HomeCasualLow-tourism Fiji ... you had me on the first Bula!

Low-tourism Fiji … you had me on the first Bula!

Oh Fiji. You had me on the first Bula! It was a love affair I didn’t see coming, a kind of sucker punch moments in life that takes your breath away however on the identical time immediately calms you.

I’m going to be trustworthy right here, Fiji was not on my vacation spot radar. I believed it was the stuff of younger households’ or beloved up honeymooners’ goals. The previous as a result of there are such a lot of resorts geared as much as give each the youngsters and the mother and father a break; the latter as a result of there are such a lot of resorts that exclude youngsters altogether. 

However then the pandemic occurred. So many people booked journey pondering it might be a six-week factor. HAH. Who’s laughing now? Because the world opened, like many, we scrambled to make use of flight credit earlier than they disappeared. 

We smugly thought these Japan flight credit have been going to see us swishing down the slopes of Cardrona and the Remarkables in Queenstown, New Zealand this July, besides our flights booked final October grew to become null and void when Virgin pressed pause on NZ flights.

Discovering this out – not from our journey agent GAH – however one among my followers in March was not best when attempting to fly in class holidays however PIVOT we did. And in Fiji we did land.

The universe certainly works in mysterious methods. My husband and I caught the dreaded virus within the month earlier than flying and I had damaged my wrist six months’ earlier. Perhaps lacking out on a snowboarding/snowboarding vacation was a win? The post-COVID fatigue is actual. So, touchdown someplace that’s extremely chilled with a better than doubtless likelihood to decompress was simply what we didn’t know we wanted. And after 2.5 years of holding my breath whereas operating a small enterprise, I didn’t realise simply how a lot I wanted to, nicely, breathe. 

And breathe I did. I breathed within the salty, sea breeze, the scent of coconuts and bougainvillea and the spice of tandoori at dinner. I listened to the waves lapping onto the shore, the birds gently waking me up at silly o’clock (as a result of why can’t you sleep in if you aren’t on a schedule?!). 

I took in each color from the azure water, to neon fish, cobalt blue sea stars, pink hibiscus flowers, deep inexperienced volcanic mountains, golden seashores, magical late afternoon rainbows and wealthy, vivid sunsets of pink, orange and yellow.

However greater than what I breathed, heard and noticed, it was the individuals which left the lasting imprint on my vacation way of thinking (as everybody had informed me they’d). Bula means hiya and extra – I want you life. Fijians say it with coronary heart. It’s infectious and labored like an hourly mantra throughout our 11 nights on this a part of the world. Bula is usually rolled off the tongue with vinaka (vinaka – or naka for brief means thank-you). Collectively, bula vinaka underlines the intention of wishing an individual life and good well being.

I didn’t expertise one incidence of impatience, removed from it. Each encounter got here with a smile – from the arrival customs officer by way of to the great girls who sorted us in our Airbnb within the north of the island. 

Locals would possibly joke about “Fiji time” – that schedules are a free assemble – however possibly it’s what many people have to embrace once in a while. It’s not all the time sensible and doable to droop with the timetable and calendar alerts however possibly once we can, we should always not less than strive?

Low-tourism Fiji itinerary | Nikki Parkinson Styling You

Our low-tourism Fiji July 2022 itinerary

We weren’t a typical group on the lookout for a Fiji vacation – not falling into the aforementioned younger household and {couples} demographic. We have been travelling with our virtually 17YO son and 25YO daughter (additionally cashing in flight credit earlier than they disappeared).

That’s three rooms and within the captive market that could be a resort rapidly eats into the journey price range. We had beforehand booked (through Airbnb) a three-bedroom townhouse in Queenstown for the ski journey, so utilizing that price range (which we have been refunded), I set about discovering an lodging combine that might match that very same price range – or not less than come shut.

On the time of reserving and writing, it was additionally obligatory for guests to Fiji to be double vaccinated and have a pre-booked COVID take a look at for inside 72 hours in a COVID Care resort. Most resorts are licensed to do that. And that’s why we cut up the journey up between three nights at resort and 7 nights at an Airbnb. Three of us returned to the identical resort for the ultimate evening as our journey credit couldn’t get us on a Sunday flight house.

I went down the rabbit gap of Google, social media and Airbnb to seek out choices that match our price range, have been in low-tourism Fiji areas however unimaginable places. I really like this a part of journey planning – but it surely additionally has me on tenterhooks earlier than arriving on the locations. What if my analysis was manner off the mark? 

To not blow my very own trumpet, however hey, I’ll … each places delivered what they mentioned and extra.

