Fiji Islands – Honeymoon at its best | Travel Diary

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To be clear: Fiji is breathtaking. And when I look at the pictures, I can’t believe how beautiful the islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean actually are. Many people have asked me if I can recommend it. YES!

But would I go there again? I’m not so sure. If you have the opportunity because you are just around the corner, for example, in Australia or Hawaii or the South Pacific, you should certainly go for it! Otherwise, I would rather fly to Hawaii again. Fiji is just too far away and too remote. And it is too touristy somehow. After all, it is Mallorca for the Australians.


Since we were traveling in Australia during our honeymoon trip anyway, Daniel had the idea to fly to Fiji for an additional highlight trip. It wasn’t until later that we realized that Fiji is still quite a ride away and that it would have been almost faster to fly the other way around the globe. But how often do you have the opportunity and also the time? And that’s how we spent six days on the Mamanuca Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Quite a honeymoon within a honeymoon.

It was not easy for us to decide for one of the 332 islands and find a hotel that was neither too small or remote nor too touristic or even too expensive. From the main island („Viti Levu„) on which the international airport is located, we had not heard anything positive. To find out how to get to the other islands took us a lot of time and nerves – because unfortunately, it is not that simple. And since we only spent six days in Fiji, we wanted to waste as little time as possible on travel and transportation. That’s why we finally decided to go to the „Mamanuca Islands“, which are the nearest chain of islands and can be reached by ferry within 45 minutes.

When approaching Fiji, we were already welcomed with stunning views and the anticipation for the next beautiful days rose.

When we landed in Nadi, we were welcomed by some local musicians, who probably wanted to make our time at Customs Control as entertaining as possible. Our plane had landed simultaneously as an Air New Zealand plane, so it was pretty busy and took quite a while for the Border Control to check everybody in. Some around us – who seemed to visit Fiji at least for the second time, commented the waiting time as “Fiji time”. However, we got a little nervous despite the musicians‘ attempt to make the waiting time as relaxed as possible. We thought we had planned in enough buffer because our ferry wasn’t supposed to leave for two hours, but time went on relentlessly, and we were swiftly not so sure anymore that we would make it. We already changed the plans for the return in our minds, as we only had one hour in between the ferry and airport, which suddenly didn’t seem sufficient. That way, we tried to adjust to the Fiji time.

Once we passed Border Control, we felt welcome again – in the truest sense of the word – since someone waited for us with a sign and our name, taking us to a bus that brought us to the harbor, Port Denarau. We had calculated the trip in advance on Google Maps with about 15 minutes, but the bus took 30 minutes rather. In our minds, we finally canceled the ferry back.

Port Denarau

Port Denarau

We had read in advance that one should buy bottled water at Port Denarau, as the drinking water is much more expensive on the islands. Luckily we had just enough time to stock up with plenty of Fiji Water (favorite!!!) and arrived in time for boarding the ferry that was supposed to take us to our first stop: The island Malolo Lailai.

Even if Viti Levu, as the main island, is not the most beautiful of all islands, it is still Fiji (hellooo!), and when leaving Port Denarau, we probably realized this for the first time. The water was unbelievably turquoise (although it was even a bit cloudy), and together with the mountains, it created a beautiful picture.


By the way, we were the only ones sitting on the deck in the sun. It was a high swell, and we got quite wet. Yet the crossing was a lot of fun, and despite SPF 50, we got more tanned during the 45 minutes of sailing than during our actual holiday in Fiji.

While mooring on Malolo Lailai, we were welcomed by the staff of the three hotels on the island with a friendly Bula and a funny singing, including the musical accompaniment of rattles, ukuleles, and other exciting instruments. Each guest also received a shell necklace around his neck. The suitcases were not even-handed over to us again but were delivered separately by the crew on the ship on a trolley. An employee reminded us once again, „Don’t worry; we will take care of your luggage… remember: it’s Fiji time.“

From the jetty, we were driven about 200 meters by a small car and dropped off in front of our hotel, the Lomani Island Resort. The hotel staff was awaiting us in front of the door and greeted us singing joyfully. We were allowed to sit down on the patio and were given a fresh coconut, and a damp cloth. Where else in the world do you get that kind of serving while checking in a hotel? Sitting on the terrace, overlooking the beach and the turquoise water, we were supposed to fill in the form of guest information. What a feeling.


