Things to do in Fiji


Things to do in Fiji

When my friends and family heard that I was headed for Fiji, these were two reactions I got: “Are you going to Japan?” (Because I guess Fiji kinda sounds like Fuji) and “Fiji as in the motherland of Fiji Water?”

After having spent a week here, I can tell you that the real deal is miles away from Mount Fuji and Fiji has so much more to offer than atas bottled water. From abseiling down secret caves to experiencing a South Pacific ocean sunset while on a float, these are 9 experiences for everyone in the family or friend group to check off.


– Nanuya Balavu Island, Yasawa Islands –


Fiji Nanuya Balavu Island
Nanuya Balavu Island, Fiji. 

Can you really say you’ve been to Fiji if you don’t at least take a day trip to Fiji’s outer islands? 

To maximise the shiokness of your Fiji Trip, arranging an island-hopping cruise should defo be in your plans. After an incredibly scenic 2.5 hour ferry ride from Port Denarau in Viti Levu, we arrived at Nanuya Balavu Island which is located in Yasawa Islands.


1. Start your morning by swimming with Manta Rays


Chances are, each of the islands you visit in Fiji will have activities unique to the place. In our case, the luck of the draw had us swimming with freakin’ manta rays. This experience was straight out of a fever dream in which I was Moana. 

GIF swimming with Manta Rays

Here’s a Public Service Announcement: Manta rays and stingrays are two different animals. They may look the same but manta rays don’t have those venomous barbs in their tails. 

Every morning, experienced local divers are sent out to scout for manta ray sightings. A drum is sounded throughout the island when they come back bearing good news. The manta rays swim pretty close to the surface when they’re feeding on fish, so there’s no need for diving gear.

Snorkelling gear, flippers and an optional life vest will all be provided so all you really need to worry about is documenting all the incredible footage with your GoPro. For inexperienced snorkelers like myself, the most overwhelming part was the Mission Impossible-esque disembarkment from the boat. 

GIF swimming with Manta Rays

You have to be fast to see the elusive creatures and that means no time-wasting. When the guides say “Go! Go! Go!”, you go. For a virgin snorkelling experience, I really could not have asked for more. We “chased” manta rays for about 2 hours, but in the ocean, it felt like time had been suspended. 11/10 would do it again.

Price: $65 FJD (~S$41)/pax
Address: Manta Ray Island Resort, Nanuya Balavu Island, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
Telephone: +679 776 6351
Website


2. Get front-float seats to the South Pacific Ocean sunset


Tired of your sunset shot getting blocked by all the HDBs and other high-rise buildings? Come to Fiji and you’ll get an uninterrupted vista of the setting sun as you float on a tube that looks like a black sesame doughnut.

Things to do in Fiji South Pacific Ocean Sunset

This was one of those once in a lifetime experiences that all of us city-dwellers dream of. Just close your eyes and imagine, your skin bathed in the subtle warmth of the setting sun while a Fijian love song plays in the background. It was hard not to just fall asleep to the gentle rocking of the waves.

Things to do in Fiji Sunset
The experience lasted the whole duration of the sunset which amounts to about 45 minutes. 45 minutes of pure chill-out vibes where I could feel all the tension leaving my body.

The boat ride takes you to a secluded part of Nanuya Balavu Island that is about 10-minutes off the main beach. Thanks to the local know-how of the boatmen, you’ll be confronted with a front and centre view of the sunset.

You don’t need to be too kanchiong when booking this activity. The Sunset Tube cruise is organised daily, as and when the weather permits and as long as there’s a minimum headcount of 4 pax. All you gotta do is to approach the activity crew on the island and you’ll be sorted.

Price: FJD$45 (~S$28)
Address: Manta Ray Island Resort, Nanuya Balavu Island, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
Telephone: +679 776 6351


3. Walk the “private-access-only” back beaches of Fiji’s Yasawa Islands


The most “untouched” beach I’ve been to in Singapore is Punggol End Beach and it does not come anywhere close to the back beaches of Fiji’s islands. 

