I never thought I would be lucky enough to visit the Fiji islands. An exotic destination nestling in the balmy pacific waters, Fiji deserves the title of ‘paradise’, and if you dream of pure white sandy beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters, combined with some amazing snorkelling/diving opportunities then there is perhaps no better place on earth.
We visited these majestic islands on our trip around the world and I clearly remember the excitement as we set off from Auckland airport – destination Fiji! The flight in itself was an experience, and as we flew over pristine waters in the direction of this tropical paradise, we realised that we couldn’t possibly be any further from home – a great achievement for any traveller!
Upon arrival in Nadi, we were greeted with a rather beautiful orchid garland, a live quintet playing Polynesian music, and taught the renowned Fijian word – “Bula!” an enthusiastic greeting used by the locals that makes you feel more like a long-lost friend than a brand new visitor.
As you transfer to your hotel, the blanket of heat that wraps itself around you leaves you in no doubt that you have arrived in a tropical destination, and whether you base yourself in Nadi as we did, or head off to one of the more secluded islands, you will be astounded at the beauty around you.
The Fijian islands have something to offer everyone, so if you are looking for five-star luxuries you can head over to Turtle Island in the Yasawas, or for the same island experience in more ‘simple’ accommodation, the Beachcomber Island in the Mamanucas.
We based ourselves in Nadi and took several boat trips to both the Yasawas and Mamanucas. Swimming and snorkelling along Monuriki (where they filmed Castaway) was just one of the many highlights, and when you combine that with a great hotel, the friendliest of people, delicious seafood and ice-cold beer – well, we think this is as close to paradise as we are ever going to get!
“A Journey is best measured in friends and smiles, rather than miles” so while Fiji is a long way to go; it is closer than you think! Bula!