In the blog and magazine world, December is filled with pictures of homes decorated for the holidays, gift ideas, snowy destinations, and sweet treats to bake. How about something different today, say a look at a place sunny and tropical?
I was lucky to visit Fiji with my family last month, the world famous island destination, and a place I’ve always wanted to visit. It was our first stop on a three country tour we took back in November. I spent four days in Fiji before we journeyed to New Zealand and Australia, I’ll share pictures from those countries another time.
We flew Fiji Airlines overnight from LAX and arrived at 6 in the morning, most flights from America arrive that early. Our accommodations were the Wyndham Resort in Denarau Island, 20 minutes from the Nadi airport. We stayed in a 2 bedroom unit with a kitchen which was great because we cooked our own breakfasts in our room each day. The staff welcomes you with the island greeting “Bula!” and we couldn’t wait to get our suits on and hop into the pool.
Fiji is everything you’ve imagined, white sand beaches, palm trees, blue waters, thatched roofs, tropical drinks, fresh seafood, and a chill island vibe.
Our days were split equally between adventure and relaxation. Our first day we spent breakfast by the shore then visited a local village and we were given a tour by one of the local Fijian residents. Their homes are modest with open windows and doors, their hearts are big, and their children so sweet. We loved spending time with the local people, it was a Sunday morning and the village’s Methodist church choir was singing a cappella, so lovely.
Fiji is made up of over 300 islands, one day we took a boat trip to Beachcomber Island, a destination resort with beautiful blue waters to snorkel in. You can walk around the island in 20 minutes, on it is a small resort with a bar with sand on the floor, like something you’d see in the movies.
Where we were was very family friendly and there is no shortage of things to do – waterparks, jet skiing, zip lining, boating, snorkeling, parasailing, the list is endless. Yep that’s me zip lining across the rainforest, so fun!
On Denarau Island there are 7 or 8 resorts, and a hop on hop off bus that takes you to each of them and also the local port and shopping village.
I hopped on and off to check them out and shot a few pictures, all of them have beautiful lobbies, beach side restaurants and bars, beautiful pools … the bare necessities for tropical bliss.
On my last day I was happy to just sit under the palm and plumeria trees with a good book and a tropical drink. Bliss!
It was a dream destination, I hope to go back someday. Have you ever been to Fiji? Tell me your favorite experience there! .
Between the chaos of Christmas preparations and technology headaches, an Island Zombie sure would be good right about now. Your pics just confirmed that Fiji is the destination of my dreams!
Never been to Fiji but your photos sure make me want to go now! Great photographs, loved the family ones.
I went to Fiji for a week back in 2006 (after spending a month in Australia). I was young back then, and traveling with a group, so we didn’t stay anywhere especially lavish, but it really didn’t matter. We caught a boat from the main island to the island our resort was on and spent the days doing water sports, hiking, relaxing and generally just enjoying island life. The nights were filled with fire shows, Kava drinking, and plenty of other drinking. It was like a party every night. We also toured some of the local towns on other islands, including one with no electricity or running water. It was a wonderful way for the group I was traveling with to gain a little perspective. Our group mostly consisted of young, affluent Americans who probably hadn’t been exposed to much outside of their own lifestyles.
The part of Fiji that sticks out in my mind the most are the people I met that lived and worked there. The people at the resort, and others we met in town, were just SO FRIENDLY. I still have several pictures with the folks we met, and really can’t say enough about their hospitality. I’ve traveled to many other islands/countries since Fiji, and while they are all wonderful, there was something special about the Fijian people. “Bula” is not just a word they use there, it’s a way of life.
The other thing I remember quite vividly is how amazing their fresh fruit was. I remember the morning we arrived, there was a breakfast spread laid out for us, and while I remember everything I ate being very good during the whole trip, I specifically remember that being the best fruit I had ever had up to that point in my life. I made sure to load up with every meal.
Fiji was a place I may not have picked to go on my own (being an east coaster), but when the opportunity presented itself, I figured I may never get the chance again. I’m so glad I was able to see Fiji and meet its people. I have nothing but good memories!
Yes Bula is a way of life! I have similar memories Christine, the fruit, the people, the fire shows, all amazing!
My son was in Figi the first part of this month. He’s working for a sailboat delivery company, taking a boat from Adelaide to Seattle. He said he really wished they’d had more time there, and wants to go back.
He was in the Navy for six years, and never got a tattoo during that time. Figi broke that record!
