For many people, Fiji is your typical beach resort type holiday or an exotic location to get hitched but there’s plenty of other things to do on the 320 islands that make up Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean just waiting for you to discover. Keep reading for inspirational ideas to make the most of your time in Fiji …
Beaches, beaches and more beaches
If you only know Fiji for one thing it’s probably those ugly beaches covered in white sand, crystal clear waters and palm trees scattered along the coast lines literally inviting visitors to relax. Bring something to drink, some snacks and your towel to make a day at the beach to completely unwind. Don’t forget about the sunscreen!
Hidden beneath the crystal blue waters you can find a beautiful coral reef filled to the brim with vibrant coloured sea-life. All year round you can find warm waters and be surrounded by exotic sea creatures in nearly every colour you can think of, so pack your swimmers and grab a snorkel! If you’re not content with staying on or near the surface of the water or you want to explore the depths of the coral reef, diving might be more your scene. One investment I suggest for anyone visiting Fiji is to purchase an underwater camera or case giving you the opportunity to photograph the spectacular underwater scenery.
You can probably guess that many of the activities for visitors in Fiji are water-based. Yes, you can go swimming, snorkelling or diving but what to do if you don’t want to go underwater? Surfing or kayaking are popular where you can paddle as far as you feel safe into the open waters and relax in the peace and quiet. Alternatively, if you find yourself craving the waves, bring or rent a surfboard, find a beach with the crashing waves and enjoy.
If you’re not a water-bug, there are still plenty of things to entertain those wishing to stay on hard ground. Make your way into the jungle to explore the wilderness. Similar to the coral reef, you can find a huge variety of local fauna and flora in Bouma National Heritage Park (and other parks on the islands) while making your way through the mud or climbing through the valleys. Say the temperature gets too much for you, there are a plethora of waterfalls so you can take a dip while waiting for the cool breeze to return. For those landscape photographers reading, you may wish to look up Des Voeux Peak which gives you a spectacular view to photograph.
Most places you visit in this world you can still find things being done the local way as if time has been standing still, one of these such activities in Fiji is with Kava. In traditional Fijian kava ceremonies the chief will be the first to drink, then it get’s passed down to the others. If you find yourself participating in one of these ceremonies simply do as the locals do! Don’t worry about the taste, in my own experience, you are not forced to drink excessive amounts, it’s simply polite to follow suit and a perfect opportunity to connect with the local community.
Connect with the locals
As the kava ceremony can be thought of as your introduction to the local village when interacting with locals, you can get a further glimpse of their daily lives when exploring the villages. The locals in Fiji are well known for their friendliness, so don’t feel shy, in the past many tourists have offered gifts to the local communities although this is not mandatory, as long as you’re respectful and friendly, I’m sure the locals will be more than happy to help you integrate while you’re there.
After the kava ceremony and connecting with the locals, you may be lucky enough to be invited to a Lovo, this is the traditional method of cooking used in Fiji. Normally, the food is wrapped in banana leaves and being heated over hot rocks in a shallow hole. For those lucky individuals who get to experience Lovo will notice that this is the Fijian way of barbecuing and actually tastes very similar.
Banana Leaf Massage
Banana leaves are not only used for cooking, they’re also used to help people relax with an alternative massage. For many people, a massage is a great way to relax and unwind at the beginning or the end of a holiday, the banana leaf massage has a few differences to a traditional massage. You will be wrapped in the leaves themselves, followed by a sprinkling of brown sugar and coconut oil before your physical massage begins.
What better way to delve into the history of Fiji than with the Fijian Museum? The museum is located in Suva and has various exhibitions covering the history of the islands from 3,000 year old archeological materials, cultural objects giving insight to the lives of the islands inhabitants for more than 200 years to temporary space or art exhibitions displaying the work from local artists.
When there are so many amazing islands, how can you decide which ones to dedicate your time? Why not hop between the islands? One has the option to hop on a flight from one island to another relatively quickly, if you’re looking for a more relaxing way to travel between the islands, you can find various boats to transport you from one of the 320 islands to another. Make sure to research the different islands and plan the order in which to visit them so you can maximise your time and make the most of your island holiday. The activities you wish to participate in while visiting the islands will determine which islands you explore while the transport will be the deciding factor in the order you choose.
What do you think about my list? Have you been to Fiji in the past? What did you do? Let me know in the comment section below!