Winter is coming. While we brace ourselves for the next four months of cold weather, the thought of locking in a short getaway somewhere warm and tropical is ever so enticing. Fiji is the perfect island paradise to getaway too – great for couples, families or even groups of friends – it is a destination with so much to offer travellers – there’s 333 islands to explore, so you are spoilt for choice.
With Fiji Airways flying direct from Adelaide to Fiji, there’s never been a better time to lock in a winter escape in 2019! Not quite sure what to expect from this South Pacific island, known as the home of happiness? We’ve asked the experts at Tourism Fiji to tell us all about travel to this unique destination – and found out why it should be on your list of places to visit!
1. When is the best time to visit Fiji? What weather can travellers expect if they visit in our winter months?
Fiji offers year-round warmth, but it still has seasons and can be different in various locations. The peak season runs from May to October with warm dry weather, this is a popular time to visit Fiji.
2. There are many islands that make up Fiji, which ones are best for tourists to visit? Where do you recommend staying for first time visitors?
There are 333 islands that make up Fiji, we couldn’t possibly choose just a few! The mainland (Viti Levu; where you will fly into) offers many of the larger resorts with everything from beautiful sandy beaches, to mountains, waterfalls and jungles to explore. The Mamanuca Island group (the closest to the mainland) is known for its beaches, family friendly resorts and array of adults-only options with something to suit every kind of traveller, and all budgets. The Yasawa Islands group is slightly further north and home to incredible reefs, picture perfect beaches and being “off the beaten track”. Here you will find smaller, boutique resorts across all price points, suiting families, couples, and budget travellers. Or take a domestic connection and head to Vanua Levu, to Savusavu, for lush tropical surroundings, waterfalls and diving.
3. Fiji is a great place to relax, but there’s also plenty of activities for adventure seekers. What sorts of activities can visitors participate in?
There are so many! Here goes…sky diving, zip-lining, jet boating, rafting, jungle skirmish, jet skiing, diving, snorkelling, deep sea fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, waterfall climbing, visit a local village, take a day trip to a remote island, surf world-class waves, visit the Sawa I lau Caves and the famous Blue Lagoon…just to name a few! But Fiji also offers plenty of relaxing options for those that want to shut off from the world and just enjoy their surroundings.
4. The Fijian people have a unique culture and traditions. What are some ways that visitors can get a truly local experience and get to learn more about the people of Fiji?
Do not miss visiting a local village, your resort will arrange this for their guests. You might like to bring some school or sporting supplies for the children who would really value this small gesture. Many resorts offer village visits, or if you are staying on the Coral Coast, try the Sigatoka River Safari combined with a village visit.
5. What types of food can people expect to eat in Fiji?
Everything! All of your favourite meals from home are on the menu, but make sure you try Kokoda (Fiji’s version of ceviche!), a traditional lovo (your meal is cooked in the ground!), try a Fijian style curry, a local coconut opened fresh on the spot for you, or the local seafood, which is in abundance given it is an island destination surrounded by ocean! Fiji’s tropical weather means that produce is fresh and delicious, with many restaurants and resorts offering seasonal menus and local catch of the day. You’ll also find a number of hotels that have their own on-site farms such as Nanuku and Six Senses, some even allow you to go collect your own eggs for breakfast!
6. For those who enjoy shopping, and supporting the local economy, where can you recommend for people to visit?
Buy souvenirs at the shell markets the ladies run in the local villages, or visit the Nadi Cultural Centre before heading to the airport on your way home. You could also visit Fiji Hot Glass, this employs only Fijians, and you can make your own souvenir to bring back.
7. Can visitors head off on a cruise or sailing adventure to get a different look of the islands?
Absolutely! There are two small-ship cruising companies who operate in Fiji, Blue Lagoon Cruises and Captain Cook Cruises Fiji. Both are fantastic and have incredible itineraries from 3 – 14 days in length. South Sea Cruises offer day trips as well to many different islands, depending on what you want to do for the day! The consultants at Peregrine Travel Centre SA can help with including a cruise in your itinerary.
8. We know there are 14 golf courses scattered throughout Fiji, do you have any recommendations for keen golfers?
The golf course at Natadola (located at the InterContinental Fiji) is the home of the Fiji PGA each year so you can’t miss that course… but there are also courses scattered across the mainland and even some of the outer islands!
9. What is the local currency and how easy is it for travellers to use credit cards or exchange money while in Fiji?
You will be spending the Fijian Dollar – credit cards are accepted almost everywhere, and money is easily exchanged throughout the country also.
10. Is there anything else travellers should know about visiting Fiji?
Fijians have an incredibly infectious warm energy and they adore children, so you will feel safe leaving your kids with them if you need mum and dad time for a romantic dinner! Because of this, Fiji is a great resort for families travelling to the destination and there’s so many wonderful kids clubs, with incredible nanny and babysitting services, all-inclusive options and multi-room residences.
Fiji is truly where happiness finds you – so sit back, enjoy the warm Fijian hospitality that is world renowned and embrace “Fiji Time”! If you’d like to know more about travel to Fiji or book a Fijian escape, contact our team of friendly consultants today!
All images supplied by Tourism Fiji.