We travelled in Fiji “winter”. Humidity and the UV index is decrease than summer season and it’s exterior of cyclone season. Maximums have been late to excessive 20s; minimums about 20 levels – just about how I’d order the climate all 12 months spherical if I might.

Yatule Resort, Natadola Seashore

In all my searches, Natadola Seashore stored arising as the very best seashore on the principle island, Vitu Levi. There are two resorts on this seashore – the Intercontinental Fiji and Yatule Resort. Each have a beachfront location overlooking this white sand bay. One is huge; one low-key. I can’t report first hand on the Intercontinental because it’s closed to exterior friends in June and July. It appears to be like superb on-line however for worth for cash and a extra low-key expertise, Yatule has my coronary heart. We have been capable of keep in beachfront bures with views of Natadola Seashore from our mattress and personal deck for a fraction of the associated fee for a similar location and views on the Intercontinental. 

Yatule Resort Viti Levu Fiji

Yatule Resort Viti Levu Fiji

Yatule Resort Viti Levu Fiji

There may be one restaurant and bar at Yatule. You get to know the identical employees and it has an especially chilled really feel to its operation. Rooms are clear, island-style trendy and most days and nights there’s some type of leisure/exercise on supply. How I ended up dancing like a fish on a fishing line on the fireplace dance present is one thing that can most likely be trotted out at household gatherings for years to return!

Outdoing any of the organised actions was mom nature’s sundown present. As somebody who lives the place the solar units over the hinterland, it’s by no means not mesmerising to see it set over the water and at Yatule we have been handled to a number of the most spectacular night color reveals.

Yatule Resort Viti Levu Fiji sunset Natadola Beach

Yatule Resort Viti Levu Fiji sunset

The most important drawcard for us was the seashore. Tide and swell dependent, there are small reef breaks for browsing and a protected, calm bay for swimming. The shore dump will be sizeable – however nowhere close to as robust as Mooloolaba (Sunshine Coast, Queensland) in a giant swell. At each alternative, I used to be within the crystal clear water, lolling about like I had landed in a dream. I’m a water temp wuss at the very best of instances however this was an identical temp to south-east Queensland seashores in our summer season. Joyful days. 

Yatule Resort Viti Levu Fiji best beach - Natadola Beach

Yatule Resort Viti Levu Fiji best beach - Natadola Beach

If travelling with babies, I really feel there are higher choices accessible in Fiji with devoted youngsters’ golf equipment and actions. There have been some youngsters staying whereas we have been there however no-one beneath about seven years.

Yatule is about one-hour’s drive from Nadi Worldwide Airport. Transfers to the resort can be found.

Extra particulars HERE

Sabre catamaran, South Sea Crusing Fiji 

With Yatule being nearer to Nadi than our subsequent vacation spot, we knew if we have been going to do any of the organised excursions, this could be our leaping off level – not once we moved to the north. Instagram yielded the comparatively new Sabre snorkelling and crusing day journey. We pre-booked on-line as a result of it was a busy college vacation interval and solely had in the future accessible to us.

Sabre Southsea Sailing Fiji day trip

The enchantment was a smaller boat – so fewer individuals. I believe there have been about 50 on board the day we booked. It’s not a day journey suited to youngsters beneath 10, so was principally {couples} and households with older youngsters and youngsters.

Included within the value have been choose ups from our resort to the departure level at Denarau, morning tea, lunch, drinks with lunch and snorkelling, swimming on a sandbar. Bonuses: an impromptu rugby match on the sandbar (my husband nonetheless because the bruises) and dancing the Fiji Macarena as we sailed again to shore (my household nonetheless has the movies of me).

Sabre Southsea Sailing Fiji day trip

Earlier than the dancing, I jumped off the aspect, slid down the slide, snorkelled by way of colleges and colleges of fish and stared in awe at each shade of blue from the cloudless horizon to the deep water and shallow reefs. 

Extra particulars HERE

Priti’s Paradise Airbnb (previously Starfish Blue, Volivoli Level, Rakiraki, Western Division

I wouldn’t say we’re intrepid travellers however I do like discovering and exploring locations a bit off the overwhelmed vacationer monitor. Discovering this Airbnb with a room configuration to swimsuit all 4 of us (three bedrooms with ensuites) and beautiful views throughout to Nananu-i-Ra Island landed us in a low-tourism a part of Viti Levu and I really feel so privileged we received to expertise this a part of Fiji.

Priti's Paradise (formerly Starfish Blue) Rakiraki Viti Levu low-tourism Fiji

Priti's Paradise (formerly Starfish Blue) Rakiraki Viti Levu low-tourism Fiji

Personal transfers can be found from the airport to this area however and not using a automotive at a non-public property you’d be restricted with how you possibly can discover the world. And to entry this property a 4WD is certainly wanted. 

