Dreaming of Your Great Escape?

So maybe you’ve been sitting at home dreaming of the day when borders open again so you can explore beyond your four walls. Or you’re an essential worker who’s been working extra hard to keep people healthy, safe or fed.

Either way, you need a break, and you’re dreaming of Fiji.

Whether you already have savings tucked away for a holiday or need some time back at work before making any financial commitments, it’s never too early to start researching your trip. We’ll help you make the most of those precious days away when they arrive.

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is how you’d like to spend your time here.

Will you choose the relative hustle and bustle of the Fijian mainland? Or head straight for the islands for the ultimate escape?

“Maybe you’d like to experience both, to get the best of both worlds.”

To help you decide, here’s our rundown of the pros and cons you should consider.

The Fijian Mainland

Pros

Image Source: River Tubing Fiji

  • The Fijian ‘mainland’ is technically an island. It’s quite big though, so it offers a wide variety of tourist activities. You can go river tubing, explore caves or visit mud pools.
  • There’s a wide variety of dining options to choose from. You can choose your favourite cuisine or try a new restaurant every night. We’re currently loving Kanu by Lance Seeto, recently opened in Namaka.
  • If you like having a go at cooking with local ingredients, there are self-catering accommodation options available. In contrast, most island resort stays include your meals.
  • The mainland also has local markets where you can wander around selecting local ingredients and souvenirs. This can be an excellent opportunity to get gifts for family back home.
  • And finally, if you’re desperate to get into holiday mode as quickly as possible, you can be stepping off the plane from many Australian and New Zealand cities within just four to six hours. A short drive to your resort is the only extra travel required.

Cons

  • The mainland tends to be busier, with way more hustle and bustle than the islands. After all, around 600,000 people call the island home. That’s about 70% of the Fijian population!
  • There are also more tourists, and resorts are often bigger and more impersonal. While the big resort brands can be familiar, they don’t give you the chance to experience real Fiji.
  • Because there are many more people, it can be harder to find a tranquil spot to just chill.
  • Most mainland beaches don’t have the crystal-clear, soul-achingly blue waters you see on postcards. In fact, tides can have a big impact on when and where you can swim. In some cases, there is a fair bit of travel involved if you’re keen to participate in marine-based activities. This is worth keeping in mind if you plan on spending a lot of time in the water. This isn’t a worry if you love a resort pool because there’s plenty of them around.
  • Finally, there is less nature visible on the mainland, especially marine diversity. If your number one reason for choosing Fiji is our world-famous reputation as an amazing snorkelling destination, we recommend travelling to an island to see it for yourself. This way you can snorkel as much or as little as you like, not just once on a day trip.

Fijian Islands

Pros

  • Fijian islands are the place to be if you’re after breathtaking natural beauty. Here you’ll find beaches so stunning that your eyes will ache, photos don’t come close to the real things. The sparkling blue ocean is filled with many species of soft and hard corals and colourful fish darting around in the sunshine.
  • Marine activities like snorkelling are amazing. Located just in front of the resort you’re only a few steps away from a refreshing swim with the marine life looking to put on a show.
  • The resorts tend to be smaller, with fewer guests. This makes a Fijian island holiday very peaceful.
  • But… you’ll probably meet interesting people! Journeying out to the islands is a bit of an adventure, so it attracts travellers with great stories to tell.
  • The islands are an escape from the stresses of ordinary life. They’re also pure relaxation, with delicious food served to you for every meal. No cooking or washing up! Bliss!
  • You won’t find shops on the islands, except maybe a small gift shop. With meals provided and nowhere to shop, your daily spending budget can be much lower.
  • Your trip to the island will be via a scenic ferry or float plane transfer. Keep the camera handy because you’ll pass a string of emerald islands, beautiful beaches and craggy rock formations along the way.
  • You have convenient access to the Yasawa and Mananuca Island chains on the ferry, so you can visit more than one if you’d like to see more.
  • There’s the opportunity to take part in unique activities such as swimming with the manta rays. This experience is a must-do!

Cons

  • There are fewer tourist activities such as 4×4 tours or river rafting. Although there are many activities on offer and you can be as busy or chilled as you like, there are tours on the mainland that are worth building into your itinerary.
  • You need to be a bit more prepared for minor medical issues. This means a trip to your travel doctor is highly recommended, so you can bring along your own supply of first aid supplies such as antiseptic or antibiotic cream.
  • There are fewer dining options. On the islands, your meals are catered and there are usually no other places to eat. Don’t assume this means boring meals though – we love to mix up the menu and create delicious dishes with local produce.

Still, torn between soaking up the buzz of the mainland and escaping to the islands? Totally relatable! That’s why we recommend you spend 2-3 days on the mainland getting your bearings and doing some fun tours. After that, we look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful Fijian islands for some well-deserved R&R in one of the most beautiful settings on Earth.

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