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NEWS

Fiji locals reveal its best-kept secrets including where to go, eat and swim

ROWENA RYAN, ESCAPE

 

August 18, 2016 2:56pm

With more than 330 spectacular islands home to white sand and sparkling blue waters, and just a four hour flight from the east coast of Australia — it’s no wonder Fiji is one of our favourite destinations.

While many Aussies tend to flock to Fiji’s best-known and more familiar locations like Denarau and the close island groups of the Mamanucas, if you’re ready to explore past the hotel fence these locals have some advice.

Here’s some tips from a Fijiian rugby coach, flight attendant and model on the best local places to eat, swim and see.

Elayna Gibson-Eyre, senior flight attendant for Fijiian Airways

Where’s your favourite spot in Fiji?

“My favourite place in Fiji that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting has been Taveuni. It truly is the Garden Island of Fiji with its lush vegetation and tropical wildflowers, including the Tagimoucia flower that is endemic to Taveuni. It has something for everyone with its beautiful white sandy beaches, magnificent waterfalls, some of the best diving spots in Fiji and Bouma National Heritage Park which offers scenic hiking trails and world-class bird watching.”

What’s your one tip for someone visiting Fiji for the first time?

“Get off the beaten track and go experience the real Fiji- visit a local village or an island and try the local delicacies, have a bowl of kava and experience the natural friendliness and hospitality of our people.”

Best place to eat in Fiji?

“Nadi has a great variety of eating places and one of my favourites has always been Mama’s Pizza because they make the best pizza in Fiji! Daikoku is also a popular spot for Japanese and LC’s Restaurant is renowned for their Chinese food. Taste Fiji and Bulacinno are also two of my favourite restaurants and are known for their great food.

Something you must try in Fiji?

“For those with braver stomachs, Kokoda is a favourite local delicacy made with raw fish marinated in lemon juice and served in coconut milk. I always carry a bottle of our famous Fiji Water with me to keep me hydrated, but also while in Fiji you must try the bu juice, which is the juice of the young green coconut. It’s tasty and refreshing.”

Which is the most scenic beach in your opinion?

There are so many beautiful beaches in Fiji, but my favourite is still the iconic Natadola Beach with its long stretch of white sand and surf-worthy waves.

What are some of Fiji’s best kept secrets?

Rotuma Island is definitely one of Fiji’s best-kept secrets, as it is quite a distance to travel to get to. But it is one of the most beautiful and untouched places in Fiji, a true paradise on Earth.”

Any other advice?

It’s always good to carry mosquito repellent while in Fiji and always apply sunscreen when going out in the sun. Don’t forget to carry something warm for the flight like a shawl or jacket, as most times people dress light since it’s hot in Fiji, forgetting that it gets quite cold on the plane. If you are planning to drop in and visit a local village during your trip, some good things to bring with you for gift ideas are school stuff- stationery, colouring books, etc., also clothing like T-shirts, and fishing lines (for handline fishing) and fishing hooks are always useful things that are much appreciated.”

Ben Ryan, Fiji 7’s coach and Fiji Airways ambassador

Where’s your favourite spot in Fiji?

“I love where I live so Pacific Harbour for me is paradise. Deuba beach, shark diving, fishing, curry, uprising resort, the pearl — Serua Province has it all.”

What’s your one tip for someone visiting Fiji for the first time?

“Don’t do the touristy things. Hire a car or grab a taxi and explore. Fijian’s are so friendly and if you want to experience Fiji then get out of your comfort zone and try anything.”

Best place to eat in Fiji?

“For the best pizza try Eco Café in Votua Village. For lunch, step back in time at Governer’s. For casual coffee and snacks try Skinny Bean in Pacific Harbour or Contain Yourself in Suva.”

Something you must try in Fiji?

“To drink, you can’t beat a super cold Fiji Gold on a hot Fijian day. If you want a local eating experience you’ve got to try Kokonda or a traditional hot Fijian curry.”

Which is the most scenic beach in your opinion?

“Some sand banks where we live in Pacific Harbour are cool but the Yasawa Islands are just beautiful.”

What are some of Fiji’s best kept secrets?

“There are so many so my advice is that if you’re coming to Fiji, please explore. There are secret waterfalls, pools, restaurants at every corner, just let Fiji guide you.”

Any other advice?

“Don’t plan too much before you get here. You’ve just got to go with the flow.”

Phillipa Steele, Fijiian model and Fiji Airways ambassador

Where’s your favourite spot in Fiji?

“My home region of course … the beautiful Coral Coast. Only 45 minutes’ drive from the airport and we have everything culture, adventure and some of the best resorts in Fiji.”

What’s your one tip for someone visiting Fiji for the first time?

“Visit our local markets on a Saturday morning to experience the very best local produce.”

Where is the best place to eat in Fiji?

“This is a bit hard ….as there are a lot of great places to eat in Fiji … on the Coral Coast I would suggest Koko’s Bar or the Eco Café. In my hometown, Sigatoka, Shiva’s Restaurant is a favourite.”

Something you must try in Fiji?

“You have to try the Yaqona (kava) and fresh coconut. For our best dish, you have to try our local fish dishes, and anything in coconut cream will be amazing.”

Which is the most scenic beach in your opinion?

“Kulukulu Beach and that’s outside where I live. Anyone visiting Fiji can visit Kulukulu beach through the Sigatoka Sand Dunes Heritage site.”

What are some of Fiji’s best kept secrets?

“Almost everyone speaks English so no language barriers and we are only a 4-hour flight away from Sydney, which is closer than Perth!

Any other advice?

“Step out of your resort and check out the local scenes and people … you will love it. And of course, bring your sunscreen!”

 

Source:http://www.escape.com.au/world/new-zealand-pacific/fiji-locals-reveal-its-bestkept-secrets-including-where-to-go-eat-and-swim/news-story/9d75af4100c2c195364c5d9f1ee475a8 

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