Considering that Fiji is an archipelago comprised of over 332 islands, squeezing everything it has to offer into a short article is not an easy task. The upside is that you’ll never be short of things to do in Fiji.
Whether you’re interested in lounging on the beach, climbing volcanoes, scuba diving in teeming coral reefs, or something else entirely, Fiji has you covered. The weather is tropical all year round, so all you have to do is turn up and enjoy it.
Go to the beach
If you’re going to Fiji, you’re going to spend a lot of your time on the beach. There are a lot to choose from, and you really can’t go too wrong, but your local will depend on which island is acting as your base.
We stayed at a resort in the Mamanucas, a chain of islands that you’ve probably seen on the front of a postcard. The beaches were absolutely beautiful, and there were plenty of activities on offer, including windsurfing, dolphin-watching, and surfing. We went parasailing, and got incredible views of the crystal clear water surrounding the lush islands.
This area can get quite crowded, so you could also try Yasawa (‘Heaven’) Island, or Liku Beach on Tokoriki Island, which gave us one of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen. Many of the islands are easily reached on day cruises or by helicopter, so it’s quite easy to reach different spots.
Go chasing waterfalls
A lot of the islands feature spectacular waterfalls, but the best that we saw were the Tavoro Waterfalls on Taveuni Island. There are three in total: the first is really easy to reach and has a picnic area and visitor centre, but that doesn’t make it any less spectacular.
We wanted to get away from the crowds, so we explored deeper into the rainforest of Bouma National Heritage Park. It’s an amazing place, especially as you climb hilly terrain and hop across a river to reach the other waterfalls. It was worth it, as fewer people made the trek, so these were great locations to relax and play in the natural swimming pools that form around the falls. Bring a swimming costume!
Go fire-walking and scuba diving
We took a day trip to Beqa Island because we’d heard it was great for novice scuba divers. We weren’t disappointed; Beqa lagoon is packed with dive sites that are really close to shore. We saw blue glowing eels, seahorses, and fish I’ve never seen before without needing to dive below 50 feet. As someone a bit scared of water, this was perfect for me!
In the evening we visited the Sawau tribe, who originated the art of fire-walking. They spread red-hot coals and rocks across the beach and stepped across them like it was nothing, chanting and playing to the shock of the crowd. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to try it for ourselves.
Go to Fiji Museum
You might think it’s a waste of time wandering around a museum when you could be sipping cocktails on the beach. I agreed with you until I visited Fiji Museum. It features a huge range of cultural artefacts that track the development of Fiji from its tribal roots to the modern day. It’s probably impossible not to be fascinated by looking at knives and forks that were used by cannibals, and the chewed shoe of one of their victims!
There’s also Ratu Finau, a huge canoe that’s a centrepiece of the museum, as well as really beautiful contemporary paintings from local artists and gardens full of native plants. We definitely didn’t regret visitings (though we did head straight to the beach afterwards).
Go kava drinking
Kava is considered the national drink of Fiji, and before we travelled a lot of people told us it would give us hallucinations, like a psychedelic drug. I wasn’t too keen on trying it until we arrived and realised it’s a massive part of Fijian culture. A lot of the locals drink it every day, so how bad could it be?
It certainly didn’t give us hallucinations. We found out later it’s made from the root of a bush that’s similar to a pepper plant, strained with water, and it tasted like it. The muddy pepper water made my face feel numb after one cup, but that was it. Still, I was glad to try it because it’s a big part of the culture, but I won’t be seeking it out at home.
Go to Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple
You probably can’t pronounce it, but this Indian temple is must-see Fiji. You’ll find it at the base of Main Street, and although it’s colourful enough to hurt your eyes it’s also surprisingly peaceful.
I don’t know much about Hindu deities, but the wooden carvings (shipped all the way from India, apparently) are beautiful, and there was someone hanging around happy to answer our questions. The temple felt like a nice change of pace from everything else we did in Fiji.
Note: visitors are asked to wear neat and modest dress, and to remove their shoes if they go inside. You can take photos outside but not inside the temple.
Go rafting on the Navua River
Viti Levu is a big island covered in lush tropical rainforest. The Navua River cuts through the middle of it, and taking a raft trip down it was an amazing way to see some of the best scenery in Fiji. It takes you between tight, towering volcanic walls, through violent rapids, and under and over waterfalls. It really felt like we were the only people on the island.
It was quite an exhausting trip. We were picked up early, then after a drive we hiked into the rainforest to reach the river. After the exhilarating journey down the river we were exhausted, but we still wanted to go again. It was the perfect way to end our trip to Fiji.