I flew from Auckland to Nadi, Fiji with Fiji Airways and the flight took around 3 hours. They also run in the same time zone as New Zealand so thankfully I didn’t have to worry about mixing up my hours (As has happened in the past!).
I had arranged a shuttle from my hostel to come pick me up and sure enough they were there when I arrived. The hostel I stayed at was Bamboo Backpackers which is just about 10-15 minutes from the airport. The hostel is based right on the beach, has a pool, snooker table, bar, restaurant and lounge area. It’s a really social place where they have kava sessions every evening with live music. Kava is a root that they kind of stew as a cold tea. It’s delved out of a bowl and in this case 1 cup for everyone. It doesn’t have any alcohol in it but it will completely relax you and help you sleep. The taste has gotten mixed reviews but what the only way I can describe it is mud mixed with green tea!
On my first day, I went down to breakfast and got chatting to a couple of people who were staying at the hostel. 3 of us decided to head off for the day to see about some adventuring. Myself, Blake and Oscar heard of these mud pools so decided to head over there. You can organise a trip through the hostel but this could cost just under $90 Fiji dollars. So we got a cab to the bus terminal (F$10, 10 mins) and a bus towards the mud pools (F$1.90, 45 mins). The mud pools were completely different to what I’d imagined. First off, the place is nestled in between valleys and the pools are all heated from underground springs. The place (not to sound corny) was actually magical. When we arrived they offered us lunch at a really good price (F$8 for chicken curry and F$2 for these potatoe things). The entrance fee was F$20 and you can stay as long as you like. You can also rent a towel for F$5.
After some grub we covered ourselves in mud and and let it set in. We spent the next two hours going from bath to bath (5 in total) until squeaky clean. It was like being out at a spa for the day! We all really enjoyed this and I would highly recommend heading out there for an evening. The local bus picks you up outside of the mud pools and the last one is at 4:30pm.
If you’re looking for some time in paradise, you NEED to go to Beachcomber Island. You can do day trips or stay for a couple of nights but there is a compulsory meal plan that you need to pay for. Myself and Blake went out for a day trip and the bundle cost F$155. This includes transport, lunch, tea and snorkeling. We were picked up at 7:15am from our hostel and brought to Anchorage where we got our transfer over. The boat ride took about 45 mimutes to get over there. You should have seen our faces when we were pulling up. White sand beaches with crystal clear water surrounding a tiny island that you can walk around in 10 minutes (if you take your time!). Need I say anymore??
We met two of the lads, Dan and Dave, who we’d met the morning before and spent the day snorkeling (best to date), swimming, eating and were even treated to a traditional Polynesian dance and fire snow. I could have stayed forever! The staff was super there and the company was great, how could you go wrong?! After saying goodbye to Dan and Dave we got our boat back to Nadi at 4pm.
Back in Nadi…
When we got back to the main land, we made a plan to head in to town for some dinner with another girl from our hostel, Trish. Now, what we didn’t realise is that there is actually nothing open really after 7pm. We did find a pizza place though (Mamas) where we got something to eat.
On our last day in Nadi, myself and Blake went in search of these sand dunes that he had heard of. To get to the sand dunes we got a bus from the station out towards Suva to a town called Sigatoka (F$5.80, 1hr). When we got off we found that there was a huge market place where you can buy all types of trinkets, hand made jewelry, fruit and veg. After a nose around, we both another bus out to the sand dunes (F$0.70, 15 mins). We were dropped off right outside the door of the sand dunes which turned out to be a little more than I’d expected. It’s a national park where you can go on one of two hikes through forests, fields and sand dunes. We paid the entrance fee (F$10), got our briefing from the guy at the desk (really helpful and friendly) and set off on our way.
The trek was beautiful where it started off with a short walk through the forest and up a small hill. From here it breaks out to a gorgeous view point of the beach and surrounding mountains. We carried on and got to the actual sand dunes which were HOT! We took a few snaps and continued on through a beautiful green, lush passageway which led in to another forest. We completed the trek in about 45minutes. It was for sure a great decision to make the journey out here as the combination of mixed terrain, animal sounds and weather added to a brilliant experience.
* More to come on Fiji…