Dust off the sunnies, the sunscreen and the old bathing suit - it's off to paradise! There's a reason why people keep coming back to Fiji year after year and it is quite simply this - nowhere else on earth can you find the picture-perfect beaches, the soul-warming, sun-drenched tropical days, the big, welcoming smiles, gentle yet contagious laughter of the locals and the soft scent of Frangipani all rolled into one fabulous holiday package and tied up with a great big 'Bula!' From the moment you set foot off the plane, the warmth envelops you - not just the gorgeous tropical climate but the geniality and friendliness of the people is what really makes Fiji special. ... read more
By the end of your holiday, you will be walking at a slower pace, time will have ceased in meaning and 'bula' will slip as easily from your lips as if you were born to it. Made up of a main large island (Viti Levu) surrounded by squillions of smaller - some tiny! - islands, Fiji has something to suit just about everyone. On the mainland, Nadi, Denarau and the Coral Coast are home to some of the bigger Resorts such as the Sheratons, Hilton, Radisson, Sofitel, Sonaisali, Shangri-La's Fijian Resort, Outrigger on the Lagoon, The Warwick and The Naviti. Off the coast from Nadi lie the Mamanuca Islands where some of the most popular Island Resorts are located. Here you will find the gorgeous white-sand beaches and the island resorts of Treasure, Mana, Musket, Plantation, Castaway, Beachcomber and more. Further north, catch your breath as you step into the beautiful Yasawa Islands with a range of accommodation from moderate through to the luxurious Yasawa Island Resort. Take a bigger step north into the island of Vanua Levu and you will find much more native landscape with some of the Pacific's best fishing and diving. This is where Jean-Michel Cousteau understandably fell in love with the underwater world of Fiji. And that's just the beginning! There's adventure, cruising, culture and sporting activities yet to explore. Whilst you are in Fiji, there will be plenty of opportunity to participate in a kava ceremony, sample a traditional lovo and meke and enjoy the unique, relaxed lifestyle that is Fiji. With some resorts specialising in family holidays and others dedicated to couples and honeymooners or backpackers or adventure, there is something for everyone. Once you've visited, it's only natural to want to come back time and time again - in fact, we wouldn't mind betting that on your return flight home, you will be planning where you will stay on your next visit!
Fiji for Families
Bring it on! There is no place like Fiji when you're taking a family holiday! For a start, the Fijians LOVE kids and kids love them. There are Kids Clubs, Kids Stay/Play/Eat for free programmes, babysitting for F$5 an hour and enough activities to keep them entertained for weeks on end. Most resorts offer Kids Clubs with several sessions daily where kids can attend as much or as little as they like. The Clubs have a full activity schedule that includes things like face-painting, games, story-telling, treasure hunts, crab racing, cultural education and more. In fact, they'll be having so much fun that you may find yourself having to drag your kids away to spend time with you! Outside of Kids Club hours, there are usually babysitters available for ridiculously cheap hourly rates of around F$5. On top of that, the Resorts have wonderful ranges of water and land based activities that you can enjoy with your kids, such as banana-boat rides, snorkeling, sailing, walking and some even have mini-golf and table tennis. Budget-wise, Fiji is a great option with the Kids Eat Free programmes. This usually applies to children under 12 years when they eat with their parents. Many resorts allow children to stay for free if they are using existing bedding which can be two double beds. If your kids flatly refuse to share a bed, they can sometimes put a rollaway bed in as well but there will be an additional charge for this. They may also provide a cot in the room if required and again a charge may apply. What to pack: Be sure to bring a good supply of nappies/wipes (if applicable) as whilst these are generally available, they are expensive at resort boutiques. Don't forget plenty of sunscreen, hats, swimsuits, sunglasses, float rings etc. It's a good idea to invest in some cheap plastic reef shoes to protect soft little feet from coral cuts. You may like to pack your own first aid kit too including your child's normal medication for such things as pain or stomach upsets. The change in climate and food can sometimes upset little stomachs and it's better to be able to give your child medication that he or she has had before. Band-aids etc are also generally available but there may be a charge for them and again they can be relatively expensive. And be sure to pack plenty of film for your camera and video camera! Those perfect days on the beach will make you want to capture the sheer delight and joy on your kids' faces forever! You will look back on your holiday snaps with fond memories for years and years to come!
