Fiji's white sand beaches and pristine, crystal-clear ocean waters offer an ideal vacation destination for divers, honeymooners and families-- or simply, those looking to relax and get away from it all.
In Fiji, each new day brings with it a wide range of unique and fascinating things to see, do and experience. From wondrous beauty to captivating cultural experiences, sightseeing in Fiji will never fail to take your breath away.
Picnic or stroll through the world famous private orchid collection of American actor, Raymond Burr. Visit legendary Viseisei Village where the original Fijians landed 3,500 years ago. Take an evening sugar train ride with cocktails and Fijian serenaders. Swim with the 'gods' in the mystical waterfall of a tropical rainforest. Explore the huge, ancient cave fortress of Fiji's last cannibal tribes - wondrous rock formations and awesome reminders of bygone days. Visit Kula Eco Park to see a microcosm of Fiji's natural flora and fauna. Or, add a thrilling perspective and see the islands as only a flight-seeing experience can offer.
Fiji's tropical climate, boasting the highest sunshine factor in the South Pacific, provides a sun culture that focuses on water and outdoor activities like the following:
Biking should be an integral part of your eco-experience, either as adventurous mountain biking or casual scenic cycling. It is an independent and affordable way to see parts of Fiji and to keep fit. Fiji also offers motorcycle and off-road motor bike rentals.
The 'Nahehe' Cave located in the Sigatoka Valley is nature's treasure, accessed by a short trek through farmland and forest. The caves include a sacred pond and legendary "pregnancy gap" leading to the Great Cathedral Chamber. The tour is organized daily by Adventures in Paradise.
Guided Day Tours
Of Fiji's capital city takes you to Government House, Fiji Museum, Albert Park, Botanical Gardens, University of the South Pacific, Laucala Bay, The Fijian Handicraft Centre, Moslem Mosque, Hindu Temple, Catholic Cathedral and the main shopping district.
If you can't find it at your hotel resort, try Newtown Beach Stables for beach, mountain, sunset or even moonlight rides.
Oh yes, for the stressed-out who desire the solitude of contemplation, soothe your soul and dress in white for Fijian lawn bowling!
Savusavu in the northern island of Vanua Levu produces Fiji's rare pearls. With day tours to the farm, the visit will enlighten you on the farming techniques for pearls of significant color and world-recognized size.
The Island's extensive river systems are ideal for white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking and bamboo rafting. Take a Jet boat ride up the Sigatoka River to visit a waterside village and listen to stories of cannibals and the history of the tribes in the region. A full or half day tour will take you into the volcanic region of Taveuni, Fiji's third largest island, to take in some of the spectacular high waterfalls and natural water slides found on the island. There is also great surf in Fiji, and those in the know will check out the swell at the sheltered reef of cloudbreak in the Mamanucas for the prefect wave.
This award-winning eco-cultural tour aboard a jet-boat on the Sigatoka River gives you an in-depth experience of the panoramic view of the highland sceneries, farmlands and village communities.
See Fiji from a helicopter or fixed-wing craft is an aerial spectacle of reef-fringed islands floating amidst a cobalt blue ocean that needs to be seen to be believed.
Fun Choose from waterskiing, water scooters, banana boating, glass bottom boat rides and sailing a sunfish or hobie cat.
Snorkeling and Diving
Bill Harrgan of Sport Diver magazine says that "The Fiji seascape is lush with color and diversity in a way few other destinations can match. Even the sunlight and seawater can't mute the volume of Fiji's symphony of hues."
Rated among the Top 10 dive destinations in the world, Fiji's vast, varied and colorful underwater playgrounds boast something spectacular for divers at every skill level and the "unparalleled range of quality dive sites and sheer diversity of life on Fijian reefs is overwhelming breathtaking": hard and soft corals, wall dives, caves, grottos and shipwrecks. Fiji is truly a diver's paradise where the daily menu is so diversified that it is sometimes difficult to believe you are in the same country.
Fiji's vast and colorful underwater playgrounds (4% of the planet's coral reefs) are teeming with 1500 species of fishes including dozens of rare or endemic species, 1000 known species of invertebrates and thousands more discoveries predicted, 445 documented marine plants, 400 known species of coral and five of the world's seven marine turtles, three kinds of sea snake, an infinite variety of crustaceans and mollusks, worms and other vertebrate.
