Bula & hello from Fiji! I recently spent six days in Fiji and had the best time! Fiji consists of over 300 islands, some so small that they are uninhabited. We stayed on the main island, near Nadi International Airport, because this area is cheap, has plenty to do, and is within easy access to the surrounding islands. Check out my backpacker’s guide to visiting Fiji for more tips!
Where we stayed
After looking into accommodation options and realizing that most hotels in Fiji are luxury resorts, we opted for a more student-friendly option and stayed at Bamboo Backpackers Beach hostel. The hostel had a restaurant, bar, beach, pool, excursions desk, and air conditioned rooms, and only cost us about $15 USD per night! If any of you plan on studying abroad in Australia and want to visit Fiji, I recommend staying here!
Visiting Malamala island
The flight from Sydney to Nadi was about four hours long. We landed on a Tuesday and spent our first day exploring the hostel and local beach. Our second day in Fiji was spent on Malamala, a private island and beach resort! We took a 30 minute boat ride from our hostel to the island and spent the day relaxing on the white sand and in the crystal clear water. Our package included a food and drink voucher and access to the infinity pool, paddle boards, kayaks, and snorkel equipment. There was also a dock that we could jump from! We had so much fun at Malamala and the views of the surrounding islands were jaw-dropping; it was definitely one of my favorite days yet!
Visiting a local village & waterfall
We spent Thursday, February 21st exploring the southern coast of Viti Levu! We drove three hours from Nadi down to the village of Sigatoka where we were welcomed by a traditional Kava ceremony (Fiji’s most popular local drink). After the welcoming we visited a local preschool and got to meet the children, who showed off their English skills by singing some fun songs for us!
We left the village and were guided by a local through the rainforest to a nearby waterfall. We hiked for about an hour and had to cross NINE streams! Each time, we had to take our shoes off and look out for eels! As we were cooling off in the waterfall it started to rain, but since we were in the rainforest, it passed pretty quickly. We hiked back to the village, said our goodbyes, and made our way back up the coast. We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant before arriving at Natadola beach. This beach was AMAZING! We were some of the only people there and the ocean felt like bath water. I can see why this beach is known as one of the most beautiful in the world! After a full day we returned to our hostel and went out to dinner at a nearby Japanese restaurant.
Spending the day on Cloud 9
We spent Friday on Cloud 9! Cloud 9 is a floating bar and restaurant about an hour off the coast of Nadi. I first heard of it a few years ago and have had photos of it pinned to my Pinterest boards ever since. Booking a ticket to visit here was not only a Fijian must, it was a dream come true! Our tickets for Cloud 9 included a food and drink voucher- drinks were very expensive so it didn’t cover much, but the brick-oven pizzas were incredible! From the top deck, we were able to see fish and reef sharks swimming in the clear water below. We spent the afternoon swimming and jumping off the top deck, and later on, enjoyed a sunset cruise back to the marina.
Enjoying traditional Fijian mud baths
Saturday was our last full day in Fiji. We booked another full-day excursion through the hostel’s excursion desk that included activities, lunch, and a driver all for about $50 USD!
Today we visited the Garden of the Sleeping Giant botanical gardens and mud baths. This was my first mud bath experience, and certainly won’t be my last! We began by applying mud all over our bodies (hair included) and walking around until it dried. Once it dried it became hard to move without cracking so we went into the first pool. The pool was steaming from natural hot springs and was full of mud up to our knees! It was a terrible feeling to walk in at first but became oddly relaxing as time went on. It was like sitting in a tub of hot clay, except that this clay clears your skin, heals sunburns, and even helps cure arthritis! Once we washed all the dried mud off we went to two other hot springs. By the end, my skin felt brand new. It was SO soft and any inflammation or redness was gone. Goodbye lotion, hello Fijian mud. If only I could bring some home!
We spent our last night in Fiji eating at the hostel’s restaurant and enjoying a sunset over the Pacific. Sunday morning we got up early to fly back to Sydney and rest after a long, full week!
Fiji is a place that I had always dreamed of visiting, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that I actually would. Bula Fiji for a week of serenity and adventure. Hopefully I’ll be back.