Fiji for Romance
Imagine long, carefree sunny days spent lazing in warm crystal clear waters. Imagine having all the time in the world to swim, snorkel, sail or simply snooze in a hammock. Imagine strolling hand in hand along a sultry, sunset kissed beach. Imagine tropical cocktails followed by a leisurely candlelit dinner. Imagine Fiji! Fiji is romance personified. It is the perfect place for weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries or just a quality break away with your loved one. A romantic holiday in Fiji will create memories that will last a lifetime. For those just needing a break away, the gorgeous island getaways are romance in themselves and it doesn't take much encouragement to unwind, relax and remember why you fell in love. You may even considering renewing your vows and special packages are available to do this. In any case, Fiji is the perfect place to escape with your loved one and spend some quality time together.
Fiji for Adventure
Fiji isn't as well know for it's adventure experiences as it is for the relax-on-the-beach type of holiday, but don't be fooled! There is adventure to be had and what better place to search out an adventure than Fiji! From diving to river-rafting, para-sailing to game-fishing there are all kinds of adventure activities. Why not ride take an exhilarating jet boat ride, or trek into the rainforests and watch the colourful birds flit from tree to tree. You may even catch sight of one of Fiji's many varieties of wild parrots. Because of the mountainous terrain and high rainfall there are plenty of streams and waterfalls to admire and here and there you will find a little pool perfect for a refreshing dip. If you venture north to Taveuni, you may like to visit the sacred Bouma Falls which featured in the movie 'Return to the Blue Lagoon'. Blue Lagoon Cruises offers an historical and cultural cruise on set departures during the year. This cruise leaves the modern world behind and lets you see the real Fiji - and the Fiji of yesteryear - up close. Cruising through some of the more isolated waters of Fiji, you will visit a village where the people hardly ever see Europeans and the children still marvel at seeing white faces. You can learn the history and culture of these beautiful islands and her people on an unforgettable cruising experience! You can also charter yachts with or without a crew, or perhaps try the Captain Cook Cruises Sailing Safari where you can swim with the manta rays.
Fiji for Culture and Art
The Fijian culture is evident in every day living in the Islands with kava ceremonies and lovo and mekes prevalent at most resorts. The kava ceremony is particularly well known and you have to at least give it a go once whilst you're there! Made from a ground up kava root mixed with water in a large kava bowl, the drink is distributed via cups made from coconut sjells. It is tradition to clap once before taking the drink and three times afterward. It is hard to describe the taste of kava but the effects are a slight numbing of the lips and, should you indulge more, numb hands, feet and face can also result. It is a form of relaxation for the locals and not harmful - the effects are relatively short lived - but it is very much a part of Fijian life. The lovo is very similar to the Maori hangi where the food is prepared in the ground and cooked slowly to produce a delicious, smoky taste to the meat and vegetables. The lovo is often accompanied by a meke where songs and dancing tell stories of Fiji and her people. It is a lovely way to spend an evening under the Fijian stars. Local arts and crafts can be found at most resorts but also at stalls along the main roads and in some villages. Woodwork is prevalent in the form of kava bowls, small serving dishes and replicas of Fijian weapons. There are several handcraft stores in Nadi itself but very often you can find cheaper souvenirs outside of the main town centres.
