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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fiji Islands "The honey moon paradise"

"Fiji Me" it’s a way of making your paradise dreams come true. In a world of over 333 islands and almost every conceivable activity to choose from, you can be assured of one thing when you arrive in our pleasant South Pacific destination… that you will experience memorable days and nights that will last a lifetime.

Here in Fiji you can say, "Thrill Me" and then choose to hike mountain trails, raft white waters, or speed across and above the ocean surf. You might also request, "Romance Me" and engage in every single type of romantic fantasy come true that your mind can possible dream up. You may hear our waters siren to you and say, "Dive Me" and we can take you down and along some of the most beautiful and colorful soft coral in the world. Fiji may call out for you to "Explore Me" when you can don your back pack and head across a country chock full of adventures and ‘adventurers’. Mingle with locals and you feel the need to say "Bula Me" and experience all the culture, traditions and legends of a once fierce but now fiercely happy and humble people. "Fiji Me"…it’s everything you want it to be.


Suva - the Capital of Fiji, was developed in the late 1800's and retains much of the character of the colonial period. Its many attractions include shopping, restaurants, nightclubs, markets, a museum and sightseeing tours. You can enjoy a walk around the central city area, which will uncover numerous surprises. The Roman Catholic Cathedral is a Suva landmark and a leisurely stroll down Victoria Parade (the main avenue) will take you past an array of restaurants, clothing and book stores as well as banks and airline offices.

Suva Nightlife Here you'll see the blending of traditional, early 20th century South Pacific buildings juxtaposed with modern high-rise structures. Towards the end of the Parade are the Government Buildings, which open on to Albert Park and Thurston Gardens. A short bus or cab ride south toward Suva Point will take you to the architecturally striking Parliament Buildings. Suva has accommodation to suit business traveller's families and backpackers. Suva Parliment House


The Lomaiviti group of islands, the heart of Fiji lies off the east coast of Viti Levu and consists of seven main islands and a number of smaller ones, which cover an area of 411 square kilometers with a combined population of 16,214. These islands are rustic and serene where travelers have ended up staying longer than planned. The Lomaiviti Group, 'Fiji's Big Fish Capital', consist of the islands of Namenalala, Makogai, Koro, Wakaya, Batiki, Nairai, Gau, Ovalau and Moturiki.

Lomaiviti pic 1

Levuka is the large, 626m high volcanic island just east of Viti Levu. It is Fiji's former capital, located on the island of Ovalau with a population of 3745. Levuka is the most picturesque town in Fiji, and one of very few places in the South Pacific that still has a significant number of quaint colonial buildings.

Levuka is famous for many of Fiji's 'firsts'. It was the site of Fiji's first bank, post office, school, private members club, hospital, town hall and municipal government. For travelers who want to experience and be part of a living heritage, Levuka is a trip back in time, to a Fiji that is still untouched by mass tourism.


Kadavu is Fiji's fourth largest island, with a population of 10,000 and an area of 411 square kilometres, located approximately 45 miles south of the capital city of Suva. Widely acknowledgeed as one of Fiji's most unspoilt islands, its lush rainforest and exotic wildlife have earned Kadavu a reputation as one of Fiji's most beautiful islands. Kadavu still has 75% of its original rainforest cover and a rich bird diversity, including four species endemic to the island. Kadavu is one of the least develped areas of Fiji with few roads, and a local economy largely dependent on subsistence farming.

kadavu Pic 1

This island enjoys some of the world's best diving with the Great Astrolable Reed stretching its mightly coral formations along the entre eatern side. Beneath the surface, the island's pristine waters offer excellent visibility, the gardens of hard and soft corals, vertical walls, caves and brilliant tropical fish of every species.

On land, the lush rainforest, mountain ranges, bush trails and waterfalls are a delight for hikers, and local guides can show you the rare birdlife unique to the island, including the Kadavu parrot.

kadavu Pic 2

There are daily flights to Kadavu, one from Nadi as well as seaplanes and a ferry service from Suva. Kadavu resorts offer a variety of quality accommodation from backpacker and family budget resorts to eco resorts an more lavishly appointed resorts, all supremely suitable for enthusiastic divers.


Taveuni is Fiji’s third largest island with 42km long and 10km wide situated 9km from southeast of Vanua Levu. It is known as the “Garden Island of Fiji” for its dense and verdant rainforest and exotic flora and fauna. The island’s main source of income is agriculture, mostly dalo (taro) and to a lesser extent copra and kava crops, but it is increasingly relying on tourism.

