Pacific

18 Of The Best Things To Do In Fiji So You Can Live The Good Life On Island Time

By Alice Rich
18th May 2022

Girl snorkels over stunning purple coral.

The rumours are true—Fiji is back open for business and, let’s be honest, who couldn’t do with escaping to a tropical island after the last two-plus years of lockdown? Paradise is open and we're here for it. Those turquoise blue waters, white sandy beaches and spectacular sunsets are calling, you better book yourself a ticket, stat. 

Whether you’re after a romantic honeymoon and blissful relaxation, want to explore a whimsical underwater world or go on an epic adventure, or if you’d like to get amongst all things culture (or all of the above), Fiji’s got you. 

Here are the best things to do in Fiji.  

Get Your Bliss On

A woman walks along a beautiful beach at Vomo Fiji Resort. Bask On The Beaches

The best thing to do in Fiji might just be doing nothing at all. Fiji’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world so pack your towel and a good book and spend the day going back and forth between the ocean and your sun lounger. You're spoiled for choice but our favourite beaches for swimming and relaxing around are among the Yasawa Islands. Mantaray Island (one of the Yasawas) offers the added benefit of swimming with manta rays if you’re there between May and October (though they’re sometimes out as early as April and until November). Natadola Beach on Viti Levu is also a winner. 

A woman walks down a path through lush Fijian rainforest to a spa. Unwind With A Banana Leaf Massage

If you love a good massage, you'll definitely want to try the banana leaf massage during your stay. You'll be wrapped up in banana leaves and coated in a brown sugar and coconut oil concoction before being massaged from head to toe. Unexpected? Definitely. Relaxing? Absolutely. Fijian spas are well known for these, so you should be able to get one wherever you are, but the Rainforest Spa at Koro Sun Resort (on Vanua Levo) is widely regarded as the best, maybe because they let you pick your own banana leaves. 

An old school sign entrance to Sabeto Mud Pool Hot SpringGive Yourself A Mud Bath

If your budget doesn’t allow for banana leaf massages, head to Sabeto Hot Springs near Nadi and reap the benefits of a mud bath (which is said to be naturally beautifying, by the way). Once you've had enough mud for one day, you'll move through three pools, each cooler than the one before, to have a good rinse and gradually cool down. Finish with a boom boom massage for ultimate relaxation. 

Palm tree silhouettes stand against a burning orange sunset sky. Revel In The Most Gorgeous Sunsets Of Your Life

There’s something about sitting on the hull of a boat, champagne in hand and canapés at the ready, while the sun melts into the horizon. It’s the perfect way to end a perfect day in paradise. Nanuku Resort Fiji provides a gorgeous boutique sunset cruise experience, Captain Cook Cruises offers a sunset with a side of tropical buffet feast or go with Awesome Adventures Fiji to watch the sunset while floating in a rubber tube. 

Explore A Whimsical Underwater World 

Tropical yellow fish hang out around some coral in Fiji. Take The Plunge

If diving or snorkelling is your jam, you’re in luck. There are so many places to explore the underwater world of Fiji but the Coral Coast—also known as the adventure capital of Fiji—and Monoruki are two of the best for snorkelling. Taveuni’s Great White Wall is one of the best diving spots and, if you’re after an adrenaline rush, you can head to Beqa Lagoon or Vomo Island to feed or swim with the sharks. The Great Astrolabe Reef off Kadavu Island is also a diving and snorkelling hot spot.

Massive yellow catamaran cruising on turquoise Fijian waters. Spend A Cruisy Day On The Ocean

Pull up a beanbag and soak up that vitamin D as South Sea Sailing’s 78-foot Sabre catamaran gently sails you around the picturesque Mamanuca Islands. Enjoy a carefully curated day featuring snorkelling among curious, colourful fish and coral, a delectable dietary-friendly gourmet buffet lunch with complimentary beer and wine and a magical sand bar in the middle of the ocean to chill out on (where the bar arrives on a paddleboard). The Sabre even has a slide for ultimate ocean access—this is not a drill. 

A Marine Biologist helps some children plant coral onto cement ‘cookies’ at Nanuku Resort Fiji. Do Good, Plant Coral

Every year the world’s oceans get warmer and while that makes for a balmy ocean-bath experience it’s having a devastating effect on the wildlife within it causing massive problems like coral bleaching. When the water is too hot corals become stressed and expel the algae living in their tissues that they need to survive. Their stunning colours that we love are lost as they die and turn white. Bleaching matters because while you may have heard that the world’s forests form the lungs of our planet—providing the oxygen we need to survive—the ocean’s life actually contributes more. Basically, if the ocean dies, we do too. Bleaching isn’t a reversible process but coral planting is one way we can help to regenerate the ocean’s corals. It involves taking a clipping from a piece of resilient coral, like you would a rose bush in your garden, and planting it onto a clay ‘cookie’ which is then nurtured until it’s able to be transplanted onto a frame in the ocean. You can help by supporting coral planters to do their thing. Places like Nanuku Resort Fiji and Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji, among others, have coral planting programmes you can get involved in. 

Surf And SUP

Experienced surfers probably already know that Fiji is home to Cloudbreak on Namotu Island, one of the most challenging left-hand reef breaks in the world. If you’re not quite ready to tackle that, Swimming Pools—also on Namotu Island—or Tavarua Rights on nearby Tavarua Island are for you.  Swimming Pools also makes for a great SUP session, but you can also SUP almost anywhere in Fiji.

