Fiji Travel Guide
Of all the islands in the South Pacific, Fiji is one of the most prominent. With a well-established tourist industry and a strong economy relative to its neighbours, this nation is a great place to get your feet wet if you are a newbie to travelling the South Pacific.
Currency: Fijian Dollars
Languages: English, Fijian, Hindustani
What To Do
Start your visit to this prominent South Pacific island nation by visiting the Fiji Museum. From the Ratu Finau (Fiji’s last double-hulled canoe) to an impressive display of war clubs to displays which cover the island’s past history of cannibalism, you’ll definitely want to dedicate at least a couple of hours to this attraction.
Not making it to the Pitcairn Islands on your South Pacific trip? Be sure to check out the rudder of the HMS Bounty, the ship which was hijacked by mutineers before being sailed to one of the most isolated archipelagos on Earth.
Fiji is often described (and rightly so) as being one of the world’s greatest tropical paradises. You’ll get a sense for the variety of flora which grows here by strolling through the Garden of the Sleeping Giant.
In particular, it is famous for its extensive collection of Asian orchids, with over 2,000 different varieties which can be found here. The water lilies are also a highlight here, but that isn’t the only attraction for visitors. This botanical garden lies at the base of Sleeping Giant Mountain, making it an excellent destination for avid photographers.
Cooling off in the gorge of a tropical waterfall is an experience many visitors to the tropics actively seek. When in Fiji, take in the magnificence of the Tavoro Waterfalls. The lower falls (also known as Lower Bouma Falls) is best suited for swimmers, and it is a scenic place as well, as it stands over 24 metres tall and is surrounded by plenty of jungle greenery.
Higher up, there are also swimming pools at the base of the Middle and Upper Falls, though the going can be rougher. Locals recommend bringing a snorkel and mask to the Upper Falls, as you’ll have an opportunity to view the freshwater prawns who live in that gorge.
After hiking up to the higher falls at Tavoro, rest your sore muscles at Sabeto Hot Springs. Just one thing: this is a thermal mud spring, so don’t expect this to be a clean affair.
However, the soothing nature of being covered head to toe in muck is a sensation you need to experience at least once in your life. If that isn’t enough, there are also masseurs available for hire on site, allowing you to achieve the state of relaxation you are seeking on your Fiji vacation.
When one visits Fiji, they often expect to spend a significant portion of their holiday on the beach. While you will likely spend time at the one closest to your hostel, hotel, or resort, make an effort to visit Natadola Beach if you have the chance.
Depending on conditions, this beautiful beach is perfect for everything from snorkelling to surfing. If the waves are up, watch out for currents, as they can be strong at times.
Sunset Beach is another hot spot you should try to include in your Fiji itinerary. As the name suggests, it is one of the best locations in the country to view a sunset with a drink in your hand, but it also boasts plenty of perfect white sand and enough length to give each visitor a sense of privacy.
What to Eat
Throughout the South Pacific, a dish which resembles Latin American ceviche exists under different names and with enough of a difference to give each its own unique identity, depending on which island you find yourself.
On Fiji, that dish’s name is Kokoda. Consisting of raw mahi-mahi which has been treated in citrus juice, coconut milk, it is mixed with onions, salt, and chiles to give this meal a kick that will make your lunches here memorable.
Lovo is another meal that is unique to Fiji, but more often than not, you’ll have to attend a special event on the island in order to get an opportunity to try it if it is not available at the resort where you are staying.
Made from a variety of meats, fish, and vegetables, it is prepared in an in-earth oven covered in stones and banana leaves.
A little less than half of Fijians have Indian ancestry. As a result, it is no surprise that various Indian dishes enjoy a great deal of popularity in Fiji. If you like samosas, curry, roti, and other Indian standards, you’ll find plenty of them in the restaurants here, albeit with the inclusion of local ingredients such as cassava, black-eyed peas, and goat.