Life in Fiji is slow and steady.
“Fiji Time” is an actual recognized unit of time and excuse for everyone being extremely late to everything and sleepy afternoons under the trees are a common activity.
But if you just can’t sit and lounge by a pool for seven days straight and you are always on the search for your next adventure like me, you will be happy to know that there is a long list of action-packed adventures that you have to choose from on this archipelago of islands called Fiji.
Every time I have come to Fiji, not only am I blown away by the natural beauty, kindness of its people, and dedication to the environment, but I realize just how little of this country I have really explored.
With 332 islands almost one for every day of the year, there is an endless array of places to discover, fly over, climb, or dive into. As an advanced scuba diver, the first place I ever went diving in my life was off the coast of Kadavu, Fiji and in the first five minutes of my first dive ever, a fleet of giant 14-foot manta rays buzzed over my head, leaving me stunned and speechless and hooked for life. To this day, Fiji is one of the top diving locations in the world
To this day, Fiji is one of the top diving locations in the world makes me realize that not only are there hundreds of islands to explore, but thousands of dive spots and sunken treasures to explore around these reefs as well. In fact, the Great Astrolabe Reef (the third largest barrier reef in the world), is here in Fiji and you are guaranteed to see species you didn’t even know existed on every dive or snorkel trip you go on.
One thing that we all can agree on here in Fiji is that life is better spent outside or under the sea.
You can spend a lifetime trying to see everything this country has to offer, so to make it easier on you daredevils and adventure junkies out there, I have listed some of my favorite places and activities in Fiji that are guaranteed to fill up your mind, body, and spirit.
All you need to know is how to greet the locals by saying “Bula Vinaka”, pack your passport and adventurous spirit, and you are all set!
Trek beyond Fiji’s beaches and bikinis into the history of Fiji’s heartland. A dedicated hiking company based in the capital city of Suva, Talanoa Treks explores the interiors of the main island Viti Levu over a series of hikes.
From a one day trek to a spectacular waterfall, to the five days “Full Monty” across the mountains of Fiji, Talanoa Treks offers a range of options for both casual walkers and dedicated hikers. Pack sturdy shoes, mosquito repellent and lots of room for discovery as you explore parts of Fiji that even many of the locals never do.
The Colo-i-suva (pronounced tholoh-ee-soovah) Rainforest Park boasts 2.5 square kilomters of greenery, waterfalls, and swimming holes. Located on the eastern side of the main island of of Viti Levu, rainfall is high and lush forests are abundant. Just a 10-15 minute drive out of the capital city, Colo-i-suva makes for a great day of hiking or swimming trip.
Pack your hiking shoes and a picnic and make the trek through the dense forest reserve with a soundtrack of unusual bird calls to accompany you on your walk. If you DO decide to take a dip in the swimming holes, there is no need to worry about hiking back in your wet clothes. Changing rooms and toilets can be found on site and if you feel like spending the night on site or want to hike till it’s dark, you can stay at the Colo-i-
Changing rooms and toilets can be found on site and if you feel like spending the night on site or want to hike till it’s dark, you can stay at the Colo-i-Suva Eco Resort and enjoy happy hour at the Raintree restaurant, a local favorite!
Sigatoka River Safari
In western Fiji, two hours outside of the capital or an hour from the Nadi International airport is a slightly faster paced ride down one of Fiji’s well known rivers. The award winning Sigatoka River Safari is a jetboat and village safari down Fiji’s longest river, the Sigatoka.
While you are experiencing a thrill of a jet boat ride, you can also rest assured that you are supporting local villages that receive contribution and employment from the tour company. Thrilling 360 turns or gentle river cruising, the river safari has it all.
After your ride, you take another trip through Fijian culture as part of a village visit. While they aim to appease your inner adrenalin-junkie, they also ensure that you engage with the locals and lives of the Fijian villagers.
Flyboarding at the Shangri-La
Hydro Sports Fiji is a jet boarding company based out of the Shangri-la’s Fijian Resort and Spa on the Coral Coast. Fly boarding is just one of the activities offered, but definitely the most intriguing. This action-packed activity does require swimming ability, but you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to experience the adrenalin rush of literally flying through the air!
You will experience the feeling of flying while in the turquoise and green waters that these tropical islands are known for. Don’t worry though, there are qualified guides and assistant to take you through beginners or advanced training on how to maneuver as you hover above the Pacific Ocean.
Experience the thrills of Kila Eco Adventure Park
“Kila” translates into “wild” and that is exactly what this place is all about. Kila Eco Adventure Park is a wild and fun park with a number of testing, terrifying activities that are a far cry from lounging on a tropical beach.
Set on 440 acres of rainforest that stretches through the Namosi Hills, this park and organic farm boasts over 28 adrenaline-rushing activities from Fiji’s only giant swing, to ropes courses, zip lines, commando courses, and wilderness hikes. For daredevils looking to have an adventure-packed day and some fun team-building exercises, this is the place to go!
