Why to flee to Fiji

a

 


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Comments are closed.

Tourism

Game of Thrones studio tour and To Be Irish programme launched by Tourism Ireland

Remember when everyone in your office wouldn’t shut up about Game of Thrones? Best not show them this news, or the fanfare may return.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas CEO airs doubts about Bonza’s ability to service new routes

by James Harrison

The battle of the airlines begins before Bonza has even put a plane in the air. We can’t wait to see what happens after lift-off.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin Australia launch three new Gold Coast flights, restart Sydney to Canberra service

The new flight announcements have made everyone pretty excited, especially teenagers going to schoolies and adults going as toolies .

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“Different doesn’t have to be worse”: Flight Centre’s Renos Rologas talks post-pandemic travel

This FCM heavyweight reckons having a travel expert at the end of the phone will be “like gold dust” for those navigating the new travel landscape.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Silversea announces famil winners for its champagne incentive, appoints new SVP for sales

Knowing that selling cruises can score you free bottles of champagne AND overseas trips has got our editorial team seriously reconsidering our respective career pathways.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid amps up active offering with Europe walking collection and its biggest US offering yet

The tour operator’s latest collections target those who spent lockdown binge-watching Yoga with Adriene instead of Squid Game like the rest of us.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Man charged for $5000 quarantine hotel rampage in Tassie

Hotel quarantine can be tough, but this guy took cabin fever to the extreme in a truly unforgettable holiday.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie appointed as chair of TRAVLR

Michelle Guthrie will take the reigns as the new chair of the board at TRAVLR, alongside advisor and investor, Matt Berriman as the role of non-executive director.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean reveal four cruise ships headed to Alaska in mid-2023

Get your diary out for this huge series of cruises coming mid-2023.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Queensland to reopen to all of Australia from Monday

Palaszczuk finally announces the date Queensland borders will reopen for fully vaccinated travellers from interstate hotspots, and what changes they can expect.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Fiji Airways debuts new in-flight experiences for holiday-seeking Aussies

Passengers travelling with the tropical paradise’s national carrier can (literally) rest assured they’re being taken care of with its new economy sleeper option.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Historic Melbourne hotel gets multi-million dollar makeover

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne has had a modern makeover that pays homage to its turn-of-the-century origins.  

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Why to flee to Fiji

"Bula!" You hear all manner of this greeting in Fiji. Sometimes it's soft, jovial and sing-song. Other times it's deep and throaty, more like a war cry of the Kiwi haka ilk. Sometimes it's a yell with guttural vowels dragged out to sound like "boo!" and I have to admit that it made me jump more than once. But then, I would be jumpy. I've got two nights to test just how much you can fit in on a short break to this island destination.

Despite the variations in delivery, bula is always startlingly enthusiastic. It's also versatile – the salutation can be used when chinking drinks as a local version of cheers. The ideal beverage for this exuberant greeting is kava, the Fijian drink made from the eponymous plant root that can be both ceremonial and casual. On the way from Nadi airport to the Intercontinental Fiji Golf and Spa Resort my driver explains that dear Queen Liz hasn't been to Fiji since 1990 – apparently she's still recovering from her kava session.

That's the first of a few tall stories I hear on this trip. Most Fijians above all want to laugh and make you laugh with them. To start my first day, I take a cave tour to Navo Island, which is an Intercontinental "in the know" experience. Our guide tells us that this island is renowned for one word: yes. If your girlfriend or boyfriend says no to your marriage proposal, a fool-proof yes will come from bringing them to this island. It's that beautiful. I'd suggest giving up at the first refusal, but perhaps that's because I'm not Fijian. They have a knack for optimism here.

While purists may argue against that a resort stay is not the real Fiji, I would argue that the two dovetail. At the Intercontinental Fiji a village next to the sprawling property is a chance to engage with local Fijians who come out of their homes to greet you. The Intercontinental employs local community members which is why we can stroll through the village – our guide knows the villagers. The hotel takes its design cues from local tradition, with the lay-out of the property based on a Fijian village which has a central focus. In the InterContinental's case, the centre is two blindingly blue swimming pools. There's one for the kids which is floatables-filled and one for the adults with an infinity edge that overlooks the beach beyond.

That stretch of beach is regarded as the best on the island, with alabaster sand and subtle waves perfect for paddling out at any orientation – feet or belly flat. For hard core surfers, there is a reef break beyond that draws the experts. For the rest of us, the white border of waves around the reef adds character to the oceanscape. You can be sure that in two days that view will have imprinted on both your memory and your camera's memory card.

