Bula! Are you looking to escape the 9-5 for a slice of bliss? Picture paradise and you’ll probably picture Fiji. Whether you’re a beach bum, nature lover or someone who is looking to immerse themselves into a unique culture, this tropical oasis has it all.
Don’t believe us? Here are 6 reasons why you need to pack your bags and escape now…
Who doesn’t love island paradise? And with over 333 white sandy islands to choose from, you’ll be left spoilt for choice. You’ll find resorts on most islands, but if you’re looking for backpacker mecca, then head to part island Beachcomber in the Mamanuca Islands.
If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, then head to Vanua Levu for 4WD adventures… In the heart of the islands lies the ancient ruins of Nukubolu, complete with old stone foundations, a volcanic crater and hot springs.
It’s not all beaches, Fiji is rich with culture where you can immerse yourself into a traditional Fijian village. You’ll learn all about the local customs, culture and beliefs. Definitely take part in a Kava ceremony, no not a Spanish sparkling wine booze up. Kava is made from mixing together the powdered root of a pepper plant with water. When visiting a Fijian village you will find yourself taking part in a Kava ceremony as a mark of respect. Let’s just say it’s an acquired taste, but when in Fiji!
Cultural FYI – Leave your shoes by the door, bring your Kava root and don’t touch anyone’s head!
Ssssh don’t wake the sleeping giant! Get close to nature and spend the day wandering along the canopy-covered boardwalk in the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. Situated on Fiji’s main island, between Nadi and Lutoka, the garden has the largest, most magnificent orchid collection with over 2,000 varieties of stunning Asian orchids. It’s not just about the white sandy beaches.
“Life is better under the sea” the Little Mermaid taught us that. She probably lived in Fiji. Also known as the ‘Soft Coral Capital of the World’, it is home to over 4,000 square miles of coral reef – it’s an underwater playground! Jump in and take a dip with over 1,000 species of fish from manta rays to turtles. But for the adrenaline junkies out there, you can dive with Grey Reef sharks at the Beqa Lagoon – watch them swim gracefully around mysterious shipwrecks and check out the brave Fijian divers HAND feeding them. Madness.
This towering, brightly decorated Hindu temple is situated on Fiji’s main island and is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Sri Suva Subramaniya is decorated in traditional Dravidian architecture, one of only few places outside of India. This is the perfect stop for those of you who want to see the diverse cultural and architectural side to Fiji. The beautiful Hindu engravings are made from sandstone, soapstone and granite. You won’t see anything like it!
Top Tip: Visit the temple in January or April to see the Karthingai Puja and Panguni Thiru-naal festivals at the same time!
Fiji is all about relaxing, drinking and eating, lots of eating – any excuse! Most Fijian cuisine is made up of taros (a root veggie), bananas, leafy vegetables, rice, coconut, fish and sweet potatoes – yum! Due to integration, a distinctive style of “Fijian – Indo” cuisine has emerged, adding a touch of spice to traditional dishes. Try a Kokoda dish, made up of raw mahi-mahi fish cooked in a dressing made up of coconut cream, onions, lime juice, salt and chillies, served in a coconut shell. Bula!
Top Tip: Wash your Kokoda down with Fiji Bitter – a refreshing beer brewed in Suva.