WHILE you might think the devastation wrecked by Tropical Cyclone Winston would make Fiji a no-go zone, there’s never been a better time to travel to our beautiful island neighbours.
Many resorts are back up and running, Fiji Airways are offering special deals and the locals need Australians to visit now more than ever.
While my visit was prior to the cyclone, I feel it’s now even more important to share — for the beautiful people of Fiji, and to provide a glimpse of what you can experience just a three hour flight away.
EVERYONE IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE NEXT SECRET GETAWAY
When I first came off I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, I was looking for the ultimate holiday away. A place that wasn’t swarming with tourists, but still had everything I wanted to see. Beautiful beaches, luxury resorts, local culture, adventure, and food, lots of food.
The thought of being surrounded by half of Australia in Bali just wasn’t cutting it for me and having to fend off street vendors in Thailand every time I left the hotel wasn’t the holiday I was after.
So if you haven’t already visited Fiji, my only question is why not?
Here are 11 reasons why you need to make Fiji your next holiday:
1. ULTIMATE RESET
If walking along white sandy beaches, snorkelling some of the world’s best reef or getting lost under jungle waterfalls sounds like your type of escape, then Fiji has you covered! Expect to feel like a new, energised person after spending time in this paradise. It’s impossible to leave Fiji and not feel happier.
2. WHITE SANDY BEACHES
Who doesn’t like a good beach? No matter where you are, Fiji seems to have an amazing beach just a few minutes away. In fact, nearly every picture you take will probably look like a ‘wish you were here’ post card.
3. YOU CAN SWIM WITH SHARKS
Ever been slapped in the face by a Shark? Well after my recent trip I can safely say I have! Swimming with sharks without a cage may sound insane, however for me, this is one of the most surreal moments I have ever experienced. A bucket-list and travel highlight that will leave you feeling very differently about how dangerous these ocean predators really are. I say go for it!
4. VOLCANIC MUD BATHS AND HOT SPRINGS
Because where else in the world can you swim with sharks in the morning and bathe in volcanic mud in the afternoon? They say volcanic mud baths are amazing for your skin and will leave you looking 10 years younger. Not sure if it worked for me.
5. WORLD CLASS SNORKELLING
It’s no secret, Fiji has some of the most beautiful and diverse marine life on the planet. Home to the richest soft coral in the world, its nearly impossible to take an ocean swim in Fiji without seeing something beautiful. Whether it’s swimming with Manta Rays, snorkelling at the front of your resort or diving ship wrecks, Fiji has all the water action you could ask for.
6. THE YASAWA ISLANDS
Fiji is made up of more than 330 islands. Many of these are uninhabited and all of them offer something different to the next. However if you were to come to Fiji and only travel through the Yasawa Islands, you would leave a happy person.
The Yasawa Group is an archipelago of about 20 volcanic islands in the Western Division of Fiji. Many of the islands you visit are home to locals who have lived there for generations, so traditions and way of life can vary depending on where you visit. It may take you some time to travel by boat between them all, however a local sea plane will give you the aerial tour and get you to where you need all in about 30 minutes.
Secluded islands, private beach picnics, sunset lit dinners, turquoise waters and warm starry nights. Fiji is the definition of Romance, where everything feels as though it has been tailor made for your very own amorous getaway. Whether it’s a private island or a fun couple’s resort, Fiji has a range of romantic options for you and your partner.
8. FAMILY FRIENDLY
Fiji is one of the safest and most welcoming places in the world. And with heaps of attractions and activities like water obstacle courses and ziplining, your kids will be begging you to try!
9. FIJI’S SIZE
Fiji is small enough that you can safely drive around its circumference in just over a day, but big enough that you could spend weeks there and still not come close to seeing everything. The roads are safe to drive on with a national speed limit of 80km, so rent a car and see if you can get lost on the friendliest island there is.
10. KAVA, LOCAL CULTURE AND WALKING ON FIRE
Fiji is a destination where you are immersed immediately into the local culture. Whether you stay in a luxury resort or in a hut on the beach, the Fijian way of life will find its way to you. Make sure you try Kava, a traditional drink made up from a natural herb root and be sure to witness the locals walk on fire at islands such as Robinson Crusoe.
11. THE FRIENDLIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD
They say it’s the people that make a destination and there would not be a person out there who disagrees that Fiji has the friendliest people on the planet. This is what I will always remember Fiji for. ‘Bula’ to me is not just a Fijian greeting, it is a way of life.
I’ve been lucky enough to have visited more than 60 different countries and I have yet to find locals who have made my experience this pleasant. Expect a lot of smiles, no one ever trying to hassle you into buying something and a deeper local experience because of it.
Whether it’s the staff that greet you at your resort, or locals you drive past on the street, when you are in Fiji you just feel happier.
If you pull out a camera out in Fiji don’t worry about locals running off with it or telling you to put it away, worry about them wanting to jump in the picture with you, yelling ‘Bula’!
For a list of Fiji resorts open after Cyclone Winston visit islandescapes.com.au
Donate to the Fiji Tropical Cyclone Winston appeal with the Red Cross or onGoFundMe.