Fiji — the name alone has connotations of paradise. Across the world this sun-kissed, South Pacific island is regarded as a tropical utopia of exquisite beaches, crystal clear seas and endless palm trees. Sadly, for many people, a visit to this ocean-locked nirvana is out of the question, but for us Australians — it’s just a hop across the pond.
Whatever you’ve heard or seen about Fiji, it’s probably bang on the money. Fiji really is paradise-found. Its beaches are as white as snow; its seas as clear as pure water; and its people as friendly as you could ever hope them to be.
But what do you actually know about Fiji, and what can you expect from this peaceful Pacific island during a relaxing cruise break? To find out, check out our guide to 12 hours in Fiji below.
Garden of the Sleeping Giant
First established in 1977 by the late, great Raymond Burr, Garden of the Sleeping Giant is an exquisite landscaped orchid range in the foothills of the Nausori Highlands, just ten minutes from the tourist capital of Nadi. Covering 20 hectares and home to some 2,000 species of this attractive flower, The Sleeping Giant garden is the perfect stomping ground for a peaceful walk.
Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple
As one of the last known Dravidian Hindu temples to exist outside of India, Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple receives thousands of visitors and pilgrims each year. The temple itself features a remarkably colourful façade that’s well worth snapping a picture of, whilst the grounds are great for picnicking when the sun’s shining overhead.
The eagle-eyed among you may recognise Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands as the setting for the 2000 Tom Hanks’ film, Cast Away. Stretching out into the Pacific from the main Fijian island of Nadi, Mamanuca is certainly secluded — with nothing but the sun, sea and sand to keep you company during a visit.
Go Scuba Diving at Beqa Lagoon
While much of Fiji’s coast is paradise found for divers, no scuba sites compare to Beqa Lagoon. Boasting over 100 designated diving spots, this incredible place is only accessible by boat — giving it a sense of exclusivity not enjoyed by many of the world’s favourite dive spots.
Drink Kava on Vanua Levu
Those who have visited Fiji say no trip would be complete without taking part in a traditional Fijian Kava drinking ceremony. Kava is a mildly narcotic drink, prescribed as part of an ancient tribal ritual passed down through generations of Fijians. Drinking Kava results in the development of a numb sensation around the mouth, coupled with a feeling of complete relaxation.
Savusavu Bay doesn’t just benefit from a great name; it’s also celebrated for its pearls, which are cultivated here in abundance. While Savusavu pearls are widely available across Fiji and the South Pacific, there’s nothing like purchasing some from the very shoreline where they were first harvested.
From the outside, Nada’s unimaginatively named Curry House doesn’t look like much. Sample their food, however, and you’ll soon be singing a different tune. As the name suggests there’s only one staple on the menu here, but the range and selection of different curries is astonishing.
Chantara Thai Restaurant
It may be over 5,000 miles away but Thailand has had a huge influence on Fijian culture — particularly in terms of its gastronomy. One of the best places to sample authentic Thai grub in Fiji is Chantara — a lovely little seashore eatery on Denarau Island.
What better way to mark your first visit to Fiji by cruise ship than by enjoying a slap up feast at Ports O’Call, a sea-themed restaurant situated at the Sheraton Fiji Resort. With a menu chock-a-block with international favourites including steaks and seafood, Ports O’Call offers the taste of familiarity on the shore of the Pacific.
Fancy a trip to Fiji? You’ve come to the right place. At Cruise1st Australia, we feature hundreds of upcoming cruises to the South Pacific at affordable prices. To browse our latest Fiji and South Pacific cruises, visit our homepage or call us on 1300 306 318.