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award-winning tourism magazine

explorefijionline.com

DIVERS PARADISE SHARK CENTRAL FLY US THERE RECIPE: KOKODA LAU GROUP RIVER RAFTING NEW NATIONAL ART GALLERY EVENTS & MORE...

FEB - APR 2019

FREE


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Contents 4

MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER

28

RIVER RAFTING

6

GET VERTICAL IN NAUSORI

30

NEW NATIONAL ART GALLERY FOR FIJI

8

TAVEUNI DIVERS PARADISE

32

SUVA’S NEW FOOD COURT

12

SHARK CENTRAL

34

COMMENTARY COFFEE ON THE RUN

16

QUEST SUVA

36

TOURISM UPDATES

18

FLY US THERE

38

EVENTS MARK YOUR CALENDAR

21

RECIPE KOKODA

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USEFUL INFORMATION

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OVERSEAS MISSIONS & CONSULATES IN FIJI

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ISA LEI

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FIJI MAP

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QANTAS SAYS ‘BULA’ WITH DIRECT FLIGHTS TO NADI

LAU GROUP MAGNIFICENT ISLES & REEFS RARELY SEEN BY TOURISTS

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Message from the Publisher Bula & Cola Vina!

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elcome to Fiji – the only country on Earth where you are greeted with a ‘BULA’ everywhere you go. The greeting is catchy and before long, you’ll find yourself saying ‘Bula’ often. Bula means “life” and in a greeting it implies wishes for “good health”. On occasion, you may hear locals say “Cola Vina” (pronounced Thola Veenah), also meaning ‘life’ in a dialect spoken in the Western region of Fiji. Did you know you can discover some of the world’s most incredible places right here in Fiji? In this edition, we take you to some of these locations for experiences you will want to add and tick off your bucket list this year. Let’s start with our beautiful cover of a Fiji Anemonefish captured by photographer Stuart Ganz, who together with wife Rita, both avid

divers, have provided us with words and stunning images of their holiday in Taveuni, diving the famous Rainbow Reef. Like Stuart, photographers are in their element when in Fijian waters capturing spectacular, eye-catching wide-angle reef shots and snapping tiny colourful fishes, nudibranchs and soft corals with macro lens. See ‘Divers Paradise’ on page 8. Most visitors to Fiji only really get to experience Viti Levu, the largest of the Fijian archipelago and some of the touristy resort islands only a hop away. But there is so much more to discover with 333 islands under the Fijian sun. The far-flung Lau Group, to the far east of Viti Levu, is a string of stunningly-beautiful pristine islands that’s rarely visited by tourists. A cruise is an ideal way to explore the remote Lau Islands where you get

Fulaga’s string of islands in the Lau Group. Photo by Jay Park.

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. 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. Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced, wholly or in part, without prior written permission from the Publisher.

Print Run 20,000

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to meet villagers, swim and kayak in crystal-clear lagoons, hike lush rainforest landscapes and find bliss on gorgeous beaches and secluded waterfalls. Enjoy the four-page spread from page 24. Many of Fiji’s natural wonders over land and sea can also be fully appreciated from the air. In ‘Fly Us There’ (page 18) we tell you how you can get a new view of Fijian paradise from the seat of a helicopter. Fiji is a perennial holiday favourite, particularly among Australians. Starting March 31st 2019, Qantas is returning to Nadi (after almost 20 years) with four flights a week. Find out more on page 22. We also feature articles on river rafting in the remote highlands of Viti Levu, shark diving guided tours in renowned Beqa Lagoon, artificial rock climbing in Nausori, serviced apartment accommodation in the heart of Suva, the capital city’s newest food court, and plans for a new national art gallery. To share a favourite flavor of Fiji, we’ve put together a recipe for Kokoda which you can make and enjoy at home with family and friends. We’ve also included tourism updates, a commentary piece, a listing of events for February, March and April, plus other useful information and a Fiji map. We hope our features inspire you to venture beyond your hotel or Airbnb lodging and to try out the endless Fijian experiences on offer. In doing so, you will also find that beyond all the attractions, it is our people and their friendly and kind spirit that leaves the greatest impression. As we celebrate our 16th anniversary as Fiji’s popular tourism publication, we hope our magazine and website – www.explorefijionline.com – continues to inspire you and that you will share your experiences with others so that they will also come to explore our land of Bula. On February 5th, we join the world in welcoming the Chinese New Year - Year of the Pig. We wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year with greetings in Cantonese “Gung Hei Fat Choi” and “Gong Xi Fa Cai” in Mandarin. Thank you for choosing Fiji as your favourite destination and we hope to see you back here again. Vinaka Vaka Levu, Connie.

www.explorefijionline.com

award-winning tourism magazine

explorefijionline.com

FEB - APR 2019

FREE

DIVERS PARADISE SHARK CENTRAL FLY US THERE RECIPE: KOKODA LAU GROUP RIVER RAFTING NEW NATIONAL ART GALLERY EVENTS & MORE...