Fiji for a Weekend Getaway
Forget the cold rainy days of a New Zealand winter! Pack your swimsuit and within 3 hours you can be sunning it up in the Islands! A long weekend in Fiji will revive the soul and rejuvenate the body in a break that will feel much longer than a few days. Pick your flight schedules carefully as some flights depart later in the day so when traveling only for a couple of days, you want to make the most of all possible hours. Due to time factors, weekend breaks are probably best spent on or close to Nadi. Denarau is only a 25 minute drive from Nadi Airport and there you will find a number of resorts perfect for a weekend getaway. Try the Sheraton, the Radisson, the Fiji Beach Resort, Golf Terraces or the Sofitel for a well-earned break. They are all very well appointed with plenty to do or not to do. If you would like to try a resort not quite as big as these, try First Landing just north of Nadi. It is a lovely little property with everything you need minus the crowds. If you have an extra day, you may like to hop out to one of the Mamanuca islands. We would recommend taking the seaplane or helicopter so that you don't waste time transferring to Denarau and then spending a couple of hours on the boat. By taking the seaplane or helicopter you can be at your resort within minutes. The rest is up to you - but before you go you may like to check with your airline if you can extend your stay, just in case you can't quite bring yourself to go back home after only a couple of days!
Fiji for Shopping
Brush up on your bartering skills as the Fijians are amongst the best! Fiji's shopping ranges from the basic markets where there is the humming vibe of highly-skilled bargain hunting taking place through to stylish international boutique fashion stores. In the department and duty free stores in Nadi and Suva you can find all the latest in jewellery, perfumes, fashion and electrical goods. For the more authentic Fijian souvenirs, the carved wooden kava bowls are still very popular and the tapa cloth designs can give any home a distinctive island touch. The Cumming St (Suva) and Sigatoka markets are also worth a look for goods such as souvenirs, handcrafts, cotton and silk clothing, shoes etc. Here you will find the local vendors often sitting on the ground with hastily scrawled signs and the hubbub of bartering in the background. Some of the best places to buy souvenirs are at the villages dotted along the roadside or if you happen to do a day trip such as the Seaspray, the villages on the islands often offer the best value for money. Most stores are open from 8am to 5 or 6pm (sometimes later in the resorts) and closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Fiji for Beach & Island Escapes
Fiji is all about the Beach and Island Escape! The Fiji Islands enjoy the postcard perfect white-sand beaches, clear blue waters, abundant fishlife and of course, the gently swaying coconut trees. The most popular island resorts in Fiji are in the Mamanuca group. Just outside of Nadi, this group of islands are easily accessible by launch, seaplane, helicopter or some even have their own airstrip for scheduled flights. They are affordable and range in price and standard from budget right through to luxurious. A little bit further afield, you will find the Yasawa Islands where there are moderate and luxurious properties and then there are the stand-alone islands such as Vatulele, Turtle, Toberua and more. Whilst these islands are a little bit harder to get to, they are certainly worth the effort! There are loads of resorts and islands to choose from, each with their own unique characteristics so it is just a matter of selecting which one is right for you. The best place to start is by asking yourself what you want out of your holiday. Do you want a romantic holiday or do you have a family? What standard of accommodation/resort would you like? Do you want loads of activities or a simple island retreat where you can idle the days away with a good book? What can your budget afford? Once you have answered these questions, it is simply a matter of narrowing down the choice to find your perfect holiday spot!
