Located in the South Pacific is the magical tropical wonderland of Fiji. An archipelago of more than 800 islands and atolls which are lined with palm forests, surrounded by spectacular coral reefs and lined with white sand beaches. Fiji is one of the places on Earth that has to be seen to be believed and is now more accessible than ever with an increase in direct flights.
In terms of eco-tourism, Fiji is one of the leading destinations in the world. With luck, the islands will remain unspoilt and ready to be explored by the travellers who are looking to snorkel among the coral refers, swim with manta rays and explore the pristine tropical landscapes. It is important to note that getting around once you have arrived in Fiji can be costly, so you need to plan your trip in advance and ensure that you budget your travel.
The largest island and the location of Fiji’s international airport is Viti Levu. Nadi International Airport is one that people either love or hate. Some people find its ramshackle appearance charming as backpackers seem to outnumber the locals and there is a multi-cultural charm. If you are planning to leave the island and visit a more remote location, Nadi is a good place to stock up on supplies. You can also enjoy the heat and Fijian music which floats through the streets.
While it is important that you visit that least one of the other islands on your trip, you should not dismiss Viti Levu. There are some incredible activities that you should do and see on the island. The Coral Coast is found to the south and it has offshore reefs which stretch from the Pacific Harbour to Korotogo. This area is great for snorkelling at high tide and it is a great base to use for exploring the other sites of the island.
You should also visit Pacific Harbour itself which is known as Fiji’s adventure capital and is a favourite with adrenaline junkie. You can also take a trip to Suva which is the capital of Fiji and the largest city in the South Pacific. In the capital, you can take in the mixture of modern structures, colonial architecture and winding streets which are packed with sari shops and curry houses.
If you start to feel a bit too warm, you can escape to one of the national parks. Kula Eco Park is the home of Fiji’s only indigenous mammal, the flying fox. You could also head for Colo-i-Suva Forest Park which is a lush rainforest that is packed with tropical birds and plants. You will be able to easily cool off in the thick vegetation and the cooling spray of the waterfalls. Once you have spent a few days basking with the locals, you should head to one of the island groups to get a taste of tropical life.
It is possible to reach all of the islands using a seaplane, chartered boat or water taxi. You can choose a simple return ticket or get a 5 to 15-day stay ticket. It is important to note that the boat trips are not cheap, but they are worthwhile if you want to discover the perfect tropical island where you can explore the coral bays and watch turtles hatch in the sand. You should consider booking the water bus in advance, but you need to check the terms and conditions beforehand as you might need to book your accommodation first.
The Mamanuca Islands
Another popular destination is the Mamanuca Islands because of their proximity to Nadi Airport and their beauty. The islands were featured in Survivor and Castaway showcasing the opportunities for diving, exploration and surfing that the islands have to offer. When you take a trip to the Mamanuca islands, you will be able to find the tropical paradise you want regardless of your age.
The Yasawa Islands
If you want to have a Robinson Crusoe holiday experience without any cars, pubs or banks then the Yasawa Islands are the best solution. These are some of the remote islands which are sparsely populated, but have an abundance of perfect beaches, fresh local foods and smiling faces which make it the location of dreams. Most of the accommodation on the islands are all-inclusive and can range from 5-star luxury to the most basic tent. It is recommended that you stock up on snacks and drinks at Nadi if you are going to be going full-board in order to save money.
The Lau Islands
The Lau Islands are located to the far east and are a small collection of islands that have very few people living on them. You will be limited in terms of tourist accommodation, but if you are willing to leave the beaten track, you will be in for a treat. The unique culture of the islands which is complemented by the deserted beaches and famous Fijian hospitality will make everything worthwhile.
The Lomaiviti Group
The Lomaiviti Islands are located to the east of Viti Levu and rest in the heart of the colonial era. The island is relatively modern and has a number of tourist-orientated islands as well as unspoilt and traditional retreats. You will not have to go far to find a beautiful beach and the laid-back essence of Fijian life.
Wherever you go in Fiji, you will fall in love with the islands. There is something that everyone will enjoy and your perfect Fijian island is waiting for you to find it.
Visit the Fiji Tourism Board for more information about these beautiful islands.