Flying into Fiji at dusk over the farming fields and landing in Nadi, the airport was under major renovations but that didn’t matter when I turned the corner into the immigration hall and a Fijian band was serenading us with sweet guitar playing and Fijian hymns which immediately put me on ‘island time’. I was picked up by a staff member at the Bamboo Hostel where I was staying his beaming smile was infectious as he drove me through the dark streets of Nadi to Travellers Beach, come and have some kava he said as he dropped me at reception. Being a Saturday night the hostel on the beach was pumping with music and Fiji Gold being drunk on the outdoor seats.
After a good nights sleep I decided on a half day trip to South Sea Island only a half hour ferry from the mainland. Everything is well organised with a bus to pick us up and take us to Denarau Island ferry terminal. The catamaran cruised out of the bay and before I knew it a tiny island was before my eyes. If you ever wished to be sent to a tiny island with a buffet lunch all the beer and wine you can drink and beautiful snorkelling, golden sands and sunshine this place would be it. The only downside is that ‘fiji time’ couldn’t be slowed anymore and I had to leave back to the mainland.
Up at 6am the next day for a 8.30am sailing to the Yasawas Islands which are volcanic islands compared to the Mamanuca Islands which what I saw were small and sandy. After 3 hours sitting on the ferry and dropping passengers off at their resorts we finally reached Naviti Island and the Botaira Resort.
We got off the catamaran and into a small tinny to take us to the resort. As it was low tide the boat couldn’t come in close so we had to get out in the water and attempt to slip and slide up the moss covered walkway as off the walkway the sharp coral which went right up to the beach. After having our introductions I grabbed some snorkelling gear and headed out on the reef. It was beautiful so much coral and coloured fish, just beautiful. A two course seafood lunch awaited us as we got out of the water, a quick sunbake by the beach after and it was time to leave.
For the next 5 nights I was staying along the Coral Coast, which is on the mainland and about a two hour drive out of Nadi. I found a gem of a place the Mango Bay Resort which is a small resort made of traditional burres with an open restaurant by the beach to watch amazing sunsets over dinner every night.
The resort runs many activities from basket weaving to Fijian cooking classes, guided snorkelling amongst some of the best coral I have seen, trips to the local village and jewellery making classes amongst many other activities. My favourite pastime was lazing by the pool or beach catching up on some reading with the cool sea breeze. The food served here was amazing all washed down with a cocktail each night.
Even though Fiji was quite a bit more expensive than I was expecting I did have a relaxing time here and spending a bit of ‘fiji time’ to recharge the batteries was a great experience.
Travelled to Fiji: 7 – 15 November 2015