Agh…you have me desperately wanting to trade in my cozy sweater for sand between my toes. Your pictures look so dreamy. :)
Beautiful photos. Please let me know where you stayed. Always like to have a recommendation from someone.. Looks like a great time with your lovely family.
Absolutely beautiful! I would love to visit Fiji one day.
I loved Fiji but I’ve never been on a vacation I didn’t like! We stayed on Plantation Island in 2009 in a perfect bure right on the water. My 3 men are big water sports lovers, so we did a lot of snorkeling, they water skied, scuba dived, surfed, fished, body boarded. I took a cooking class and enjoyed learning about their local crafts. We were fortunate enough to enjoy the most gorgeous – and I mean gorgeous – sunset I’ve ever seen in my life. Every single person there couldn’t believe a sunset could be that beautiful! An Australian couple we met there sent us the photo they took and I enjoy looking at it daily in my office/studio. We bought a large tapa print that enjoys center stage in our family room plus the tapa pillow in the living room . . . yeah, I loved Fiji.
Wow, *insert jealousy face here* That looks incredible, so much pretty in one post! What a trip!!
Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor
Figi looks beautiful. In another month I’ll be dying to be on a beautiful, WARM beach like those. You look “Mahhh-velous” yourself, like a celebrity on vacation. I hope you and your beautiful family have a very happy Christmas Kate.
I went to Fiji for 17 days in 2000, taking my 9 year-old daughter along. I agree that the people are incredibly kind and that the fruit is out-Of-this-world delicious. But kava?? Like drinking dirt!! The appeal was totally lost on me.
Fiji has scenery and colors so vivid they cannot adequately be described. I came home from that trip anxious to develop my film (it was a 15 years ago!) and was so disappointed at the resulting photos! They just weren’t nearly as vivid as I had experienced.
Moral of the Story: Fiji must be seen and experienced in person. Worth it 100%.
Ha yes Melissa the Kava is an acquired taste…. I tried a “light” version and thought it tasted like tea, I’m so sorry to read about your film! New pictures are a reason to go back :)
It looks beautiful. It’s definitely on my wish list of places to visit. Thanks for sharing!
Now I understand why some people choose to go to the beach at Christmas. It just looks so dreamy. ~~
Definitely wishing I was in Fiji right now – I’m already so over this cold weather!
Amazing pics, Kate! Looks like it was an unbelievable trip…and you are smoking in that suit!!! xoxox Can’t wait for the rest of the recaps!
My future mother in law has a time share with Wyndham and we thought about going here for our honeymoon. Did you enjoy the resort? Your pictures are absolutely beautiful!
Yes Bridget! I could tell many of the resorts along the beach were nice but the Wyndham was really wonderful, perfect for a family stay.
Looks like a lovely place! Can’t wait to see other pics from the rest of your trip.
looking at some of the prices on the boards you took picture of, how’s the money conversion there?? I’m curious to know if your dollar goes far or not. Like you hear about Thailand, it may cost a lot to get there but you can live on $10 a day.
I spent a semester abroad in Australia in college and on the way back the states, I stayed at Beachcomber for a week! So crazy to see pictures from there and hear from another person that’s been there. It was so surreal, a tiny piece of heaven in the middle of the beautiful ocean. I will never forget taking a tiny boat from the main island with all of my luggage from 6 months and basically having it all tossed out onto the sand and wading from the boat onto the shore…in the middle of the night:) So glad you were able to experience it…
We have just returned home (to Australia) after 12 days in Fiji. There was so much to do and see as well as trying to find some down time to relax and soak up the atmosphere.
We spend 6 days at the Hilton on Denarau Island, then headed to the Outrigger on the Coral Coast for my sister’s wedding (where we were able to spend a couple of days with all of my siblings and the kids had great cousin time – we live in another state so they only see each other 2 or 3 times a year).
After being on the go for 8 days, I was craving some relaxation and we spent our final four days at a little beach front resort called Tambua Sands. It was only about a 3.5 star resort, but very clean, great food and wonderful staff. A very intimate and personal experience after 2 big resorts.
After shopping, a village visit, island cruise, scuba diving for a couple of our family members who are certified, jet skiing, day trips to explore, a wedding, meals out with family and friends, kayaking and snorkelling I loved being able to lay back and just “be” for a couple of days.
We are already planning our next trip as there is so much more that we want to experience.
The beautiful people definitely made our trip extra special.