Ecotourism and diving are the main attractions of tourists to Taveuni. The island’s natural beauty both under and above water, is popular with divers, bushwalkers and nature lovers. Its rugged geography has hindered farming, leaving forests and wildlife relatively intact. The people of Taveuni are committed in conserving the natural and cultural heritage of the island.

Taveuni bay

The unique natural and cultural heritage is a major draw card for tourism in Taveuni. Taveuni is a destination for tourists looking for nature-based experiences beyond sun, sand and sea of the other islands.

Bouma Forest Park is community managed that is aiming to be on the World Heritage List. It offers Waitabu Marine Area for snorkellers, mountain and coastal walking treks, waterfalls and so on. Additionally, Taveuni has magnificent diving spots, beautiful white sandy beaches and panoramic views around the island.

Waters off Qamea and adjacent islands feature world famous dive spots such as the White Wall, the Purple Wall and the Yellow Wall. There are several villages on Qamea and the abundance of tropical marine life makes the waters around Taveuni a fisherman’s heaven.

There are a few sites of archeological interest on Taveuni, including the remains of the old Vuna village hill fortification in the south near Vuna Point. According to local lore, the Paramount Chief – Tui Vuna, who was originally from Moturiki near Ovalau, presided there.

taveuni waterfall

Vanua Levu

Vanua Levu is the second largest island of the Fiji archipelago and has the second largest population. With an area of 5,587sq km, it is just over half the size of Viti Levu and 18% of the country’s total population.

Savusavu is one of the fastest growing towns as well as a unique and distinctive tourism destination in Fiji. It is small and quaint with a heritage yet bustling small town quality. Savusavu Town is nestled on a peninsula, which divides Savusavu Bay from the Koro Sea and is the main tourist destination for Vanua Levu. Savusavu’s slogan is “the Hidden Paradise”. The landscape here is scenic with many bays, rainforests and coconut groves.

Savusavu was once a caldera and the area still has lots of geothermal activity, with hot springs near wharf and vents of steam along the water’s edge. These hot springs have put Savusavu on the world’s tourist map.

Vanua Levu image 1 The main attraction for most travelers to Savusavu is its reefs. There are good dive sites at the entrance and within Savusavu Bay, and along the coast towards Taveuni.

The Hibiscus Highway is scenic, running from Savusavu town to the road’s end at Darigala, passing sprawling copra estates, colonial-style homesteads, villages and forests. Towards the end of the Hibiscus Highway is the Tunuloa or Natewa Peninsula.

This area is renowned for bird-watching, hiking or for exploration by bus for 4WD. The silktail, a rare bird listed as one of the world’s endangered species is found only on this peninsula and on Taveuni.

Savusavu Buca Bay

South of Buca Bay, at the south-eastern end of Vanua Levu, Dakuniba Village where petrogliphs on boulders can be found in a creek bed nearby. Similar alphabetic rock inscriptions are also found in the Sawa-i-lau Caves in the Yasawas. Nukubolu Forest and Archaeological Park and Waisali Forest Park are tourist attractions managed by the community.

Sun Coast

This area includes the north eastern coastal areas of Viti Levu starting from Lautoka through to Ba, Rakiraki, Nananu-i-ra and Takalana. The region commences from Vatia Point in the midst of Ba and Tavua through to Takalana in the Northern Tailevu Province. This area covers three major provinces. The region includes 30 districts and 160 villages.

The rugged north coast is known as the Suncoast for its relatively dry climate. The scenery is stunning along Kings Road winding down from the mountains from Dama past Viti Levu Bay and to the beautiful Rakiraki. The climate on the Northern side of the Nakauvadra range is similar to that of western Viti Levu, drier and suited for growing sugar cane. Some 30 minutes to the north of Nadi International Airport is Lautoka, the second largest city in Fiji. This mountainous region around Rakiraki is home to the world renowned 'Fiji Water'. Visits to the Fiji Water Plan can be arranged beforehand.

Suncoast image

The Suncoast region boasts magnificent mountain ranges, rolling countryside, tropical forests, rivers and waterfalls; coral reef gardens, Skeleton-filled caves, white sandy beaches, and picturesque islands of Macuata, Tovu, Nanuyakoto, Malake, Dolphin, Nananu-i-ra and Nananu-I-Cake. This region is particularly rich in culture and tradition, the arts of storytelling and traditional dancing.

The Coral Coast

The Coral Coast stretches along the beaches of Fiji's main island linking Natadola in the West to Waidroka Bay in the East. It has one of the largest fringing coral reefs in the world. Dotted with stunning white beaches and ringed by a turquoise coral reef and a deep blue Pacific Ocean the Queens Highway meanders through stunning scenery, Fijian villages, sugar cane fields and lush hills.

