EXPLORE Fiji Aug-Oct 2019

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AUG - OCT 2019

award-winning tourism magazine





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Message from the Publisher Bula & Cola Vina!


elcome to Fiji where warm weather and tranquil settings offer you the ideal ingredients for a relaxing holiday. You’ll be sure to live by our famous ‘Fiji Time’ allowing you to slow down, unwind, and relax.

Your holiday just isn’t complete without getting a dose of Fijian (iTaukei) culture and tradition through performances like the ‘meke’ and firewalking rituals. Of course, you must also try ‘yaqona’, dubbed Fiji’s national drink.

Prepare to be enchanted by rich cultures and our people whose warm, friendly hospitality continues to inspire those who seek out happiness in our land of Bula.

Small and emerging towns add to the country’s vibrant culture. Just outside the bustling capital Suva is Nausori, an expanding township better known to visitors for the airport that services the eastern corner of Viti Levu. We feature Coffee Shotz, the town’s newest eatery for good coffee and light food. (Page 36).

With this Aug-Oct 2019 edition, we hope to further inspire you with our features and photography, information and even recipes. Belo Vula Resort graces our magazine cover as we journey to the island gem (page 8) nestled on Bekana Island, just a short boat ride from Lautoka, Fiji’s sugar city. Named after the white heron of the same name, Belo Vula bestows a relaxed, barefoot experience with warm Fijian hospitality that creates a magical experience for those who seek it. Indulge yourself in Mother Nature’s most natural creations; a coral reef just beyond the sandy beach, crystal-clear waters and 30 acres of lush mangroves and tropical gardens. There’s plenty to provide you with a memorial experience whether for a day trip or an extended holiday. We also take you to Malamala, the world’s first island beach club, located in the Mamanuca Group for their captivating Thursday night show & dinner that’s on offer for a limited time until October 31st. See page 12.

Did you know the ocean and reefs are significant providers of food and livelihood in Fiji? On page 16, we offer two recipes to try out from Kusima Mada, a new cookbook designed to inspire new menus as well as some methods to promote sustainable seafood choices by consumers. The cookbook contributes to the efforts of the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries to conserve local fisheries through ongoing campaigns such as “Set Size Campaign” for fish and invertebrates and the seasonal ban on the species of fish, Kawakawa and Donu, from June 1st to September 30th. Across Fiji, the seasonal ban forbids Kawakawa (grouper) and Donu (coral trout) to be collected, sold locally or exported. If caught, sellers can face fines and have their fish confiscated. If you accidentally catch Kawakawa or Donu while fishing, you should let it go to allow the fish to thrive and bring more fish next year and in years to come.

We have strived for accuracy, but please note that travel information is subject to change at any time, especially prices. EXPLORE Fiji cannot be held responsible for the changes or the experiences of readers while travelling. Like you would anywhere else in the world, we encourage you to be aware of your surroundings and keep a close watch on your valuables. Chew Publishing Co. Pte Ltd cannot be held responsible for any claims, statements or offers made in any advertising. The contents of advertising and editorial may not necessarily reflect the policy of Chew Publishing Co. Pte Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced, wholly or in part, without prior written permission from the Publisher.


AUG - OCT 2019

award-winning tourism magazine

The 4FJ campaign, a movement to revive the species of fish, is encouraging people to voluntarily pledge to forego the fish during their peak spawning months. The A-grade fish have become vulnerable to overfishing because they gather predictably in the same areas each year to breed; making them easy to catch. According to a government report about 80 percent of the known breeding sites are sadly declining or gone. As consumers – visitors and locals, alike – we are part of the solution. Let’s be vigilant while dining out and shopping; let’s ask about the fish they provide. We have the chance to vote with our money. In the pages ahead, you’ll also find articles on migratory birds - Fiji’s original tourists; ocean activities aboard the Drua – Fijian sailing vessel, a semi-sub and personalized sea charters; the iconic Fiji Gateway Hotel and tourism updates. The award-winning Port Denarau Marina on Denarau Island is a destination many visit while in Fiji. We congratulate the country’s premier and only superyacht marina for listing on the South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPX). Be sure to also check out the multi-page events calendar; useful country information; Fiji map and more. Whether you are a first time or seasoned visitor, we encourage you to try out the array of experiences on offer throughout the islands. In doing so, you will also find that beyond the attractions, it is our people and their friendly, Bula spirit that leaves the greatest impression. Feel free to share your print edition copy or scan the QR on the magazine cover and page 4 for the digital version. Thank you for choosing Fiji. We hope you take home many wonderful memories to share with family and friends and we look forward to your return. Vinaka vaka levu, Connie





Belo Vula Resort on Bekana Island, off western Viti Levu. Photo: Andrew Loiterton.

Volume 17, Issue 3 EXPLORE Fiji is an award-winning complimentary Fiji tourism magazine ~ available in print and online. EXPLORE Fiji’s latest magazine issue and archives:


Published four times a year by Chew Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd in Suva, Fiji Islands. Publisher/Editor Connie Chew Contributors ©Joliphotos Andrew Loiterton Rob Rickman Chris McLennan Naisa Gaunavou ©Martin Pelánek Ara Juan David Hartman Shiri Ram Ray of Light Blair Monk Creative 7 Ltd Design The Greenhouse Studio Printer Quality Print Pte. Ltd, Suva EXPLORE Fiji Office: Suva, Fiji. All correspondence and payments should be mailed to: Chew Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd GPO Box 901, Suva, Fiji. Editorial, Print & Digital Advertising / Marketing, Distribution & General Enquiries Tel: 332 0978 explorefiji@connect.com.fj 2004 Winner of Fiji Development Bank ‘National Small Business - Tourism Category’ Award.





ne of the most fascinating experiences on a Fijian holiday is witnessing the sacred firewalking ceremony – where men from Beqa Island walk barefoot across a bed of hot stones, seemingly without burning their feet. A Fijian firewalking celebration is a mix of firewalking, costume, singing, dancing, acrobatics, stunts, storytelling, fighting and more. From the moment the muscular men appear in their brightly coloured costumes against an impressive backdrop of the lush green gardens Fiji is so famous for, you’ll be amazed. The story of firewalking in Fiji begins around 500 years ago, when there were only around 50 people living in the village of Nakarovu in the high land of central Beqa, off the coast of Viti Levu. It is said that a young man, Tunaiviqalita, went in search of an eel to give to an elder, but instead found a small man – a spirit god – wrapped in tapa cloth. The small man, in exchange for his survival, promised to give Tunaiviqalita the gift of controlling fire, allowing him to walk on white hot stones. Tunaiviqalita believed he had been given a powerful gift by the man and his ability to walk on white hot stones has since been passed through his blood line in the Sawau Tribe on Beqa Island. As legend has it, the descendants are today still able to walk on fire. Today, descendants of Tunaiviqalita live in the villages of Rookwa, Dakubeqa, Dakuni, Soliyaga and Naceva, and many travel around the islands to perform this brilliant act at hotels and special events. While this celebration is a way of life, firewalking takes a great deal of preparation. Men are chosen as representatives for different villages, and 10 days before a celebration, they must segregate themselves from females and stay away from eating coconut. If they fail to do this, legend states that they will be punished with severe burns. The fire pit where these men will walk is dug out, being 12-15 feet in diameter and 3-4 feet deep. Large river stones are collected and placed in the pit, filling it up. Eight hours before the ceremony, a log fire is built over the top of the stones, heating them up. Firewalking is a sacred celebration that keeps the culture of Fiji alive for future generations. Part of Fiji’s charm is its close connections to community, tradition and symbolism, and this legendary celebration is a must-see. Text by Captain Cook Cruises Fiji. www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com Photo: Chris McLennan.


F I J I ’ S



3, 4, 7 & 1 1 Night DiscoverY cruises tivua islaND full DaY cruises 10am aND 1 1.30am suNset DiNNer cruise



- your island home


ant an island experience for the day - or just a few nights - and don’t want to take out a second mortgage? Pop-over to Belo Vula Resort on Bekana Island. Only accessible by boat, it’s an easy eight-minute ride from Lautoka, Fiij’s second city, and a 30-minute cab ride from Nadi International Airport. A family-owned island, Belo Vula is the ‘affordable’ resort that offers a true island experience along the entire west coast of Viti Levu. Bekana Island is big enough to feel deserted, but small enough for it to feel intimate and authentic. With only 15 bures on the entire island, it will truly feel like your own. Choose from traditional rustic Fijian bure which sleeps two or bring the whole family and stay in a beachfront family bure that can sleep up to five. All bures are air-conditioned with private bathrooms. Nestled on its own coral reef and surrounded by lush mangroves, Bekana Island is a sanctuary for tropical fish. Jump off the private pier and snorkel amongst the colourful fish and underwater terrain; spend the afternoon kayaking around the island; or simply relax with a cocktail by the side of the pool.