Still, I have to admit that this was the first time Fiji Time got on our nerves. The hotel employees took the time for each couple that had just arrived to guide them individually through the hotel. Luckily there were only two other couples besides us. Nevertheless, the first tour lasted one hour, and we almost regretted that we had taken the earliest flight, only to spend the full day waiting. Initially, we had planned to spend the afternoon on the beach of Manolo Lailai, but the day progressed with fast steps towards the evening, and we became more and more nervous…

… until we went to the reception to ask to go to our room. The receptionist also took her time and was a little irritated (probably she wasn’t used to nervous tourists?). We patiently followed her introduction tour (as if we hadn’t guessed where the pool and the sea were before… ;-)), only to finally arrive at 4 o’clock in our room, where unfortunately our suitcases had not arrived yet… oh yes, Fiji Time. Eventually, Daniel went himself to pick up our suitcases from the baggage car to put on our swimsuits and finally go to the beach.

After 1,5 hours at the hotel’s beach, it got a little chilly, and we went up to our room to get ready for our first dining experience that was a Cava ceremony.

We found out that the whole hotel was invited, as there were apparently no alternative possibilities to go out on the island that evening. But for us, the ceremony on the first day was pretty ideal for getting into the mood of Fiji and getting to know other hotel guests…

Cava Ceremony

During the Cava ceremony, attendees sit in a circle on the floor and watch traditionally dressed locals singing together, playing music on instruments, and making the mythical drink „Cava“. I had to google it because I didn’t understand what we were supposed to drink: Cava is made from a pepper plant and kept in powder form. It is mixed with water, sieved, and poured into a big bowl. Then the brew is served in a coconut shell and passed around. I found this somehow unhygienic. I mean, at this point, I had known the other participants for only 20 minutes. Before you drink, you are supposed to clap your hands and say „Bula“ which means „Welcome“ and „Hello“; but it also means „Cheers“. After that, you are asked to empty the bowl in one go and afterward clap again with a loud „Vinaka“. Then, they refill the bowl and pass it on to the next guest.

The ceremony went on for two rounds; in the first one, I pretended to drink, but I passed in the second one. I didn’t want to come off rude by any means, but cava tastes about the same as drinking sand water in root broth. And again, it’s passed on in between strangers, an action that was opposed to me. In general, the drink is supposed to relax the muscles and let you sleep well. One sip of it made me incredibly thirsty, though. Luckily, after the ceremony finished, everyone was handed a glass of wine, and then the barbecue started.

Since we hadn’t eaten anything all day, we were starving. That’s why we went to the „Lovo Grill“, which means the meat and vegetables are grilled or cooked in banana leaves. On toast, Daniel glimpsed a very nice looking couple and cheered to them. It turned out this was a great decision since we would have dinner together and remain friends for the following years. They live in Melbourne, although she was originally from Mauritius and grew up in London. She met her husband in London, who brought her to his hometown Melbourne after a few years. We spent many days and evenings together and arranged to meet them in Melbourne – luckily, Melbourne was the last step of our Australia trip.

Things to do in Fiji


The next days, we spent alternately on the beach or fun trips offered by the hotels. One complimentary activity in the hotel was stand-up paddling, so we spent most of the afternoons on the boards. Another day, we took a boat to Cloud 9 or went to a coral reef for snorkeling.


On our way to the snorkeling spot, we passed the island where Cast Away was shot. We didn’t stop there (it seems to be more of a tourist thing), but we anchored in front of it. Once again, I noticed that snorkeling – especially on the open sea – is not for me, and I decided rather watch the others paddling in the sea.

Looks like Taka-Tuka-Land, right?

Speaking of boats – we had to rent a private boat to get from Malolo Lailai to Malolo Island, our second stop in Fiji, the Malolo Island Resort. We spent another three days (unfortunately, in a costly hotel room). Still, at least we got two bottles of champagne as a wedding present – including a 1.5-hour partner massage after Daniel noticed that electricity was running through the copper pipes in our bathroom…


And even though Fiji was beautiful and very relaxing, there is actually hardly anything more to tell. There is just not that much to do. Even though there are various islands, and presumably much more to see, I think we made the best of the time to do all the „tourist activities“. But again, if you are looking for culture, history, or city explorations, you are probably wrong in Fiji. Then I would rather go to Hawaii 😉

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