This is where you will find a host of award winning resorts, hotels, villas, and backpacker accommodation. In fact the best of every accommodation option can be found on the Coral Coast catering to every pocket and every vacation dream. Weddings, honeymoons, relaxing getaways, family holidays, adventure - the Coral Coast has it all.

Coral Coast 1

On the banks of the Sigatoka river is Sigatoka town (sunny place), a place where locals and tourists blend to eat, shop and socalize. In the central marketplace, farmers barter and trade their fruit, vegetables and kava and shelter under colourful umbrellas maramas (women) display fresh water mussels in hand-woven coconut leaf baskets. Sigatoka town is also home to many of Fiji's most famous shops offering a high quality range of handicrafts, home wares, souvenirs, fashion and jewellery.

Relax and participate in resort based activities, indulge in a luxury spa or enjoy village visits, diving, snorkelling, surfing, jungle treks, river rafting and more.

Coral Coast Reef

Yasawa Islands

The Yasawa Islands are a chain of sixteen large islands, stretching ninety (90) kilometers in north-northeast direction, roughly thirty-five (35) kilometers off the west coast of Viti Levu. In the lee of Viti Levu, the Yasawas are dry and sunny, with beautiful, isolated beaches, cliffs, bays and reefs.

The Yasawas are famous for crystal blue lagoons and some of the Pacific's most ethereal beaches. The islands have white sandy beaches and crystalline waters, lush tropical rainforests and soaring volcano peaks that attract fresh tropical rain. The Yasawas are accessed daily from Port Denarau and Lautoka by fast catamaran and resort water taxis; or seaplane and helicopter from Nadi.

Yasawa beach Aerial

Clear blue waters with white sandy beaches and extensive fringing reefs and reef lagoons. The rugged islands provide a backdrop to this spectacular imagery. The rain shadow effect of Viti Levu from the prevailing moist south easterlies provides low rainfall and many sunny days.

Entertainment includes resort activities, village visits (for meke and lovos), sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, diving, trekking and visits to Sawa-i-lau caves.

The Yasawa Islands offer a great range of backpacking properties with their own unique attractions, cultural activities, picture perfect beaches, authentic Fijian food, amazing birdlife and world class scuba diving. There is also a wonderful selection of accommodation ranging from budget to unique five star resorts. The peace and tranquility, combined with the generosity and warmth of the local people make the Yasawas a very special and authentic travel experience and introduction to the real Fiji.

Yasawa island Aerial

Cruise Ships and Yachting
The Yasawas also have regular small luxury cruise ship visits (Blue Lagoon and Captain Cook).


Set among deep blue waters with fringing coral reefs of turquoise and pastel green, the Mamanuca (pronounced Ma-ma noo tha) island group is a paradise of eye-popping reefs and sand-fringed isles shared by traditional Fijian villages and modern island resorts. The arc shaped Mamanuca chain is situated well inside the outer reef whose protective barrier creates ideal conditions for boating, scuba diving, snorkelling and other water-based activities.

Mamanuca Island The Mamanuca Islands and the islands of Nadi Bay offer tourists some of Fiji's most outstanding island beauty and are home to a range of resorts that are as different as they are unique. Top it off; the Mamanucas also lie in a weather belt boasting the South Pacific's highest "sunshine factor".

Denarau Island

Denarau Island is a Fiji tourism institution. With more than 8 major hotel options including world recognisable names such as Sheraton, Sofitel, Radisson, Hilton, and Westin among others, Denarau offers a standard of service that can be trusted for savvy international travelers. There are other major amenities that make Denarau Island the leader for room counts in Fiji's. If golf is your game, you'll certainly enjoy the championship caliber course at the Golf and Racquet facility which also houses impressive tennis options including spectacular grass courts.

Denarau Golf

Denarau Golf Club is one of Fiji’s more expensive; however, the course is superb. It offers long, flat, and open fairways with several water hazards and beautiful coconut trees. The scenic view may get in your way and make you drive in the wrong direction as your eyes may divert to the blue waters of the sea or the majestic mountains. The course is a par 72 with championship fees. It encompasses 4 par threes, 4 par fives, and 10 par fours. The longest hole is the 14th hole at 516 meters and the shortest par 3 is the 17th hole at 158 meters known as the signature hole. The South Pacific's premier championship course is in the heart of the resort island of Denarau, home of Sheraton Fiji Resorts. Landscaped with giant coconut palms it features water hazards on 15 of the 18 holes making it a 'thinking' golf course. Hard Rock Cafe Denarau