Using the freshest local ingredients, Belo Vula Resort boasts some of the best authentic Fijian and international food in and around the Lautoka area. Open all day, choose the big breakfast to start your day; try fresh and crispy homemade pizzas and burgers for lunch; sip cocktails as the sun sets; and then take a journey around the world with a choice of meals from across the globe for dinner. Activities and experiences include snorkeling, kayaking, Stand Up Paddle (SUP), sunset boat cruises around the island, fishing and diving expeditions (can be arranged on request), beach volleyball, soccer, massages, body treatments, manicures and pedicures, basket weaving and hair beading. Karen See, managing director of Belo Vula Resort said, “My family settled in Fiji in the 1930s, and Fiji has been our home for two generations. Belo Vula is a very special place for us, and we welcome everyone with a big Bula hug and smile. Our home, is your island home.” Photos: Andrew Loiterton. Text supplied by Belo Vula Resort.

Colleen from New Zealand said, “If you want to be in a resort where it’s all go-gogo, this is not the place for you. But if you want a laid back, cruisy island experience, Belo Vula is ideal. The bonus was it was great value for money. After staying at Belo Vula, we wouldn’t even consider any other resort in Fiji.” (Booking.com testimonial)


Belo Vula Resort Bekana Island Lautoka Fiji Tel: (679) 869 7932 or (679) 781 2965 reservations@belovulafiji.com www.belovulafiji.com

Kim from Queensland, Australia said, “The resort was just the best short break away we have had. You arrive as a guest, but you certainly leave as part of a family... The staff are fabulous. We woke up to the sunrise and beach lapping at the front door. No TV or radio … leave your mobile phone at home. Forget the outside world and just leisure in Fiji. We have already booked again for next year.” (Expedia testimonial)


Thursday Nights @ MALAMALA

Nights at Malamala Thursday Night F$199 per person


njoy evenings at Malamala Beach Club with the launch of its brand-new experience “Nights at Malamala” featuring contemporary Pacific dance and gourmet dinner. Available only on Thursday nights until October 31st 2019, visitors and locals alike can delight in warm Fijian nights at the worldfamous beach club. A lively welcome awaits you at Port Denarau with lali drums beating and dancers roaming the jetty as you board for your sunset cruise to Malamala nestled in the Mamanuca group of islands. As you are leaving at 5.15pm the sun is setting providing a picture-perfect start to the evening. On arrival, walk down the jetty, a complimentary glass of sparkling wine awaits and a selection of canapes followed by a demonstration by the awarding-winning chef Lance Seeto on the ancient


For bookings, call South Sea Cruises. Reservations: (679) 6750500. Email: reservations@ssc.com.fj www.malamalabeachclub.com

art of making scorched coconut milk. Enjoy a flight of curated kokoda shots of citrus-macerated eggplant, duck and pearl meat before settling in for the evening. It’s ‘Happy Hour’ all night on the island so make your way to the bar for a handcrafted cocktail or take a stroll before dinner. The sound of the conch shell invites guests to find their seats set up on the beach for the start of the gourmet three-course contemporary Fijian dinner. Start with a shared seafood platter and vegetarian appetizer including cold-smoked yellowfin tuna, albacore and marlin with pickled

achar, taro hummus, dry coconut chutney, chargrill eggplant choka, falafels and artisan breads followed by a palette cleanser sorbet and a choice of three mains. A new show by VOU, Fiji’s leading dance company, begins with a journey through the Fijian isles then onto Tahiti, Hawaii, Cook Islands and Samoa. Both slow and fast drum beats deliver an explosive and vibrant Pacific experience ending with a spectacular fire dance that lights up the ocean. While you are enjoying the show the dessert station will be set up with freshly made donuts at the live station with caramel sauce, marshmallows on sticks for toasting on the bonfire and local ice cream.

Sit back on your beanbag surrounded by the warmth of the bonfire and enjoy the rest of your evening. During the day, Malamala Beach Club is a unique island day trip with an infinity pool, beachside cabanas - with butler service - white sandy beaches, handcrafted cocktails and a contemporary menu inspired by local Fijian flavours and produce and only 25 minutes from Port Denarau. Enjoy complimentary non-motorised water sports equipment so there is plenty to do. Malamala Beach Club is also available for exclusive charter and is the perfect venue for a corporate event, family celebrations or an island wedding. Photos: Rob Rickman. Text supplied by South Sea Cruises.


• Air, Sea & Land Activities • Art Gallery • Asian Cuisine • Bakery & Pattisserie • Bank • Bars • Beachwear • Beauty & Massage Therapy • Boat Charter • Boutiques

Bula & Welcome to

the Port at Denarau • Car Rental • Coffee Shop • Confectionery Shop • European Cuisine • Fashionwear • Fast Food & Takeaways • Fijian Cuisine • Fishing Charters • Footwear

• Handicrafts • Hard Rock Café • Ice Cream Parlour • Indian & Italian Cuisine • Jewellers • Kebabs • Money Exchange • Nail & Hair Salon • News Agency

Located on the water’s edge, the Port at Denarau offers the largest single collection of quality shopping and dining in Fiji. Open daily, the Port boasts mouth watering cuisine and an unhurried shopping experience in a relaxed and unique environment.

It will take you five minutes by car from Nadi Town and fifteen minutes from Nadi Airport. Come, unwind and enjoy our hospitality on a sun splashed deck or indulge in an enchanted evening to a backdrop of shimmering waters and live local entertainment.

Denarau’s renowned yachting harbour plays host to island hop cruises & charters, super yachts and the occasional ocean liner.

Visitors to the Port will enjoy a wildly casual environment and experience the Fijian warmth and cultural diversity.

The Port at Denarau is just a short walk or bus/taxi ride away from any Denarau Resort.

For business or pleasure, The Port is a “must visit” whilst in Nadi or Denarau.

Port Denarau Centre Management, Denarau Island, Fiji • P.O. Box 80, Port Denarau • Telephone +679 6750602 • www.portdenarau.com.fj • Post Office • Pizza • Real Estate • Speciality Cuisines • Seafood • Steakhouse • Supermarket • Travel Agency • Wine & Liquor • Yacht Chandlery


Best Destination For Authentic Fijian Handicrafts

Preserving our Fijian Heritage Since 1969, Jack’s of Fiji has been working with local communities at grassroot level to showcase Fiji’s finest authentic arts and crafts to the world. We are committed to preserving and promoting authentic Fijian handicrafts and artifacts.

www.jacksfiji.com Our Stores: Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Port Denarau, InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa, Warwick Fiji, The Pearl Resort, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, Tokatoka Resort, Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, Nalagi Hotel, Nadi Town, Sigatoka Town, Pier St Suva, Savusavu.



Kusima Mada

ildlife Conservation Society-Fiji has launched Kusima Mada, a first of its kind cookbook in Fiji designed to promote sustainable seafood. In Fijian, “kusima mada” describes an overwhelming appreciation of seafood and the passionate desire to eat seafood. The new cookbook offers 80-plus seafood recipes, promotes sustainable seafood practices and celebrates the role women play in

Fijian fisheries. WCS-Fiji director Dr Sangeeta Mangubhai developed the cookbook with Australian chef Jason Allport. To enquire about or purchase the cookbook, call the WCS-Fiji office in Suva on telephone 3315174. yy We hope you enjoy the following recipes from the cookbook.

MUD CRAB WITH SPICED� SALT DIPPING SAUCE Serves 4 Preparation time: 40 minutes Place water, salt and lemon in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the mud crabs and cook for 15 to 17 minutes or until the shell turns red. Remove cooked crabs and place into iced water to stop the cooking process. The quicker the crabs cool the better, so add ice if necessary. Clean crabs. Break crab up into the size you wish and serve with the dipping sauce. For the sauce, combine the garlic, lemon zest, fried shallots, coriander, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, and sesame oil, and season with black pepper. The dipping sauce is inspired by the way chef Jason’s sister Melanie makes her Greek-style salad dressing. Serve with the chilled crab.


