Exploring Fiji – the heart of the South Pacific

Bula! I recently went to Fiji for my first time. As I travelled by cruise ship, I had just three opportunities to get out and experience Fiji but the three ports offered very different views of this diverse archipelago.


Probably the furthest from the Fiji you will have seen in holiday brochures, Suva is the capital of Fiji and is largely metropolitan. We arrived in port, and it seemed very urban. There were lots of buildings, many businesses I recognised. From my normal bank to McDonald’s. We took a tour around the city and I was struck by how familiar the place felt. Yes, it was hot and muggy but there were moments when my brain thought I was in New Zealand. At other times, I could see shacks and markets that reminded me I was far from the comforts of home. I was really pleased to have gone to Suva and the people we met during that day were warm and genuine.
The highlight of our tour was visiting the Fiji Museum and the picturesque Thurston Gardens.

Port Denarau/Tivua Island

We came to Port Denarau via tenders off the ship. As we travelled into the wharf it was clear we were in quite a different Fiji to Suva. The houses, the shopping centre and resorts surrounding the waterway looked far more like the Fiji I had seen in holiday snaps from friends and colleagues.
We did a little shopping and stopped at the Hard Rock Cafe. The highlight of today was Tivua Island which we travelled to via Captain Cook Cruises. The island is tiny, and made largely of white coral sands. The water is turquoise and clear.  I got to enjoy a Kava ceremony on the way to the island. The main thing on my wish list for Fiji was a glass bottom boat ride and we got to do that here. Our guide was a marine biologist and he was great fun. Lastly we also had time to snorkle or paddle in the water. We could see clown fish and baby sharks in the water. It was wonderful!

Dravuni Island

We arrived by tender boat on Dravuni Island as our last Fijian stop. What an amazing place! There would be no more than 200 people living on this island and I truly felt they owned paradise. They seemed to have little in the way of electricity, running water or other mod cons. But who needs those things when the sea water is warm and clear. I could have floated in that ocean for hours! Families sold fresh green coconuts on the beach, and I had my hair braided. It was so peaceful and my absolute favourite place in the world.
fiji time
Fiji was a great holiday destination, though I felt like the time I was there was quite rushed. The rushing definitely didn’t suit the local ‘Fiji time’ philosophy. I would love to get back there and take it easy in those beautiful waters again.

Have you ever been to Fiji or any of the other South Pacific islands? Share your favourite place in the comments below.

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kymmageWritten by Kym Moore

When she isn’t herding cats, Kym loves to drink craft beer, or share a whine and a wine with friends. She is also partial to a well-made cocktail. Her happy places include sitting on couch watching British Comedy and daydreaming. Lots of daydreaming.

Favourite artist: Bowie


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