Fiji: The Best and Worst

Total Days: 11

Total Days it Didn’t Rain: 3 (It wasn’t even rainy season, I just really need to work on this.)

Amount Spent: Since we were guests of Fiji Tourism I won’t do a budget breakdown on this one. From what I’ve found it’s possible to travel Fiji as everything from a five star luxury connoisseur to a budget backpacker.

Places Visited: Nadi, Castaway Island (in the Yamanucas island chain), Savusavu, the Coral Coast.

welcome drinks

Biggest Misconception: That Fiji is only a luxury honeymoon destination. While it’s certainly perfect for that, there are a lot of great activities and accessible accommodations for all budget types.

Coolest Discovery: That Fiji is a really eco-conscious place. The government and a lot of the major tourist businesses put a strong emphasis on sustainability, which I really appreciate and appluad.

Favorite Food: Fiji has a lot of really interesting local food. I was a big fan of the duruka (Fijian Asparagus), which for the life of me I can’t seem to locate a picture of. It’s a white fibrous veggie that is often cooked in coconut cream.

Least Favorite Food: There wasn’t anything I hated in Fiji, actually the food in general was surprisingly good! Not sure I’ll be mixing up a big bowl of kava at home anytime soon though.

Favorite Place: Castaway Island in the Yamanucas, which we visited on our first day was a shining paradise. Pretty much the exacty definition of a tropical island. If the Yasawas look anything like that they must be amazing.

Least Favorite Place: Nadi itself is pretty bland. Although it’s the transport hub of the country, I don’t see any reason to stay there unless you are in transit to somewhere else.

Most Annoying Thing: Our flight home was an absolute mess. In general I got frustrated with the slow pace of, well everything. They call it “fiji time” or “island time” and it’s supposed to be relaxing but as a city girl I just hate waiting.

Most Memorable Moment: Rafting through deep narrow canyons in the interior of the big island was breathtaking and something I’d recommend to anyone headed to Fiji. I also had on of those great “this is my life and it’s so amazing” moments while getting an absurdly luxurious hot stone massage at Outrigger Resort in a room that overlooked the entire Coral Coast.

Biggest Regret: I wish it hadn’t rained so much of course, but I always wish that. On my next trip I’d like to get out and explore more of the islands smaller islands and hopefully head out to the Yasawas which as supposed to be lovely.

I also regret not having enough money to buy some gorgeous fijian pearls. Sigh.


Best Advice: There were a lot of surprises in Fiji, but the biggest was the sheer variety of activities and budget options available in Fiji. A lot of people seem to think it’s to expensive or too faraway to enjoy as an independent traveler, but it turns out there are a lot of options. I think it would make a particularly nice stopover for anyone traveling to or from Australian and New Zealand.

Would I go Back: Absolutely, I was already half-planning our return trip as we traveled the country. Although we wouldn’t be able to travel in half the luxury we did as guests of Tourism Fiji, I would feel truly privileged just to hang out on a beach here. In the sun, hopefully.

Have you been to Fiji? What were your impressions?


A special thanks to Tourism Fiji for inviting us to Fiji and covering our stay. All opinions are my own.

21 Responses to Fiji: The Best and Worst

  1. Andrea June 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM #

    It sounds divine, I hope I can make it there someday! 🙂 I also seem to have the luck of bringing the rain with me wherever I go…

  2. Chrystal McKay June 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM #

    Fiji will continue to be that dream destination far far away in the middle of the Ocean. Hopefully I’ll arrive in the next 10 years – I’ll be moving within range next year when I move to Australia!! We’ll see what happens!

  3. Camels & Chocolate June 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM #

    The only place I’ve visited in the South Pacific is the Cook Islands, and the food (tropical fruits aside) wasn’t great, so I’m glad Fiji is different in that respect!

  4. Taylor June 24, 2012 at 5:26 PM #

    Simply gorgeous pictures! I think your best moment in Fiji definitely sold me to plan a trip there sometime in the next year. I’m sorry it rained so much during your trip. I suppose you can’t control the weather. I wish you were able to post some pictures of the food you ate there. It sounds lovely!

    • Steph June 25, 2012 at 8:28 AM #

      Hi Taylor, I have an earlier post all about Fijian food- take a look back in the archives!

