Fiji has always been right at the top of my bucket list of dream destinations and I honestly never thought I would actually get the chance to visit. Therefore, when I realised how close it is to Australia (compared to England anyway) I knew I had to visit whilst I’m over here, and I decided that if I couldn’t spend Christmas with my family then being in Fiji had to be the next best thing.
So on the 14th of December Nathan and I embarked on a two week break in Fiji.
Before we had even landed, I had a glimpse of the natural beauty of the islands and the diverse terrain- ranging from white sandy beaches to dense green mountains- and the jewel in the crown- the sparkling blue sea.
When we arrived the weather was grey and very rainy- it stayed this way for almost the whole of the first week. Not the best introduction!
We actually really enjoyed the slightly colder climate after the unbearable heat of a Brisbane summer but if this is your only holiday of the year then I’d definitely try to avoid the rainy season! Luckily, the resort offered huge umbrellas and I actually very much enjoyed twirling around in the rain with it- small things please small minds I suppose!
We spent our first week on the Coral Coast and this was definitely my preferred location as the beaches were absolutely beautiful and the way of life was so relaxed.
The majority of hotels and resorts have regular free entertainment including traditional dance and fire shows which the locals do absolutely brilliantly and they perfectly demonstrate a little of the rich culture and history of Fiji (they also demonstrate the men’s very toned bodies…).
The people in Fiji are some of the nicest I have ever met and everyone that you pass greets you with a friendly ‘bula’ which adds to the happy, positive vibe of the islands. The Shangri La on the Coral Coast was the loveliest resort I’ve ever been to so you can be expecting a full review of that coming shortly!
They were so lovely that they even managed to get two awkward white people up to dance, which is a serious rarity!
There’s also interesting and unusual wildlife around every corner. And weirdly enough- a million dead frogs squished into every road.
If you stay in a big resort then there’s plenty to do (snorkelling, scuba, paddle boarding etc.) however I was surprised to find that compared to somewhere like Bali- Fiji is much quieter, with less landmarks and tourist attractions to see.
However, there is definitely a few must-do’s. Firstly (and arguably most importantly), is trying the traditional Fijian drink of Kava (not the tacky champagne type).
I believe it’s made from the roots of a plant which has a sedative effect and the Fijian people use it in the same way as we use alcohol.
It has a very strange, earthy taste and just one tiny cup of it made my body go numb for a minute!
The markets where we drank the kava were also a very interesting thing to experience and they are a great way to mix with the locals and see more of what it’s like to be Fijian, as opposed to just holidaying in a fancy resort (although that’s my favourite thing to do!).
We also visited a stunning and super colourful hindu temple called Sri Siva Subramaniya temple, in Nadi.
It’s beautifully painted with ornate religious designs and is the most vibrant religious building I’ve ever seen.
I particularly enjoyed this little escapade as I just love seeing Nathan in a sarong- very David Beckham circa 1998.
However fantastic that was, it was topped by the Garden of the Sleeping Giant.
Nestled into the shadows of a mountain which really does resemble a sleeping giant is some of the most breathtaking scenery I have ever witnessed and I feel like the nature here is exactly what Fiji is all about.
I literally took about 300 photos here in the space of 40 minutes because every single square inch of the place is picture perfect.
Nestled even deeper into the shadows of the Sleeping Giant are the famous mud baths and thermal hot spring pools. I’ve always wanted to experience this as I love getting messy and, as the huge smiles on our faces suggest, they did not disappoint. I was literally as happy as a ‘pig in shit’- and I looked just like one too.
I’m sure there are a lot of great places in the world to get stuck into a good bit of a mud, but I’m certain that most of them don’t have backdrops like this one…
We ended our memorable trip by celebrating Christmas in Nadi. Nadi is a very popular tourist spot and although we loved our time here- I don’t think that it compares to the coral coast at all.
The beaches are almost black and the people were definitely less friendly in this area too.
However, we still made the most of our time here- and as the sun finally came out for our last week we spent most of the time enjoying the black beaches regardless.
Spending Christmas away from home wasn’t easy (something which I may write a full post on in the future), however, if you are travelling I would recommend going somewhere completely different like Fiji as you gain a real sense of perspective. And, if nothing else, it’s very hard to feel too sad when you’re basically stood inside a beautiful postcard scene.
Oh, and when Fiji water is the cheapest that it is anywhere in the world- and I promise you that you really can taste the difference!
Until next time, Fiji…