2 x 1.5kg mud crabs, uncooked 4 litres water 1 cup rock salt 2 lemons, halved

DIPPING SAUCE 3 cloves garlic, finely minced 3 tsp lemon zest (no pith) 3 tbs shallots, fried ½ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped 1 tsp sea salt 3 tbs olive oil 3 tbs lemon juice 1 tsp sesame oil Ground black pepper to taste

Photos: Shiri Ram

TAMARIND PRAWNS Delicious with steamed rice and a leafy green salad. Soak tamarind in water until it is thick and creamy. Add the prawns and marinate for 2 hours. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the prawns and cook while adding the sugar, salt and dark soy sauce, until sauce caramelises. Pour the coconut cream into a small saucepan over low heat, taking care not to let it boil. Pour coconut milk over the moulded steamed rice, serve with the prawns and garnish with spring onions and cucumber. Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji.

Serves 2 Preparation time: 40 minutes 300g local river prawn (or tiger prawns), feelers and tail spike removed 30g fresh tamarind 5 tbs water 4 tbs cooking oil 1 tbs sugar 1 tsp salt 1 tbs dark soy sauce 2 tbs thick coconut cream (miti) 2 spring onion stalks, thinly sliced ½ cucumber, cut into 5cm pieces and thinly sliced



©Jürgen ©Jürgen Freund Freund


/ExploreFijiSunglasses www.explorefijionline.com /ExploreFijiSunglasses 18

Enquiries: explorefiji@connect.com.fj

Your Culture Adventure begins here...

Fiji Cultural Day • Village & Crab Catching Tour Sunset Cruise Dinner & Show • Day & Night Combo Tour Experience a truly authentic Fijian Island that is right on your doorstep. From the first “Bula” you will be taken on an enriching journey of Fiji’s history and culture on one of the islands where it first began 3000 years ago. Just like Robinson Crusoe himself, you will enjoy the warm blue waters and unspoilt beaches that provide a perfect backdrop for relaxation, recreation and exhilarating entertainment.

T: +679 77 60999 E: reserve@rcifiji.com W: rcifiji.com


ndulge in Fiji’s glorious islands with charters by Hidden Gem Fiji. Families, friends and groups can enjoy a wholesome getaway to some of the most accessible and celebrated islands in the iconic Mamanuca Group. On board its centre console boat Momo Gem, the hospitable crew will treat you to a memorable expedition on the crystal waters of western Fiji. With four to nine hour charters, Hidden Gem Fiji offers a good variety of day adventures.




Jump off the boat and enter another world with a tantalizing network of coral reefs. Thousands of species of fish and exquisite marine life offer a unique snorkeling experience.

Design a trip to suit you and your companions. Troll for inshore fish on the way to snorkel spots in the majestic coral reefs, lap up the turquoise waters, lunch onboard or at an island resort and enjoy the Mamanuca’s abundant beauty. Or choose a later start to your day and enjoy a Fijian sunset at sea before returning to shore. For enquiries & bookings, contact Hidden Gem Fiji on Fiji tel: 6727772, mobile: 9094708 or email: enquiries@hiddengemfiji.com www.hiddengemfiji.com

Island hopping A great way to bask in the magic of the Mamanuca Group. Each island has its own resorts, catering to all, from backpackers to 5-star. Some resorts can be visited just for lunch or just a cocktail. Charters can also be arranged to the floating restaurant Cloud 9. There’s also a touch of Hollywood on Monuriki and Bounty islands, where Cast Away and Survivor Fiji were filmed.


Offering fishing options from hand line for reef fish, popper casting & light gear to trolling the deep blue for big game fish like yellowfin tuna and if you’re lucky a marlin. Hidden Gem also caters to fly anglers wishing to chase the hard-fighting trevally and various unique inshore species. The boat comes fully equipped with premium brands of rods and reels including Sage, Tibor, Redington, Shimano and Okuma, plus all the necessary technology from Yamaha and Furuno.

Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji. Text and photos from Hidden Gem Fiji.

Dynamic Currency Conversion is available when you use:

International credit cards only Australia New Zealand USA Euro China UK Japan India Philippines Malaysian

Your currency. Your choice. Make the smart choice when travelling. With Westpac’s Dynamic Currency Conversion, you can pay your bill in your home currency. Talk to us today.

For more information please call 132 032 or visit our website www.westpac.com.fj Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141. The liability of its members is limited.


50 years



Fiji Gateway marks milestone


ith its old-world colonial architecture, sweeping lawns and bougainvillea spilling out of every window-box, Fiji Gateway Hotel evokes charm and class. Built in 1969, Fiji Gateway Hotel has been offering a tranquil tropical hideaway right where guests need it. The iconic hotel is the most convenient transit hotel in the Nadi Airport area, located across the road from Nadi International Airport. Fiji Gateway Hotel is also the mainland sister hotel for popular family-friendly Plantation Island Resort and the stunning, adult-only Lomani Island Resort in the Mamanuca group of islands. The properties are owned and operated by Raffe Hotels & Resorts. Formerly known as the Raffles Gateway Hotel, the Fiji Gateway Hotel offers 95 rooms and suites for couples, families and business travellers looking for a comfortable stopover hotel with a wide range of facilities. All rooms and suites are decorated using a classic chocolate-and-cream palette, and feature traditional Fijian artefacts throughout.


There is also conference rooms, a boutique shop, bar, gym, tennis court and two swimming pools. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the hotel recently completed a FJ$650,000 public areas refurbishment that has fully renewed the lobby, restaurant, bar and cafĂŠ. Its refurbishment style is

in keeping with its original colonial design, bringing out classic and classy colours with a plantation colonial theme. Savour a world of dining at the Palm Court Restaurant with its famous Indian curries, as well as a wealth of Fijian and international cuisine. You’re also sure to find something to your taste at its centrally located bar and the cafÊ where you can grab a quick snack or a light lunch.

Fiji Gateway Hotel has also embarked on a twoyear room refurbishment plan worth FJ$2.5 million, that will fully revamp its accommodation offering. Upon completion in mid-2020, the hotel will have transformed from a simple 3-star transit hotel to the leading 4-star airport hotel in the Nadi Airport area. Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji with text and photos supplied by Raffe Hotels & Resorts.

Do you have a few hours free before you fly out of Fiji? Spend a minimum of FJ$25 on Food or Beverage at the Hotel & 2 adults and 2 kids can use our pool & water slide for free (pool towels included).

Where are we ?

Located across the road from Nadi International Airport.


id you know that some animals migrate - or travel to different places, usually when the season changes? Dubbed Fiji’s “original tourists”, these amazing migratory birds travel to our islands for a few months each year. World Migratory Birds Day on May 11th was dedicated to introducing the public to these migratory birds and how to preserve them. With this year’s theme Protect Birds – Be the solution to plastic pollution, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti launched a new three-year Migratory Bird Campaign and pledge to protect birds.

Photo: ©Martin Pelánek. IUCN.

• Its migration includes the longest known non-stop flight of any bird and also the longest journey without pausing to feed by any animal. • They perform the longest nonstop flights of any non-seabird, and, unlike a seabird, there is no chance of an inflight snack.


Pacific Gold

Ruddy Turnstone

Bar-Tailed Godwit

The Record-holding Bird!

N work man T com fores abou Plove Anot 12th,

Fun Facts about the Fabulo

Photo: Wikipedia.

Spot Migratory Birds - Fiji’s Original Tourists


Leaves no stone unturned • Flocks often rise and fly in unison. •Researchers have clocked turnstones flying at 27 to 47 miles per hour! • Looks almost like a calico cat. • They have special feet that are somewhat spiny, with short, sharply curved toenails that help them hold on. • They take their first flight when they are around 19 days old and fly thousands of miles to the nonbreeding grounds two days later. To make things harder, their parents will have departed by this time, leaving the youngsters to make their first migration on their own.

Known for its egg

• One of the mo Fijian sayings is yaloka ni dilio” — unobtainable, the • The commones region. • Unlike most wa Golden Plover ca on grass playing or lawns near sometimes they invariably followin • The name “plo the French word m bird. In Europe, fl plovers historical beginning of th season.

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti is Fiji’s only domestic NGO king solely for the conservation and sustainable nagement of the country’s unique natural heritage The NatureFiji-MareqetiViti team and friends mmemorated the special day along the Nasese shore in the capital Suva where they learned more ut migratory shore birds including the Pacific Golden er and the Ruddy Turnstone through fun activities. ther public event is planned for Saturday, October open to all ages.

ous Five

You can also join NatureFiji-MareqetiViti in spotting any of the five migratory birds: Bar-Tailed Godwit, Bristle-Thighed Curlew, Pacific Golden Plover, Ruddy Turnstone and the Wandering Tattler. Visitors to Fiji and locals alike are encouraged to take a photo of the migratory birds and report sightings to NatureFiji-MareqetiViti. Send email to support@naturefiji.org. Or post a message on its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NatureFijiMareqetiViti Be sure to include the photo, where you saw the bird and what it was doing at the time. Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji. Information from NatureFiji-MareqetiViti.