Float out on Cloud 9
Jet through the wide open ocean on the Excitor Fiji, a custom purpose, 55 seat 1500 horsepower exciting vessel. Operating out of Denarau Marina in Nadi, the Excitor departs daily to Cloud 9 on it’s lunch tour. Situated in crystal clear waters inside the outr Mamanuca Reef is Cloud 9, Fiji’s Ibiza-style floating platform.
The atmosphere is like a floating day club in the middle of nowhere and the music is pumped up with dj’s spinning and you can either enjoy the ocean or sunbathe on one of the giant-sized day beds with a cocktail in hand. They only accept credit cards here, no cash and no children are allowed.
While Cloud 9 is ideal for an afternoon of relaxation, the Excitor Fiji will get yours there in a whirl of water spray and adventure on the open seas.
Thunder Jet to Bounty Island
Looking for a short excursion to an island for some beers and burgers? Thunder Jet’s getaway to Bounty Island in the Mamanucas is perfect for you. The sister vessel to the Excitor, the Thunder Jet Fiji zips you away for three hours round trip to an island famous for it’s burgers and abundant beers on tap. Whether you want to indulge at the bar, make use of the watersports, visit a turtle hatchery, or go snorkel, the Thunder Jet team will make sure you have everything in order for you to make your time with them the best three hours of your day.
The jet boat can be pretty intense though, so don’t fill up too much on beer and burgers so you can fully enjoy the ride back home to Denarau Marina! If three hours isn’t enough adventure for you, they now offer a package called “The Ultimate Double” that combines three hours of riding quad bikes through the mountains with your Bounty Island Burger and beer tour all in one day!
Go Dirty Tours
IF you are looking for more of a land-based adventure, take a thrilling ride on a two-seater quad bike into the mountains for some muddy fun and incredible views! Go Dirty was established in 1999 as Fiji’s first and only inland and coastal action and adventure tour operator.
Today they offer you a range of quad, buggy, ATV, and motorbike tours encouraging you to “Go Dirty or Go Home!”. A valid driver’s license and a serious sense of adventure are required as they take you through the tourist town of Nadi and up into the Sabeto highlands for an adventure like none other in the country.
Falling in Love with Lau / The Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands in Lau is a feast for the eyes. The eastern islands of Fiji known as the Lau islands is slightly difficult to reach, but well worth the trip. Known as the “place without postcards”, Lau offers a completely untouched Fiji for the slightly more curious and adventurous.
The islands of the Lau group are partly volcanic and partly formed by coral limestone. The lack of fertile garden land made this part of Fiji unattractive to the colonists and in turn Fijian culture was left alone there to evolve free of development in these eastern islands.
Now, a melting pot of Fijian and Tongan culture, this patch of ocean has stunning volcanic features, coral cays to discover, and is now protected by the Fijian government. One of the Lauan islands, Vanua Balavu meaning “long island” is strangely sea-horse shaped. Part of this shape includes another island called Qilaqila.
This area is now a protected marine reserve and is like nowhere else in the Fijian islands. There are tons of sea caves to explore that used to be warrior outposts in the past and around every corner is another dramatic landscape to explore. The Bay of Islands are remote and harder to get to, but definitely worth the adventure to get there.
You can travel by longboat between limestone mushroom looking islands, large jagged cliffs, and vibrant reefs in blindingly turquoise water to get here or do an 11 day cruise aboard the Reef Endeavor, part of Captain Cook Cruises, and explore other islands and national parks with waterfalls along the way like Lomaiviti, Makogai, Taveuni, Wailagilala, and other parts of the Lau islands.
Hang Ten on Fiji’s world famous waves
Fiji is world famous for epic waves. The majority of breaks are found within the Mamanuca islands. However, there are a few classic not so secret spots dotted throughout the archipelago. Cloudbreak at Tavarua Island holds an almost mythical status to surfers across the globe.
It is frequently named as one of the top 5 waves in the world alongside Hawaii’s famed Pipeline. Cloudbreak can easily hold a ten foot plus swell and is definitely not for the faint hearted! Once you have committed to the steep wave you have no choice but to ride it out since the shallow reef isn’t exactly forgiving.
Seasonally May-October is the best time of year to come surf the Mamanuca Islands. Just keep an eye out on the weather reports and book easy jumper flights on Fiji Airways when you see a great swell coming towards Fiji.
Here are some of the best surf spots and resorts to stay at throughout the Fijian Islands:
The Mamanuca Islands
Easily accessible from mainland Fiji and only an hour scenic boat transfer from Denarau Marina
direct access to Cloudbreak and Kelly Slater’s number one pick!
home of the famed Namotu lefts
Romantic and great for couples, it’s only a 30-minute transfer to Wilkes Passage and main breaks
Family friendly and 45 minutes away from great surf spots
the party spot, fun and affordable and easy access to surf spots
The Coral Coast
Located on Fiji’s main island of Vitu Levu, it is predominantly known as the gateway to surf the legendary Frigates Passage. The wave itself is a long left-hand barrel that is fun when the waves are small
Access to frigates and the Mamanucas and has the famed overwater bures
This family friendly resort features its namesake fast barrel wave, “Hideaways”, only a 500 meter paddle from shore
A beginner surfer’s paradise, this budget resort offers a beginner’s wave and an on-site surf school for learners.