To get to these wallpaper-worthy beaches, you’ll need the help of a local guide who knows the dips and curves of the island. Lucky for us, the Manta Ray Island Resort offered this service completely free of charge. 

Things to do in Fiji Private beach

This 1.5-hour trek around the island made me feel like I was in the b-roll for Survivor. Other than our little trekking group, the only other humans we met were a bunch of locals having a private bonfire dinner by the beach. Talk about exclusive.

Things to do in Fiji Private beach
Spot me! 

These beaches are perfect for that quiet pocket of alone-time away from the other tourists on the island. Out of 10, I would personally rate the island trek a 3.5 in terms of difficulty. Just remember to bring shoes with a proper grip. While I struggled, our barefoot guide, Max, made the trek look like a walk in the park. Sian.

Address: Manta Ray Island Resort, Nanuya Balavu Island, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
Telephone: +679 776 6351


– Nadi, Viti Levu –


Like most people, I had the initial impression that Fiji was all beach and nothing else. Boy, was I proven wrong. One of the two largest islands in Fiji, Viti Levu is rich in those unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime moments. 


4. Embrace your inner Tarzan in the Fijian treetops


For the adrenaline junkies, Zip Fiji’s got you covered. After 16 zip-lines and 3 abseiling descents, even the most seasoned thrill-seeker will leave feeling satisfied. 

Things to do in Fiji zip line
At the longest zip line of the course, you’ll be sailing above treetops for 257 metres.

Now I’m not scared of heights, so the hardest part for this unfit city girl was climbing the 600 steps to get through the first few zip-lines. But trust me, the reward you get is worth it. You’ll be up so high that you’ll get a sprawling view of Nadi’s lowlands and the South Pacific Ocean.

Things to do in Fiji zipline
The super enthusiastic guys at Zipline Fiji made us feel so comfortable that even Zhin (who’s scared of heights btw) went on a zip-line UPSIDE DOWN.

At some point, you’ll also be abseiling into the dark abyss of a secret cave. As if there’s not enough excitement already, the other abseiling descent requires you to literally hang off a sheer cliff. Here’s a top tip to getting the full thrill: Just trust your belayer and you’ll be a-ok.

Zip Fiji is perfect for those looking to get their heart pumping. Just remember to wear sturdy shoes with a good grip and covered stretchy clothes because you’ll need to ninja warrior through tight and rocky corners at some point.

Price: FJD$236 (~S$156 SGD)/pax. Inclusive of round-trip hotel transfers for all hotels in the Nadi area.
Address: Tau, Nadi
Telephone: +679-672-6045, +679-930-0545
Website: http://www.zip-fiji.com/


5. Explore Nadi’s golden hills on horseback


If you thought this is the sort of horse riding where you’ll have a guide holding the reigns, you’re wrong. This is all you. None of us has ridden independently before but after a 45-minute horse safety briefing and lesson with our trekking guide, Kylie, we were all set and raring to go.

Things to do in Fiji horse riding
It’s like a scene straight out of Red Dead Redemption.

For S$50 each, you’ll be getting a horseback riding trek specially tailored to your experience level and views for days. Although the trek itself is about 2 hours long, it’s impossible to get bored simply because of the shifting scenery. One moment you’ll get a bird’s eye view of central Nadi and the next you’ll see a grove of pine trees.

Things to do in Fiji Horse riding
Me with my noble steed of the afternoon – a beautiful stallion called Lovey.

Things to do in Fiji horse riding

Completely underrated, getting to wander around in Nadi’s surrounding hillsides on horseback is a totally zen experience that even horse-riding beginners can thoroughly enjoy. Word of warning though, leaving the horse you’ve bonded with through the afternoon will probably be one of the hardest things you’ll have to do on your trip. 

Note: Prices are tailored according to duration and packages.