Fiji for Cruising
Feel the breeze stroke your hair and be lulled into a dreamy peacefulness by the gentle lap of waves against the ships bow as you sail off into the sparkling blue waters of Fiji. Sit back and enjoy the gentle harmonies of the crew singing what could pass for lullabies as you wave goodbye to the mainland and head off into waters that entice you to discover their secret life below. Allow yourself to be pampered from the moment you step on board with sumptuous meals, attentive staff and an array of activities and new experiences to be had. It's no wonder cruising is so popular in Fiji. When you combine the stunning scenery with the famous Fijian hospitality you end up with a holiday second to none. The benefit of cruising is that you get to see a variety of different areas, each as beautiful as the last, but you only have to unpack once. Your floating hotel has all the facilities you need as well as constantly changing views. What more could you ask for? Blue Lagoon Cruises and Captain Cook Cruises are the best known of the cruise companies with each offering 3, 4 and 7 night cruises as well as some one-off special cruise itineraries throughout the year. Both Blue Lagoon and Captain Cook offer the more traditional cruising type holiday with beautiful meals, well-appointed cabins and staff that will wait on you hand and foot. For those looking for a bit more adventure, Awesome Adventures offers a new style of cruising which is perfect for the younger traveler or the young at heart. The standard is a bit more basic that the other cruise companies but the emphasis is on fun and getting the most blasts for your bucks. These cruises are an experience not to be missed! Captain Cooks Sailing Safari is also a great option. Sail aboard the Spirit of the Pacific into the turquoise waters of the Yasawa Islands. Each day you can try something new - perhaps swim with the manta rays, snorkel, trek overland, visit islands and traditional villages, go fishing or simply relax on the deck. Each night you return to the Barefoot Lodge for dinner and nightly entertainment. And for an alternative in the adventure cruising, check out the Tui Tai. Departing from Savusavu, the Tui Tai is a fabulous product that will take you into territory that will let you see the heart of Fiji. There are activities galore including kayaking, mountain bikes, diving and more. It is a fantastic experience that we can't recommend highly enough. This is a great option for families with teenagers. Whichever type of cruise suits you, one thing is for sure - some of the best spots in Fiji can only be reached by taking a cruise. Whether sailing on top of the water or exploring the marine life below, Fiji's ocean living is a truly magical experience!
Fiji for Weddings
Arranging your wedding in Fiji is - pardon the pun - a piece of cake. Why should the best day of your life stress you out? In Fiji it just doesn't. The resort wedding co-ordinators take care of all the arrangements for you, from the celebrant to the flowers to the drinks. Weddings can be as simple or as elaborate as you like and in many places you have the choice of a garden, beach or chapel wedding. The biggest decision is choosing which beautiful Resort! Fijians love a wedding and everywhere you go you are sure to be treated like royalty! What better way to step into married life than to the melodious voices of a Fijian choir raising up in celebration as you walk down the aisle, scented flowers in your hair and the warmth of the sun bestowing all its good wishes on your new life together. When getting married in Fiji, there are some important things to remember. 1. Original Birth Certificate 2. If a second marriage, a Decree Nisi/Absolute 3. Death Certificate of deceased former spouse if applicable 4. Passports 5. Couples under 21 years of age are required to produce a witnessed consent document signed by a parent 6. Confirmatory Letter: Single/Marital Status Letter (provided by The Registrar Generals office for New Zealanders) The above is to be presented at the registry office in Nadi, Lautoka or Suva to apply for your marriage licence. Registration formalities take about 15 minutes and the licence is valid for 21 days. A photocopy of the required documents must be received by the Registry Office a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the marriage date. This may be done by fax or post. The original documents must be presented when you visit the Registry Office in person. The Registry Office is open Monday to Friday but it is a good idea to check in advance the Fiji Public Holidays to ensure the Office will be open. Remember when planning your wedding, that you most resorts require you to be in Fiji at least three days prior to the wedding. Whilst most of your arrangements will be done prior to your arrival in Fiji, some of the finer details will be finalised once you actually get to the Resort so allowing yourself at least 3 days will give you time to make any adjustments. Your wedding co-ordinator will arrange a meeting with you and take you through the details and you can have a rehearsal if required. Whilst it is great to holiday with friends and family, you may like to think about getting married at one resort and then escaping the rest of the group and enjoying your honeymoon at another. There are plenty of Resorts with a wide range of accommodation options to suit the budgets and family needs of all your guests. Together with your Mondo travel agent, the resort will take care of all your guest accommodation too. The main thing to remember is - relax! It's easy to start to get stressed organising an off-shore wedding and whilst it may seem like things aren't getting done, or answers aren't coming back fast enough, you will be pleasantly surprised at how suddenly it all comes together and how smoothly your day will go off. It is the Fijian way to be relaxed and that's the whole point of getting married in Fiji after all!
