Mantaray Island Resort – Yasawa Islands Fiji

Following a 2-½ hour journey North from Beachcomber Island we arrived at the shimmering waters that hug Mantaray Island Resort. As we debarked from the Yasawa flyer (which cruises up and down the Yasawa Islands), and boarded the speedboat to bring us closer, the sound of cheering and sight of smiles welcomed us onto Mantaray Island. Hammocks were hung from the towering palm trees; the beachside bar was open with fruity cocktails on special for resort guests to enjoy. Crowds of people were relaxing on the beach chairs, while others chose to participate in a game of beach volleyball. Some guests were relaxing in the shaded area, reading a booking, writing their travel journey or catching an afternoon slumber. The resort was alive, and I couldn’t wait to join in!

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The dorm facilities for solo travellers were all fitted with a mosquito nets, and underlying luggage storage. The dorm was sectioned off into groups of four to provide for a bit of added privacy while sleeping. The treehouses, and jungle bures were fitted with private lounge chairs on the decks, and private quarters for couples, friends and families to enjoy. The views from each accommodation options will awe you when you wake up in the morning.

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The meals were all served up a set of palm-shaded steps, which led up to the hilltop restaurant. Breakfast offered a buffet with a selection of different fruits, muffins, breads, croissants, and a warm section with eggs, beans and more. Lunch was a la carte where you could choose from options including delicious burgers, fish salads, nachos, fish and chips, wraps or various pasta dishes. Dinner was different every night of the week, which ranged from a selection of buffet items, to a la carte options to tantalize every taste bud. The communal tables located at the restaurant created for the perfect way to dine with your new mates you meet while on the island.

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Down at the activities bure, you can choose from a variety of different activities to fill your time while on Mantaray Island. The activities on offer include: guided snorkeling trips and snorkel hire, fishing trips, scuba dive trips and packages, sunset tube cruises, paddle-boarding, kayaking and bracelet making. Whether you are on a tight budget or not; there is always something to keep you entertained while visiting Mantaray Island.

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Diving on Mantaray Island is a popular activity that many travellers choose to do while staying a couple nights. You can choose between doing an introductory dive, to certified diving and if you are super keen you can get your Open Water Dive course from the Mantaray Dive Centre. If you are staying at least 3 nights at the resort, this will provide you with the perfect amount of time to complete the course and experience 6 dives in one of the most stunning locations to dive in the world. Everything from a shark dive, to a cave dive and night dive – this resort has over 40 dive sites just minutes away from the resort.

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The Sunset Tube Cruise, which departs an hour before sunset, is the perfect activity to welcome you to Mantaray Island in the evening. After boarding the speedboat, which brought us around to the other side of the island, we jumped into the water and crawled into our tubes. Bring along a couple beers, and sit back and watch the sunset over the beautiful clear waters of Mantaray Island.

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On top of all the exceptional activities, meals and accommodation options available on Mantaray Island – what stands out the most on this island is the staff that works here. From the friendly, welcoming hellos as you step off the boat, to the amazing restaurant and activity staff, to the joyful reception team – you will feel at home straight away.

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Mantaray Island is a fascinating place full of tropical beauty, and exotic marine life. When in season, the Mantarays bring in a wide audience interested in capturing and experiencing their elegant beauty. It’s an experience that is unknown to many, but those who have the chance to sight these magnetic wonders, will remember this experience for the rest of their life.

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While visiting Fiji, a visit to Mantaray Island in the Yasawas will be everything you could imagine and more. It will leave you with a sense of home away from home, and will have you yearning to return soon again.

Beachcomber Island Resort – Mamanuca Islands Fiji

After an incredible 4 days of travelling around Viti Levu with Feejee Experience, I was very excited about heading out to the tropical Mamanuca and Yasawa island group.

If you are travelling to Fiji, and are looking for a beautiful white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and a bit of a party… choose to spend a couple nights on Beachcomber Island with Feejee Experience will not disappoint.

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After a delicious breakfast at Nadi Bay Hotel, Tina, Gaby and I made our way to the Anchorage Beach Resort, where we were to catch our transfer to Beachcomber Island Resort. We met the rest of the girls from our Whole Hula trip at the marina prior to boat the short 30-minute boat journey throughout the Mamanuca Island. Beachcomber Island is located in the heart of the Mamanuca Islands, ~ 17km West from Nadi Int’l airport. As we approached the island, I began to get goose bumps… the view was something out of the movies. Crystal clear water, sandy beaches, and a welcoming smile from the staff greeted us as we arrived at Beachcomber Resort.

