Backpacking in Fiji: Dune boarding, river safaris and boutique cruising
Sweating over your final exams dreaming of being somewhere hot and sunny? There are a whole host of amazing places to explore and exciting adventures to be had in Fiji that will make your gap year something to remember.
A tropical island paradise in the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji has so much more to offer than beautiful beaches. That’s not to say the beaches aren’t beautiful - imagine the ultimate Robinson Crusoe island and that is what you will find in Fiji. There are islands for solitude, islands for partying, fantastic diving amongst world class soft coral reefs and surfing that’s so good that surf champion Kelly Slater tips it as “ home of my favourite waves and favourite people”.
But Fiji is also steeped in culture and tradition. The tribal system still exists and there are some fascinating customs (fire walking anyone) legends and a history that takes in cannibalism!
Fiji is one of the best surf destinations in the world with its beautiful beaches and stunning reefs. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, there is something for everyone. Take a surfing lesson or surf with the big boys at some Fiji’s famous reef breaks – Cloudbreaks, Restaurants and Tavarua Rights.
And if that’s not enough you can try dune boarding, zip lining, jet ski safaris, game fishing, splash packer cruising, parasailing, wakeboarding, hobie cat sailing, rainforest treks, mud baths, cave tours, kayaking and white water rafting down rapids on the Sigatoka river.
You can tread the well-worn backpacker track with a whole host of amazing experiences, or travel truly off the beaten track to places such as the Lao group of islands that rarely see tourists and have a truly undiscovered beauty – but you will need permission from the chief before visiting!
As for the Fijians themselves – they are laid back (Fiji-time!) and super friendly. More than anything else it is the people who will make you want to come back to Fiji time and time again.
New for 2012:
Explore Fiji’s Blue Lagoon caves (made famous in the Brook Shield’s teen movie of the same name) on a boutique cruise through the Yasawa Islands withFiji’s newest boutique cruise line, the Yasawa Legend - legendcruisesfiji.com
Experience village life, magic waterfalls and bamboo rafting on a Jewel of Fiji day tour from Discover Fiji. They also offer Great Adventure Day Tours, which include highland 4WD treks, rafting and long break exhilarating rides. Tours available for 1 – 4 nights - discoverfijitours.com
Adrenalin Fiji, Fiji’s No.1 action and adventure company, offer great adventure experiences including jet boat rides, scuba diving, game fishing and cruising - adrenalinfiji.com.
Feejee Experience offer the chance to get right to the heart of Fiji, taking you to unique spots on the main island of Viti Levu, remote villages where you are often the only traveller for miles around. They also offer a great selection of budget beach resorts and activities such as shark diving in Pacific Harbour and the change to live with the locals at Wailotua Village - feejeeexperience.com
Awesome Adventures offer backpacker packages, which include transfers, accomodation, meals and activities. Packages range from 3 to 12 days. If you prefer to do your own thing, their “Bula Pass” gives you 7, 14 or 21 days of island hopping through the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Their “Bula Combo Pass” allows you to pre-pay island accommodation and then choose where you stay as you go along. A perfect Gap Year present from the bank of mum and dad!
For more information on backpacking in Fiji, visit fijime.com/backpackme/
Affordable access to Fiji has never been better. It is just a quick hop over from New Zealand (Air New Zealand/Air Pacific) or the three gateways in Australia (with Jet Star/Virgin Blue) – near enough for a weekend break!
You can also get to Fiji on a round the world tickets via Hong Kong (with British Airways, & Quantas connecting to Cathay Pacific or Korean Air) or LA (Air New Zealand connecting to Air Pacific) or Korean Air.