Fiji is also home to a variety of sharks as well as pilot, humpback, orca, and sperm whales, spinner dolphins, giant grouper, tuna, manta rays and sea turtles. This variety and diversity is matched only by the professional competence of the dive operators and the warm smiles and caring assistance of every Fijian dive crew member you'll meet.
Because of Fiji's volcanic mountainous terrain, waterfalls are common on the larger islands. Perhaps the best knowns are in Bouma [Taveuni], Biausevu [Coral Coast], Rakiraki, Koroyanitu [Lautoka], Savusavu, Wailoku and the Navua River.
Feel the warmth and genuine hospitality of the Fijian people when visiting the traditional villages but please be mindful of Fijian traditional values and protocol. Navala Village, famous for its unspoilt beauty of the surrounding area brings you Fiji's hinterland with a spectacular hilltop location of over 100 thatched "bures" [Fijian traditional home]. With a magnificent view from the hilltop location, Navala village appears to be in a shape of a crucifix.
The Ultimate Spa & Wellness Destination
If rejuvenation and well-being are on the agenda, there are extraordinarily sumptuous spas sprinkled in the most exotic of locations.
For those who prefer the pampered approach to the tropics, there is a full range of international spas and retreats in rainforest and beachfront settings. From the sensuous to the sumptuous, couples can immerse themselves in the purest of Fiji by taking their treatment on a deck by the water's edge or in a tree house in the rain forest. Caviar, pearls, fruits and flowers, are all apart of Fiji's extraordinary array of spectacular spas and many of the herbal remedies have been passed down from generation to generation.
The islands also make their own range of spa products - using pure coconut oil and flower extracts as well as fresh sugar scrubs.
Much of Fiji’s arts and crafts are a reflection of the country’s Polynesian and Melanesian heritage. Traditionally, women’s crafts and men’s crafts are separate, the women predominantly in charge of pottery and the men of woodcarving.
Fiji is renowned for its absolutely stunning and spectacular beaches and the white sands, clear waters and beaming sunshine depicted in so many photographs. Private picnics can be organised on all these dreamy beaches, some of which are enclosed by palm trees, while others are completely private due to their position by towering cliffs, within coves or adjacent to volcanic rock.
From their location at the crossroads of the Pacific, Fiji offers an exotic and complementary blend of various cultures: Melanesian, Polynesian, Indian, European and Chinese which is reflected in Fijian customs, language, food, architecture and ambiance.
Fiji is probably the only place on earth where you can truly experience the perfect harmony between a land, its people and a melting-pot culture that has remained virtually unchanged for centuries.
The most ubiquitous ritual is the kava or 'yaqona' (pronounced yan-gona) ceremony whereby Fiji's national drink, made from the root of the pepper tree, is used to welcome visitors as honored guests, christen babies, seal treaties or close business deals among other ceremonial and social uses.
Certain to fascinate is the firewalking ritual where Fijians walk barefoot over red-hot coals. It is truly one of the more spectacular sights in Fiji. The Fijians perform this at hotels on Viti Levu, or on the Island of Beqa where they were first given this gift according to legend. The Indians perform the firewalking as a Hindu religious observance.
Of course, no trip to Fiji would be complete without experiencing a colorful evening of traditional Fijian song and dance - 'meke' - by local villagers or resort island staff members.
The Fijian meke features both men and women in a program of traditional song and dance. The various provinces in Fiji have different dance routines. The meke usually depicts a story. The performances are quite colorful and participants wear traditional island costumes of printed bark cloth (tapa) and accessories woven from flowers and leaves. Musical accompaniment is provided Lali (drum carved from the bark of a tree) and a hollow bamboo pole beaten rhythmically on the ground.
The daily integration of these and other social and cultural traditions serve as a reminder that Fiji is more than an unspoiled tropical paradise, but a land where the past remains one of it's most vibrant and precious national resources.
The Fijian people have their own customs and culture that are an integral part of their everyday life. To enter a Fijian village, one should seek permission from a Village Elder or be invited by one of the villagers. When entering a village there are some do's and don'ts that are more in keeping with good taste than with custom:
Do dress modestly and comfortably.