Bristle-Thighed Curlew

Wandering Tattler


ost widely known s “Kunekunei na — “in search of the e egg of the dilio.” st migrant in the

aders, the Pacific an often be seen fields, rice fields, the coast, and y travel inland, ng rivers. over” comes from meaning “the rain flocks of migratory lly arrived at the he autumn rainy

Photo: Naisa Gaunavou.

Photo: iNaturalist.

Photo: Naisa Gaunavou.

den Plover

A tool user who is sometimes flightless • The only migratory shorebirds that become flightless during molt. Most threats are on wintering range, where the curlews are very vulnerable during the flightless stage of their molt. • The only migratory shorebirds that use tools in foraging. Documented tool use behavior consists of picking up rocks with their bills and hurling them at albatross eggs to crack them open. • The only migratory shorebirds that winter exclusively on oceanic islands, • The genus name, Numenius, means “of the new moon,” and describes the slender, curved shape of the bird’s bill.

Shorebirds’ watchman • The name “wandering” refers to its widespread occurrence over vast portions of ocean. The “Tattler” part of its name comes from its practice of giving alarm calls when perceived threats are nearby, alerting other shorebirds to the danger. • In Fiji, the Wandering Tattler tends to be the last wader to depart, in May or early June. • It frequently follows rivers inland, and may be seen 40 kilometres or more from the coast of Viti Levu. • Forages more actively than other shorebirds of rocky coasts, moving about quickly over rocks, picking items from surface. • Although their feet are not webbed, they are decent swimmers and can swim as chicks.



Celebrating 21 years of the Legends of the Pacific Show

a remarkable milestone for Robinson 2019 marked Crusoe Island Tours, celebrating 21 years of performing the Legends of the Pacific Show. Likuri Island and the surrounding area are steeped in historical significance, with ancient pottery dating back 3,500 years found nearby.

The island was largely uninhabited prior to the 1980s, and historically it was reserved as a sacred island for ceremonies as well as a place of recreation for the paramount chief of the area. In 1998, a Samoan chief's son from the island of Savaii, brought the gift of fire dancing to the island, and Robinson Crusoe Island Tours on Likuri Island became well-known for its spectacular performances.

“This is an exciting time for us, the feedback we have been receiving from our guests is just amazing and is a true testament to the hard work our team puts in to ensure that everyone has a wonderful time while visiting our little island.� said Ms Bellchambers, General Manager, Robinson Crusoe Island Tours. We are also very proud to have been awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was created to honour those businesses that have earned a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years.


Being the only Island Resort on the coral coast, Robinson Crusoe Island Tours is easily accessible to visitors staying in Nadi and Coral Coast. Fiji Culture Day Tour runs every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and The Village and Mud Crab Catching Tour, Sunset Cruise, Dinner & Show and the Day and Night Combo Tour operates every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The tours are family friendly and suitable to guests of all ages. The resort has shower and change room facilities and day rooms to hire, ensuring guests are as comfortable as they can be while on the island. Likuri Island - home to Robinson Crusoe Island Tours is a 30-minute mangrove jungle cruise on the mighty Tuva River. Telephone: +679 7760999 Website: rcifiji.com Email: reserve@rcifiji.com

DRUA - original Fijian sailing experience S

et sail on the Drua Experience in Western waters. Formerly operating out of Suva, the Drua Experience has relocated to the new lagoon at Vuda Marina in Viseisei, situated half way between Nadi town and the sugar city of Lautoka. The vessel i Vola Sigavou (The New Rising Star) is a replica of the Ratu Finau, the last surviving drua that is currently housed at the Fiji Museum in Suva. Only one hundred years ago drua were the backbone of Fijian heritage and culture. Drua is the most innovative maritime technology to come out of Fiji but unfortunately this culture was pushed to the brink of extinction with the advent of fossil fuel motors. Now with the threat of climate change and the necessary push for more sustainable solutions to reduce fossil fuel usage and decarbonization, drua could be the perfect vessel to sail into the future. The vessel, which is 30-feet long and can comfortably carry 10 passengers, is available for

Fiji Untold show is a story of Mystical Giant women, Octopus Gods of the vast Fijian ocean, and a Shape Shifting Iguana spirit adorned in the long-lost dance sticks of a village crying out for a hero.

Light snacks, soft drinks and transfers complimentary, world class broadway style performances, special effects, animations & surround sound, breathtaking voices and captivating dances.

two-hour cruises at $100 per person, private halfday and full-day charters. The drua is also available for hire for private functions and events. Bookings can be made on www.druaexperience.com or by sending a Facebook message to @druaexperience. Text: Drua Experience. Photo: Ray of Light.

Be drawn to the acrobatic displays on arrival. An enticing performance awakens ones senses and leads you into a state of the art Big Top Arena where you will watch the story of FIJI UNTOLD, ignited by a passion of song and dance unveiled.

Book now:

www.funhubfiji.com or +6797416592




iji’s premier and only superyacht marina has once again been recognised at an international stage for its efforts in promoting tourism and providing a world-class marina service to a range of customers. Port Denarau Marina which has been awarded twice as the “Best International Marina” by Marina Industries Association (MIA) between the years 2015 to 2018, has achieved yet another milestone. The marina was inducted in the MIA Hall of Fame at the Marinas19 International Conference and Trade Show held on the Australian Gold Coast in May this year. “Our induction into the Hall of Fame is a great achievement not just for us as a marina operator but the entire country,” said general manager Cynthia Rasch. Only 20 minutes’ drive from Nadi International Airport, Port Denarau Marina is Fiji’s leading marina facility. As the hub of the integrated Denarau Island Resort, Port Denarau Marina is the gateway to exploring the idyllic sun drenched tropical isles of Fiji’s west coast. With the marina’s focus on the importance of protecting the marine and natural environment


in a way that makes good business sense, Port Denarau Marina is the only facility in the Pacific Islands to be accredited an “International Level 3 Clean” and “Fish Friendly Marina” status. In July this year, the owners of Port Denarau Marina Limited (PDML), Skeggs Group Ltd, announced their intention to publicly list Port Denarau Marina on the South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPSE), subject to final SPSE and Reserve Bank approval. Skeggs Group will remain the majority shareholder. In its most recent financial year, Port Denarau Marina saw some 495,000 tourists, representing over 54 percent of Fiji’s annual tourist numbers, transiting through its facility. In addition, the marina had 30 foreign cruise ships visit and welcomed over 400 yachts and 56 Superyachts. The numbers have grown steadily over the years and are set to continue on this trend, reflecting the strength of Fiji tourism as well as the importance of Denarau Island, and the marina in particular, as the “gateway” for marine tourism. Text supplied by Port Denarau Marina Limited. Photo: David Hartman.

Your holiday in Fiji

Those special moments only deserve the best! Visit our web site to view the wide selection of Champagne and sparkling wine that is available. We also deliver to your venue.


Victoria Wines Denarau

Denarau Marina Ph: 675 0236

Victoria Wines Nadi

Lot 17 Queens Rd Ph: 672 0588

Victoria Wines Suva

Damodar City. Ph: 331 0798



Suva’s new cruise passenger lounge Photo: Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd.


he Port of Suva has a new Cruise Passenger he Port of Suva has a new Cruise Passenger Lounge that caters to travelers on cruise Lounge that caters to travelers on cruise liners liners calling into the capital city. calling into the capital city. With an average of 30 cruise liners that With an average of 30 cruise liners that visit visit the Port of Suva in a year, the passenger the Port of Suva in a year, the passenger lounge lounge provides relevant information to assist provides relevant information to assist visitors. visitors. A similar lounge is planned for the Port of A similar lounge is planned for the Port Lautoka. of Lautoka.

Plantation’s Tavola Restaurant


lantation Island Resort will serve up flavours of the Pacific at its new Tavola Restaurant from September 1st 2019. Named after the Tavola (Beach Almond) tree that’s popular on the island, the all-day dining a la carte restaurant is part of a brand-new precinct that includes an arrivals bure, pool, bar, and 40 new ocean view hotel rooms. “The Tavola tree is iconic at Plantation

Island Resort, for so many years it has provided the back drop for weddings, anniversaries, new love, friendship, change of tides and even a little romance” explains the resort’s general manager, Alex Wilson. Set on one of the best locations in the Mamanuca Islands, Tavola Restaurant faces a sun-setting horizon and spectacular views over Malolo Lailai Bay.