Fiji Anemonefish @ the Rainbow Reef in Taveuni. Photo: ©Stuart Ganz. Volume 17, Issue 1 EXPLORE Fiji is an award-winning complimentary Fiji tourism magazine ~ available in print and online. EXPLORE Fiji’s latest magazine issue and archives:

www.explorefijionline.com

Published four times a year by Chew Publishing Co. Ltd in Suva, Fiji Islands. Publisher/Editor Connie Chew Contributors Jay Park Stuart Ganz Rita Ganz Fantasha Lockington William Whippy Alisi Tuqa Design The Greenhouse Studio Printer Quality Print Ltd, Suva EXPLORE Fiji Office: Suva, Fiji. All correspondence and payments should be mailed to: Chew Publishing Co. 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.

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GET VERTICAL IN NAUSORI H ave you ever wanted to scale a wall like SpiderMan or Spider-Woman? A recreational facility in Nausori, on the outskirts of the capital Suva, offers the experience of artificial rock climbing with ropes. Just three minutes from Nausori International Airport, at the Nausori Baptist Christian Academy compound, the action takes place on a 15-metre cement wall of an existing building that has been retrofitted with boulders and ropes. Operated by Rock Climbing Experience Fiji, the activity is open to the public and suitable for beginners and seasoned climbers, adults and children alike. Former rugby league player and kayaker, Manasa Daunakamakama, together with his wife, Joana, own and manage the small business. Manasa’s passion for outdoor adventure lead him to startup the artificial rock climbing wall as a causal activity some years ago. Manasa said Rock Climbing Experience Fiji is now a registered business and he plans to build it and take it to new heights. Those who have taken the climb say they enjoy the challenge and equally the excitement and triumph of reaching the summit. A fun activity for family, a group of friends and small groups, the wall climbing exercise may just be the ideal attraction without actually having to head out into the greater mountainous outdoors. With wall climbing being officially recognised as a sport in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, who knows where Fiji’s chances lie. Rock Climbing Experience Fiji Nausori Baptist Christian Academy Court Road Nausori. *Written by EXPLORE Fiji. Photo courtesy of Alisi Tuqa.

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Open Monday to Friday from 3:30pm to 6pm. Saturday: 10am to 3pm. Closed Sunday. Contact Manasa on mobile: 9397782. Fees are applicable for up to three climbs per person. Child (5 to 9 years): $10. Teenager (10 to 19 years): $15. Adult: $20.


F I J I ’ S

C R U I S E

L I N E

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TAVEUNI

Divers Paradise

WORDS: RITA GANZ PHOTOGRAPHY: STUART GANZ

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s we climbed into the small plane, my first thought was I sure hope this will be a smooth ride. We had landed in Nadi a few hours earlier and we were now boarding a DHC-4 Caribou Twin Otter plane to continue our trip to Taveuni, Fiji’s third largest island, where we would be staying for the next eight days. Soon after takeoff, it became apparent why the Fiji Islands were such a popular destination for divers and land lovers alike. The views below were stunning and amazing all at the same time and calmed any anxiety by lulling us into a tranquil state of anticipation and excitement for the week ahead. Upon reaching Taveuni, fondly known as the Garden Isle of Fiji, we were meet by our hosts and transported to our final destination. Paradise Taveuni resort was everything we had expected and more. Nestled in the midst of a tropical forest, the resort featured beautiful oceanfront rooms with panoramic views, decorated in

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traditional Fiji fashion with outdoor rain showers included. The spacious swimming pool seemed to melt into the ocean and provided beautiful views of the sea. But what stood out the most in these lush accommodations was the friendliness and genuineness of the entire staff. From the moment we arrived, we were cared for as family, and pampered as if we were royalty. The entire staff knew our names from day one. The next day we headed out to Somosomo Strait to fulfill the dream that had brought us to this beautiful place. Divers know the legendary Rainbow Reef and Fiji’s well-earned reputation as the “Soft Coral Capital of the World.” There is also plenty for snorkelers. The reef hosts an extraordinary variety of marine organisms, including more than 1,400 species of fish and countless invertebrates.


Needless to say, the reef did not disappoint. In fact, from the moment we descended, we were meet with remarkable and vibrant scenes of soft corals and colourful fish that seemed to rise up and greet us as we drifted along in the gentle current. From curious gobies to strange and wonderful pipefish, Rainbow Reef seemed to have it all. We encountered white tip reef sharks and schools of barracuda and jacks that seemed to welcome our visit. All in all the day’s diving was a lovely way to start the week. The following days brought many wondrous new discoveries and an opportunity to dive the luminescent Great White Wall, rated one of the

Siboga Cuthona Nudi.

top dive sites in the world. The dive starts with entering a cave 50 feet below surface, filled with hard and soft corals, and then exiting at approximately 82 feet to a sheet of beautiful white coral. The colour stretches to the edge of your vision in every direction, hosting a diverse and numerous amount of life. From morays to lionfish, and on to beautiful and colourful nudibranchs, the Great White Wall is home to all. We rated this day the highlight of our visit. At the end of the week, it was hard to say which was the most saddening to say goodbye to – the reef and its beauty, or the beautiful people

Regal Angelfish.

