Fiji is the perfect place for a tropical escape. Situated in the Southeast Pacific Ocean, it means it’s less then a four-hour plane trip from Brisbane. Whether you want to sit back, relax and sip cocktails by the pool or go activity crazy, the choice is yours.
We stayed at the Hilton Fiji in Nadi and the facilities were exactly the tropical holiday we had anticipated. Much of our time was spent lazing around the pool and trying the restaurants offered at the resort and at the nearby marina. Sometimes we took the local bus to the marina and other times we walked the 15 minutes to get there.
The first thing you will notice after you have taken in the tropical surroundings is the local Fiji hospitality. The Fijians are arguably some of the friendliest locals in the world and the local Fiji greeting “Bula” will be heard (accompanied with the warmest of smiles) whenever you come into the presence of a local. The next thing you will notice is that Fiji seems to operate in its own little time warp that seems to be special just to Fiji. The locals affectionately label this “Fiji Time”.
The carefree local attitude ensures that schedules are thrown out the window and your tropical holiday unfolds in a carefree timeless manner. Although it takes a little getting used to, you just can’t help but embrace it. After all, does it really matter how long it takes for your cocktail to arrive when you are in a tropical paradise with the friendliest of locals?
It’s not like us to swap champagne for cocktails, but when you are in Fiji, it’s imperative to make an exception. I’m not sure what we loved more about happy hour at our hotel, the cocktails, or our favourite bar tender Iliah who had the friendliest smile we’ve ever seen. Not to mention, he made the best Piña Coladas we have ever tasted.
When you want a break from lazing by the pool sipping cocktails, the Sleeping Giant Zip Line might just be for you. This tour consists of a series of five zip lines set in a picturesque jungle setting followed by a guided waterfall walk.
The scenery on this tour is breathtaking and there is something very special about zip lining through the jungle. This wouldn’t be an honest post if we didn’t mention that the staff communication (apart from the safety briefing) was poor and the Fijian hospitality we experienced on this tour wasn’t up to the same standard we had experienced everywhere else in Fiji. Having said that, the zip lines were fun and definitely suitable for all ages. While you are able to go through the course as many times as you like, we had enough at two rounds.
The walk to the picturesque waterfall was also a lovely end to the experience. Make sure you use the insect repellent supplied as you will need it and be prepared for some waiting around on the day. If you are a fussy eater, we recommend packing your own lunch.
The other organised day trip that we went on which we highly recommend is the OoLaLa Savala day cruise, where they take you to a small, uninhabited tropical island.
By far the best part of this cruise is the crew and the way they take care of their passengers. They absolutely bend over backwards with their traditional Fijian hospitality. We were even treated to live entertainment by the crew in the form of a sing-along on the way over and back on the boat which really set the tone for the whole day. There was plenty of food included in the cost consisting of a BBQ lunch with beer, wine and soft drinks. The island activities included paddle boarding, kayaking, touring on the glass bottom boat, shark feeding and sunbathing with our favourite, of course, being the snorkeling.
By staying in Nadi’s resort precinct, there is no need to hire a car as buses, taxis the marina and many of the hotels are very accessible. Furthermore, if you are anything like us and love your sunrises and sunsets, Fiji will definitely not disappoint. Without a doubt, we experienced, some of the most breathtaking sunsets we have ever seen anywhere during our stay in Fiji. Now we are just dreaming about when we might make it back there!