Suva Adventures


he capital city of Suva has a new offering that features a variety of jetski tours to the islands within Laucala Bay. They are Laucala Bay Island,


Photo: Suva Adve


Nukulau Island, Makuluva Island and Nukubuco Island (also known as Laucala Bay Sandbank). Also on offer is a river safari tour up the Rewa River that includes riding through the back channels and viewing villages whilst adventuring up Fiji’s largest river. Single and double kayaks are also available for hire. All tours and rides come with experienced guides. Open daily including public holidays. Suva Adventures (Fiji) Pte. Ltd is located at the National Sailing Centre at Suva Point in Suva. Mobile: 7770063. www.suvaadventuresfiji.com Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji.




refurbishment of the iconic Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau begins October 1st 2019. Due to popular demand, guests will continue to enjoy the 5-star resort whilst the transformation to the new global Sheraton standard takes place in stages. Initial works will begin on one of the seven accommodation blocks, with areas screened to minimise guest impact. During the renovation, up to 85 percent of the accommodation and resort venues will continue to operate as normal and the project is expected to be finished mid-year, 2020. Sheraton Fiji Resort opened 30 years ago and is one of many Sheraton Resorts globally to undergo a transformation to align with its focus as The World’s Gathering Place. Centered around the concept of community, the lobby environment has been reinvented to focus on bringing people together to create a meeting space for locals and travelers alike, to create a differentiated Fijian experience to connect and foster collaboration and friendships. Curated food and beverage concepts, luxurious accommodation, interactive guest experiences, unique meeting venues and studios, the latest technology and best environmental practices are only a few of the amazing highlights. “When completed, Sheraton Fiji Resort will usher in a truly

world-class, resort experience for our international and local guests”, explained Neeraj Chadha the multi property vice president and general manager for Marriott International Fiji and Samoa. Through Sheraton Fiji’s transformation, its four sister resorts in Fiji continue to welcome guests. Sheraton Denarau Villas, The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Sheraton Resort & Spa Tokoriki Island and Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay on the Coral Coast offer 771 bedrooms, 16 restaurants and bars, seven conference venues and a host of recreation facilities including the 18-hole Denarau Golf and Racquet Club. Text & photos by Marriott International Fiji.



reef tour


great way to explore spectacular marine life and coral formations without getting wet is in a semi-submersible. Treasure Island Resort offers its own semisubmersible tour of the abundant reef that surround the popular island in the Mamanuca Group. The specially designed underwater viewing vessel offers a unique perspective of Fiji’s underwater world because you are looking side on at the coral reefs and fish life – unlike in a glass-bottom boat where you are looking down from above. From the wide viewing windows, the reef is revealed in its full glory before your eyes.

Discover the surrounding marine reserve and the outer edge of the reef where the fish are in abundance (especially when it’s feeding time). The Subsea Adventure crew provide a running commentary pointing out the marine life you’ll see and there are identification charts on board. Treasure Island Resort Tel: (679) 666 0380 reservations@treasure.com.fj www.treasureisland-fiji.com Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji. Photo: Treasure Island Fiji.

Coastal Rental Cars Free Deliveries To All Resorts In Denarau And Central Urban Centres In Fiji





Nadi Suva Sigatoka



Reservation : +679 6520228 | 777 8530



eke is the traditional Fijian dance that enacts local stories and legends, usually performed by a group of dancers arranged in one or more rows, with music provided by singers and instrumentalists seated behind them. Men and women, and at times even children, take part in a meke.

Photo: Fijian Culture Village.

Photo: ©Joliphotos

With music being a favourite pastime for the iTaukei (indigenous Fijians) and an important part of their rich culture, meke performances embrace traditional song and dance to conjure up legends, love stories, spirits and history through symbolic movements. Traditionally, music was created only by chanting and rhythmic clapping, often with the addition of a lali (hollowed wood) drum beaten with bamboo sticks. More recently the guitar and ukelele have been introduced. The meke is an activity you’ll have the chance to experience at many hotels & resorts, cultural tours, ceremonies, festivals and events. Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji.



Photo: Ara Juan.

By Ara Juan

ongratulations to our Protector of Paradise Fiji finalists- Atu, Hosea and Vin from Fiji, Blair from New Zealand, Magen from USA, Lauren from South Africa, Ara from the Philippines! We look forward to our environmental-tourism journey with you.” OMG! I couldn’t believe this was happening! I was going to Fiji! I had set a goal to scuba dive in 20 different locations by the end of 2020, and Fiji was on my list. But not in my wildest dreams did I think I was going there this year (2019) and for free at that. Together with six people, I was chosen by Creative 7 Ltd for this once in a lifetime adventure. The idea was to show the beauty of Fiji and spread the message of conservation. We came from different backgrounds but somehow our love for the ocean had brought us together. For one month, we were given the chance to experience the Fijian islands. Our journey as designated protectors of


paradise began in June as we sailed Captain Cook Cruises Fiji’s MV Reef Endeavour to discover the beautiful northern islands and snorkeled in breathtaking reefs. We also learned about Fiji’s history, culture and its people. Quickly I learned that Fijians were incredibly friendly. “Bula” they would greet us everywhere we went. This is not just an ordinary “hello,” mind you. It means “have a good life”. If the fish on their reefs could speak, I bet they too would say “Bula”. I will never forget the day I swam with manta rays for the first time. Mantaray Island Resort helped me tick off a couple of things on my bucket list. Snorkel with manta rays- Check! Scuba Diving in Fiji – Check! “Bula”, it was. A good life indeed. On Makogai Island, we met with people from the Ministry of Fisheries who showed us their giant clam breeding program. As a diver, I was delighted to learn about their conservation efforts. Vinaka! (Thank You) for helping save these endangered clam species.

Photo: Creative 7 Ltd.


Later, Tavarua taught me a thing or two about lomani (to love). The heart-shaped island shows a lot of love for the ocean. Tavarua Island Resort is part of the giant clam breeding program on Makogai. Seeing the clams thrive in this Marine Protected Area was astonishing. Snorkeling in their reef and seeing so much life underwater made my heart pound. Where there is life, there is hope, even when the oceans are under assault in so many places. During our last week, we visited a school in the

Yasawa group of islands. Through Vinaka Fiji, we shared with children the danger of plastics in our oceans and encouraged them to protect marine life. Remembering their happy laughter reminds me of the Fijian word marau (be happy). Being in a paradise like this, it is no surprise that one can find bliss. I found lots of it in Fiji. If I were to summarize my experience, it will go like this: Bula. Vinaka. Lomani. Marau. And Dua Tale (one more time), please! Browse Ara’s website: www.diverbliss.com


Photo: Ara Ju

Photo: Blair Monk.

Avis Coral Coast Station Opening AT SITAR COMPLEX, KOROTOGO, SIGATOKA Rentals from as low as FJD$90.00 and receive a free giveaway Call/visit us to take advantage of this limited special

Conditions Apply

RESERVATIONS Coral Coast : (679) 777 1819 Station Manager : (679) 999 1607 Nadi Airport : : (679) 6722233 : (679) 9991451 Email : info@avis.com.fj Website : www.avis.com.fj


COFFEE By Connie Chew, Publisher


new coffee haven thrives in the heart of Nausori town. Coffee Shotz has carved out a space for itself as a boutique coffee shop in the emerging eastern township beside the Rewa River, Fiji’s widest watercourse. Just 12 minutes from Nausori Airport (international gateway on the outskirts of the capital Suva), Coffee Shotz caters well to in and outbound air travelers, everyday commuters on the Suva to Nausori corridor, shoppers and business folk, alike. Entrepreneur Atela Yee, CEO and owner of Raiwaqa Bakery, a renowned local bake shop chain, saw an opportunity for a coffee shop when commercial rental was up for grabs on the ground level of Khushal Building on Ross Street. After converting the space into a fresh coffee outlet, Atela opened Coffee Shotz in October 2018; with the location conveniently next door to her very own production bakery – the Nausori branch of the Raiwaqa Bakery.



