Top 10 things to experience in Fiji

Fiji is all about palm-fringed beaches, fish-packed reefs and smiling friendly locals.

Tourism is the backbone of the economy, meaning that every kind of tourist is generally catered for. Fiji consists of approximately 330 islands, of which 110 are inhabited. The local vibe is all about relaxing, swimming and getting into the rhythm of ‘Fiji Time’.

Nadi - Most international planes will land in Nadi, check out the shopping malls or markets and hear the latest Hindi or Fijian music playing from the storefronts.

Taveuni - An eco-tourist’s dream, the ‘Garden Island’ is full of native plants, wildlife and home to some of the most popular dive sites and marine parks.

Vanua Levu - Or ‘Big Island’ is a beautiful rural island with rickety taverns, untouched rainforest, picturesque views, beaches and soft corals.

Mamanuca Islands - A chain of 20 islands, Mamanuca boats surf breaks, dive spots, beaches and one of the most established resort areas in Fiji.

The most extensive coral reef system in the world surrounds the 322 islands that make up the Fijian Archipelago. Home to over 1,000 species of fish and hundreds of different corals, Fiji provides spectacular views for the underwater explorer.

The Great Astrolabe Reef is one of the most impressive places to experience the coral and marine life. You can swim with turtles and marvel at beautiful coral gardens. Also visit Manta Ray Island between May and October to swim with one of the largest fish in the ocean — the manta ray.

In the shadows of the Sleeping Giant (a mountain shaped like a sleeping man) you will find a garden that is home to the largest collection of orchids in Fiji — over 2,000 varieties.

Created by the late American actor Raymond Burr, the garden is full of Fiji’s beautiful vegetation and greenery along with fish ponds, boardwalks and cool shady pathways. This garden is guaranteed to take your breath away, so take a picnic, relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Mud baths are said to have healing and beautification powers. Add that to the therapeutic nature of a hot volcanic spring and you have the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Baths. Located between Nadi and Lautoka and managed by a nearby village, the mud baths are a unique experience where you can interact directly with nature and help out the local community. Smear on mud from buckets, then work your way through the thermal springs to wash off the mud and relax.

Fijian food is heavily influenced by the ocean, the locally grown produce and the Polynesian and Indian culture of the country. For a unique dining experience, try:

Kokoda - Raw pieces of fish marinated in coconut cream, lime, onions and tomatoes.

Taro - A heavy potato-like vegetable with a purple hue.

Duruka - The unopened flower of a cane shoot, cooked in coconut milk to make a curry.

Kava - Fiji’s traditional drink enjoyed on important occasions including accepting guests or visitors to a village. This drink leaves you with a numb feeling in your mouth and a relaxed sensation.

With endless white sand, palm trees and crystal clear waters, the beaches in Fiji are among the world’s best. Visit Mamanuca Islands and tick off ‘the perfect tropical island’ on your bucket list. In amongst the swimming and snorkelling, the Mamanucas are also home to some world-class surf breaks. Also popular are the beaches of the Yasawas.

Sleep alongside the beach in a bure, read a book in a hammock, sip a cocktail and play beach volleyball. Most beaches are perfect for swimming as the coral reefs protect them from dangerous surf.

Visit Tavoro waterfalls on Taveuni to swim in the natural swimming pools beneath the falls. Surrounded by ridiculously green and thick jungles, the waterfalls are about a 3 hour return hike from the visitor centre. The hike has panoramic views and you will also experience the sounds and sights of the jungle. You may spot a banded Iguana or the critically endangered monkey-faced bat or the Australian magpie, introduced to the island to control coconut pests such as stick insects.
More than just sand, the Sigatoka sand dunes cover an impressive 650 hectares. Home to over 22 species of birds, lizards, geckos and fruit bats with views of the Sigatoka River, you can hike through the area on one or two hour trails. The sand dunes can get very hot, so avoid the midday heat and drink plenty of water. The hike also crosses an ancient burial site discovered in the late 1980s and dated back to around 2,600 years old. Fifty graves were uncovered along with stone tools, pottery and other cultural remnants.
White water rafting delivers an epic view of Fiji — remote highland villages, gorges, mountains and fast moving rapids. No previous experience is required. Try rafting at the Upper Navua River, surrounded by lush rainforest and black volcanic walls, fed by many waterfalls and full of challenging rapids. Or hit up the Luva River where most tours also take you into a traditional kava ceremony on the way.
The Fijian people are some of the friendliest and most inviting in the world. They are taught at a young age that family and friends are the most important thing and are eager to share their customs and traditions. Some good ways to interact are to attend a Meke or traditional performance where the locals share their stories, history and legends through music and dance. Or visit during either the Hibiscus or Bula festivals, where locals gather with parades, marching bands, dancing and beauty pageants.
Image of Fijian women dancing traditional female dance Meke
DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as of the date of publishing, Allianz Global Assistance does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Allianz Global Assistance strongly recommends seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent/agency for further information on a specific destination. On your next trip, whether to another province or country, ensure you have travel insurance as it may assist you in cases of unforeseen medical emergencies and other types of mishaps that can happen while you travel. Travel insurance does not cover everything, please always refer to the policy document for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.
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