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Approaching paradise…

After checking in to our rooms, we headed straight for the beach bar. Happy hour was on just in time for lunch to be served. A full lunch buffet was prepared and it consisted of a variety of different meats and fish, salads, breads, and pastas. With the beach bar and dining hall located in the sands, only steps from the ocean, you can get exceptional views when you are eating.

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It’s always Happy Hour on Beachcomber Island!

Later in the afternoon, when we were sitting by the beach bar, three English lads wandered by us and joined us for happy hour. We ended up getting on with them really well and spent the remaining two days on the island in their company! It’s crazy how easy it is to meet people when you are travelling – as everyone is in the same situation (looking to make friends), a place like Beachcomber made it easy to mingle with others.

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While staying on Beachcomber Island there are heaps of activities to choose from. Everything from Fijian craft lessons, snorkeling, turtle feeding, crazy putt mini golf and plenty of watersports including waterskiing, wakeboarding, parasailing and more – you could entertain yourselves for days! If activities aren’t for you, you can enjoy your day relaxing in this stunning setting while sipping on cocktails during the various happy hours throughout the day, or taking in the gorgeous ocean views from the beach.

The highlight of my time on Beachcomber Island was going parasailing with Splash Water Sports. It was a spontaneous decision to go parasailing and in the end was well worth it! The views from the air – above the water were absolutely breathtaking. After being hoisted up in the air by the parachute, you become overwhelmed by the stunning views. When you look out you could see for miles, and when you looked down you could spot the stunning colourful, bright reef and tropical islands below. Not only was this a scenic activity, it fulfilled my craving for adrenaline as well!

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The evenings on Beachcomber Island are known to bring quite a party. As happy hour goes three times a day on Beachcomber, the party starts early. Shortly after dinner, the DJ started ramping up the music, the drinks start flowing, and the evening activities begin. Everything from limbo and freeze competitions, to the famous “Bula Dance.” The nighttime’s are guaranteed to be full of laughter, fun and a few cheeky cocktails!

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The lovely ladies 

Not to mention if you can escape from the party for a couple minutes, make sure you head around to the other side of the island to catch the stunning sunset from the beach.

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Beachcomber Island is a place that I look forward to revisiting soon. Beachcomber Island was truly a place easy to get to, and very difficult to leave.

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Vinaka vakalevu Beachcomber, Sota tale!

Exploring Viti Levu (Fiji Mainland) with Feejee Experience

Fiji has been on my bucket list for travel destinations since the day I arrived in Australia, a year and a half ago. It has been a place I have heavily researched lately and continuously followed on social media over the last while. With my last holiday being my trip to New Zealand about 5 months prior, I was craving adventure. It was time for a two-week trip to Fiji with Feejee Experience.

Feejee Experience combines all the adventure and stunning landscapes you are hoping for with a trip to Fiji; with the real Fijian culture and people you will never forget. When you sign up for a trip with Feejee Experience, prepare yourself for the beautiful beaches, adventurous jungle trekking, traditional Fijian food and culture, and heaps more!

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Let the adventure begin!

Day 1: Brisbane, AUS to Nadi, FIJI

A bright and early morning had Gaby and I awake for our transfer to the Brisbane Airport where we would be meeting our third travel mate (Tina) onwards and upwards to Fiji! Flying courtesy of Fiji Airways, we had a seamless flight arriving in Nadi, Fiji in the early afternoon – providing for an afternoon to enjoy our accommodation; Smugglers Cove. Smugglers Cove is located steps away from the beach, and provides accommodation options ranging from dorm style, to private ensuited ocean view rooms. We checked into our room, and spent our evening down at the restaurant to grab some grub (and a ‘Fiji Baby‘ beer) while checking out the stunning ocean sunset.

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Nadi Sunset from Smugglers Cove Resort

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Tina and I – We made it to Fiji!

Day 2: Nadi to Coral Coast

After a good night’s sleep, it was time to depart on the Whole Hula Feejee Experience 4-day adventure. Our group was small but very intimate; we had 9 passengers, our driver Kaka and guide Suka. After we all introduced ourselves and got a briefing on what to expect for the next 4 days, we began our journey into Nadi town.

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Suka and Kaka our guides for the trip!

We stopped at a local gift shop, which provided us with the opportunity to purchase a Fijian sarong (necessary when visiting the local villages/schools), and any other snacks we fancied for the first leg of our journey. I picked up a pack of lollies (candy) that I thought would be good for the drive, but when I saw the price of 10FJD I put it right back down… haha! The people who worked in this store were so friendly – it really set the tone for the rest of Fijian people we were to meet along the way! Driving through the town gave the group a good first impression of how the ‘real’ Fijians live – a very simple and happy lifestyle.

