Fiji is a dream destination for many people. As a Kiwi I was lucky enough to visit Fiji as a child. I remember this holiday with my family fondly and Plantation Island was the perfect destination for our family of 4. Moving forward a few years Alisdair was keen to head to Fiji and as it is only a short 3hr flight from New Zealand, why not?
The best time to visit?
The best time to visit any Pacific Island is during their winter (May-October), the weather is mild and dry and not too humid. During summer time there is a lot more rain and even the potential cyclone.
How to get there?
We flew from New Zealand on Air New Zealand. However, many other countries have direct routes. Fiji even have their own airline which is very reasonably priced.
Where to stay?
We stayed at the Blue Lagoon Beach Resort on Nacula Island which is part of the Yasawa Island chain. It was amazing and we would highly recommend it. The only downside was that the resort was a 5hr boat ride from the mainland. However, there is a seaplane if you have some spare cash.
Ultimately, the boat ride was kind of nice. We were in the captains lounge which was included in our accommodation. This meant we got free food and drinks all the way there. We also met other travellers which was fun. The boat does make a number of stops along the Yasawa Island chain so this adds a bit of time to the journey.
Another great thing about the Blue Lagoon Beach resort it caters to all budgets. We stayed in a garden villa but there is also a hostel attached with dorm rooms and private double rooms. There are also morel luxurious beach front villas and family villas.
However, if you are a backpacker and want to enjoy Fiji we know people who have really enjoyed the Feejee Experience tour company. Similar to that of the Kiwi Experience bus where you buy a travel pass and can explore the many places Fiji has to offer.
Tip: We would highly recommend staying on an island rather than the mainland of Fiji. Fiji is not a wealthy country and the mainland is an interesting experience. However, if you want to relax on a beautiful beach, go to an island.
Fiji was not a cheap holiday but we didn’t design it to be. For about a 10 day stay including flights and food we spent around NZD $5,000. As mentioned above there are cheaper ways to travel Fiji if you avoid the resorts and generally from New Zealand there are good flight deals.
Also if you travel in the low season (Nov, Jan-March) you might also find good deals on flights and resorts.
The exchange rate between the Fiji dollar and the NZ dollar is in our favour as $1NZD buys $1.50 Fiji dollar, so this made buying drinks and other activities on the island quite reasonable.
Our trip had many highlights and we had a very happy time there.
- Relaxing on the beautiful beach, swimming, snorkeling and reading our books
- Turning off our phones (there is wifi but we didn’t bother)
- Visiting a local village and giving gifts to the kids and watching a cultural show
- Meeting other travellers via communal dinning. There were only a few tables for couples so we usually joined other couples and shared a meal. You also have the option for a romantic candle light dinner on the beach away from others
- Winning the island quiz night with our new dinner friends – the prize was a beautiful champagne breakfast the next morning
- Crab racing – one of the many evening activities on offer
- Enjoying a traditional kava ceremony
- A 1hr Fiji massage – a little on the painful side but still relaxing – quite similar strength to a thai massage
- The food – the resort makes you buy into a meal plan ($85 NZDpp per day), it was very reasonable and allows your to have 3 meals a day. The food was very good especially the cassava fries
- Walling up the tallest hill on the island to enjoy 360 degree views of Nacula Island
- The outdoor shower in our room – bliss
- The first and last night we had to stay at the Novotel Nadi which is by the airport, it was super average. The food was really bad and our room had lots of issues. We wish we spent a bit more money and stayed in a nicer resort in the mainland holiday spot Denarau
- I got food poisoning on one of the last days which was not fun and made travelling home a bit harder.
- A Bavarian (not German..) woman who was very enthusiastic about her prize winning bull
- Sadly the reef has suffered from a bit of damage around the resort
- The first room we were put into at Blue Lagoon – it was right next to the kitchen which was noisy and smelly, we did ask to move and they happily obliged. We were lucky as usually they are fully booked
Tip: Only drink bottled or filtered water provided by the hotels.
We always think back to our time here and crave a return trip to relax. Fiji caters for all budgets and travellers and the beaches are amazing. It is not a travel experience where you tick off a lot of ‘things to do’, the best thing about being there is doing nothing.