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  • Writer's pictureLucas Chesterton

Fiji

The Fijian archipelago is made up of over 300 islands and is located in tropical South Pacific. The main tourists destinations are Denarau Island or Coral Coast on the mainland, then there are thousands of islands with more exclusive resorts. All international flights fly in and out of Nadi and Suva (located on opposite sides of the mainland of Viti Levu) and citizens of most developed countries will not need to organise visa’s before landing.


Denarau Island is located about 30 minutes from the airport and is home to all of the big resorts in Nadi (Hilton, Sheraton, W, etc) there is also a Harbour where all boat trips, excursions and ferries depart out to the Island Resorts in the region.​

Coral Coast is a beautiful section of coast line in the south west of Fiji, it can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half from Nadi depending on which resort you chose. All resorts are located on huge beachfront parcels of land, and comprise of pools, bars, restaurants and activities centres.

Although most resorts in Fiji are exclusive, those located on the outer more inaccessible islands are some of the nations finest and can cost unto thousands of dollars a night. These were a little out of our price range and usually required private helicopter transfers so we opted for the cheaper option to stick to the mainland.


Before we had departed for our trip, we had been in contact with an orphanage near Nadi called the ‘Treasure House’ and collected clothes both new and old from family members in Melbourne which accumulated to over 20kg of check in baggage and brought it over with us.

We had already pre organised a hire car which was picked up at the airport, so we head straight to the supermarket to buy more supplies for the children (as it is cheaper in Fiji than Australia). The supplies included bulk foods (20kg bags of rice), lots of nappies, soap and toothpaste, school books and stationary, along with some Milo and lollies. The orphanage is located about ten minutes from the airport along Queens Road which is Fiji’s main Road, and also enroute to Danarau Island and the Coral Coast.

Treasure House is a home for under privileged children tragically orphaned through tragic circumstances. Some of them are without one or both parents, some are a result of domestic crisis and violence, some deep poverty, drug, alcohol or sex abuse. The staff are absolutely fantastic and treat these heart melting children as if they are their own.

No photos have been taken of the children for obvious reason but we would like to help promote this amazing project. So, anyone planning to visit the beautiful islands of Fiji and are looking for a rewarding experience, you can arrange to stop by and drop of donations of clothes, groceries, school books, etc or you can even lend a helping hand and volunteer with children. If you would like to help please contact us or look for more information at https://treasurehousefiji1.wordpress.com/ or contact us at info@indyworldtravel.com and we can put you in touch with the staff at the centre.​

After our pit stop at the treasure house we heading south east towards the Coral Coast, stopping at a really cool Hindu Temple along the way before we got to our hotel ‘The Outrigger’. This is an amazing resort with scenic ocean views, a massive lagoon pool surrounded by restaurants and bars. The Bebe Spa is located across the road on the high side of the mountain, offering massages, beauty treatments and hydrotherapy tubs. You can walk between the two complexes or do what we did and get a free gold buggy transfer which only takes a few minutes. There is also another restaurant/bar which offers panoramic views of the coast line.

One morning I woke up early and drove down to Pacific Harbour to go Scuba Diving. The trip is about an hour of so along the coast and also winding through the mountains. Along the way it started pouring with rain plus the radio wasn't working in the hills so I decided to pick up some hitchhikers that were walking along the side of the road. Obviously I wouldn't recommend this as you can never guarantee your safety but I have always wanted to and I have found the people of Fiji as some of the most friendly and welcoming in the world. Luckily for me, all of the people were lovely and made the lonely drive more enjoyable. All of the people offered to pay me and even invited my to have dinner in their village, which regrettably I could not attend as we needed to head back to Denarau that afternoon.​

Fiji offers countless amazing diving opportunities at both wreck and reef dive sites with flourishing marine life. From Pacific Harbour you can Scuba Dive with the Bull Sharks with Beqa Adevnture Divers, who participate in a large conservation and research project which has helped stabilise the Marine life if the area through stopping overfishing and data collection. You can find the footage if you click here.

Driving back along the coast line I stopped at a couple of local villages to have a look around, and even watched a local rugby game. There were a couple of nice little beach spots to stop off at along the way but I had also read about a Cafe which served wood fire Pizza - so I stopped in and got one. It was awesome, great set up and vibe with quality food, the place is called Eco Cafe.

All Fijians love a Lovo and Kava. A Lovo is similar to a ‘Hangi’ in New Zealand, a BBQ where the food is cooked below the ground. Kava on the other hand is a muddy water drink results in a numb feeling around the mouth, lips and tongue and a sense of relaxation, made from roots of a pepper plant. Most restaurants and resorts have traditional Fijian nights where you can eat food cooked from a Lovo and even try Kava, but if your a bit more adventurous you can get friendly with hotel staff or taxi drivers and have a more authentic experience in a local village.

We spent the last few days at the Hitlon in Denarau Islands, which is relatively close to amenities and easy to get out to the islands. The resorts on Denarau are fairly exclusive and a great place to relax, have a massage, lay by the pool or beach and eat quality food so most people here do exactly that and do not leave the resorts. We spent a day or two just lounging round the pool, winding down and reading books which was perfect. If you are looking for things to do, nearly everything can be organised through the hotels or you can take the shuttle bus, taxi or just walk to the Denarau Marina and explore your options there.

Denarau Marina has loads of shops and restaurants, you can change money and even organise ferries, day trips and actives out to the Mamanuca Islands. Some of these activities include Jet Ski tours, boat and snorkelling trips to surrounding islands and the ever popular ‘Cloud 9’ and on of the biggest hits - Monuriki Island (where the movie castaway was filmed).

We organised a day trip to head out on a Sailboat to Monuriki Island. The trip included lunch and drinks during the day and we stopped at a couple of islands and snorkelling spots. We had about an hour on Monuriki Islands where the movie cast away was filmed which is absolutely beautiful, it is completely uninhabited and there are no shops, just sand, palm trees and coconuts! We also stopped off at another Island and visited a local village where we were able to buy souvenirs (all funds stay in the community) and drink Kava with the village chief. Overall it was a really fun day and we got to see some fantastic spots in the outer islands.​

If you would like any more information feel free to email us at info@indyescapes.com or comment below :)

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