With shimmering turquoise waters, endless white-sand beaches and over 300 islands making up the archipelago, Fiji is the only place to go for those in search of sun, sand and sparkling sea.
There’s something special about Fiji that makes it quite unlike any other destination in the South Pacific. Undoubtedly it has something to do with the beaming ear-to-ear grin and warm “Bula vinaka” you’re welcomed with wherever you venture in the pristine archipelago. Couple that with the fact that, whether you’re a newcomer to the tropical island paradise or consider yourself a regular, there’s always somewhere or something new waiting to be discovered. Each destination in the expansive archipelago has something unique to offer – from family-friendly resorts to luxurious out-of-this-world escapes for two.
Vitu Levu – Fiji’s main island and the first port of call for most – boasts tropical resorts for all budgets, while its second largest island, Vanua Levu, caters to the adventurous traveller in search of world-class diving and snorkelling spots or somewhere a little less touristy. The further-flung islands – there are plenty to pick from – while an extra short flight or boat trip away, are well worth the journey, especially for those looking to discover the meaning of island time. The Mamanuca Islands tick all the boxes – coral reefs teeming with marine life, world-famous surf breaks and sublime tropical waters as far as the eye can see. Yasawa means “heaven” in Fijian, and it’s easy to understand how the Yasawa group of islands got their name. Unwinding and switching off are bound to become second nature at Fiji’s more remote destinations.
What to do
With crystal-clear water and coral reefs surrounding over 300 islands which make up Fiji, there’s a breathtaking underwater world waiting to be discovered. Over the years Fiji has gained a reputation as the soft coral capital of the world and there are endless pristine spots for keen snorkelers and divers of all levels to enjoy. The archipelago is home to over 1000 species of marine life, so whether you want to snorkel right off the beach or take a day trip to swim with manta rays, there’s always something to see.
While there’s no such thing as too much time spent lazing by the pool in Fiji, a day trip to a traditional village is the best way to get acquainted with the local way of life. Chat to your resort about arranging a visit to the nearest village or, if you’re on the mainland, head to Viseisei. According to local legend, it’s the first place where Melanesians landed back in the 1500s. It’s just a short 10-minute drive from Nadi airport and the perfect spot to pick up a souvenir or two to remember your trip.
There’s much more to Fiji than its world-famous beaches and renowned luxury resorts. If you’re keen to keep your fitness levels up while you’re on holiday, there are plenty of walks and hikes that will get the heart rate up. Take a guided trek through Koroyanitu National Heritage Park, climb up extinct Mt Tomanivi volcano or get the adrenaline pumping with a zipline tour through the rainforest.
If a dip in Fiji’s blue waters isn’t enough to put you into relaxation mode, an indulgent treatment at one of the nation’s many spas will do the trick. Visit the home of Pure Fiji, an idyllic day spa in the heart of Suva, and be pampered by some the best beauty products that Fiji has to offer. If it’s pure luxury you’re after, recently opened Six Senses Spa Fiji is not to be missed. Offering a holistic approach to wellness, Six Senses offers an integrated programme – stretch and unwind with a touch of yoga, refuel with whole-food culinary offerings or rejuvenate your mind, body and soul with an invigorating spa treatment.
Paradise is only a short flight away. Air New Zealand flies non-stop to Fiji from Auckland, and seasonally from Wellington and Christchurch, with connections available from all Air New Zealand-serviced domestic airports. Your holiday starts as soon as you step onboard with a range of flight choices including Seat, Seat+Bag, the Works, Works Deluxe, in addition to Premium Economy and Business Premier. You’ll be in tropical Fiji in no time at all – the flight time is approximately three hours. To book visit airnewzealand.co.nz.