Fiji for Honeymoons
Hopefully you will only ever get one honeymoon, so why not make it a memorable one! Blissful days spent lying on the beach recovering from the months of stress leading up to your wedding, candlelit dinners and romantic bures right on the beachfront - Fiji welcomes honeymooners with open arms. A great place to kickstart your married life together, Fiji has romance down to a fine art. There are numerous resorts that are perfect for honeymooners. Many have special honeymoon bures with all the added extras that will make your honeymoon extra special, and some resorts have special areas that are dedicated to adults only. In fact, some resorts don't allow children to stay at all which is a great idea especially if you are honeymooning during school holidays. You may also like to check which resorts do an all-inclusive package with meals so that you don't have to watch your budget once you are there. Fijians love romance so there are plenty of resorts that cater for romantic holidays and honeymooners will often receive little extras to welcome you to your married life.
Fiji for Golfing
Tee off in Paradise! It doesn't get much better than waking to another brilliant day in paradise, enjoying a sumptuous breakfast then wandering down to the course at your leisure for a nice, relaxed round of golf followed by a Fiji Bitter or perhaps a more decadent cocktail! Denarau Golf and Racquet Club is arguably the best course in Fiji. This championship resort golf course is set amongst the palm trees on Denarau Island, within easy access of many resorts and offers state of the art facilities. In the Denarau area, you find plenty of resorts including the Sheraton, Radisson, Fiji Beach Resort, Sofitel and Golf Terraces. If you have a partner that doesn't play golf, these resorts are perfect as there are plenty of other activities including spa treatments that will keep your partner more than happy! Outside of Nadi, there are other courses but they are generally of a lower standard. The Shangri-La's Fijian Resort has a 9 hole executive course designed by Peter Thompson which is definitely worth a round. Further along the coast is The Pearl Championship Golf Course and Country Club. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Junior this course is also amongst Fijis best. Golf Courses in Fiji Holes Yards Par Ba Golf Course 9 4874 69 Denarau Golf and Racquet Club 18 7150 72 Fiji Golf Club - Suva 18 5719 72 Labasa Golf Club 9 5522 70 Lautoka Golf Club 9 5464 69 Nadi Airport Golf Club 18 5882 70 The Pearl Golf Course & Country Club 18 6908 72 Penang (Rakiraki) 9 1849 58 Rakiraki Golf Club 9 1849 31 Fiji Mocambo 9 1470 27
Fiji for Spas
Oh la la, bring on the spa! Fiji has gone ahead in leaps and bounds over the last few years with their spa facilities. The Senikai Spa chain operates out of several resorts and you can always be assured of good quality treatments. With everything from massages to pedicures to aromatherapy, facials and more, you can't help but lapse into a luxuriously restful state of being. With a mix of unique Fijian lotions as well as the more well known Western products, there is enough to keep you feeling and looking refreshed like never before. Most resorts offer some kind of spa treatment now - the range of which will just depend on the size of resort and their spa facility. Somehow having a spa treatment in Fiji seems just that little bit more decadent. Perhaps it's the frangipanis that adorn the treatment rooms. Perhaps it's the gentle serenity that seems to radiate from the therapists. Perhaps it's the soft sound of waves breaking in the background. Perhaps it's the aromatic lotions that hint at tropical Fijian ingredients. Perhaps it's just because there's no better way to relax!