This lesser known island is a surf destination perfect for those who want an off-the-beaten track adventure and an authentic Fijian cultural experience. The ideal time for finding waves here is December-April and if you come here you will be rewarded with empty line-ups, beautiful scenery, and tons of other activities like snorkeling, spear fishing, and hiking.
Their top four waves: Soso Passage, Vesi Passage, Naiqoro Passage, and King Kong Lefts. Fiji Airways has direct jumper flights from Nadi to Kadavu (which may be the smallest airport I have ever flown into in my life).
Since there are no roads here, you will be picked up by boat from the airport runway and have to carry your luggage over your head waist-deep in the water to board your boat. The rustic adventure begins from the second you land here!
An indulgent luxury 6-star resort experience conveniently located between Kadavu’s premier waves. Relax and pamper yourself here post surfing.
Volcanic rainforest slopes meet azure coral lagoons at the Great Astrolabe Reef, the third largest barrier reef in the world. Easy access here to most waves.
Whether you are an experienced Surfer or wanting to come learn while relaxing in Fiji, you can find surf instructors all over the islands by visiting.
Live off the land and dive for your dinner at Papageno Eco Resort on Kadavu Island
One of the best aspects of staying on Kadavu is a chance to experience the rich and vibrant culture of the local Fijians, which is still very intact there. Papageno is an eco-resort that is fully sustainable and powered only by the wind and solar power.
All of the food served there is either grown or caught on site and changes daily based on what the local spear fisherman come up with that day. They only employ local Fijians from the three surrounding villages: Naivakarauniniu, Vunisei, or Daku and they offer treks and village visits to each one.
Although these villages are within a short distance away from each other, the experiences at each one are all unique to their own. The resort is absolutely committed to the natural environment and surroundings and they invest a large amount of time and resources into nature conservation and community development projects.
These go beyond the resort’s property to aid nearby villages, schools and natural preservation areas.
If you choose to stay in a bure at Papageno Resort, you will be only 20 minutes away from over a dozen world-class dive sites and a short boat ride away from the Great Astrolabe Reef one of the largest in the world, but also one of the least tracked fully of underwater caves.
The home reef for Papageno Resort is also a Marine Protected Area is called Rooper Reef. It hosts dive spots like Chambers, Crossroads, Group Tube and the one and only wreck dive on Kadavu Island: The Pacific Voyager. What is even cooler about this place is that you can go on excursions to “catch your own lunch or dinner”
What is even cooler about this place is that you can go on excursions to “catch your own lunch or dinner” either through fishing, spearfishing, or free diving!
Experience being a castaway…in style
Pacific Harbor on the southern coast of Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu, is known as the “Adventure Capital of Fiji”. I mean, where else can you dive with sharks, zip line through dense tropical rainforests, or whitewater raft through deep, narrow canyons of the islands once volcanic interior?
Increasingly, couples and families are seeking out this quiet coastal area to explore that is a two and a half hour drive from Nadi International airport. There on a secluded three-kilometer beach with stunning views of the Pacific and nearby islands, you will find the Nanuku Auberge resort.
This remote boutique island resort offers a serene retreat with high-end amenities, built-in adventures, and post adventure relaxation in their Lomana spa. Your adventures include shark diving and snorkeling in the relatively undiscovered Beqa Lagoon, Game fishing, Ziplining, hiking through ancient forests, white water rafting through Emerald rainforests and majestic waterfalls, but my personal favorite is experiencing being a “castaway” on Nanuku’s private island.
Master the Art of fulfillment and self-transformation with life coach, Tony Robbins
Millions seeking self-transformation have turned to the audiotapes, books and “life-making” mega-events produced by Tony Robbins, the peak-performance guru and life coach who has counseled rock stars, movie moguls, CEOs, and presidents alike.
But when Robbins himself needs to be reenergized and transformed, he knows exactly what to do. He goes to Fiji. Specifically, Namale Resort & Spa, the hauntingly beautiful retreat he has created on Vanua Levu, the country's second-largest island.
The resort is about an hour's flight from Suva, the capital city on Viti Levu, and a short drive from Savusavu, its airport an asphalt strip in the jungle where locals shoo away the cows before a plane lands. A former coconut plantation built on limestone and lava outcroppings over the Koro Sea, Namale is at once otherworldly and distinctly Fijian.
Blessed with its own blowhole and views out to coral reefs, where spinner dolphins, batfish and hundreds of other marine creatures await reef walkers and scuba divers, the intimate resort, where Robbins lives two to three months a year to “escape with his family, climb in the rain forest, relax, write and create,” he says.
Boasting only 16 bures and villas, Namale Resort & Spa is a place where people don't really need to change themselves, but to be themselves. Here people won’t find the usual “teachings” of Tony Robbins.
Instead, nature is your teacher and accommodations have 270-degree views of the sea, are linked by a series of wood decks suspended over crags and crevices, and have pathways that wind their way to romantic dining spots hidden in the rocks.
After a hike to nearby waterfalls, deep-sea fishing, having a Fijian bobo massage, or gazing at the blowhole from the whirlpool, it is nice to unwind in an environment Robbins aptly calls “killer plush.”