By Lauren Tennant, University of New South Wales, Australia
Fiji has always been high up on my bucket list and due to its remote location, getting there from the UK feels near impossible ( and $$$! ). However, we spotted $400 return flights (around £215) from Sydney to Nadi and very last-minute decided to plan the dream trip. Having spoken to multiple people that had done a similar trip, I have a few tips to help you when budgeting and booking for Fiji.
- Fiji Culture – The Fijian people are some of the most friendly and welcoming people I have ever met. When arriving at accommodation, we were always greeted by a song and ‘Bula!’ and made to feel at home. I really recommend speaking and getting to know the staff as much as possible and visiting their villages through organised visits, as their culture and traditions are truly beautiful. ‘Bula’ can be used for most things, from hello, to goodbye, to well done. ‘Vinaka’ is the word for thank you in Fiji.
- Nadi – Use Nadi as a base when you land and before you return home rather than staying here for the duration of your stay. Our favourite bits were the islands and most people that stay on Nadi tend to do daily trips to these.
- Yasawas – Our trip was spent on the Yasawa Islands, of which we stayed at 4 of them. These were your stock image ‘paradise’ views and honestly more than we ever could’ve imagined. We stayed at Blue Lagoon, Octopus Resort, Barefoot Manta, and South Sea Island. The first two resorts were my favourite due to the facilities, service, and overall vibe. Barefoot Manta was similarly stunning, however we were sleeping in large ‘bures’ which were a bit louder during storms. However, this island is famous for its diving which is a great experience if this is something of interest. You can do day trips from here to Barefoot Kuata and snorkel with Bull Sharks, as well as of course Manta Rays.
- Awesome Adventures – our Fiji trip was completely booked through Awesome Adventures Fiji. They run the boats to all of the islands and are partnered with the resorts so it can all be booked together. I highly recommend seeing Fiji this way as we were able to see so much in just a week and it was all very organised. Within these bookings, it’s compulsory to pay for a meal package because most of the islands will just have the one resort on it. While this was around AUD$100 per day, this included all three meals and ranged from buffets to 6 course meals. This meant that once we were in Fiji, we had very little costs as food and accommodation had all been paid up front.
- Dorms and Dinners – Through our adventure pass we opted to stay in dorms. These were all really nice, often with towels provided and hibiscus flower decoration on arrival. The most crazy part about this, was that we were paying the cheapest option in the dorms, however we had access to all of the same food, facilities and activities as the people paying thousands of $ for private rooms and beachfront villas. You really are made to feel like royalty while being on a budget!!
If you are staying in Australia, I highly recommend visiting Fiji while you are living so close to it. Booking through Awesome Adventures meant it was possible to see and experience Fiji whilst being on a budget.