When day-dreaming of Fiji, thoughts of pristine white sands, glistening turquoise waters and beaming tropical sun may spring to mind. However, there’s more to this archipelago of 333 islands than just blissful serenity. Take a moment away from the beaches and discover an adventurous side at odds with the natural calm.
Unsurprisingly, much of the adventure is water-based. The “soft coral capital of the world” features over 390 types of coral, around 1,200 kinds of fish and five of the world’s seven marine turtle species. With more than 300 islands, there are countless dive sites to choose from. Feeling daring? Head to the aptly named Shark Reef and submerge into waters alongside eight types of shark. Strict procedures are in place to ensure the safety of all divers.
White water rafting
Seemingly endless waterfalls, gorges and rapids act as your playground. The Upper Nauva River runs through the island’s interior and takes you past kilometres of deep canyon. Black volcanic walls surge upwards of forty metres high and are bordered by emerald rainforest. On your journey, pass around seventy waterfalls and hurtle down rapids ranging from class I (easy) to class III (moderately difficult). Although the rapids aren’t the biggest, the scenery more than makes up for it.
Bite the bullet and jump from an aeroplane at 14,000 feet. After all, the fear leading up to the jump is nothing compared to the feeling of ecstasy when freefalling. Just make sure to keep your eyes open, you wouldn’t want to miss the panoramas below – a stunning mix of white beaches, blue waters and coral reefs. An excellent chance to tick skydiving off your bucket list.
If you’re not crazy enough to jump out of an aeroplane, you can still see Fiji from above with ziplining. At Zipline Nadi, a series of 16 zip lines run through the rainforest and take in canyons, caves and mountaintops. Soaring higher with each leap, at the top you will be rewarded with views of islands, reefs and surfing spots.
So, you’ve discovered Fiji under water and from above, now it’s time to explore via land. Although there are hikes that involve the coastline, try to get away from the beaches and into the heart of Fiji. Here, you will witness the cascading waterfalls, lush forests, winding rivers and remote villages, gaining an insight into the local culture along the way.
Hop on a quad bike for some serious fun. Heading into the centre of the island, race through mud puddles, rough tracks and river crossings. Alternatively, discover the mountains at the back of Pacific Harbour via dune buggy and stop at one of the waterfalls to cool off. There are also custom-made off-road vehicles which carry out tours through the caves.