Four Days in Fiji

15th Nov 2018
Photo of Four Days in Fiji 1/1 by Zarina
Bula (hello) from Fiji
Day 1

Port Denarau

Photo of Port Denarau, Denarau Island, Fiji by Zarina

Bula (Hello)

Bula from the paradise island of Fiji... a beautiful archipelago of 300 islands in the South Pacific. We were immediately struck by the incredible friendliness of its people, right from the time we landed at the airport and were greeted with a big 'Bula' which is the native greeting (be prepared to hear it every few minutes ;). The official languages here are English, Fijian and Hindi. We stayed at Denarau Island which is the largest integrated resort in the South Pacific. It is on the main island of Viti Levu and boasts a range of accommodation, an 18- hole golf course and a marina with a number of restaurants, shops and adventure options. Its great facilities make it the home for hosting a wide range of entertainment events like the Annual Fiji International Jazz and Blues Festival and the South Pacific wine and food Festival. Denarau's port is also the starting point for many of the adventure options, or trips to other Fijian islands. If you are not staying on Denarau Island, it is a short drive from Nadi town and airport.

Day 2

Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

Photo of Mamanuca Islands, Fiji by Zarina

Mamanuca Islands

No trip to Fiji is complete without a trip to the mesmerizing Mamanuca Islands. Blessed with eternal sunshine, pristine beaches, and lush coconut palms, the Mamanuca Islands are the definition of a tropical paradise. The cluster of tiny islands, dotted along the western edge of Fiji, were used as a filming location for the film Cast Away and the TV show Survivor: Fiji. As we only had four days in Fiji, we opted for a full day South Sea Island Tour.. this is highly recommended if you are short on time. The ferry takes you to an island where you can opt to snorkel (equipment free of charge), kayak or paddle board, enjoy the reefs and corals from a glass-bottom boat or simply enjoy the beach, a BBQ lunch and a traditional Fijian dance. There is an option of a half-day at South Sea Island followed by a ferry ride past some of the main islands of the Mamanuca group. This was such a fun day and the water was one of the most pristine and clear that I have been in.

Fun with the locals on the South Sea Island Tour

Photo of South Sea Island, Fiji by Zarina
Day 3

Getting dirty at Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool

Photo of Sabeto Hotspring, Fiji by Zarina

Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool

I cannot stress enough on how you cannot miss this incredible experience. It was actually my highlight for 2018!!! Hot spring water combines with volcanic ash to form a mud bath pool. To take full advantage of the therapeutic value of the mud pools you first coat yourself in mud, then stand in the sun until it dries. Wash off in the first natural hot spring pool, then walk over to the next clear water pool for another cleanse. The mud bath treatment is used as a way to relieve arthritis and the sulphur in the hot springs is believed to have healing properties. I felt invigorated and my skin did feel exfoliated and rejuvenated. There is also a pretty good massage available at the site. I would recommend carrying a towel, swimsuit and an extra set of clothes with you!!! You could take a tour where they pick you up from the hotel and take you there or drive out there by yourself. Our tour was booked by the hotel concierge and was combined with a tour of the Garden of the Sleeping Giant.

Garden of the Sleeping Giant

The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is a horticultural wonder of the island and is only about 15 minute drive from Nadi. You can either join one of the many scheduled tours or take a taxi. The Garden boasts over 2000 varieties of Asian orchids and hybrids. Even if you are not much of a plant enthusiast, there are beautiful walkways, gardens and lily ponds to explore. You are greeted by a representative who will give you an introduction and a brief history of the place and the flora and fauna ( at no additional cost). A cool complimentary fruit beverage is served on departure and the hospitality of the locals is once again nothing short of exceptional. Overall a lovely experience, recommended to combine it with the Sabeto hot springs and Mud Pool.

Hugging a tree at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant

Photo of Garden of the Sleeping Giant, Wailoko Raod, Nadi, Fiji by Zarina

Kava Tasting - A true Fijian experience

Photo of Garden of the Sleeping Giant, Wailoko Raod, Nadi, Fiji by Zarina
Day 4

Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple - the largest Hindu temple in the Southern Hemisphere

Photo of Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple, Queens Road, Nadi, Fiji by Zarina

Nadi: Lautoka Market & Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple

We did a short tour of Nadi town and visited the Lautoka fresh fruit and veg market in Nadi ( to be honest, I would not spend more than 15 minutes there just to get a quick feel of the local produce)...However, we did try Kava- a native Fijian drink made from the powdered Kava root mixed with water. Its mildly narcotic and results in numbness of the tongue, lips and a real sense of relaxation...Try at your own risk and preferably toward the end of the day ;). We bought some Kava powder back home with us.

We also visited the Sri Siva Subramaniya temple, which is the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere and is known for its Dravidian architecture and ornate carvings. It is set in the heart of Nadi town on the edge of the Nadi river and is dedicated to Lord Murugan, the god of the seasonal rains. There are other temples inside honoring Lord Ganesha, the Hindu elephant god and Shiva, the supreme god. The entry is free, however be sure to cover your shoulders and legs as a mark of respect ( shawls and sarongs are provided at the temple entrance if required).

That was the end of our amazing four-day Fiji trip and I would definitely want to re-visit this amazing island for the hospitality of its people, and also explore Suva, the capital city ( and its surroundings as we did not have time on this trip).

I would also like to share a few fun facts about this fascinating country:

- Fiji is located on the International date line that splits calendar days. Taveuni, is one of the few points in the world where you can stand on the International date line and it can be Monday on one side and Sunday on the other (although Fiji does not adopt two time zones).

- Rugby is not just their national sport but more of a religion and Fiji has the highest player-population ratio of all nations playing rugby

- According to the Fijian locals, the side you wear your flower foretells your status... left side = single, right-side = taken.. I was wearing mine on the wrong side the whole time until I was corrected by a local and learnt this fun fact...

Photo of Denarau Island, Fiji by Zarina

That's all folks, I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed narrating it :)

Happy Travels Always!!

Zarina (Zee) @the_zee_log