Yasawa Island Resort, Fiji Diving off Vanua Levu – Image courtesy of flyandsea.com

Things to do in Fiji

Relax on the beach and do nothing at all or enjoy a range of activities, such as white-water rafting through tropical rainforest in the lush highlands of Viti Levu; snorkelling offshore reefs in the Mamanuca Islands; exploring on horseback the hilly grassland peaks of the Yasawa Islands; or scuba diving Kadavu Island’s world-famous Great Astrolabe Reef.

Fiji offers a huge range of water- and land-based leisure activities for couples that want to do more than simply relaxing poolside with a cocktail.

Paddle cascading rivers or hike trails through tropical rainforest to secluded coves and white-sand beaches.

Hike scenic trails looking out for native birdlife in the unspoiled rainforest of Bouma National Heritage Park on Fiji's ‘garden isle’ of Taveuni or surf waves at Frigate Passage on Beqa Island.

Learn about Fijian culture by taking part in the kava ceremony, watching traditional dancing, visiting a 200-year-old village or exploring a fort dating back to the Fiji wars of the 1800s.


Fiji cruising

Scuba Diving

Encircled by a huge reef, the Fiji archipelago of 300 islands offers a fantastic variety of colourful soft corals, more than 1200 species of fish and 12 species of whale and dolphin.

Within its protected waters are shallow lagoons, steep drop-offs, giant coral heads, underwater canyons, soft corals and a diverse variety of marine life.

The waters off Taveuni Island and Kadavu Island, with their strong currents, are especially rich in fish life and offer some of the best diving in Fiji.

Coral type – Excellent hard and soft corals, nudibranchs, anemones, crinoids and Christmas tree worms.

Marine life – Orange basslets, sea snakes, anemone fish, triggerfish, barracuda, manta rays and a variety of sharks including white-tipped reef and leopard sharks.

Reef type – Numerous reef bommies and passages, wall, pinnacles, tunnels, major drop-offs and shallow reefs.

Type of dives – Reefs, drift dives, swim-throughs and night diving.

Water temperature – 29°C (84°F) in summer; 22°C (71°F) to 25°C (77°F) in winter.

Visibility – 25m to 50m; best during the winter months from July to September.

Suit – 3mm full-length wetsuit in summer; 5mm full-length wetsuit in winter.

Water entry – Most Fiji diving is conducted from boat, live-aboard and shore (but mainly for snorkelling).

Dive centres – Several dive centres offer complete dive facilities and equipment rental.

Dive courses – A full range of PADI dive courses is available, from beginner and advanced to Divemaster pro level.

Equipment – Quality dive equipment is available including scuba tanks, wetsuits, weights, belts, masks, flippers and refills.

Top dive sites, include…

Beqa Lagoon (Shark Reef) – Protected from fishing boats within the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, shark encounters are guaranteed.

Eight types of shark frequent this reef including bull sharks, tawny nurse sharks, white-tipped sharks, black-tipped sharks, grey reef sharks, sicklefin lemon sharks, silvertips and tiger sharks.

Experienced dive staff from Beqa Adventure Divers chum the dive area to attract large schools of trevally, rainbow runners and red snappers, which splash around on the surface, fighting over the food.

Sharks soon appear to feast and are then hand-fed underwater by staff divers. Awesome but scary!

(Note: a comprehensive pre-dive briefing is necessary).

Taveuni Island (The Great White Wall) – One of Fiji’s signature dive sites. Often begins at 15m in depth in a tubular cave, adorned with hard and soft corals as well as colourful sponges and crinoids, complete with resident lionfish and morays.

Reaching the end of the swim-through you emerge onto an almost vertical wall blanketed with white coral. Between the white coral are splashes of orange, green and red but the overall effect is that of a great white wall.

Square-spot anthias swim frantically against the white backdrop. As the depth increases the wall takes on a more iridescent lavender hue.