We continued through the main centre of town, and south towards the first village visit on the trip; the Lomawai Village. When we arrived at the village our group was welcomed by the village with open arms. Children on the street were waving and smiling, and the residents couldn’t wait to have us in their home.

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Suka in Lomawai Village

Suka (our guide) lead us through Lomawai, explaining different aspects of traditional village living – everything from how they cook and clean, to what they do for fun. The highlight of this village visit was spotting “the coconut kid.” This kid caught my eye as he had about 10 coconuts draped around his shoulders and he was running through the village looking as through he was on a mission. This was something that no one from our group had ever seen before, and really stood out to us.

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The Coconut Kids at Lomawai Village

Our lunch stop for day 1 was at Natadola Beach. Natadola beach is arguably one of the nicest beaches in Fiji, with miles of pure white sand and clear blue water. It was the perfect setting for our first lunch stop as a group, and ideal for a bit of relaxation by the beach.

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Natadola Beach

Following the competition of lunch, we had a couple hours after lunch to explore the area, lounge on the beach or get a traditional Fijian massage if we chose. Tina and I decided to wandered off along the beach for a bit and found ourselves at a beautiful 5 -star resort located on the beach… this place had an incredible pool that we took full advantage of.

To add a bit of adrenaline into day 1, the next stop was to the Sigatoka Sand Dunes for some sand boarding! Some people were definitely better than others at the sport of sand boarding, which resulted in some hilarious photos.

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Sigatoka Sand Dunes – Sandboarding

While some people participated in true “sand-boarding,” others whom had a lack of direction did some … “bush-boarding!” For those passengers who weren’t interested in participating in sand boarding, still had the opportunity to check out the views from the top of the dune which are breathtaking and well worth the hike.

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View from the top of the dunes… amazing!

After an action-packed first day on the Whole Hula, the group was excited to get to our first resort on the Coral Coast of Fiji. Mango Bay Resort is set amongst lush tropical landscape and it overlooks a bay of crystal clear waters and stunning beachfront.

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Welcome to Mango Bay Resort, Coral Coast!

We arrived in the late afternoon which gave us the opportunity to either relax by the pool, grab a cocktail, freshen up for the evening and/or capture the picturesque sunset over the bay. For the evening, I was placed in a stunning ocean view bure, with an outdoor shower. It was luxury to say the least…!

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Beautiful Oceanview Bure

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Peace, love and happiness in Fiji

The night at Mango Bay was filled with a traditional Kava ceremony to begin the evening, a BBQ dinner buffet, and a cultural dance and fire show! These dancers and performers were incredible – they put on quite a show for the resort stayers! It the perfect first evening on the Whole hula circuit as the group had a chance to get to know each other better and we all got a good taste of what’s to expect as we continue to travel around Fiji!

Day 3: Coral Coast to Pacific Harbour

The main highlight of day 2 on the Whole Hula was the Waisese (Uprising) Trek through the jungle. We were greeted by our trekking guide, and transported by a pickup truck to the start of the trek. This was one of my personal highlights of the day; sitting in the boot of the truck with my hair blowing in the wind!

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This is what freedom feels like

This trek from start to finish took us approximately 3 hours and was filled with beautiful lush rainforest, cascading waterfalls and crystal clear swimming pools.

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Waisese (Uprising) Jungle Trek

When we made it to the top of the trek, we had an hour to enjoy the beautiful swimming hole, or participate in some rock jumping! If you were crazy enough, you could find your way behind the waterfall, which presented with exceptional photo opportunities! This was one of the most memorable parts of my jungle trek; watching the water crash over me while being behind the waterfall was breathtaking!

Waisese Waterfall Go Pro

Following the completion of the jungle trek, we made our way towards the Pacific Harbour and our accommodation for the evening, Uprising Beach Resort. Uprising is situated on a 2-mile stretch of soft sand beach, which overlooks the famous Beqa Lagoon. The resort bar & restaurant is located poolside and only steps away from the beach, which makes relaxing in the sun with a cocktail effortless.

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Uprising Beach Resort Pool

I chose to treat myself to a tropical Pina Colada, which went down smoothly as I swam around in the resort pool. The group had the entire afternoon to take advantage of the resorts facilities (pool, beach volleyball courts, kayaks, restaurant & bar, etc) before it was dinnertime. With a selection of delicious meals to choose from, we had a nice group meal in the restaurant before our evening activities commenced.

The evening of day 2 on the Whole Hula was filled with another traditional Kava ceremony, a coconut carnival (demonstration how to make things out of coconut trees) & some Fijian storytelling!

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Kava Ceremony

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It was fascinating to hear more about the Fijian history, and how the people came to be how they are now!