Fiji for Conferences
If you have to work, why not do it in paradise? Imagine a day of productive brain-storming, product-launching or networking, followed by cocktails by the pool or on the beach and topped off with a themed dinner with sumptuous food and all the glitz and glamour you can ask for? A great team-builder, conferences in Fiji can be as simple or as big and elaborate as you like. From a simple team getaway through to a full exhibition style event, there is no better way to reward staff or woo potential clients than a conference event in Fiji. Whilst the smaller resorts can cater for small groups and generally have a board room or such they can offer for meetings, the bigger resorts can lay on a big event second to none. These resorts can generally offer all the high tech technology required and can transform what may appear to be a simple hall into something unrecognizable. Dinners can take on different themes from underwater to jungle to construction or more. The Shangri-La's Fijian Resort's Chocolate Desert Room is absolutely mind-boggling where a room is made completely out of chocolate with every type of desert imaginable. It is reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel with even the coffee mugs being made of gingerbread. Absolutely incredible! Team-building events can be organized and your very own Conference Organiser will be on site to answer any questions and ensure everything runs smoothly. The biggest thing you will need to worry about is how to cope with the increased business once you get home!
Population: Approximately 800,000 Flying Time from NZ: Approximately 3 hours from Auckland Climate: Temperatures generally range from around 18-34Û«C Electricity: 240 volts with three-pin power points (same as NZ). Currency: Fijian Dollar Banking: Normal banking hours are 9.30am-3.00pm Monday to Thursday and to 4.00pm on Friday. Banks are closed weekends and public holidays. There is a 24 hour service at Nadi International Airport and ATM and EFTPOS services in the main towns. Credit cards: International credit cards are welcomed by most hotels - American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Diners Club are all usually accepted. Dress: Casual for both night and day is usually acceptable. Visitors to villages and churches are requested to cover up - bikinis or other swimwear is not appropriate.
Best time to go
Fiji is fabulous all year round but the most popular time to visit is during New Zealand's winter months of May through to September when the average maximum daytime temperatures are around 28-29 degrees Celsius and the evenings are warm and balmy. Being a tropical climate you can expect more rainfall from November through to March which also means the humidity level is higher during these months. Usually showers are heavy but very short lived and then the sun comes beaming out again. If the temperatures are on the high side however, there is only one thing to do - haul yourself off the deck chair and head off for another dip! For those worried about possible cyclones, these are actually very rare and usually occur during the months of January and February (if at all). Generally Fiji only ever experiences some 10-15 per decade and only 2-4 do any real damage. School Holidays are a very popular time to travel and the Resorts often have increased kids activities to cater for this. Booking in advance for the holidays is essential. On the other hand, if you don't have kids in tow, you may like to look at the adults-only properties, or those with adult-only pools and facilities, if you are traveling over this time and would prefer a quieter holiday.
Top things to see and do
1. Cruising - whether just for a days island hopping, a sunset cruise, or for longer make sure you get out on the water! It is quite simply breathtaking!
2. Kava Ceremony - you haven't truly experienced Fiji without trying the traditional kava drink - even if it's only a one off!
3. Talk to the locals - they are delightful and their sense of humour is wonderful. There is so much to be learned from their relaxed attitude and easy-go-lucky persona. Often they will welcome you into a game of volleyball or touch rugby.
4. Snorkelling - give it a go! Even if swimming is not your forte, you can even just sit in the shallow water, pop a mask on and discover a whole new world. Some resorts even have semi-submersibles or glass bottom boats that will let you see the marine life without even getting wet.
5. Diving - if you're adventurous enough, why not try a one off dive or even do your certificate! Diving will open up a whole new world you only ever dreamt existed.
6. Happy Hour! - Discover the unique blends of alcoholic or non-alcoholic cocktails that can only be inspired by such a magically tropical place!
7. Take a walk on the beach at sunset - you will be amazed at how a tropical Fijian sunset can lift the spirits and revive your sense of romance!
8. Spa treatments - why not pamper yourself with a relaxing massage or facial. Do it at the beginning of your holiday to immediately make yourself unwind - then again at the end to make sure you stay that way for longer!
9. Golf at Denarau - a fantastic course in a fantastic setting! Brilliant!
10. Relax - pure and simple
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