FIJI ISLANDS – A PLACE FOR GREAT EXPERIENCES

Located in the heart of the South Pacific, it is an archipelago of more than 300 wonderful islands. Fiji’s white sand beaches and pristine, crystal-clear ocean waters offer an ideal vacation destination for divers, honeymooners and families…

The majority of Fiji’s islands were formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago. Today, some geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of VANUA LEVU and TAVEUNI. Fiji has been inhabited since the second millennium BC, and was settled first by Austronesians and later by Melanesians, with some Polynesian influences.  Its population is over 785,000 and is an amalgam of Indians and Fijians, with a minority of other nationalities. A multi-cultural nation, most major religions of the world are represented in Fiji, having Christian Churches, Mosques, Sikh and Hindu temples in the towns and countryside.

Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific due to the abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources. Today, the main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry and sugar exports. NADI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT is the main connection point for flights going to the other countries, and SUVA, Fiji’s capital, is one of the region’s prime shipping ports and headquarters of most regional organizations.

WHAT TO DO IN FIJI ISLANDS 

Fiji Islands are known for their luxurious private islands, all-inclusive resorts, top spas, culinary destinations and outdoor adventures. Fiji is also famous for the variety of activities available that include snorkeling over shallow reefs close to shore, diving, riding in a jet boat, trekking in the tropical rainforests, swimming in the crystal clear waters of a rushing river, piloting a raft through raging rapids, surfing, kayaking, cruising, birdwatching, sailing through the magnificence of the Yasawa Islands… But you can also visit a history museum or see the orchids at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, in Nadi or…just relax!!

THIS IS A PLACE FOR GREAT EXPERIENCES!

FIJI ISLANDS MAP http://www.mappery.com/map-of/Fiji-Islands-Map-2

LET’S GET TO KNOW IT…

TAVEUNI ISLAND

The island of Taveuni is Fiji’s third largest island, behind Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. It is an island of the Vanua Levu Group in Fiji. The island is known as the “GARDEN ISLAND OF FIJI”  due to its lush tropical vegetation. It also has gorgeous beaches and waterfalls, besides an abundant wildlife.

TAVEUNI MAP http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-snfPMYb-WJI/UGk_MnmRfdI/AAAAAAAACHM/3GGww9_UjIA/s640/taveuni_map.gif

BE AWARE – Be sure to always bring a bug spray for the times when MOSQUITOES show up. They are everywhere and are an absolute nuisance.

DAY 1 – At the end of August, we flew from Auckland to Nadi and then to TAVEUNI by Air Pacific. For domestic flights they allow 15kg to checked baggage. We arrived at Matei airport, located at the northern end of Taveuni. We were greeted by Nand, a taxi driver sent by the owner of the house we rented. We stayed in a beautiful house with private pool, beach access, a large bathroom, two bedrooms, magnificent ocean view and two managers who cleaned the house and made breakfast. It was a fantastic experience our stay in this house.  If you want  more information, contact us.

BE AWARE: None of the taxis have meters; negotiate for a round-trip price if you’re going to somewhere and want the driver wait for you.

WHAT TO DO IN TAVEUNI 

For us, one of the MOST FANTASTIC visit we had in Taveuni was the BOUMA NATIONAL HERITAGE PARK, a World Heritage Area. The Park, which occupies more than one third of the island, was established in 1990, not only to protect the forest but also as a means of generating an income for the four villages whose lands are bounded by the park: WAITABU, VIDAWA, KOROVOU (also known as Bouma) and LAVENA. It is rich in hiking trails and wildlife, being home to more than 100 species of birds. The park includes the three spectacular TAVORO WATERFALLS (also known as BOUMA FALLS); each one features a natural volcanic pool, perfect for swimming.

DAY 2 – The next day, early in the morning, we took a taxi to TAVORO WATERFALLS & VISITOR CENTRE, which is located some 35 minutes from the house where we were staying. We did the hike with a local guide. We walked about 10 minutes along a flat path, passing the village of KOROVOU to reach the first waterfall that is about 24 meters high and falls into a large pool. Although we didn’t swim, we stopped to rest and enjoy the peace offered by this place… We continued to walk for more 35 minutes, along a trail which has steps, handrails and benches for rest stops, before finding the second waterfall. The walk to the third waterfall took about thirty minutes more, along a dirt trail which can get muddy. This fall is the smallest of the three and is just 10 meters high. It is a WONDERFUL PLACE TO FEEL THE GREATNESS OF NATURE! On our way back, we stopped at the Tavoro Visitor Center for having drinks and refreshments. We spent three and half hours to visit the three falls. On our way back to Matei, we visited the COCONUT GROVE BEACH, a white sand swimming beach.  If you want  more information, contact us.