Coffee Shotz is a destination for coffee and food, a setting for engaging conversations with family, friends and business colleagues. It offers patrons good value for money and attentive service by wait staff dressed in black pants and polo shirts. Enjoy a range of coffee beverages (hot & cold), assorted teas, smoothies and quenching mocktails like ‘Nausori Punch’ and ‘Rewa Breeze’, blended with fresh seasonal fruit. There is an array of bakery items, light snacks and a café-type menu - breakfast sandwiches, paninis, wraps, burgers, pies and salads. Desserts include cheesecake (Oreo, lemon and double chocolate), cake (Black Forest and White Forest) and the classic Banana Split. Everything is made in-house and at the bakery next door. Raiwaqa Bakery also operates a Suvabased bakery and shop in the Nasese neighbourhood. Both bakeries and shops operate 24 hours, every day. Coffee Shotz opens at 7am Monday to Saturday, greeting the morning crowd with coffee and fresh pastries, cakes and sandwiches.

All pastries and breads are handmade from scratch utilizing the freshest ingredients. If you’re looking for something to grab and go, pick from sandwiches, chocolate croissants, cookies to cheesecake by the slice. Or you may enjoy endless cups of java and a full menu of offerings in relaxed, air-conditioned comfort or at any of the two tables outside. From the menu, choose Bula burgers, wraps, croissants and whole meal or white bread sandwiches with chicken, lamb, egg, cheese or vegetable filling; salads (tuna, chicken, potato, garden) and pies. You’ll also find madefrom-scratch gluten-free brownies. While there, ask if they also have their gluten-free banana bread and chocolate cake, all of which are made at an off-site location to manage cross-contamination. From August, expect the menu to gradually expand to include traditional Fijian favorites like topoi (tapioca dumplings), babakau (fried pancakes) and bani lolo or lolo buns – local bread buns that are smothered with coconut milk then baked until golden brown. The likelihood is high that one will find these delights go well when enjoyed with a local cup of coboi (lemon grass tea). Keep an eye out for new temptations with a tropical twist. Pineapple upside down cake, anyone? There is also plans to include roast chicken, pizza, gluten-free burgers and flat bread sandwiches to the evolving Coffee Shotz menu.

Wait staff Anne prepares a beverage.




Sandwiches Wraps Burgers Salads Smoothies Ice Drinks Mocktails Cakes Pasteries



COFFEE Espresso Long Black Flat White Cappuccino Mocha


Photos by Coffee Shotz.

12 mins away from Nausori Airport.

Khushal Building Ross Street Nausori 3476003








hen planning your must-do and must-see list while in Fiji during the months of August, September and October, here are some events to consider. The following dates are national public holidays. Constitution Day Monday, September 9th Fiji Day Thursday, October 10th Diwali Monday, October 28th


Pacific Nations Cup fixtures in Fiji The 2019 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup is the 14th edition of the Pacific Nations Cup annual international rugby union competition.


ANZ Stadium, Suva 2:30pm: Samoa vs USA. 5:15pm: Fiji vs Canada.


ANZ National Stadium, Suva 4:35pm: Japan vs USA. 7:15pm: Fiji vs Samoa.

10TH — 17TH

Procera Music Carnival featuring top local artists at Syria Park, Nausori. For the whole family, there will be amusement rides, Bouncy Castle, food and trade stalls. From 5pm to 8pm daily.

12TH — 17TH

Vodafone Savusavu Hidden Paradise Carnival. Narain Park in Savusavu. (Vanua Levu)


Fiji Foam Festival - a new and surreal music experience. The ‘get wild and get wet’ dance party at Churchill Park in Lautoka kicks off at 6pm and ends 2am. Tickets available at SPR store in Nadi and Suva, Book Shop in Lautoka, and Tandoori Fried Chicken in Ba and Tavua. Buy e-tickets at www.fijifestivals.com/ticket

17TH — 24TH 18TH



Churchill Park, Lautoka 4pm: Tonga vs Canada.

For tickets, call Fiji Sports Council: 3312 177 or Fiji Rugby: 330 2787.

Vodafone Festival of the Friendly North. Subrail Park in Labasa. (Vanua Levu).

South Indian Firewalking celebrations at the Sangam Temple on Howell Road in Suva. Temple pundits pierce the tongues, cheeks and bodies of the Hindu devotees with three-pronged skewers and smear their faces with yellow turmeric, a symbol of prosperity and a powerful totem over disease. Open to the public.


Rugby Academy Fiji Milo Holiday Clinic & Tag Rugby Festival at Albert Park in Suva. Organised by Rugby Academy (Fiji). For more details, call 9774752.


Australia Fiji Rendezvous organised by Superyacht Australia. Includes Aussie expo, VIP captain’s lunch and a crew BBQ competition. Denarau Yacht Club at Denarau Marina, Denarau. 10am-10pm. For further details, email: mspencer@aimex.asn.au

24TH — 28TH

Vodafone Rakiraki Carnival. FSC Grounds in Rakiraki. (Viti Levu).


Vodafone Ba Riverside Carnival at Ba Market Grounds in Ba. (Viti Levu)

5TH — 25TH

Eco-Challenge Fiji Islands Eco-Challenge is the ultimate expedition race which pits 50 international teams of four competitors against each other over 14 days. The adventure athletes will race non-stop, 24 hours a day, across hundreds of miles of rugged Fijian backcountry terrain complete with mountains, jungles and oceans. The race will include outrigger paddling, mountain biking, rappelling, climbing, whitewater rafting, pack rafting and paddle boarding. Navigation must be done with map and compass only and teams will be required to use expedition problem-solving skills in their quest for the finish line. The first team to complete the entire course and cross the finish line wins. Eco-Challenge is produced by MGM Television and will debut on Amazon Prime Video.

Photo: Eco-Challe nge.


EVENTS 13TH — 18TH 14TH — 15TH

Musket Cove 36th Regatta Week at Musket Cove Fiji, Malolo Lailai Island, Mamanuca Group. Bill Fishing Competition organised by Denarau Game & Sport Fishing Club, Denarau.

14TH — 21ST

Vodafone Sigatoka Coral Coast Carnival at Sigatoka Town Council grounds in Sigatoka. (Viti Levu)

24TH — 28TH

Vodafone Sugar Festival at Churchill Park Ground 2 in Lautoka.

25TH — 28TH

Vodafone Tavua Gold and Water Carnival at Garvey Park in Tavua.


The 19th Ray Fisher Memorial Golf Tournament. Registration starts at 10am for an 11am shotgun start. Denarau Championship Golf Course, Denarau. 10 Years of MASTI VIP Cocktail Show organised by Fiji’s hottest Bollywood-focused MASTI Arts & Dance Group at the Civic Centre in Suva. Free to public. Opens 7pm.

OCT 9TH — 12TH

Vodafone Back to Levuka Carnival at Nasau Park in Levuka.

10TH — 12TH

Vanuabalavu Island Festival at the Fiji Sports Council car park in Laucala Bay, Suva.


Fiji will host matches between the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII and Fiji Prime Minister’s XIII men’s and women’s teams at the ANZ National Stadium in Suva. The event is being held in partnership between the Australian National Rugby League (NRL) and the Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL).Tickets are available at select Vodafone shops and at the Fiji Sports Council office. $20 for grandstand and $5 for grass and concrete embankment.


Protect Birds – Be the solution to plastic pollution! Join friends and staff of NatureFiji-MareqetiViti at the Nasese foreshore in Suva in a public clean up (of plastics) and count the number of migratory birds that have arrived in Fiji. See feature on pages 24 & 25.



Also these regulars…

The Port @ Denarau - Denarau Free nightly entertainment at The Port at Denarau shopping centre on Denarau. Pacific performances include fire dance and kava tasting ceremony. 6:30pm to 7:30pm.

Vuda Beach Market – Vuda

Held every 2nd Saturday of the month on the seaside terrace and beach of First Landing Resort in Vuda. A growers & makers market. Farm fresh produce, handmade jewelry, arts & crafts and more. 9am to 3pm.

The ROC Market – Suva

A community event that brings life to the capital’s Carnavon Street on the 3rd Sunday of every month. The market provides a place for artisans, producers of cultural products and locally handmade goods, food stores and entertainment. 9am to 3pm.

Open Market Day - Pacific Harbour

Pacific Harbour Open Market Day is held on the 1st Saturday of every month. Arts Village shopping complex at Pacific Harbour in Deuba. 8am to 3pm.

Socrates Café - Suva

Socrates Café meets on the 1st Tuesday of every month from 6pm to 8pm. Join the group for an evening of engaging conversations on the topic of the month. Socrates Café meets at the Fiji Club at Selbourne Street in Suva. For details, call Queenie: 9922258. Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji.