You may want to bring some Yaqona (it symbolizes the giving of life) to present to the village. This is always appreciated.
When entering a bure (house) you should take your shoes off at the door to help keep the bure clean.
Fijians are very giving people, and this sometimes can work to their disadvantage - use common sense in taking food or family possessions. A good rule of thumb - it is better to give than to receive.
It is important to dress modestly when away from hotels and resorts and particularly when visiting a Fijian village.
Avoid wearing a hat in a village, it is considered an insult to the village chief. It is also insulting to touch someone’s head. It's best to not wear shoes if visiting someone’s house.
When visiting a village it is customary to present an inexpensive gift of 'yaqona' or kava to the “Turaga Ni Koro”, the traditional head of the village.
Be prepared to shake hands and answer personal questions as to where you are from, whether married; and, if so, how many children.
Fiji’s event calendar is filled with festivals and celebrations to delight and inspire you. Flamboyant cultural festivals are held throughout the year, many of which are Hindu festivals put on by the Fijian-Indian community. Whether you’re into music, culture or sport, you’ll easily find an event or festival for you.
Fiji's tropical climate, boasting the highest sunshine factor in the South Pacific, provides a sun culture that focuses on water and outdoor activities to suit every family taste and interest.
For land lubber families, there's trekking in lush rainforests and Central Highlands or mountain biking through awesome scenery and ancient inhabited villages. Or you can embrace the euphoria of up to 10,000 feet skydives or experience the awesome views of Fiji that a flight-seeing experience can offer.
For inland water enthusiasts, Class II, III and IV white water rafting on the Upper Navua, the Ba, and the Luva rivers should satisfy the hard adventurer parent. Jet boat, jet ski safaris and river kayaking will not only thrill you but inspire you as well.
And, for ocean lovers, kids of all ages love waterskiing, water scooters, banana boating, glass bottom boat rides and sailing a sunfish or hobie cat. And for Mom and Dad action types, you can marvel the rush of jet boating and jet skiing, windsurfing and world-class surfing.
For those seeking paradise underwater, you'll discover why Jean-Michel Cousteau calls Fiji the "soft coral capital of the world". And with that accolade comes some of the best snorkeling and scuba-diving anywhere. Rated among the Top 10 dive destinations in the world, Fiji's vast, varied and colorful underwater playgrounds boast something spectacular for divers at every skill level and the "unparalleled range of quality dive sites and sheer diversity of life on Fijian reefs is overwhelming breathtaking".
Kids and family are the backbone of Fijian culture. "Matavuvale" is the Fijian word for family and you'll find the importance of a matavuvale here in everything from weekly family-friendly events to the daily children's learning, play and arts & crafts programs at most resorts. And, you won't have to worry about the kids when you need some time away from them because Fijians are probably the most caring "baby-sitters" in the world! In Fiji, each new day brings with it a wide range of unique and fascinating things for the whole family to see, do and experience. The captivating cultural experiences, wondrous sightseeing and adrenaline rich adventure activities will never fail to take your breath away.
If you bring the kids, there's so much child-friendly stuff like a visit to the legendary Viseisei Village where the original Fijians landed 3,500 years ago. Or, take an evening sugar train ride with Fijian serenaders. Or, explore the huge, ancient cave fortress of Fiji's last cannibal tribes - wondrous rock formations and awesome reminders of bygone days. And, a visit to Kula Eco Park to see a microcosm of Fiji's natural flora and fauna will draw oohs and ahhs. Add a thrilling perspective and let the kids see the islands as only a para-sailing experience can show them.
While the kids are having fun, you can pamper yourself with Fijian style beauty and relaxation treatments at one of the numerous spas or challenge your skills on one of the championship golf courses. How about a very private picnic on your own beach or island! Or a simple stroll through the world famous orchid collection of American actor, Raymond Burr. Cap your day with a swim with the 'gods' in the mystical waterfall of a tropical rainforest.
Dining in Fiji offers a multi-ethnic culinary experience. Whether dining at your hotel, island resort or “in town”, you’ll find a palate of flavors from India, China, Korea, Japan, Europe and America as well as the best of Australia, New Zealand and the freshest from our South Pacific waters.
