Authentic Experiences To Enjoy In Fiji / By Belinda Craigie / www.luxurytravelmag.com.au / Exclusive News / Janbolat Khanat Almaty Tourism & News Office
Paddle boarding at Six Senses Fiji. Photo credit Amber Toms
Far from purely a flop-and-drop holiday destination, Fiji’s luxury resorts and local operators offer activities that immerse guests in their locale. We’ve rounded up these authentic experiences that travellers to Fiji can enjoy on their next trip.
Aqua Exploration & Conservation
Fiji is an archipelago of more than 300 islands, surrounded by a turquoise Pacific Ocean that is ripe for exploring. In the ‘Soft Coral Capital of the World’, a title bestowed by renowned marine oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, visitors can snorkel or scuba dive to spot the vibrant marine life and delicate ecosystems that call these waters home.
For a hands-on conservation experience, resorts such as Kokomo Private Island involve guests in coral restoration projects. Led by marine biologists, Kokomo’s program sees guests identifying heat-resilient corals which are planted in a nursery before being transplanted back onto the island’s house reef. There are more than 1,300 corals in the nursery and over 300 transplanted corals, ensuring the surrounding reef continues to thrive.
Fiji’s luxury island resorts are increasingly using produce grown in on-site vegetable and herb gardens within their cuisine. Nanuku Resort has its own beehives with honey harvested onsite, a chicken enclosure provides fresh eggs for breakfast, and guests are invited to participate in catch-then-cook activities such as spearfishing.
Como Laucala Island has a dedicated farm-to-table philosophy which sees most of its produce and seafood sourced from the island and its surrounding waters. A 50-acre farm is home to avocado, papaya, and passionfruit orchards, as well as pigs, quail, ducks and even a herd of Wagyu cattle.
Guests can experience a farm tour led by executive chef Daniel Boller to see the gardens and orchards by vehicle, before seeing the cattle paddocks, piggery, and poultry shed. Pick vanilla pods, taste the island’s honey, collect eggs for breakfast, or forage for banana, papaya, or cassava in time for the weekly Fijian ‘Lovo’ dinners.
Visit local producers
A great activity for those with little ones, café Bulaccino, which operates two locations in Nadi and Suva, offers tours of its 30-acre organic farm in Nadi. Wander the pathways and pick seasonal fruit, see the onsite bee farm to taste honey from the source, see how traditional Fijian cassava cake is cooked, visit ducks and chickens, and pet the friendly farm sheep.
KokoMana offers tours of their Savusavu cocoa farm and factory to demonstrate how they create fine-flavour chocolate from ‘tree to bar’, according to sustainable best practices.
Those who want to try their hand at crafting chocolate can arrange a one-day chocolate experience, which includes learning skills such as roasting, cracking, and winnowing through to conching and refining, tempering, and moulding. Guests can design their own chocolate labels and will take home their sweet treats.
Immersing yourself in the local culture is one of the most profound ways to experience a destination.
Kokomo Private Island offers excursions to Dravuni or Buliya villages, where guests will be welcomed with a traditional ‘sevusevu’ ceremony, share kava with the village chief, and explore the village with a guide where they can support communities by buying from local artisans.
Back at the resort, there are Fijian activities such as weaving, carving, jewellery making or sarong styling, as well as teaching the basics of the Fijian language.
Six Senses Fiji provides Fijian language lessons, operates tours of local villages, and hosts Cultural Nights, where guests can experience traditional dance and song performances, feast on Fijian delicacies, and try yaqona, a drink made from the kava plant, while they listen to stories about island life.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort’s Malolo Iguana rehabilitation program was launched in 2012 to protect and grow the population of critically endangered Fijian Crested Iguana.
Working with Kula Park, a local organisation, as well as specialists from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo and the USA’s San Diego Zoo, the resort has implemented programs to control non-native species that threaten the iguanas, and to restore the tropical dry forest habitat in which they thrive.
Guests of Likuliku can join in these efforts with activities such as tree planting, iguana talks and tours of the sanctuary, ‘medicine walks’ to learn about Fijian ethnobotany and night-time iguana habitat survey participation.
The global luxury wellness brand Six Senses has welcomed a dedicated wellness screening doctor to its Fijian resort since reopening in April. Guests can undergo a wellness screening that measures key health biomarkers and informs a treatment or bespoke multi-day program focusing on areas such as sleep, fitness, mindfulness, and immunity boosting.
In the spa, ethical products are used together with locally inspired Fiji massage practices and Ayurvedic philosophy to create a varied treatment offering. The Fijian Bobo massage, for example, is designed to increase circulation, release toxins, and ease muscle tension using local oils.
The resort’s holistic approach to wellbeing extends to its kids’ club, which integrates local cultural, wellness, sustainable, and social activities such as cooking classes and tree planting, and they’ll receive a stamp for each activity in their personal ‘Six Senses passport’.
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