Nacula Island, Fiji

Nacula Island, Fiji

Situated off the coast of Viti Levu, close to the capital Nadi is one of the most picturesque island chains in the world. The various islands that make up the Yasawa chain offer something for every traveller, from budget dorm style accommodation to private resorts. So there are options for every traveller!

For an additional charge the resort also offers a trip out to Turtle Island, made famous as the setting for the movie ‘Blue Lagoon’. I’ve never seen the movie (nor intend to) but the sound of a boat ride and cave diving was too tempting. This is definitely worth doing. Swimming underwater through passageways and the eerie glow of the water in the dark are great fun. If you aren’t confident around water this might be one to skip – but for everyone else, jump on board.


The resort offers varying activities each evening to keep things interesting but other than the Turtle Island diving the resort doesn’t offer anything significantly different to other Fijian destinations. Whilst it is an amazing destination if you need to do more than relaxing and enjoying life on Fiji time then Nacula Island probably isn’t for you.

For my stay, I was at Nacula Island (the most distant of the resorts by ferry) and stayed at the Blue Lagoon Beach Resort. Nacula Island offers beautiful white sand beaches & crystal clear waters. Perfect for swimming, sunning and enjoying a drink or five. And the accommodation & facilities are spacious & modern.


First up, the ferry – it took a good 4 or 5 hours to reach Nacula Island from Denarau Port, Nadi and I can imagine the ride can be pretty hairy at times. For my trip the seas were relatively tame and there were more red faces than green. I took the Yasawa Flyer, you can get an idea of pricing here, some resorts include it but it is rather costly (

There is some amazing scenery as you head around the various islands and a great experience all round, especially getting opinions from other tourists who are finishing up their stays at other resorts. As an added safety precaution, I would put valuable items in a sealed bag of some sort – transferring from the ferry to the smaller dinghies to take you to your resort is a bit messy – you would prefer to err on the side of caution and not damage electronics & valuables.


The Blue Lagoon Resort is perfect for rest & relaxation, especially for couples. When I was here about 95% of holiday makers were couples, and a good portion of those were honeymooning. So if you’re a single traveller I might suggest trying one of the more party oriented islands.

The resort offers snorkelling and diving trips, however the snorkelling opportunities at the resort are limited. I tried along the resort beachfront to no avail. Once a week the staff offer a walk to the top of the island to take in the surrounding scenery – it is definitely worth doing if you can sign up for it. Not only is the scenery amazing but it also gives you the chance to burn off some of the calories from all the cocktails! The walk takes about 4 hours and gives some great photo opportunities.


Sigatoka, Viti Levu, Fiji

Sigatoka, Viti Levu, Fiji

Located a two hour drive from Nadi, the capital of Fiji, on the main island of Viti Levu. We stayed at Namuka Bay Resort during our time here – it is remote but it is perfect. The resort offers waterfront villas, all meals as a package and for all the beachfront, only has 15 or so rooms. Did I mention it is also VERY AFFORDABLE, our double villa cost about AU$600 for 8 nights. If you want to relax and unwind then this is the place for you.

The beachfront here forms a part of the aptly named ‘Coral Coast’, where the crystal clear waters are perfect for snorkelling. The water sits around 25 degrees for most of the year meaning you can walk out for a snorkel instead of a shower before breakfast.

The water here is very sheltered due to the reef about 100 metres offshore and is no more than 1.8 metres deep, so it is suitable for even the most uncertain swimmers.

And while I am on the topic of breakfast, Namuka Bays pricing can include all meals or just breakfast. Due to the isolation, I would advise everyone to take up the all meals, even if you plan to be absent for a few. The food was amazing & they offered varied menu, I can assure you that you will not need any snacks between meals.

If you aren’t content just exploring the seemingly unending reefs & coastline or relaxing then there are plenty of things to see and do in the area. Taxi’s are quite cheap and if you have a lot to do, you can hire one for a whole day for about AU$35.

Sigatoka has some great offerings as well. I did the jet boat safari but you can do it on quad bikes if you would prefer. I thoroughly enjoyed the jet boat ride and the scenery was excellent – make sure to pack a waterproof camera for the day (see here for their website).

I would also recommend checking out the Kula Eco Park to catch a glimpse of the wildlife you won’t normally encounter in your travels. It is a little bit dated in some areas but being able to handle turtles, snakes & lizards was great fun.