Restaurants run the gamut from 5-Star international to 24 hour airconditioned coffee shops. And yes, for those who crave the familiar tastes of home we have a McDonald’s and a Burger King! And, world renowned Australian beef and New Zealand lamb as well as fresh local seafood can be found in most hotels and restaurants as can the specialties of Fiji’s cooking heritage. Our Indian culture also contributes many delicious signature dishes, among them the “roti parcel” featuring Indian curry wrapped in a a flat bread.
The restaurant and culinary revolution in America over the past 15 years has not gone unnoticed in Fiji. Hotels, resorts and independent dining establishments constantly vie to create culinary masterpieces, to push the envelope so to speak and create a culinary experience that is not only satisfying but constantly evolving. Most also offer specific culinary themed nights including the ‘magiti’ an opulent culturally-based Fijian feast accompanied by the traditional “meke”, an exhilarating song and dance experience. And the “when in Rome philosophy” reaches a zenith with beach or poolside BBQ’s that one would expect in a tropical island paradise.
Of course, a holiday in Fiji is incomplete if you haven’t experienced Fiji’s best known and most popular outdoor cooking experience – the ‘lovo’. Using an underground oven of smoldering rocks, Fijians cook a variety of foods wrapped in banana leaves. Covered with earth and coming out after several hours of “slow” cooking with a faintly smoky flavor, lovos produce succulent, tender meats, chicken, seafood, and the centerpiece of the feast, a whole suckling pig.
And with the explosion of fine dining all across Fiji has come, as it has in North America, a growing appreciation for wine lists of distinction with a natural emphasis on superior wines from our neighboring trading partners - wonderful reds (Shiraz and Cabs) from Australia and whites (Sauvignon Blancs) from New Zealand.
MUSEUMS & GARDENS
The Fiji Museum
The Fiji Museum was founded in 1904 and houses some of the best-kept collection of Fijian artifacts that trace back history more than 100 years.
The museum is located in Thurston Gardens and is open six days a week from 9:30am-4:30pm, Mondays to Saturdays.
Fiji Spice Gardens
Located in Wainadoi, about a half hour drive from Suva city, the spice gardens grow as well as sell spices such as vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg.
Otherwise known as Thurston Garden, spectacular for its flora and fauna that is unique to the South Pacific region.
Garden of the Sleeping Giant
Just 10 minutes north of Nadi Airport, the garden was established by US actor Raymond Burr and has fantastic tropical gardens and orchids.
NATIONAL PARKS & HISTORICAL SITES
Located in the hills on the outskirts of Suva, this forest park is located about 11 kilometers from downtown Suva city. Great for walking and trekking through the forest filled with mahogany trees. Open seven days a week from 8am - 4pm.
Tavuni Hill Fort
Built in 1788 by a clan of Tongans, led by Chief Maile Latemai as a defensive fortification, the site has been restored and is well maintained. It boasts original grave sites, terraced barricades, ceremonial grounds and even a head-copping stone from the distant past. The site is equally renowned for it enormous beautiful trees and spectacular views.
Momi Gun Bay
The now silent Gun Battery is nestled among the sugar cane fields of Momi and is a remnant of World War II. Built in 1941 to ward off possible Japanese attacks, the site remains relatively intact, accessible and a monument that is well worth the visit.
Sigatoka Sand Dunes
The historical Lapita people played an important role in Fiji's early history. Proof of their existence has been found in the formof pottery fragments and human skeletons, buried in the Sigatoka Sand Dunes. Good trekking opportunities, great vies and nearby offshore surf breaks. This is the sight of Fiji's first national heritage park, covering 650 hectares, it is an important archeological and ecological area.
Bouma National Heritage Park
This protects more than 80% of the island including 150 sq km of pristine rain and coastal forest. The triple cascades of the Bouma (Tavoro) waterfalls and their natural swimming holes are a highlight.
Located in Vuda and is known as the birth place of Fijian chiefly voyager named Degei is said to have ruled over the village. In those traditions, a giant canoe named the Kaunitoni, carrying the god chiefs, Lutunasobasoba and Degei sailed from the ancient homeland and landed on the north-west coast of Viti Levu. The chiefs built their first village at Viseisei but abandoned it moving inland along a mountainous ridge which stretches from Vuda to Nakauvadra.