Price: FJD$80 (~S$50)/pax
Address: Rata-rata Heights, Nausori Highlands (8KM from Nadi Town Centre)
Getting here: Round trip hotel transfers can be arranged via email for about S$30.
Contact: +679 800 9623 (HP), kylie@totalwellnessfiji.com (Email for booking)


6. Treat yourself to an au naturale thermal mud spa


Just a 20-minute taxi ride away from Nadi’s town centre lies a hidden gem tucked away in the hills. The Sabeto Thermal Mud Pool and Hot Spring is the go-to destination after a long day of jam-packed activities.

Things to do in Fiji mud pool

The whole experience can be summarised in two words: Damn shiok. According to the locals, mud has super cleansing and soothing properties which can rejuvenate dull skin. You can even apply it to your hair. 

Things to do in Fiji mud spa

The next step is to head into a natural mud pool to wash off all the dried mud. After which you head to not one, but three natural thermal baths. You can bet that I soaked until my fingers and toes got all pruny.

Things to do in Fiji thermal bath

The baths are all heated by one natural hot spring in the vicinity that is filled with 80-degree water. It is from this spring that the water is channelled through pipes and cooled to a nice 35 – 45 degrees for normal human use. 

If you’re planning to head down, remember to wear a swimsuit and pack a towel plus a change of clothes because they do have showers for a final quick rinse through.

Things to do in Fiji thermal mud spa

Whether my skin actually felt smoother or it’s just the darned placebo effect, I can say for sure that the fresh mountain air and quiet surroundings were a welcome respite from the other high-energy adventures that Fiji has to offer.

Price: FJD $30 (~S$19 each)
Address: Sabeto Thermal Mud Pool and Hot Spring, Waloko Road, Sabeto, Fiji
Opening hours: 9 AM – 5 PM


7. Bike on an abandoned sugar cane train track


Located slightly further away from Nadi Town in Cuvu, Ecotrax is a biking tour that combines ecotourism with Fijian history and culture. Here’s the best part, you don’t even have to work up a sweat. The electric-bikes make exploring the Fijian country sides an easy breezy experience for everyone in the fam. 

Things to do in Fiji railway bike
Image credit: @ecotraxfiji

The route follows an abandoned railway track which was once used by the sugarcane industry. Today, tourism has taken over sugarcane as the backbone of Fiji’s economy. Throughout the 3-hour tour, riders get an intimate look at river crossings, rain forests, and open coastlines until they eventually reach Malo-Malo village.

Things to do in Fiji railway bike
Photo from Ecotrax Fiji Instagram

A well-deserved reward awaits riders as they make their way to the last stop of the tour, Vunabua Beach, where they have the option to either splash around and snorkel or just laze on the shore.

The Ecotrax tour is super popular so you should book your slots early, we’re talking at least 3 weeks in advance. 

Price: $149 FJD (~S$95)/pax~ for adults, $79 FJD (~S$50) for children 4 – 15 years
Address: Ecotrax Station, Cuvu, Viti Levu, Fiji
Telephone: +679 9770824
Tour timings: Mon – Sat 9.30AM & 1.30PM |
Website


8. Travel back in time at the Fiji Culture Village


When I heard that we were going to learn more about Fijian history, the history nerd in me was quaking. You can think of the Fiji Culture Village as an unconventional and immersive museum. 

Things to do in Fiji Culture Village

In the 2.5-hour long tour, we had to roleplay as visitors to a village stuck in a time before the British came to Fiji. A trip to this historical Fijian village covers an exclusive tour by an actual modern-day village chief and an exciting traditional Meke dance performance. 

This customary Fijian performance is made up of a few dances such as the graceful fan dance and a fierce war dance, all accompanied by the melodious voices of the performers.

Things to do in Fiji Meke dance
The Meke dance performers all decked out in their traditional gear.

Great for a family night out, Fiji Culture Village is the one-stop shop for those looking to scratch their heritage and culture itch. Not only did we get a VIP tour of the village, I also experienced the mouth-numbing sensation of Fiji’s customary drink, Kava, for the first time. Yummy. 