The Marina at Denarau port provides Fiji's finest off-resort dining and shopping experience. The eclectic dining options include steak, seafood, Indian and even a Hard Rock Cafe. There are plenty of other food choices to consider while working up a hunger walking around the premium shops and handicraft retailers.
The Port Denarau Marina is the main departure point for the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands and is located on Denarau Island. This fast developing marina complex is the centre of yachting activity in Fiji. Denarau Marina has Fiji's newest haul out facility and provides the latest up to date equipment. It has 5 jetties: 1 fixed and 4 floating. The marina can accommodate super yachts up to a maximum of 64 metres and 100 smaller yachts. Up to 11 cruise boats can be accommodated. Ancillary facilities include tour desks, a convenience store, laundry, fuel depot and public washrooms.

Denarau Marina

Denarau Island is also the lunching pad to many of Fiji's island resort and activity options. A very close proximity to Nadi airport only adds to the value of Denarau's long list of special features. When looking for established and renowned service providers, Denarau will surely be one of your most highly considered options.


As Fiji's airport town, Nadi (pronounced Nandi) is where most visitors hear their first BULA. The colorful marketplace, located only a few minutes drive from the airport, features yaqona stalls, homemade souvenirs and local culture. Nadi is also the gateway to the Mamanuca Group where you will find exquisite island resorts as well as laid back surfer camps and budget accommodation. Nadi is where you'll find the most visitor facilities in Fiji and, of course, the greatest number of souvenir shops and it's also known for an ancient therapy mud bath at the Sabeto's Outback.

Nadi Pic 1Traditionally the gateway to Fiji, the Nadi Corridor comprises the western side of Fiji's main island, Viti Levu commencing from Vuda Point, Nadi Town, Wailoaloa Beach, Nadi Airport, Martintar, Denarau Island, Korovuto, Momi Bay to Natadola. Effectively this region falls under the two provinces of Ba and Nadroga characterized by year round fine weather, its proximity to the International Airport, whilst the surrounding countryside is rolling and verdant, the beaches are relatively unpopulated, and the mountainous region (known as the Nausori Highlands) to the east are nothing short of spectacular.


Set sail on the 110-foot former Governor General’s Brigantine “Ra Marama” for an all-day island and cruise adventure. Relax, sunbathe and enjoy the music and entertainment as you cruise to Tivua Island. Surrounded by 500 acres of coral gardens, warm tropical waters and soft sandy beach, Tivua Island is a private oasis. Glass bottom boat tours, island activities and buffet lunch are all included.


Enjoy a full-day adventure including whitewater rafting on one of the most unique rivers on earth. The Upper Navua River is a hidden pathway into a pristine tropical wilderness and has remained unexplored by all but the most intrepid adventurers. Discover highland culture and hidden grottoes, hike in emerald forests, search for exotic wildlife, and be invigorated under cascading waterfalls. Tour is approximately 11 hours.


This evening, enjoy a delicious lobster dinner and a champagne cocktail as you cruise into a beautiful Pacific Island sunset. Onboard you will experience lively traditional Fijian entertainment, superb dining, and spectacular scenery– a combination that will make your evening afloat an event to remember. A bar is also available with drinks for purchase.


Enjoy 3 hours of cruising into a Pacific Island sunset while you dine from a delicious 3-course a-la-carte menu prepared on board. Coffee and tea (included) and bar service (own expense) are also available. Traditional Fijian entertainment and spectacular scenery round off a perfect evening. Cruise itinerary is subject to change without notice due to weather or operational needs. Hotel transfers are included.


Explore the remote Yasawa group of islands on board the “Yasawa Flyer.” Cruise past beautiful beaches and isolated villages on this big day out. This fast catamaran provides a vital link to the remote Yasawa Islands for both locals and visitors. Commentary and a tasty packed lunch are included. Tour is 9 hours, departs daily from Denarau.


This guided afternoon tour visits the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, housing the late Raymond Burr’s collection of Orchids. The garden offers a unique way to experience Fiji’s tropical beauty. The historical village of Viseisei reveals that this was the Fijian people’s first landing site. On the way back to your hotel, stop at Nadi market and town. Tour is 4 1/2 hours. Departs: Monday- Saturday except holidays.


Travel via 4WD through Lautoka and ascend the hills of “The Sleeping Giant” to the alpine village of Abaca, inside the Koroyanitu National Park. The village offers forest and grassland walks with magnificent views of the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. After a welcome ceremony, take a guided walk in the National Park with an opportunity for a swim in the river. Or, take a guided village tour, learning of traditional plants and their medicinal use.