During the afternoon, we did a tour by car to the Taveuni’s main sites, visiting the following places:

The INTERNATIONAL DATELINE that cuts straight through Taveuni, making a chance to get a photo with each foot in one different day. UNBELIEVABLE! There is a big Taveuni map split in two to mark both sides of the dateline. But, to make things easier, all of Fiji is considered just on one time, although technically half of the island is in one day while half is on the other. Nearby this point is the CATHOLIC CHURCH, which was the first one built on the island, in 1907. It’s an impressive stone structure in the Roman style with stained-glass windows and the only seats available are the floor mats. We passed by many beautiful beaches as PRINCE CHARLES and MARAVU.

For a STUNNING VIEW we went to TRAMONTO RESTAURANT, in Matei, where we also watched a FANTASTIC SUNSET. It is located on the cliff-edge at a bend in the road, overlooking the SOMOSOMO STRAIT, which makes it a perfect spot to watch the sun setting into the sea. We had a great pizza there, but be aware of the mosquitoes! If you want  more information, contact us.

DAY 3 – The next day, early in the morning, we took a taxi to LAVENA COASTAL WALK & VISITOR CENTRE, which is located some 40 minutes from the house where we stayed. Once we got to Lavena, which is situated on the coastal boundary of Bouma National Heritage Park, we paid the park entry fee and met the local guide who did the hike with us. We crossed UNUCA POINT, an area for swimming and picnicking, walked through a trail passing by a lush rainforest along white-sand beaches, rock pools, small lagoons, volcanic beaches, as far as the small settlement of NABA. After that, we crossed the WAINISAIRI RIVER suspension bridge to reach WAINIBAU FALLS, where we stopped to rest and enjoy the beauty of the place. It was AMAZING! Then, we walked on a track along the Wainibau River that forms one of the boundaries of Bouma National Heritage Park. At this point, the track lies over riverbed boulders which are slippery when wet and from there we could see one of the two Wainibau Waterfalls. We hiked to the stream mouth to get the boat back to Unuca Point through Lavena coastline. We spent six hours on this STUNNING HIKE! If you want  more information, contact us.

In the late afternoon, we went to TAVEUNI ISLAND RESORT (South Vuna Road, Waiyeko) that is situated on a hilltop overlooking the SOMOSOMO STRAITS, to watch a BEAUTIFUL SUNSET from the resort’ pool area, savoring some good white wine… It was AMAZING! 

DAY 4 – The next day we flew to NADI by Air Pacific.

NADI

Nadi is located in VITI LEVU, the largest island in Fiji that is home to 70% of the population. The multi-cultural town of Nadi is the gateway to Fiji. Nadi is multiracial with many of its inhabitants Indian or Fijian, along with a large transient population of foreign tourists. Nadi International Airport is located 9 kilometers from the town. The Nadi region has a higher concentration of hotels and motels than any other part of Fiji.

When we arrived in Nadi, we had a transfer to the hotel in which we stayed in DENARAU ISLAND. It is attached to the mainland by a short causeway and has lots of resorts, beaches and world-class cuisine. Denarau beach is not blue water or white sand.

In the afternoon we drove around the main sites of Nadi, starting from the SRI SIVA SUBRAMANIYA SWAMI TEMPLE (Queens Road) that is the largest Hindu temple in the South Pacific. It is at the southern end of the main road through Nadi. Its many vivid ceiling murals and intricate patterns are the work of a single artist from Madras, India. The open-air temple includes a number of shrines with ornate statues and doors imported from India, and are the site of weddings virtually every weekend. Its more than 1,000 devotees come to pray, bearing fruit and other offerings throughout the day. IT WAS A WONDERFUL VISIT! Then, we walked down Queens Road to the NADI MARKET where people buy tropical fruits, vegetables and flowers. There, we had a real sense of this city.

After that, we went by car to the GARDEN OF THE SLEEPING GIANT that is located about half an hour from Nadi. The gardens showcase more than two thousand different kinds of orchids. The garden was started by the American actor, Raymond Burr more than 20 years ago. The garden is listed as one of the best of its kind in the world.

In the evening, we watched the “Night Ritual,” a dance performance at the Meke Lounge. The Fiji torch lighting ceremony began at Sunset.If you want  more information, contact us.

DAY 5 – The next day we took the NAMUAMUA INLAND TOUR. We crossed a scenic road along the CORAL COAST to the town of NAVUA. There, we boarded an open water taxi for a ride up the NAVUA RIVER through the NAMOSI RAINFOREST, passing by scenic waterfalls and isolated villages.