6750533 41



WEATHER Fiji can be enjoyed all year round because of its mild tropical climate. The dry season is from May to October. This is when the temperatures are cooler and there is less rainfall and humidity. The wet season is from November to April. Daytime temperatures average around 25oC (77oF), and humidity is generally high.

ATTIRE Local dress in Fiji varies. Decent casual, light clothing is recommended. Often you will hear people refer to “Bula” attire, which is Fiji’s equivalent to Hawaii’s “Aloha” dress code. Visitors are asked to be careful not to offend local sensibilities. Bikini and ultra-brief swim wear is acceptable at hotels/resorts but not when shopping in towns/cities and visiting villages.

ETIQUETTE There are a few places in the world where visitors are as warmly welcomed as they are in Fiji. But there is a protocol to follow. In a Fijian village, a house is a home and visitors aren’t expected to poke their heads inside. If invited inside a bure (local cottage), it is considered polite to stoop, to take off your shoes, keep your voice down and sit cross-legged on the floor. Shorts, swim wear, caps or hats aren’t normally worn inside a village. If offered a bowl of kava, drink it, unless you have been advised not to for medical reasons. Kava drinking is an important ceremony and a past time. If you intent to visit a Hindu temple or Muslim mosque, ask a local adherent first. It is offensive to walk into a mosque with shoes on.

MONEY EXCHANGE There are specialist bureau de changes around the country but foreign currency and travellers cheques can usually be exchanged at any bank.


Crime Stoppers Fiji Recompression Chamber Emergencies

dial 919 dial 999 3506 999 3500

TIPPING While tipping is not encouraged here, it is your choice to decide whether to make a gratuity.

CURRENCY The Fiji dollar is the basic unit of currency. Notes available in $5, $7, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2.

CREDIT CARDS Major credit cards widely accepted at hotels, shops, restaurants, cruises, travel agencies, rental companies and tour operators. VISA, MasterCard, American Express, China UnionPay, Diners Club and JCB International.

BANKING Banks generally open 9:30am to 3:30pm Monday to Thursday and 9:30am to 4pm Friday. Closed weekends and public holidays. Banks include Westpac Banking Corporation, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ), BSP, Bank of Baroda, BRED Bank and HFC Bank. All have offices in Suva and branches & agencies around the country.


A Value Added Tax (VAT) of 9% is added on the cost of goods and services in Fiji. There is also a Service Turnover Tax (STT) of 6% and an Environmental and Climate Adaption Levy (ECAL) tax of 10%.

POSTAL SERVICES Operated by Post Fiji Ltd., post offices are located throughout Fiji. Philatelic Bureau Sales Centres are located at 1 Edward Street in Suva and the Prouds Building in Nadi.









Westpac ATM locations SUVA

• Suva Branch • Nabua Branch • Laucala Bay Branch • USP Campus Branch • Shop & Save - Lami • Foster Plaza – Walu Bay • Max Val-U Rodwell Road • Tappoo City • Sportsworld - Waimanu Rd • Marks Street • Ratu Sukuna House • Dolphins Plaza • Distill Flagstaff • Flagstaff Plaza • Damodar City Complex • Wing Sang - Samabula • Kundan Singh - Tamavua • Max Val-U Superfresh - Tamavua • Vivrass Plaza - Laucala Beach • Centerpoint – Laucala Beach • Shop & Save - Nabua • CMF - Harvest Centre • Shop & Save - Nasinu • NewWorld - Valelevu • NewWorld - Narere • Hanson’s - Makoi • Atlas - Valelevu


• Nausori Branch • Nakasi Branch Tebara Complex • Khushals Plaza • Nausori Market


• Savusavu Branch




• Nadi Branch • Namaka Branch • Port Denarau Branch • Airport Branch • Pala’s - Nadi • FDB - Nadi • Tanoa Int. Hotel - Votualevu • Max Val-U Namaka • Wishbone Namaka • Shop & Save Namaka • Shop & Save Votualevu • Yees Xpressmart - Port Denarau • Emmam Bi - Nacovi


• Sigatoka Branch • Foodhall - Sigatoka • Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa • Shangri-La Fijian Resort - Yanuca Island


• Lautoka Branch - Vitogo Pd • Personal Banking Centre - Naviti St • Sugar City Mall - Naviti St • UniFiji Campus - Saweni

BA/ TAVUA/ RAKIRAKI • Westpac Branch


• Labasa Branch • Jaduram Building – Labasa • Bashir Khan Building


• Levuka Branch

For more information call 132032 or (679) 3217 800 or visit any Westpac Branch for queries.

Banking for generations Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141. The liability of its members is limited.

Enquiries – 132888 Suva • Pacific House • Central St • BSP Life Centre • Suva Central • Greig St. Plaza • Dolphins Plaza • MIOT Pacific Hospitals • Atlas Trading • Tappoo City • Parade Arcade • Grand Pacific Hotel • RB Patel Market Point • Sun Insurance Bldg, Flagstaff • Garden City, Raiwai • Grantham Plaza • Cost-U-Less • BSP, Samabula • RB Patel Centrepoint • MH Valelevu • TOTAL, Lami • Kundan, Tamavua • Village 6 Nausori • BSP Branch Pacific Harbour • BSP, Arts Village Navua • Post Fiji

Sigatoka • BSP, Sigatoka • 5 & 2 Bistro • Nadro Supermarket Nadi • Challenge Plaza, Namaka • Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa • BSP, Namaka • Consumer’s, Namaka • BSP, Nadi • Shop & Save, Nadi • Smugglers Cove Beach Resort • McDonalds • Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa, Denarau • Port Denarau Marina • Nadi Int. Airport • Bamboo Travellers, Wailoaloa Lautoka • BSP Branch, Lautoka City • Sugar City Mall • RB Patel, Westpoint • Vuda Point Marina Ba / Tavua / Rakiraki • BSP Branch Labasa / Savusavu • BSP Branch Taveuni • BSP Branch

TOURIST VAT REFUND SCHEME The Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority operate counters at the Nadi Int. Airport and the Suva wharf where tourists can claim refunds. To qualify, a visitor must spend FJ$500 (VAT inclusive) in any of the registered VAT refund outlets and must take the goods out of Fiji within two months from the date of purchase. Present goods for inspection along with the refund form, original tax invoice, passport and int. boarding pass to a customs officer at the Tourist VAT Refund Inspection Counter.

MOBILE (CELL) SERVICES Several mobile phone operators offer cellular phone services in Fiji. Mobile phone and sim card rentals services are also available. Recharge cards can be purchased from airports, post offices, shops, supermarkets and service stations.

PHONE SERVICES Local and international calls made from hotel and resorts generally cost more as rates and surcharges apply. Telecom Fiji Ltd (TFL) customer care centers are located in major regional centers on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Cardoperated phones are available in some locations and prepaid phone cards are sold at post offices and select shops and service stations.

STOCK MARKET South Pacific Stock Exchange Shop 1 & 11, Sabrina Building, Victoria Parade, Suva. Tel: 330 4130.


INTERNET SERVICES Internet access is available at most hotels and resorts across Fiji. Wi-Fi is also available at select locations. If you bring your laptop or ‘tablet’ you may consider dial-up access or wireless connection. Cybercafés are available in major centres such as Suva, Nadi and Savusavu.

AIRPORTS Two international gateways - Nadi International Airport in the Western Division and Nausori International Airport, outside Suva.

DEPARTURE TAX FJ$200.00 departure tax. Children under 12 are exempt. The tax would already be included in your airline ticket. Note: Visitors who stay in Fiji for less than 72 hours are exempt from paying departure tax.

MEDICAL There are many private practitioners in the country. Check the local telephone directory for listings. Major hospital locations: Suva Colonial War Memorial Hospital Waimanu Road • Tel: 331 3444 MIOT Pacific Hospitals 120 Amy Street, Toorak Tel: 330 3404 North Labasa Hospital • Tel: 881 1444 West Lautoka Hospital • Tel: 666 0399

TRANSPORT Bus and taxi services throughout Fiji are considered quite reasonable. Rental cars are available on the two main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu and some outer islands by arrangement.

MUSEUM Fiji Museum at Thurston Gardens, Suva, opens Monday to Thursday: 9:30am to 4:30pm, Friday: 9:30am to 4pm and Saturday: 9:30am to 4:30pm. Closed Sunday. Admission: International adult $10, children $5. Tel: 331 5944.