Day 3 – Pacific Harbour to Tanoa Raki Raki

Today we headed North towards Suva and eventually our final destination of Tanoa RakiRaki. Suva is the capital and second most populated city in Fiji. As we passed through Suva city we spotted various historic monuments as well as the University of the South Pacific (USP). Our driver Kaka mentioned to us how both of his children were currently studying at USP. Following Suva sightseeing we continued North where we finally arrived at Naiyala High School. When we arrived we were welcomed into the school by a group of schoolboys playing rugby on the fields. No matter where you are in the world sport is a universal language that everyone can relate to!

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Naiyala High School

A friendly group of upper year students met us at the entrance of their school and provided us with a guided tour of the property. Each and every classroom we walked by we received waves and smiles from all the students and teachers! They were all so excited to have us at their school – it was an extremely heart-warming experience! As Naiyala High School is a boarding school, the students showed us through their dorm accommodations, which were located a few minutes walk behind the school. It was amazing to see how friendly and disciplined these students were and how many duties they fulfill outside of school hours to giveback to the community.

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When we neared the end of our visit, we were escorted into one of the Year 12 classrooms for a goodbye ceremony. The students sang us three beautiful songs, which brought many us of goose bumps. They were all so sad to see us go, and many of us ensured we took some photos with them to remember the incredible experience we had while visiting their school!

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#FijiHappy with the Naiyala students!

We continued North up the Eastern coast of Viti Levu and eventually reached the Nasautoka Village, which was one of the main cultural stops on the Whole Hula pass. The Nasautoka Village was were we would be participating in a traditional Kava welcoming ceremony, enjoying a traditional Fijian lunch meal, and experiencing billi-billi (bamboo) rafting! The traditional Fijian lunch was prepared in the village by the mothers, as the fathers did the Kava ceremony.

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As I am a bit of a picky eater, I did find some of the lunch items a bit difficult to eat, but when in Fiji you need to eat as the Fijians do.. so I took a deep breath and tried as many items presented as possible!

Following lunch, we all got ready for billi-billi (bamboo) rafting down the river. A short drive down the road we made it to the beginning of the river where the bamboo rafts were situated.

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Time for some billi-billi rafting!

We broke up into three groups and were matched up with our rafting captain who would be paddling our way to the finish line at the end of the river. This was one of the highlights of the village visits as bamboo rafting is something that no one in our group had ever done before! Everyone was smiling the whole time, and a few water fights broke out as we neared the finish line… the losers had to drink the tsunami Kava bowl! Unfortunately my group lost and we had to down the big bowl of Kava drink! Eeeeks!

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Water fight!

The village visit gave our group a really good understanding of the ‘real’ Fijian lifestyle and culture, and how some Fijian people live on a daily basis. We all left Nasautoka village with a greater appreciation of the Fijian culture and people as a whole.

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Little Mr Bashful

Our accommodation for the evening of day 3 was at Tanoa Rakiraki in the Northeast of Viti Levu. This area of Fiji has a strong Indian influence to it, which created for an Indo-Fijian menu at many of the restaurants we dined at. Our group had some time in the evening before dinner to freshen up, go for a dip in the hotel pool and relax in our rooms.

Day 4 – RakiRaki to Nadi

After a nice sleep in, we awoke to our final day on the Whole Hula travel loop! Today was a bit more relaxed of a day as we headed back to Nadi in the afternoon. Following breakfast we began our drive West towards Nadi, passing by the lookout of Nananu-i-Ra Island for a scenic photo opportunity.

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Nananu-i-Ra Island lookout

After our lunch stop at Tanoa Waterfront restaurant we reached the highlight of the day; the Sabeto Mud Pools & Hot Springs! We all lathered ourselves up with the mud, waited until it dried and then we jumped into the mud pool!

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Time to get MESSY!

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Taking photos while covered in mud was so much fun! Following the soak in the mud pool, we got to enjoy some relaxing in the hot springs to wash off! We began our final journey back to Nadi, were our driver and guide did drop-offs at each and every hostel and hotel in the area.

Over the last 4 days on the Whole Hula, we experienced everything from beautiful tropical landscapes, traditional Fijian culture, exotic adventure and plenty more. This experience is the perfect mix of everything you are looking for when you plan a trip to Fiji. It provides the traveller a great appreciation of the people of Fiji, and how the country came to be as a whole. A trip to Fiji is a once in a lifetime opportunity, which will leave any traveller with lasting memories. 

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Next stop in Fiji was off to the beautiful Mamanuca and Yasawas Islands for some relaxing in the sun, snorkeling, scuba diving and more!

Here’s to endless adventure…

Want to book a holiday to Fiji? Check out the Peterpans and Feejee Experience website for more information!

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http://www.feejeeexperience.com

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http://www.peterpans.com.au