For another infinity edge, the Club pool is recommended. It allows you to cut to the chase of the holiday and get to the best bits as soon as you arrive. The service at Club Intercontinental is lavish. Nothing is too much trouble. Come after 3:30pm and a three tiered high tea is complimentary. Stay on later and this time the cocktails are complimentary – the perfect tonic with a Fijian sunset.

The outdoor furniture comes from cutting edge designers Dedon, who recently opened their own island property in the Philippines, such is the synergy between their designs and an island landscape. At the Intercontinental, crescent wicker loungers and seats shaped like deflated balls are comfortable and chic. The showpiece of the hotel's design is found at the Club pool with six teardrop shaped capsules serving as discreet sun loungers. The wicker weave is the perfect filter for breeze and sunlight.

The furniture isn't the only designer element. On our morning cave tour we splatter through gin clear ocean below rock overhangs to reach Navo Island and find a black and white banded sea snake. Now I'm no fan of snakes, but this one was seriously good-looking in its symmetrical monochrome skin. The Chanel of the sea snake world, shall we say. Just as dazzling is the nightly fire show, which sees local dancers twirl, shimmy and spin kerosene soaked ropes of flame. It's quite the spectacle to enjoy over a paper-umbrella cocktail.

After that cocktail, you'll be needing dinner. Keep the day in theme with dinner at Navo restaurant, the name inspired by the island cave tour you took earlier in the day. I order local dish kokoda; crayfish marinated in lime juice and served in a tangy coconut milk soup. Overall the taste is that of a deconstructed tartare sauce. For mains, it has to be mahi-mahi,a thick slab of fish steak. As a side, try ota, a fern grown inland on Fiji's islands. And yes, it turns out even fern branches taste good when swimming in coconut milk.

In two days I've had meals so distinct that my taste buds have developed nostalgia. I've seen cutting edge design in furniture and sea snakes. I've laughed with every local I have met, particularly a flamboyant flamethrower covered in kerosene. In the final few hours, I have a massage and walk out slathered in virgin coconut oil. A man at the Intercontinental Fiji gate yells "Bula" as we depart and this time I don't jump – a sure sign of short break success.


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Comments are closed.

Tourism

Game of Thrones studio tour and To Be Irish programme launched by Tourism Ireland

Remember when everyone in your office wouldn’t shut up about Game of Thrones? Best not show them this news, or the fanfare may return.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas CEO airs doubts about Bonza’s ability to service new routes

by James Harrison

The battle of the airlines begins before Bonza has even put a plane in the air. We can’t wait to see what happens after lift-off.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin Australia launch three new Gold Coast flights, restart Sydney to Canberra service

The new flight announcements have made everyone pretty excited, especially teenagers going to schoolies and adults going as toolies .

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“Different doesn’t have to be worse”: Flight Centre’s Renos Rologas talks post-pandemic travel

This FCM heavyweight reckons having a travel expert at the end of the phone will be “like gold dust” for those navigating the new travel landscape.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Silversea announces famil winners for its champagne incentive, appoints new SVP for sales

Knowing that selling cruises can score you free bottles of champagne AND overseas trips has got our editorial team seriously reconsidering our respective career pathways.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid amps up active offering with Europe walking collection and its biggest US offering yet

The tour operator’s latest collections target those who spent lockdown binge-watching Yoga with Adriene instead of Squid Game like the rest of us.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Man charged for $5000 quarantine hotel rampage in Tassie

Hotel quarantine can be tough, but this guy took cabin fever to the extreme in a truly unforgettable holiday.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie appointed as chair of TRAVLR

Michelle Guthrie will take the reigns as the new chair of the board at TRAVLR, alongside advisor and investor, Matt Berriman as the role of non-executive director.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean reveal four cruise ships headed to Alaska in mid-2023

Get your diary out for this huge series of cruises coming mid-2023.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Queensland to reopen to all of Australia from Monday

Palaszczuk finally announces the date Queensland borders will reopen for fully vaccinated travellers from interstate hotspots, and what changes they can expect.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Fiji Airways debuts new in-flight experiences for holiday-seeking Aussies

Passengers travelling with the tropical paradise’s national carrier can (literally) rest assured they’re being taken care of with its new economy sleeper option.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Historic Melbourne hotel gets multi-million dollar makeover

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne has had a modern makeover that pays homage to its turn-of-the-century origins.  

Share

CommentComments