ELECTRICITY 220-240 volts, 50 Hz, 3 pin flat plug is the standard. You will need a voltage converter if the application is 110 volts. Most leading resorts and hotels offer universal outlets for 240 volt or 110 volt hairdryers, shavers, etc.

LICENSE TO DRIVE You will need a valid home country driving licence for the same class of vehicle. Driving is on the left side of the road and seatbelts are compulsory. Maximum speed limit in built-up areas is 50 km/h (30 mph) and 80 km/h (50 mph) on the highways, unless otherwise posted.

MOVIE THEATRES Damodar & Village 6 Cinemas in Suva & Village 4 Cinemas in Lautoka. Life Cinema in Nadi & Nakasi, Suva.


Suva Stations Central Police Station Joske Street.

Tel: 331 1222

Nabua Police Station Ratu Mara Road.

Tel: 338 4000

Samabula Police Station Ratu Mara Road.

Tel: 338 1222

Other Stations Deuba Police Post Korolevu Police Post Labasa Police Station Lautoka Police Station Levuka Police Station Nadi Police Station Namaka Police Station Navua Police Station Savusavu Police Station Sigatoka Police Station Taveuni Police Station

Tel: 345 0156 Tel: 653 0122 Tel: 881 1222 Tel: 666 0222 Tel: 344 0222 Tel: 670 0222 Tel: 672 2222 Tel: 346 0222 Tel: 885 0222 Tel: 650 0222 Tel: 888 0222

PORTS Fiji Ports Corporation Limited headquarters is in Suva. It has port facilities in Suva, Lautoka, Malau, Levuka, Wairiki and Rotuma. Port Denarau Marina is Fiji’s tourism hub located on Denarau.

Speak Our Ethnic Languages English is commonly spoken in Fiji. As you explore our beautiful and ethnically diverse country you will also hear conversations in Fijian and local Hindi and Cantonese, especially at the markets and smaller shops. You, too, can speak our languages.

English Fijian good morning ni sa yadra (ni sah yan dra) hello bula (mbula) goodbye ni sa moce (ni sa mothey) yes io (ee-o) no seqa (senga) thank you vinaka (vee naka) village koro lady marama mister turaga (tu rang ah) little vaka lailai (vaka lie lie) plenty vaka levu (vaka ley vu) quickly vaka totolo (vaka toe toe lo) house vale/bure (valey/mburey) eat kana come lako mai (la ko my) go lako tani (la ko tanee) bring kauta mai (ka ou tah my) toilet vale lailai (vale lie lie) one dua (ndua) two rua drink gunu (goo noo)

Hindi Kaise hai namaste achaa, hum jaata haa nehi dhan baad ngao aurat aadmi (man) tora se dher se jaldi ghar kana kao ao jao lao chota ghar ek dwee peeo

Cantonese jo sun ney ho joy kin hai ng hai dor cheer hang chin tai tai sin sung siu siu hoo dor fei fei oouk shiek lei whui tai lei chee sow yat yhee yum

Overseas Missions & Honorary Consulates In Fiji Australian High Commission 37 Princes Rd, Suva Tel: 338 2211 British High Commission 47 Gladstone Rd, Suva Tel: 322 9100 Embassy of the People’s Republic of China 183 Queen Elizabeth Dr, Suva Tel: 330 0215 Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands 41 Borron Rd, Suva Tel: 338 7899 Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia 37 Loftus St, Suva Tel: 330 4566 Embassy of the United States of America 158 Princes Rd, Suva Tel: 331 4466 Delegation of the European Commission to Fiji 6th Fl, TappooCity, Suva Tel: 331 3633 French Embassy 2nd Fl, Pacific House, Butt St, Suva. Tel: 331 0526 High Commission of India 7th Fl, LICI Bldg, Suva Tel: 330 1125 Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia 6th Fl, Ra Marama Bldg, Suva Tel: 331 6697

Embassy of Japan 2nd Fl, BSP Life Centre, Suva Tel: 330 4633 Kiribati High Commission 36 McGregor Rd, Suva Tel: 330 2512 Embassy of the Republic of Korea 8th Fl Vanua House, Suva Tel: 330 0977 Malaysian High Commission 5th Fl, Pacific House, Suva Tel: 331 2166 Nauru High Commission 7th Fl, Ratu Sukuna House, Suva Tel: 331 3566 New Zealand High Commission 10th Fl, Reserve Bank Bldg, Suva Tel: 331 1422 Papua New Guinea High Commission 3rd Fl, Credit Corp Bldg, Suva Tel: 330 4244 Solomon Isand High Commission Level 3, Plaza 1, Downtown Blvd, Suva Tel: 310 0355 South African High Commission 16 Kimberley St, Suva Tel: 331 1087

Tuvalu High Commission 16 Gorrie St, Suva Tel: 330 1355 United Nations Development Programme 8th Fl, Kadavu House, Suva Tel: 331 2500


Belgium Mr Richard Naidu Munro Leys & Co. Tel: 331 4188 Brazil Mr Nouzab Fareed Fijian Holdings Ltd Tel: 330 5017 Canada Mrs Janna Bai Vyas Tel: 672 1936 Chile Mr Rahat Ali Asgar Asgar Optometrists, Suva Tel: 330 0433 Denmark Mrs Jenny Seeto PwC, Suva Tel: 331 5199 Finland/Sweden Mr Neil Underhill Cell: 999 8803 Germany Mr David Aidney Williams & Gosling Ltd, Suva Tel: 331 2633

Greece Ratu Tu’akitau Cokanauto Tel: 331 5608 Israel Mr Viliame Cegumalua Tel: 341 0022 Italy Mrs Taeko Ruggiero Tel: 666 4011 Netherlands Mr. Roderic Evers Five Princes Hotel Tel: 338 1575 Pakistan Mr Mohammed Razak Akbar Tel: 338 5233 Philippines Dr Virgilio De Asa De Asa’s Medical Clinic, Suva Tel: 331 4450 Spain Mr Stuart Huggert Tel: 330 3855 Switzerland Mr Rolf Gfeller Tel: 999 5637

TRADE MISSION Taiwan 6th Fl, Pacific House, Suva Tel: 331 5922



in Fiji, but the national farewell song ‘Isa Lei’ is sung in Fijian.

Fijian Verse

English Version

Isa, Isa, vulagi lasa dina Nomu lako au na rarawa kina Cava beka ko a mai cakava, Nomu lako au na sega ni lasa.

Isa, Isa you are my only treasure; Must you leave me, so lonely and forsaken? As the roses will miss the sun at dawning, Every moment my heart for you is yearning.

Isa lei, na noqu rarawa Ni ko sana vodo e na mataka Bau nanuma, na nodatou lasa, Mai Suva nanuma tiko ga.

Isa Lei, the purple shadow falling, Sad the morrow will dawn upon my sorrow; Oh, forget not, when you’re far away, Precious moments beside dear Suva.

Vanua rogo na nomuni vanua Kena ca ni levu tu na ua, Lomaqu voli me’u bau butuka Tovolea ke balavu na bula.

Isa, Isa, my heart was filled with pleasure, From the moment I heard your tender greeting; ‘Mid the sunshine, we spent the hours together, Now so swiftly those happy hours are fleeting.

Isa lei, na noqu rarawa Ni ko sana vodo e na mataka Bau nanuma, na nodatou lasa, Mai Suva nanuma tiko ga.

Isa Lei, the purple shadow falling, Sad the morrow will dawn upon my sorrow; Oh, forget not, when you’re far away, Precious moments beside dear Suva.

Domoni dina na nomu yanuyanu Kena kau wale na salusalu Mocelolo, bua, na kukuwatu Lagakali, maba na rosi damu.

O’er the ocean your island home is calling, Happy country where roses bloom in splendour; Oh, if I could but journey there beside you, Then forever my heart would sing in rapture.

Isa lei, na noqu rarawa Ni ko sana vodo e na mataka Bau nanuma, na nodatou lasa, Mai Suva nanuma tiko ga.

Isa Lei, the purple shadow falling, Sad the morrow will dawn upon my sorrow; Oh, forget not, when you’re far away, Precious moments beside dear Suva.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort photo.

Isa Lei

English is the official language




VOU, Fiji’s most internationally travelled modern dance company, perform their new show every Thursday night from 4 July to 31 October 2019. The evening performance unfolds around a gourmet à la carte dinner prepared by Malamala Beach Club’s award-winning kitchen team and complemented by our extensive beverage selection and spectacular sunset views over the Mamanucas


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