: timcaraco_cinema
www.facebook.com/TimCaracoPhotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

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