Travellers who have been lucky to visit Fiji have fallen in love with the natural beauty of the islands and the friendly Fijian people. Now a thriving tourism destination in the South Pacific, more than 750,000 visitors flew, paddled and cruised to Fiji in 2015 to climb mountains, laze by the beachside and stay in luxurious hotels. Sure, you can do that again this year, or you can try one of these five authentic experiences during your next holiday or work trip to Fiji.
Do: Fly through the mountains
Feeling zippy? Zipline Fiji, touted as the South Pacific’s first and largest zipline experience, is an unprecedented adventure of 5km of ziplines woven into a truly spectacular maze of caves, canyons and mountaintops. You’re safely harnessed as you zip through three different ecosystems: the Mamanutha Islands, Planation Island and Tavarua, the popular surfing spot. This amazing attraction is only 35 minutes from Nadi. Admission starts from FJD$235 per person for 16 ‘zips’ and includes complimentary refreshments and transfers from Nadi.
Buy: Run and play with Bulalicious
Running on the beach in your activewear? You must be wearing Bulalicious, Fiji’s newest line of ladies workout gear being sold in vibrant colours for a cause. This is the ultimate souvenir to take home from Fiji in 2016. Based out of Suva, Bulalicious takes inspiration from Fiji’s natural surroundings to design functional apparel using highest-quality fabrics.
Brought to you by the passionate founders of the Petero Civoniceva Foundation, Bulalicious works with local charities and partner organisations to identify prevalent causes and donate a proportion of profits to provide opportunities and improve the lives of people in Fiji.
Eat: Pancakes at breakfast
We asked our staff at Best Western Grand Wests Villas in Nadi, ‘What is one Fijian breakfast item tourists must try before they leave?’ They replied: ‘Opt for the thin panikeke waicala or the thicker babakau. Babakau is a thick angular pancake with a hard crust and is a favourite in Fijian villages and homes. It is sister to the thin pancake – panikeke waicala – that is fried in a little oil; and the panikeke vakatubu, which is mixed with baking powder. If you leave Fiji without trying a panikeke with a side of coconut or a pawpaw boat, then you’ve missed out on one unique Fijian experience.
Drink: Kava by candlelight
Drinking kava can be enjoyed on both social and important occasions in Fiji. Like the traditions of drinking tea in a group, the Fijians are known to drink kava morning, noon and night. Made out of a powdered root of the pepper plant (piper methysticum) and mixed with water is what gives kava its medicinal-like properties. For visitors to Fiji, it is customary to accept kava as a hospitable offering – after all, it is the country’s traditional and national beverage. Too much will result in a numb feeling around the mouth and tongue. For this reason, villagers will take no offense if you politely decline to try the drink. If you are participating in a kava ceremony, note that ‘low tide’ means a bowl half full to drink, and ‘high tide’ is a full bowl of kava. See the Tourism Fiji website for more.
Return to: Discover ancient living in Lautoka
A new Fijian tourist attraction is coming to Fiji, letting you experience what life was like in Fiji 200 years ago. Zoned to open in Lautoka, approximately 20 minutes from the centre of town near the famous Abaca Waterfall, you’ll be able to visit for the day or stay the night to see what it was like living without electricity and drinking water sourced from the springs. Warriors will guard the village and it will showcase ancient living practises, giving visitors a real insight into a proud culture and island heritage.
Visited Fiji before? What’s one of your favourite things to do or see on the island?