Savusavu, Fiji

Savusavu, Fiji

This has to be one of the most picturesque places I have visited. It is a quiet town on the south coast of Vanua Levu, with a population of approximately 3,500. Even though it is somewhat of a path less well travelled, I found it to be the most relaxing destination of my trip.

Firstly, the flight in. This is where your adventure starts and the view coming into land is spectacular, if you can open your eyes as the plane almost skims the tree lined hills before descending rapidly onto the tiny piece of tarmac.


For my time in Savusavu I stayed at Naveria Heights, which is somewhat of a health resort. The resort is in the most amazing location, nestled high up in the hillside forest. I’ll mention this now, if you aren’t moderately fit and desire fried breakfasts, then this probably isn’t the accomodation for you. Getting up and down the driveway isn’t easy and few taxis in down will brave it for the fare!

But for those game enough, waking up to amazing views and having breakfast overlooking the bay is more than adequate compensation.

Here is a link to their webpage if it sounds tempting to you:

Whilst the activities on offer are very much the same as what you can find elsewhere in Fiji, the location draws you to try them again. First up, I would highly recommend the snorkelling. The two destinations I checked out were excellent. The Lighthouse, sounds easy enough but imagine a lighthouse 750m offshore… & Split Rock offered the best snorkelling experience I came across in Fiji, with plenty of fish & coral.


The J. Hunter Pearl Farm is a must do. Pearl Farming is the primary industry in the area and J. Hunter Pearls do it best. But be careful taking your significant other into the showroom!! It is a significant risk to your travel budget. On a more serious note, the jewellery is amazing and the pearl colours are not likely to be found in too many other places so definitely check it out.

I would also highly recommend sailing around the bay (and out into the ocean if possible). There aren’t too many more picturesque locations than Savusavu and an evening cruise is sure to spoil the avid photographer. Most cruises will also offer a spot of fishing too, I managed to pull in a decent Yellowfin Tuna 25m from the beach!

Ultimately, Savusavu is somewhat out of the way but I cannot recommend visiting here highly enough if you have the time!

Fiji v Vanuatu – Paradise in the Pacific

Fiji v Vanuatu – Paradise in the Pacific

I’ve been quizzed on this more times than I care to remember. And with that, I thought I would compile a comprehensive list to help out – there is just too much to mention in casual conversation. With their close proximity, just over 1,000km, you would expect the two island chains to provide a fairly similar experience. Keep in mind Vanuatu is a 3hr flight from Sydney, Fiji is 4hr.

On the surface they may seem very similar but once you have visited both you soon realise they have distinct pros to set them apart. However, from my experiences, Fiji trumps Vanuatu almost hands down. Saying this won’t please everyone, but I believe I have some solid reasoning below. I wouldn’t hesitate to visit & see more of Vanuatu if the chance arose, but my time in Fiji was just THAT much more memorable.



For those looking to explore more than one location, Fiji was far easier to move around, between islands or to get around the larger islands of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu. The Vanuatu chain consists of fewer islands (83 compared to Fiji’s 300) but ferries and plane services are not as frequent or quick.

Culture & the people

The Fijian people’s reputation for friendliness and hospitality is certainly no myth. And whilst the people of Vanuatu are still very friendly, I just didn’t experience it to the same degree there. And I would assume the friendliness would make all the difference if you are travelling with kids.

Both have a similar village culture despite descending from different areas. Visiting a village in Fiji is a must – many operate almost as they would traditionally, it was a great experience spending a few hours with the locals on more than one occasion. Remember that Fijians used to be cannibals, so find a village with a bit of history if that interests you.

The village I visited on Efate Island, Vanuatu, was far more commercialised, with shops selling wood carvings, beads & animal products – it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

NB. If visiting a village in Fiji be mindful to remove hats as it is insulting to the chief. It is also worth noting that touching someone’s head is also a mark of disrespect.

Port Vila the capital of Vanuatu offers more than it’s Fijian counterpart, Nadi, when it comes to dining & nightlife. I didn’t venture to the Pacific destinations for this, but was pleasantly surprised by the French influence in Vanuatu. It was far more lively after dark in the Vanuatu capital than in Nadi.

Both have extremely low crime rates. If you leave something behind, chances are it will make its way back to you. So this is something that shouldn’t even cross your mind.

Things to do

Both Fiji & Vanuatu offer similar activities, as you would expect reef islands to. Diving, snorkelling, fishing, etc – at face value they seem to offer more or less the same. Both offer pristine rainforest with rivers & beaches with crystal clear water.