Kadavu Island (Astrolabe Reef) – Just a 45-minute flight from Fiji’s capital Nadi, this reef has the best hard corals in Fiji, colourful soft coral and an excellent variety of marine life.

The reef, around 100km long and the fourth-largest barrier reef in the world, boasts a variety of stunning hard coral on the outer reef slopes and steep soft coral drop-offs.

Several passages, caves, deep drop-offs, submerged pinnacles and manta ray cleaning stations make Astrolabe Reef a great spot for several days diving.


Surfing Cloudbreak, Tavarua Island, Fiji

Surfing

For the gnarliest waves in Fiji, surf the famous Namotu Left and Cloudbreak in the Mamanucas – renowned as the most challenging surf breaks in the South Pacific; Frigates Passage, a left-hand break noted for consistently good big barrels and long rides; the reef breaks off Tavarua in the Mamanuca Group; and off Beqa and Kadavu in the southern islands.

For the best waves, come between April and December.

Surfing Cloudbreak…

Sitting a mile south of Tavarua Island, Cloudbreak is regarded as one of the planet’s best left-hand reef breaks. Situated in shallow water, the fast outer-reef wave produces majestic walls and barrels.

Traditional custom is an advantage to surfing in Fiji, which decrees that local tribes with rights to their island home also have rights to the reefs around it. That means the only people who are surfing the break with you are the people staying on the island. Tavarua Island is a 30-minute boat ride from the main Fijian island of Viti Levu.

The wave – Cloudbreak is a complex wave. Wave choice is critical, so count the waves in a set and pick the best take-off spot when you first pull up in the boat. Thick, fast-moving lefts can hit different parts of the reef at a number of angles.

Typically the swell sweeps toward the reef in three areas the Point, the Middle and the Inside, a.k.a. Shishkabobs – named for the inevitable tax you pay in flesh to the razor sharp reef that lies just below the surface, should you lose focus. However, occasionally clean, long-interval groundswells do turn Cloudbreak into an amazing one-section wave.

Best tide – All tides

Best swell direction South to south-west

Best wave size – 1m to 6m

Best wind – South-east trades

Ability level – Advanced to expert

Ride length – 150m to 300m; on a good day up to 500m

Bottom – Coral reef

Best board – Bring at least three boards from a 1.8m hot-dog to a 2.2m gun

Best season – Year-round, but the best window is between February and October

Access – Short boat ride from the island or a tough half-mile paddle

Crowd factor – Generally a fairly empty line-up

Local vibe – Cloudbreak is only accessible to guests of Tavarua, (except on Saturday), so you'll be surfing with your fellow holidaymakers. In Tavarua, you catch a wave and then go back to the end of the line.

Hazards – Reef rash, shark sightings and overindulgence of kava after a surf!

Facilities – At the Tavarua Resort

Where to stay – Surfing Cloudbreak means you’re staying at Tavarua Island Resort – a totally hassle-free experience. The exclusive resort measures only 11ha with just 15 beachfront bures.

Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about Tavarua Island Resort at TripAdvisor.

Aprés surf – The resort's amenities include fishing, sea kayaking, scuba diving and sea plane adventures. If you’ve any energy left, try volleyball, a set of tennis on the championship-size tennis court or just relax in a hammock or by the pool with your favourite cocktail and enjoy a magnificent South Pacific sunset before a gourmet dinner.

Location – Tavarua Island lies in the Mamanucas group to the west of Viti Levu

Laurels – Venue of the ASP World Tour event

Nearest airport – Nadi International Airport, Nadi, on the island of Viti Levu

Getting there – Pick up is at the airport if you stay at Tavarua.


Kayaking the Yasawa islands, Fiji

Kayaking

The protected waters around Kadavu in the Southern Islands and the Yasawa Group are perfect for exploring headlands and finding secluded coves along the coastline.

Kayaking is best from May to October. Most beach resorts provide complimentary sea kayaks for guests.

