Trip to paradise: 5 tips for travelling to Fiji

Sunset on the Coral Coast, Fiji.

Sunset on the Coral Coast, Fiji.

For over a week I woke up in paradise.

Coconut trees, friendly smiles, crystal clear water and an array of colourful fish right next to the shoreline provided the perfect backdrop for a recent holiday, for which the main aim was relaxation…and utterly peaceful it was!

Located on Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu, The Warwick Fiji on the famed Coral Coast is where I stayed for my vacation.

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The Warwick Fiji.

When the sun came out after rainy conditions for the first few days, the water sparkled.

The lagoons provided incredible snorkelling right of the shore and free use of non-motorised activities including stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, plus pool and ping-pong tables, squash courts and more ensured plenty of fun.

Sitting reading by the adults-only pool certainly was tranquil and the general landscape of the resort was gorgeous.

I noticed that The Warwick was very popular with families during my stay. There were numerous weddings held during my stay as well.

Outside of the resort, it is clear that Vitu Levu is a place of intense beauty, but also a place of striking contrasts.

One of the first things I noticed when leaving the airport was that it was quite mountainous, very lush and green (due to the country’s high annual rainfall).

In 2009 a cyclone caused significant damage to buildings and washed away bridges (our driver pointed out an unfixed bridge). Poverty remains a significant issue (thus understandable why I found myself getting stopped by locals so often who were trying to sell something or drive you in their taxi) in Fiji and many people live in informal squatter settlements surrounding main towns.

The Fijian people I met were all incredibly welcoming, however you do notice that there are divisions between the native Fijians and the Fijian born people of Indian descent.

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Sigatoka, Fiji.

Staying at The Warwick Fiji

Pros:

  • Nice lagoon with amazing snorkelling and a clear bottom boat ride available off the resort’s beach
  • Good selection of kayaks, quality flippers and wide range of free land activities
  • Huge pools including an adults-only pool
  • Buffet breakfast had plenty of options
  • Friendly staff

Cons:

  • Located 90 minutes from Nadi International Airport, some people may revel in the isolation, while others may prefer to stay in Denarau or similar and have the option to access restaurants at other hotels near where they are staying.
  • The buffet was extremely overpriced. Also, there are a few charges you don’t realise until too late, such as water being placed on the table without any explanation that if you open it you need to pay $10 for it.

The funny thing about travelling somewhere is that you find out other people you know have travelled there too.

I enjoyed hearing different perspectives about holidaying in Fiji before and after my trip and thought I’d collate a few general tips for people who are looking at travelling there.

5 Fiji Travel Tips

Look for a special and inclusions

Usually you can find deals if you are staying at the same resort for over 4-6 nights. Also, look into the inclusions. For myself, having the buffet breakfast included was fantastic, while other people I have talked to had passes that included three meals a day or drink packages, etc.

Keep in mind the weather

Maintaining a balmy climate year-round, make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen. You can expect dry weather from late March to early December, while rainy season runs from December to April where heavy, yet brief downpours are common. However, there can still be showers in the dry season.

Take a day trip – Kula Eco Park is worth  a visit

There are plenty of sights to see on the different islands. Wandering through Kula Eco Park was one of the highlights of my trip and definitely somewhere I would recommend others to visit if they are staying on Vitu Levu. Positioned along the walkway and merging into the forest backdrop are large purpose-built habitats that form the park displays. Many of the enclosure are walk-though, with no barriers between you and them. You get to enjoy seeing birds, reptiles, bats, sea turtles, tropical fish and more.

Take the local bus

Buses are efficient and inexpensive in Fiji, so pick up a copy of the timetable.

BYO

Buying alcohol at duty-free and a few snacks can keep you going if you don’t want to eat out all the time, especially if where you are staying isn’t close to other towns. I went into Sigatoka for a day trip and bought some simple foodstuffs from a supermarket. Also, bringing your own beauty items, sunscreen etc. is recommended.

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Until next time,

My Eclectic Muse x

 

All images copyright My Eclectic Muse 2015.