Fiji – June 2016
We awoke at 3am quickly getting ready and looking out the window to see if the taxi had arrived. We jumped in and headed to the Christchurch Airport. To start was an hour twenty flight to Auckland, then an hour wait at Auckland airport for our flight to Nadi, Fiji. The layover in Auckland gave us time to get some duty free and download a few more songs on Spotify with the airport wifi. Next was an easy three hour flight that got to Fiji at 12.40pm. Fiji is in the same time zone as New Zealand however we were very tired from the early start. We had organised a taxi pickup with our hotel that was on the Coral Coast, this is always our safe bet in a new country. We asked him to stop at a dairy or supermarket to get some mixers and water. He kindly stopped at a supermarket where we loaded up on fizzy. In hindsight we wished we got a supply of food for our room as there were no snacks at the hotel.
At our hotel we were greeted with a welcome drink, downing this then headed to our room, it was huge with a small view of the sea. We pretty much hit the sack and slept allthe way through to the next day.
The next couple of days we did a variety of lounging around the pool and beach. Went for walks down the street, passed other hotels having a noisey where we could. We did some snorkeling, there was still a variety of fish and even an eel to look at however the coral was mostly dead. We also went to The Ecocafe that we found on one of our walks. We didn’t know what to expect but decided to check it out anyways, this was packed with many parrots and geckos.
The hotel had a 50% off all drinks happy hour every night which we made the most of getting beers at a cheaper rate, we didn’t get on the cocktails as they had these at a cheeky $29 Fiji dollars each. Our sneaky way to drink your Duty Free by the pool or the beach was by mixing a drink in a water bottle, we always went with the Sprite and Vodka combo for this drink to make this less obvious.
After four nights at the coral coast we were picked up in a van to head to an island. We were very excited about this as everyone we talked to about visiting Fiji said that you want to get off the mainland. The van picked up more guests then we headed to a jetty. The boat ride was along the main river of Fiji and we headed out to the mouth. Once we were on the sea we were splashed all the way to the island as the open sea was rough with the wind picking up. As we got closer to the island the boat driver was getting us to yell Bula (Fijian for Hello) while the staff on the island were singing and playing guitars to welcome us. Once on the island we checked out as much as we could, we quickly worked out that this may have been a poor choice of an island, it felt like a very old school campground. The weather was also shocking, the wind would not stop on the first day, and then there was the rain. There was a forced food plan ($79 Fiji per day, per person) which was understandable with the limited resources on the island however this added to the camp feel with the meals being very basic and a drum call for when it was ready. We spend some time in our very cute villa, by cute I mean a room for just a bed, and a hobbit door. The ensuite was detached and lacked a roof, you had to load the small tank above the shower and let the water heat up over the day if you wanted a warm shower. However the wind and rain eased which meant we could read or have a drink in the hammocks by the sea. We took part in some fishing, snorkeling and on our last night the island held a culture night. There were many extra visitors from other resorts for this and the locals put on a great show that many enjoyed.
Overall the trip was relaxing, and this was a great way to escape the cold (when we left Christchurch it was 0 degrees celsius Fiji was 30 degrees celcius most days) however I don’t think we would be heading back anytime soon.
10 Tips of the Trip
- Buy Duty Free! Like lots and lots.
- Ask your taxi to stop at a supermarket or diary to pick up mixers and food to save on money during your trip and to have snacks.
- Be prepared to spend money on food – this is where all your budget will go.
- Pack breakfast and snacks. Two-minute noodles would be an easy hunger fix.
- Spend more on accommodation if you want somewhere nice, we spent approx $150 NZ per night and this is considered very cheap.
- Pack some good books, we did a lot of reading!
- Even with this being a hot country, pack a jacket and a warm jumper for the not so good days.
- You don’t need much cash, everything gets put on your room.
- Try to avoid food plans, these are overpriced.
Always say Bula (Hello) and Vinaka (Thank-you)