So, we employed a automotive – nicely, we thought we had – three months prematurely by way of one of many majors on the airport. Huge mistake. Big mistake. Arriving to select up our booked automotive we have been informed none have been accessible. WTF. Like so many locations on the planet post-COVID, there’s a scarcity of rental automobiles – the distinction right here in Fiji, is that it’s going to allow you to ebook a automotive on-line no matter whether or not one is perhaps accessible. Native automotive rental firm Satellite tv for pc saved the day and I can’t suggest them sufficient. Inside an hour of discovering we didn’t have a automotive, we did and have been on our manner, 2.5 hours north by way of small villages, previous cane fields, volcanic mountains and beautiful shoreline vistas. 

On the road to Rakiraki, low-tourism Fiji

Our Airbnb was staffed by locals who are available in every day to scrub. We had the choice to pay to have Sarita and Priscilla prepare dinner for us every evening and it was not solely a deal with (oh my, the meals) but additionally an attractive method to get to know these girls and listen to their tales. Meals for the 4 of us labored out at about $7.50 per particular person per evening. We stocked up on breakfast, lunch and snack choices on the New World grocery store close to Nadi Airport and all through the week topped up with contemporary fruit and different necessities within the nearest city, Rakiraki.

Priti's Paradise Rakiraki - food cooked by the Sarita and Priscilla - low-tourism Fiji

We additionally received to know the household of the gardener – Natin. It takes a variety of aspect hustles to make a residing on this a part of Fiji and Natin additionally operates excursions. We went island hopping and snorkelling in the future to Nananu-i-Ra (or Ra because the locals name it) and fishing one other. Natin, sister Suman and spouse Manjula additionally ready and cooked for us a standard Fijian Lovo – we feasted for 2 days! The full for these three day experiences was $1000 Fiji – the equal to what we’d paid for in the future on the Sabre – and all cash went on to an area household.

Priti's Paradise - Nitmans Island Tours - Nananu-I-Ra - low-tourism Fiji

Priti's Paradise - Nitmans Island Tours - Nananu-I-Ra - low-tourism Fiji

Priti's Paradise - Nitmans Island Tours - Lovo feast - low-tourism Fiji

If we weren’t out on the boat, days began slowly. We exercised (the others utilizing a self-constructed island gymnasium whereas I did yoga on the deck). Then we both went into Rakiraki (the closest predominant city) to discover or visited a close-by resort – Volivoli Resort was a spotlight on our closing day. 

Volivoli Resort Rakiraki Viti Levu

Volivoli Resort Rakiraki Viti Levu

For us, the week at Priti’s Paradise within the north of Viti Levu- a low-tourism a part of Fiji – was simply what we wanted.

It was every week of decompression, of us all having our personal area to do as little or as a lot as we wished. What the property lacked by way of robust web and trendy decor, it delivered on island magic and spectacular views. When the tide is excessive and the present within the passage isn’t too robust, it’s additionally doable to snorkel straight off the seashore at this property. 

We additionally needed to make peace with the prevailing north-westerly winds, that nicely, prevail on the time of 12 months we visited. It was the other to the calm of the south we had skilled. We have been informed that November-January gives the stillest of situations – the draw back at the moment being larger humidity and temperatures. 

Hyperlink to our Airbnb HERE

Try Volivoli Resort HERE

For secluded luxurious by yourself island, try Dolphin Island HERE

For price range lodging on Nananu-I-Ra, try Macdonald’s Seashore Cottages HERE and Safari Lodge HERE.

Bula Vinaka Fiji!

There are such a lot of other ways to expertise Fiji – and so many alternative accomodation choices on your explicit wants. We stored saying (on the each day) how shocked we have been to like it a lot. We’ve travelled to Bali and Thailand and puzzled if it wouldn’t stack up. It greater than did. Bonus: you possibly can drink and brush your tooth with the faucet water! 

Fiji received beneath our pores and skin and into our hearts and it’s not a case of if we’ll be again, it’s a case of planning when.

Low-tourism Fiji - the holiday we didn't know we needed

Click on HERE for extra photographs and movies of our journey, saved to my Fiji Tales Spotlight on Instagram

Click on HERE for a take a look at the outfits I packed and wore. For my tips about what to pack for any vacation spot, click on HERE.

Click on HERE for a take a look at the swimsuits I packed and wore.

Inform me, in the event you’re a Fiji common the place do you like to remain and why?

This low-tourism Fiji vacation was booked independently and paid for by me.



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