When we arrived in NAMUAMUA VILLAGE, we were traditionally welcomed with a “SEVUSEVU” as a sign of respect. Significant and ancient, the “sevusevu” is a traditional Fijian protocol performed to visitors who arrive at a village. We participated in the performance of a Kava ceremony and we tasted a traditional Fijian drink. Then we strolled through the village, shopped for handicrafts and had a Fijian style lunch. Finally, we watched a traditional Fijian dance (meke) and truiboto (snake dance). On the way back we had the opportunity to try bamboo rafting. IT IS AN UNBELIEVABLE TOUR! If you want  more information, contact us.

BE AWARE – to do this tour, we brought 2 towels, hiking boots, sandals, sunscreen, repellent, sun hat, sunglasses, swimsuit, shorts, T-shirt and a dry change of clothes for the trip back to the hotel.

DAY 6 – The next day, we took a tour around DENARAU ISLAND, on the open air BULA BUS. It provides transportation around the Island from the port, where all the restaurants are located, to hotels, waterpark and golf course. We visited Denarau Port and marine and many resorts located around this island. The buses run every 10-min between all the resorts & the marina.

At lunch time, we took a transfer to DENARAU MARINA to start the three-night “Explorer Cruise” aboard Fiji Princess boat, with Blue Lagoon Cruises. Our first destination was the gorgeous and little ISLAND OF MODRIKI, where we anchored to spend the night.

DAY 7 – On the second day we woke up very early for a morning snorkel, swim and to wander along the stunning white sands at MODRIKI ISLAND before we set sail for the southern YASAWA ISLANDS. On the way, we passed by NAVITI and SOSO BAY. Then, we visited the VILLAGE OF SOSO. We were anchored in SOSO BAY to spend the night.

DAY 8 – On the third day, we anchored in the sheltered waters between NAUKACUVU and NARARA Islands. The islands are covered in dense, vividly green forest, which reaches down to the white sandy beaches.

DAY 9 – On the last day we went snorkeling and swimming before departing to SACRED ISLANDS, which are four uninhabited islands. After lunch, we sailed to DENARAU MARINA to disembark and take the transfer to NADI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, from where we flew to AUCKLAND by Air New Zealand. If you want  more information, contact us.

 

FIJI ISLANDS ITINERARY

DAY 1 – Flew from Auckland to Taveuni

DAY 2 – Taveuni – Bouma National Heritage Park  

DAY 3 – Taveuni – Lavena Coastal Walk

DAY 4 – Flew to Nadi

DAY 5 – Nadi – Namuamua Inland

DAY 6 – Nadi – Denarau Island / Three-night cruise

DAY 7 – Cruise

DAY 8 – Cruise

DAY 9 – Cruise / Flew to Auckland

 

FIJI ISLANDS – TRAVEL TIPS

GETTING AROUND FIJI ISLANDS – Nadi International Airport on the island of Viti Levu is the main gateway to the country for most travelers, and several domestic airports are scattered throughout the islands. There are 32 airports in Fiji.

WEATHER IN FIJI ISLANDS – Fiji has a warm tropical climate perfect for beachside holidays. The best months for holidaying in regards to Fiji weather is late March through to early December. Maximum temperatures in Fiji rarely move out of the 31C to 26C range all year round.

WHEN TO VISIT FIJI ISLANDS – Temperatures stay pretty constant throughout the year in Fiji Islands, rarely dropping below 20°C and there is plenty of sunshine. It can be visited at any time of year, but, there are distinctive wet and dry seasons. The wet season is normally from November to April and it is characterized by heavy and brief local showers. The dry season runs from May to October.

CURRENCY – The FIJIAN DOLLAR is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively FJ$. The currency code is FJD.

LANGUAGE – Fiji is an English-speaking country although the two major ethnic groups – Fijians and Indians speak in their dialect. Hotel staffs are fluent in English.

POWER – The electrical current in Fiji is 240 volts AC 50 Hz. Fiji has 3 pin power outlets identical to Australia and New Zealand.

VISA – Visitors to Fiji must obtain a visa from one of the Fijian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the 107 visa exempt countries. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months. The visa applications can be directly lodged at any Fiji Immigration Department office located in Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Savusavu, Levuka, Labasa and Rotuma or through the nearest Fiji High Commission and Embassy offices stationed abroad. Visa applications can also be lodged through faxing or posting addressing to the Visa Processing Officer.

TIME – Fiji Standard Time is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time – GMT+12.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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