Go On An Epic Adventure

Take To The Sky

helicopter tour might not be cheap, but experiencing Fiji from above is pretty spectacular and YOLO, right? Scenic flights range from 10 minutes to an hour, or you can go all out and book a day trip which will have you transported to a luxury island via helicopter, a full day of relaxing and eating, finished off with a scenic ride home.

A woman summits Mt Vomo just in time to see a gorgeous sunset. Hike Through The Jungle Or Up A Mountain

Sweatily hiking through lush rainforest might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of a relaxing holiday in Fiji but we can’t recommend it enough. Putting in the hard yards and immersing in true Fijian jungle to a beautiful waterfall or summitting a local mountain is an utterly soulful experience not to be missed and one of the best things to do in Fiji. Just be sure to wear long pants to keep your legs protected from the long grass. Some hikes are open to the public, some are reserved especially for particular resorts so do your research before you go. Favourites include the Waisese Waterfall Indiana Jones-style hike from Nanuku Resort Fiji and Mt Vomo from Vomo Island Fiji.

A spectacular waterfall amidst the jungle on Taveuni, Fiji. Explore The Garden Island of Fiji

Taveuni has been dubbed Fiji's Garden Island it's not hard to see why. A third of the island is covered by Bouma National Heritage Park, a lush rainforest which is home to more hiking trails than one holidaymaker could ever need, incredible waterfalls and some epic flora and fauna. Tick the Lavena Coastal Walk—which begins on a secluded beach and ends under a waterfall—off your bucket list and thank us later. If you want to get off dry land, Taveuni is also home to world-class diving sites like the Great White Wall on the Rainbow Reef.

Baby mangroves planted in sand. Head For The River

You’d be forgiven for thinking Fiji is all about the ocean—there’s loads of fun to be had on its rivers too. Laze on a traditional wooden longboat, live your best life tubing or put your arms (and core) to the test with a kayak safari admiring the mangroves. And if you get especially inspired, you may like to assist in a mangrove nursery programme. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji and Nanuku Resort Fiji have great mangrove programmes. 

Immerse In All Things Culture

A group of Fijian warriors stand around a drum in the clubhouse at Nanuku Resort. Attend A Cultural Night

Fiji is stunning and there’s no doubt that the beaches, crystal clear water and luxury resorts contribute to the vibe but Fiji wouldn’t be Fiji without its people. It’s the people that give Fiji the heart that beats so strongly; it’s the people that make you feel truly welcome and there’s no better way to honour the community and their culture than by attending a cultural night. Fortunately, culture is woven into the very fabric of all good resorts in Fiji so chances are during your stay there’ll be one if not several opportunities to engage with, learn about, and immerse in this beautiful, warm-hearted culture during your stay. 

Drink Kava

For the uninitiated kava is an iconic Fiji plant and the drink—which is made from the plant’s roots—has a mild sedative effect, just in case you weren’t already relaxed enough. The best place to experience a kava ceremony is in one of the small villages although some resorts also offer this experience. You’ll sit in a circle on the floor as the village chief mixes the powder with water. When it’s ready to drink it will be poured into a bilo—a coconut shell bowl—and handed to the guests. Before accepting the bowl, you should clap once (a show of respect), then take the bowl, drink it in one mouthful, clap again and say bula (the literal translation of bula is life, but it’s used by the Fijians in a variety of ways). As you hand the bowl back, clap three times and everyone should join in. Rad. 

 A person finishes wrapping a fish in an intricate bamboo leaf in preparation for cooking in a traditional underground Fijian oven called a lovo. Eat A Lovo

Lovo refers both to the method of cooking and the meal itself, and you’ll want to add this to the top of your Fiji bucket list. Similar to the Māori hangi or the Samoan umu, it’s essentially slow cooking in an underground oven. Marinated meats, fish, vegetables and palusami (stuffed taro leaves) are wrapped in foil and placed over hot coals in the ground, then covered with banana leaves and hot rocks. The best place to try it is in one of the villages, but you’ll find it on menus all over and it is legit, delicious. 

A man cuts fresh vegetables and puts them in coconut shells in preparation for a Warrior Cooking Class at Nanuku Resort. Whip Up Culinary Delights At A Traditional Cooking Class

Eating a lovo is one thing but cooking up your own Fijian feast from scratch? That’s next level. It’s said Fijians hiking through the jungle will only take salt, pepper and a machete with them because there’s no need for packed lunch when the jungle provides. Attending a traditional cooking class will give you much more than the steps for creating a mouthwatering meal; your teacher will be sure to impart life-enriching wisdom about customs, cooking methods and the endless uses for coconut trees, with a lot of laughs along the way.

Do It All In Fiji

Island Hop 

When there are 333 islands to explore, it would be silly to spend all your time on just one. Get yourself a Bula Pass which gives you access to 27 islands in the Mamanucas and Yasawas. It lasts between five and 13 days, but you will need to book in advance even if you have the pass. You’ll also need to have accommodation booked on each island before you go, or you can just get the Awesome Pass which sorts all of that out for you. Easy.

Got your itinerary sorted? Our Fiji packing list will make travel prep a breeze. 

Image credit: Liam JB, Vomo Island Fiji, Koro Sun Resort, KatyD12345, Nanuku Resort Fiji, South Sea Sailing, South Sea Sailing, Nanuku Resort Fiji, supplied, supplied, Vomo Island Fiji, Tourism Fiji, Nanuku Resort Fiji, Nanuku Resort Fiji, supplied, Tourism Fiji, Nanuku Resort Fiji, supplied. 

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