Kayaking the Yasawa Islands…

Fiji’s stunning Yasawa Islands, a string of 20 pristine tropical islands in Fiji's remote north-west, offer warm tropical currents, limestone caves, colourful coral reefs and a choice of palm-fringed, white-sand beaches fringing numerous uninhabited islands.

Spend a couple of nights as honoured guests in a traditional Fijian village and experience Fijian hospitality with singing, dancing and a kava ceremony. (Kava is a non-alcoholic drink with mild, numbing effects).

Rating – Easy to moderate

Time frame – From five to eight days

Where to stay – Mainly beach camping or stay instead at one of several luxurious 5-star resorts, such as the exclusive Turtle Island Resort

Best time – During the dry season from May to October, with an average temperature of 26˚C


Fiji cruising

Cruising

A variety of cruising options allow you to explore the stunning Mamanuca and Yasawa island groups for a day or longer, with stopovers to swim, snorkel, enjoy a beach picnic or visit wildlife conservation areas, such as the one on Tivua Island – a sanctuary for turtles during the nesting season.


Swimming

If you’re honeymooning in the Yasawa Islands, take a guided swimming tour through the dark, mystical limestone caverns of Sawa-i-Lau Island – made famous in the movie, The Blue Lagoon. However, everywhere in Fiji is perfect for swimming.


Game fishing

Hook up a charter for Spanish mackerel, marlin, yellow fin tuna, trevally and dolphin fish. The reefs around Beqa and Kadavu in the Southern Islands and the northern coast of Taveuni around Matangi Island and Laucala offer some of the best fishing areas.


Fiji river boat

Rafting

Choose from white-water rafting adventures or traditional bilibili (bamboo raft) tours to explore local rivers such as the Navua River in East Viti Levu.

Paddle through pristine rainforest and discover stunning mountain gorges, traditional villages and refreshing waterholes beneath tumbling waterfalls – perfect for a refreshing dip.

Don’t miss visiting Naihehe Caves in the Sigatoka Valley – once the site of an ancient pagan fortress, you can still see the ritual sacrificial platform and oven used by cannibal warriors of yesteryear.


Bouma Falls, Bouma National Forest Park, Taveuni

Hiking

Fiji offers a choice of scenic hiking trails along rugged coastlines, through tropical rainforest and over hilly grassland with panoramic ocean vistas.

Look out for exotic wildlife such as fruit bats, barking pigeons and colourful parrots as your guide points out native Fijian plants and wildflowers on a hike through Colo-i-Suva Forest Park on Viti Levu or Bouma National Forest Park on Taveuni.

See marine turtles on the Lavena Coastal Walk along the south-east coast of Taveuni or the noisy Kadavu parrot (kaka), fantail and honeyeater birds in the rugged rolling hills of Kadavu Island.


Horseback riding

Horseback riding

Saddle up and ride across the lush backcountry highlands of Taveuni Island or on Viti Levu, choose either the hills above Nadi or the pure white sand of Natadola Beach.


Golf

Tee-off on a choice of courses dotted around Fiji: on Viti Levu, try the Pearl Championship Golf Course & Country Club, an 18-hole course located at Pacific Harbour; the 9-hole course at the Fiji Mocamo Hotel near Nadi or the Fiji Golf Club in Suva.

Other courses include the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club, a premier championship 18-hole course located behind the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau Island; the Executive Golf Course at the Shangri-La Fijian Resort on Yanuca (Yar-nootha) Island; Koro Sun Resort in Savusavu; and Taveuni Estates on Taveuni.


Shopping

For the best buys check out the golden, yellow pearls now being created in the waters around Savusava as well as locally produced handicrafts including mats, shell buttons, yaqona bowls and printed tapa cloth.

Other great souvenirs are colourful bula print shirts and sulu wraparound skirts, Indian saris, jewellery and artifacts such as war clubs, cannibal forks and spears.


Latest update: What to do in Fiji: 30 December, 2018


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