Price: $149 FJD (~S$102)/pax
Address: Navo, Nadi, Viti Levu, Fiji
Telephone: +679 6200116, +679 8044800

Getting here: Fiji Culture Village is a 15-minute drive from Nadi Airport. They provide complimentary round-trip transfers for hotels around the Nadi area.


9. Sample authentic Fijian dishes at Nadina Authentic Fijian Restaurant


Of course, no trip to a new country is complete without trying the local fare. Not many people can say that they’re familiar with Fijian food. If you wanna join the cool kids club and broaden your culinary horizon, head down to the quaint Nadina Authentic Fijian Restaurant

Things to do in Fiji Nadina Fujian restaurant

The dishes we ordered were more than enough for the 4 of us. Here’s what we got: The Kokoda ($40 FJD, ~S$25.20), Kuita Vakalolo ($40 FJD, ~S$25.20), Duck Curry ($35 FJD, ~S$22) and Sui ($32 FJD, S$20).

The crowd favourite was definitely the Kokoda. The dish is made of fresh raw fish that’s been marinated in a citrus juice, much like ceviche. The only difference is the extra ingredient of coconut cream.

Things to do in Fiji Nadina Fujian Restaurant

The Kuita Vakalolo (octopus cooked in coconut cream) and Sui (a subtle feel-good beef soup), were both served with rice and an array of Fijian carbs such as boiled cassava root and breadfruit. The total bill set us back about S$98 for 4 generously portioned dishes and some Fiji water.

Address: Building C, Shop R1 & R2, Denarau Island, Viti Levu, Fiji
Opening hours: 10AM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: +679 675 0290


Bonus: Masterchef it up with “home-style” Fijian grub at Flavors of Fiji


If simply tasting local food is not enough for you, Flavors of Fiji is where you can try your hand at cooking home-style dishes. The dishes we cooked were based on recipes that had been passed down from mother to daughter across generations. 

Things to do in Fiji Flavours of Fuji

I went to the class feeling nervous and expecting to be called an idiot sandwich, Hell’s Kitchen style. Turns out that my worries were unfounded because our two patient and encouraging chef senpais were nothing like Gordon Ramsay.

We cooked a total of 6 dishes, 3 of which were Fijian and the other 3 Indo-Fijian. For cooking noobs like me, don’t sweat it. The dishes were all manageable as long as you closely followed the instructions of head chefs. Out of all the dishes, the delectably sweet Vudi Vakasoso (a plantain and coconut cream dessert) was hands down my favourite dish.

Things to do in Fiji Flavours of Fuji
The 3 Indo-Fijian dishes that we cooked: Pumpkin curry, chicken curry and some roti. Fun fact! You can find Indian food pretty much everywhere in Fiji because of the large ethnic Indian population.

This activity is perfect for the adventurous foodies out there who are always down to try new and unknown dishes. As a bonus, you’ll also get to visit a Fijian market and learn about their local produce. At the end of the class, you’ll even get a certificate as proof of your cheffy skills.

Price: $190FJD (~S$128)/pax. Includes free round trip transfer.
Address: Denarau Industrial Park, 5, Denarau Island, Fiji
Telephone: +679 6750 840

Unlock your adventurous side in Fiji


Things to do in Fiji

Fiji is not just an obscure romantic beach destination where newlyweds go for their honeymoon. Made up of a whopping 333 islands, there’s just so much for you to see and do. 

The variety of activities and experiences that Fiji has to offer makes it an ideal getaway for a group of friends looking for some fun or even for that family bonding holiday. More than that, you’ll be floored by the friendly hospitality of the locals. 

I’m not going to reveal any more spoilers, now it’s up to you to uncover the rest. So the next time you’re feeling the travel itch, ditch the conventional and put a pushpin on Fiji instead. 

Find out more and plan your next trip to Fiji


This post was brought to you by Tourism Fiji
Photography by Alison Tan.