I found the beaches in Fiji to be MUCH better, and the snorkelling too. Fiji’s Coral Coast is particularly impressive and you don’t require a tour! There is great snorkelling all around Fiji, no matter where you locate yourself, whereas Vanuatu offers much less (generally day tours).

For the history buff, Vanuatu offers some interesting snorkelling & diving experiences due to the Americans’ use of the island chain against the Japanese. Million Dollar Point offers a collection of vehicles and WWII artefacts to explore & snorkel around. The US military dumped all the equipment remaining at the end of the war into the sea and it still lies here today.

The troop ship SS President Coolidge is able to be explored by dive after hitting a mine. Both places are located on Espiritu Santo, north of the main island of Efate.

One experience from Vanuatu I will never forget is the day trip to Tanna Island. The drawcard, being able to walk along the crater of an active volcano, Mount Yasur! This was amazing as it is active all day, every day. Whilst Fiji has volcanoes that can be hiked, they aren’t active. Tanna Island has a few resorts, but mostly is accessed through day tours which include flights from Port Vila. If you do stay on Tanna Island, the snorkelling is reportedly very good.


Being from Australia and visiting these places, comparably, they are both cheap. I found Fiji to provide slightly better prices when it came to the travel essentials – accommodation, transport. Meals, and of course alcohol, are much cheaper on Fiji and I didn’t have a bad meal in the month I spent there. Vanuatu is more expensive (think closer to Australian prices), but the menu generally offers a little more.

Importantly on that note, I found the Tusker beer in Vanuatu to be horrid, bordering on undrinkable. The Fiji beer was great after a long day out in the sun.

Visiting Times

Fiji is a good year-round destination with consistently warm weather all year. Go in May to September/October for a true taste of tropical paradise during the dry season. November to April is the wet season, so visiting during these months might expose you to the occasional tropical storm and added humidity – although, it is when tourist numbers are lower. The temperature rarely goes below 26°C year round.

Vanuatu has a semi-tropical climate. The wet season there is from November to March, so expect more storms and rainfall with increased humidity. It’s best to go between April to October in the dry season with the temperature averaging a comfortable 25°C.

With regards to both locations, do some research as they are both popular during Australian and New Zealand school holidays – these dates vary each year.

7 facts to know before travelling to Fiji

7 facts to know before travelling to Fiji

Before embarking on your dream escape to Fiji, take a few minutes to check through our list of things to keep in mind. Hopefully, these will assist you in planning the best possible experience in Fiji.


#1 Pronounciation

The capital Nadi is pronounced Nandi. There is a good chance people won’t understand if you don’t pronounce it correctly.


#2 Fiji Time is real

Fiji is a relaxed country and all times are very liberal approximates. So don’t plan a very time sensitive schedule – it just won’t work.


 #3 Rugby

Rugby is the main ‘religion’. Be careful not to offend.


#4 The people  🙂

The Fijian people are overwhelming friendly and courteous. They will go out of their way to make sure others are happy. The crime rate is also incredibly low. So you can leave the fannypack behind for this one.
I lost my watch at the thermal pools and without making contact with the resort, the watch made it’s way back to me – ready to be picked up at the airport on my home


#5 Kava

Kava is the traditional drink of the Fijian villagers and you WILL come across it in your time. Men MUST (well pretty close to it) drink the Kava and women can if they wish to. Women will only be offered a drink after all the men. It looks like dirty water and tastes like dirty water (it’s actually a ground root) and can numb your lips and tongue slightly. Despite common perceptions it isn’t a narcotic, although it has a strong dose of Vitamin B! Trying it is a part of the Fiji experience.


#6 Bugs   o.O

Bugs and Lizards in your room. The lizards most can live with but the bugs probably less so. It doesn’t matter if you stay in a dorm or 5 star resort, they will BE there. Just make sure the screens and doors are shut before turning on the lights in the evening – there is nothing worse than hunting mosquitoes in the middle of the night. I also took Vitamin B1 tablets to make me less appealing to mosquitoes.


#7 Drinking water

Drinking water. Some regions don’t have access to quality drinking water which will be an issue for Western visitors. This won’t be a problem at any of the resorts but keep it in mind when visiting more isolated destinations – ask if you are unsure, it’s better than the alternative…


Enjoy your trip!


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