This full day guided tour includes Fiji’s capital city Suva, nestled on the harbor with views to the surrounding mountains. Enjoy sightseeing, shopping and a buffet lunch. Encounter the cultural heritage of the islands at the Fiji Museum, including relics from HMS Bounty. Drive through the city, past Parliament House, University of the South Pacific, and the President’s residence. Tour is 10 hours and departs Monday-Friday except holidays.


After a scenic drive, your adventure begins on board a long boat traveling up the Navua River into the interior, past villages, pristine tropical rainforests, deep gorges, fast-flowing shallow rapids and cascading waterfalls. Try bamboo rafting and enjoy an exhilarating swim under a waterfall before lunch (included) at a Fijian village with a traditional kava ceremony and entertainment. This full day tour departs Nadi with pickups at resorts along the way.


Get in

By plane

Nadi International Airport is Fiji's main international airport. Suva airport also has some international flights. Air New Zealand, and Air Pacific (Fiji majority owned) fly to Fiji directly from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the USA, and from Incheon International Airport in South Korea, as well as many other locations. Korean Air has three flights weekly between Nadi and Seoul.

Exercise caution when making bookings with the travel agents at the airport. Fiji tourism is laden with 15-20% 'deposits' (commissions) that encourage agents to book with the resorts that provide the best commission, rather than the best holiday experience.

By boat

You can enter Fiji by boat from Australia through the Astrala shore connection.

Get around

Fiji has a variety of public transport options, including buses, "share taxis", and private taxis. Rates are very cheap: F$1-2 from Colo-i-Suva to Suva bus station by bus, F$17 from Nadi bus station to Suva by share-taxi (share-taxi's are usually white mini-vans that congregate together and set-off when they reach their capacity of 6-8), or approximately F$80 from Suva airport to Sigatoka by private taxi. On the main road circling Viti Levu buses run every half hour and taxis are a substantial proportion of traffic, while on western Taveuni buses make only a few runs per day and very little traffic is present.

The current going rate from resorts on Nadi beach to Nadi downtown is $6 per passenger, and $10 to the airport -- you should be able negotiate this price reasonably easily.

While there is rarely much traffic present, most vehicles run on diesel and pollution on major roadways can be severe. A national speed limit of 80 km/h is usually observed; village speed limits are all but entirely ignored, but drivers slow down for several speed humps distributed within each village. Seat belts are advised on taxis but are rarely evident and apparently never used.

Road travel tends to be more dangerous than many people are used to, and many embassies advise their citizens to avoid pretty much any form of road travel. Pot holes, washouts and dilapidated bridges are commonplace. Buses are the best, unless you are truly comfortable and capable of renting and driving a car on your own - most people are not even if they think they are. Avoid travel at night, especially outside of urban areas. Another option is hop-on, hop-off bus passes which allow you to tour Fiji at your own pace for a fixed price. These are a more expensive way to travel but feature inclusions like tours and activities. However, some like Feejee Experience are limited to Viti Levu and trips to Beachcomber island and don't include the more remote islands.


South Sea Cruises operates daily inter-island ferry transfers throughout Fiji's Mamanuca Island resorts. Awesome Adventures Fiji provides daily ferry transfers out to the remote Yasawa Islands. Inter-island ferries are reasonably priced and the larger ones (especially those large enough to accommodate cars and trucks) have a good safety record, though they may be overcrowded at the beginning and end of school holiday periods.

Do not attempt to take a car to another island unless you own it or have made clear special arrangements - most rental companies forbid it and they do prosecute tourists who violate this clause in the contract.


Bicycles are becoming more popular in Fiji in recent years for locals and tourists alike. In many ways, Fiji is an ideal place for a rugged bike tour. However, the motor vehicle traffic can be intimidating on well-travelled roads, and there is a lack of accommodation along secondary roads. Cycling is a great way to see Fiji but make sure you carry all your own spares and supplies as bike shops are scarce. It is a good idea to carry plenty of water, a camelbak is great, as it is very hot and humid almost year round.

The main Road around the largest island, Viti Levu, is sealed except for a 40km section on the eastern side. A sturdy road, touring or hybrid bike is suitable.

Note for cycling enthusiasts: If you are coming in Suva, contact Dom Sansom velocityfijiATgmailDOTcom of the Velocity Cycling Club to link up other cyclists. There are some very nice cycling routes up the mountains behind Suva and Nadi. The sealed roads are smooth and do not have much traffic. The route takes you past waterfalls and you can arrange to drop in at Netani Kuila's farm, at Batiki for a local breakfast.

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