It’s been said that Fiji is where ‘happiness finds you’ – but just what is it about this island paradise that makes visitors so, well, happy?
From the moment you step off the plane and onto Fiji land, you can expect a smile to spread across your face, which will likely stay firmly put until you leave.
What most people put this smile-effect down to is the people that greet you. Fijians are among the most hospitable, genuine and caring people, and it’s this warmth that has largely made Fiji one of the most popular destinations for Australians for generations.
Their affinity with children ensures that not only little ones have an amazing holiday, but parents too. Few do a Kids Club like Fijian resorts – dedicated nannies, interesting cultural programs, and exclusive “kids only” meals times are just the start of the Fiji experience for tiny travellers, as well as forming some lifelong relationships along the way.
So many things to do
But perhaps what really makes Fiji the ‘happy capital’ is its world-renowned beaches. And thankfully, there are plenty to choose from. With world-class dive and snorkelling sites, the northern Fiji islands in particular are considered the ‘soft coral capital’ of the world.
Meanwhile surfers are especially happy on Fiji, where they can get their fill of world-class breaks, which are easily accessible from the mainland and various surf resorts on nearby islands. The hottest breaks are down the west coast and southern cost off Viti Levu.
Mind you, on land is just as stunning. With a rich cultural history dating back some 3500 years, there are many UNESCO-listed sites. The northern islands are especially lush and tropical, and ideal for those wanting something a little more exploratory with amazing waterfalls, walks and various water sports available.
Pacific Harbour is the adventure hub of Fiji. Imagine ziplining over lush, tropical forests, building your own raft (billi billi) and rafting down the river, or an adrenalin-pumping game of jungle paintball. We suggest soothing any war wounds at the popular mud pools near Nadi.
This is the place to turn off that mobile phone and start roaming – we mean really roaming, not data roaming.
For those looking for a more low-key break, Fiji is dotted with many indulgent adults-only resorts for couples. In fact, couples are somewhat of a specialty for Fiji hospitality, catering to honeymooners to those looking for a quiet getaway to reconnect. But with Fiji’s picture-perfect sunsets, pristine beaches, and water that is every shade of blue – it’s easy to see why more and more couples are opting to spend their wedding and honeymoon here.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort, one of Fiji’s top adults-only retreats, is the first and only resort in Fiji with authentic over water-bures, in a natural ocean lagoon. It is designed with integrity to Fijian cultural values, traditional designs and architecture.
VOMO Island Resort is a private island offering a choice of 28 resort villas and four luxury holiday residences. This 5 star resort merges contemporary design sophistication with the island’s stunning natural surrounds. With two spectacular private islands to explore, renowned snorkelling and diving, delicious dining options and an award-winning day spa, VOMO is the perfect place for couples and families needing a genuinely transformative escape.
Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is a favourite with families. Be pampered with signature Talai butlers, traditional bure bungalows, and Meimei nannies. Treat yourself with a visit to the hilltop day spa, and enjoy sweeping views over the ocean. There’s plenty to keep the whole family occupied with children and teen activities, a magnificent tropical pool, and a Kids Eat Free special.
Shangri-La Fijian Resort and Spa is nestled on the private Yanuca Island and is a family-friendly escape (though for those wanting some alone time, the adults-only areas are a sanctuary for grown-up guests). This particular resort a great option for foodies with six restaurants and bars to choose from. With three pools, the coral reef, and a private sandy beach on a deep lagoon that’s swimmable any time of day, there’s a place to dip your toes right across the island. There are also tennis courts, a mini-golf course, basketball courts and bikes to ride. If golf is your thing you can swing a club at the 9-hole Peter Thompson-designed golf course. For those who love water activities the reef and lagoon offer plenty of adventure. Kids will wear themselves out on Fiji’s inflatable water park, adrenaline junkies can command a jetski, or those seeking a slower pace can grab a snorkel or kayak to explore the sea-life.
It’s not just leisure travellers getting their smile-fix on Fiji either – business travellers are especially cheerful. And can you blame them? Being only four hours from Australia, Fiji is close enough to minimise on lost time in transit, but far away enough to maximise its exotic ‘wow’ factor. With infrastructure for small intimate gatherings to large themed gala events, Fiji can ensure a work conference clients will never forget.
After all, this is where happiness finds you.