  5. Beverley | Pack Your Passport June 24, 2012 at 11:07 PM #

    Steph Fiji looks awesome! A few of our friends have been to Fiji in the past few weeks and all I’ve heard is great things 🙂 We’ve heard it’s Manta Ray season between May and October so when we leave NZ next June (2013) we’re thinking off popping over to Fiji to do some snorkeling there.

    Glad you had fun, pity about the rain!

  6. alexis June 26, 2012 at 3:09 PM #

    Fiji sounds amazing! Great photos! Did you ever find out when it rains the least in Fiji? We’re going to the Philippines in September, and it will be rainy season. I’m hoping we get lucky!

    “This is my life and it is awesome” moments are always great!

  7. Alex June 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM #

    Loved your insight on these islands! I stayed at an Outrigger resort in Koh Samui with my family this Christmas…. it is nice to have a taste of luxury every once in a while 🙂

  8. Morti June 28, 2012 at 7:40 AM #

    Loved these islands….romantic places

  9. Candace June 29, 2012 at 12:45 AM #

    Great round-up of your time in Fiji, Stephanie! You’re exactly right about it making a good stopover – on my way to New Zealand a few years ago, I broke my flight up with three days in Fiji. Although I was only based in Nadi the whole time, I was still able to get out and explore a bit – an island day trip, hiking trip to a village and waterfalls, etc. And yes – it’s definitely friendly for budget travel! Nadi has heaps of hostels, some of them right on the beach. Glad you had a good time 🙂

    • Steph July 1, 2012 at 10:52 PM #

      That’s great to know you can still have a good trip just out of Nadi.

  10. Rease July 1, 2012 at 11:12 PM #

    I’m glad you were able to enjoy yourself despite the rain. It looks like a gorgeous place. I read your post about the food too, so overall it seems like a win!

  11. Vacay Girl July 7, 2012 at 9:48 AM #

    That waterfall and rafting route looked beautiful. Fiji has always been one of these bucket list travel places that I’ve wanted to go but I have always thought it was too expensive to go to. I will have to look into it. I guess if I never look into it I’ll never know.

  12. Tima August 25, 2012 at 7:01 AM #

    Sweetie it’s pronounce as ” MAH MAH NOO THE”. ( mamanuca,in Fijian ). Not Yamanuca.

  13. Sandy Moffat September 28, 2012 at 11:40 PM #

    We loved Fiji so much we got married there and are planning an anniversary trip! Like any holiday – it’s only ever as good as you make it 🙂

  14. Ally November 19, 2012 at 1:40 AM #

    I havent been but it looks beautiful in your photos

  15. quality inn & suites orlando September 4, 2013 at 12:28 AM #

    I have been there twice and Fiji is like paradise for me on earth even i would love to live there for life time.

  16. Mason May 15, 2015 at 10:10 PM #

    It’s so awesomely awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Cook October 16, 2015 at 10:58 PM #

    Well I’m traveling in Fiji and I hate everything about it. The weather is pathetic. It always rains here. The towns and cities are backward. They look like failed British projects. Transportation is hopeless – no timing, no safety and no concern for anything. Health care is garbage – very few specialists. Services are poor. The people are the worst. Native Fijians are the worst people I’ve ever met. They’re stupid, they’re thieves, they’re primitive and they’re racists. They simply do not accept any other ethnicity or religion apart from their own. If you’re not one of them, then they’ll be out to rob you. If they’re not out to rob you then they’ll make statements at at you at every chance they get about you being well-off and them being poor and they’ll make you feel guilty and try to make you hand over everything you’ve got. Every new location you go to, the so-called poor natives will demand money from you. They are the ones who own the entire country but still they’re poor. How pathetic is that? Gay rights don’t exist here but only on paper. Homosexuals are bashed and raped daily. Anyone who is not a native Fijian but of different ethnicity, yet still a citizen, is seen as an invader and told to leave whenever the chance arises. Atheists are not excepted either. I’ll be better off spending my money in Hawaii. I’ll never come to Fiji again. Here is the real paradise called Fiji:

    • Steph October 23, 2015 at 12:52 PM #

      Calling an entire nationality stupid, primitive and a racist in the same sentence is a fabulous piece of mental gymnastics.

  18. Pness January 15, 2017 at 5:46 PM #

    I love to visit Fiji, I need help

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