For some of the world’s best dive sites,
head for the northern islands. The Great
Sea Reef, the Southern Hemisphere’s
third-longest reef, runs along the coast of
Vanua Levu, the second-largest island of
Looking for romance? Matangi is an
adults-only, private island resort. The
;;;-acre former coconut plantation is
one of many resorts in Fiji offering wedding packages. This one comes with
an a cappella choir. Try to book one of
the three split-level treehouses with
outdoor Jacuzzis for an especially romantic experience.
Finally, when to go? I am not exaggerating when I say there is no off-season
when it comes to the warmth of the people and Fijian hospitality. Any chance I
get to go to Fiji, I go.
Fiji on your own
There is no shortage of ways you can
explore Fiji. For example:
• Sunday is church day. For me, this is
a must-stop. Inside the churches, you will
experience the most moving, beautiful and
spirited harmonies. Get up early and go.
• Rugby is Fiji’s second religion. The
national team has won several world
championships and took gold at the ;;;;
Olympics. The contact sport is a vestige
of the British colonial era in Fiji, and you
can always catch a local game.
• Love flowers? Check out the Garden
of the Sleeping Giant near the airport in
Nadi; it boasts thousands of orchids.
• Experience a Lovo Feast, essentially
an underground barbecue with meat and
fish covered by banana leaves. Most
resorts offer one.
• For an introduction to Fijian and
Indo-Fijian food, take a market tour and
cooking class from Flavours of Fiji cooking school ( flavoursoffiji.com/market-tours-cooking-classes).
• Feeling a little bolder? Take part in
a kava ceremony. This local drink, made
from the bitter root of the kava plant (aka
yaqona), is at the center of a Fijian ceremony. Most kava ceremonies include
small cups for you to try it; it is a sign of
respect to be invited to a ceremony. So
return the respect and drink it!
• Explore the ;,;;;-year history of
the archipelago at the Fiji Museum in
Suva ( fijimuseum.org.fj).
• Take a velocipede ride on Viti Levu.
These push-bike carriages have been
adapted to run on railroad tracks, and
passengers can pedal with electric assistance. The tracks follow an old sugar
plantation route through rainforests,
mangroves and villages, with a beach
stop ( ecotrax.com.fj).
Taveuni, Fiji’s third-largest island
(it’s in the northern sector), attracts
water lovers as well as hikers.
Taveuni is known as the “Garden
Island of Fiji,” and more than
two-thirds of it is protected rain
forest in the Bouma National
Most resorts are clustered on
the northern side of the island near
the Matei Airport. On the southeast
coast, the 3-mile Lavena Coastal
Walk starts on a secluded beach
and continues past lagoons,
through rainforest and across
a suspension bridge to end at
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Fiji’s year-round water
temperature of 81 F makes
and diving enjoyable in