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Rush hour.

topside that made our visit so special. Both will always hold a special place in our hearts. Which leaves us with only one conclusion, which is we will just have to come again!

Dwarf Hawkfish.

Threadfin Anthias.

Stuart and Rita Ganz, who live in Hawaii, have had the good fortune to explore and sometimes capture some of the most fascinating and captivating moments from the highest peaks to some of the deepest oceans. Their motto in life is to “Take only Pictures – Leave only Bubbles.” – keeping in mind, we must take care of our Mother Earth. Check out their website: www.bluemoonscuba.com

Glorius Flatworm.

Juvenile Rockmover.


Your own piece of

PARADISE

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Only 16 elegantly appointed Fijian Bures and Vales, Paradise is perfect for single travelers, family groups & lovers of all ages. Experience ‘Real Fiji’ and lose yourself in the magic that is...

IN E T NGWA I L R L KE EA ORL CL N S TA S RY

GETTING L OST IN

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info@ParadiseInFiji.com www.ParadiseInFiji.com skype: paradise.taveuni

P. O. Box 69 Waiyevo,Taveuni. The Fiji Islands

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SHARK CENTRAL

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iji is renowned as one of the greatest shark dive destinations on the planet. There are several sites to head out to for a shark dive with feeding program, but the Beqa Lagoon is a top choice among avid divers, adventurers and underwater photographers who like to get up close and personal with apex predators. There’s no cage. Just south of Pacific Harbour, Fiji’s ‘Adventure Capital’ on the main island of Viti Levu, is the sacred island of Beqa – the ancestral home of the country’s famous firewalkers and the birthplace of the shark-god Dakuwaqa. A barrier reef encircles Beqa and almost connects it to the mainland forming the 64-square-kilometre Beqa Lagoon. Rated as one of the best shark dives in the world, Beqa Lagoon is famous for close encounters with as many as eight species of sharks at one time, including bulls, tigers and sicklefin lemons. The lagoon is home to Shark Reef Marine Reserve, an aquatic park with coral walls, specifically created for the conservation and research of sharks. Divers descend along the contour of a reef and then settle behind a rock wall at the bottom, where thousands of fish, including giant trevally and triggerfish, along with plenty of sharks, flock for the feeding. For Alisi Lutu, marketing manager at the South Pacific Tourism Organization in Suva, diving Beqa Lagoon has reignited her passion for scuba and

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exploring the underwater world. Recently, Alisi and her childhood friend, took to the relative calm lagoon waters of Beqa with dive operator Beqa Adventure Divers (BAD). “The dive master, Wase, who is from Galoa Village and the traditional fishing ground owners of Shark Reef, was my dive buddy for the day. I enjoyed a beautiful panoramic view as we went down to 30 meters and I was positioned alongside the rest of the group just in front of a reef wall,” Alisi said. “Visibility was not particularly good that day but this did not affect the experience one bit, as the sharks and other fish species came up quite close. There were about six adult bull sharks at six to eight feet long, swimming and feeding just at arm’s reach of the dive masters.” “It was an exhilarating experience and I was literally screaming with elation through my regulator. There were more reef sharks than bulls, mainly the four species of tawny nurses, greys, white and black tips and an even more wonderful display of other fish species – groupers, trevallies, parrotfishes, triggerfishes and many more. “The bull sharks were extremely big and looked really heavy, apparently as some were expectant mothers. I was informed by the dive masters that it was birthing season and most bulls travel up river to give birth to their young then travel back to sea


Adopt a Shark Initiative

whilst their babies stay upriver until they are big enough to come back to the big ocean. This was also part of the reason that there weren’t many bull sharks on the day and it is said that during the bull shark season and on a given dive, you could see up to 20 to 30 and even more. I would certainly have to come back, that’s for sure.”

A conservation effort to preserve and protect all Fiji’s shark species and their natural habitats through ecotourism, research, advocacy and education. If you want to be a part of saving and protecting Fijian sharks, find out how you can Adopt A Shark today by visiting www.myfijishark.com/our-sharks.

*Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji. Photos: Beqa Adventure Divers (BAD).


• 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

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Quest Suva W

hether visiting Suva for business or leisure, make the most of your stay with more space, comfort and freedom in serviced accommodation. Quest Suva serviced apartments can offer the ideal base for your stay – combining all of the advantages of a hotel with the comforts of home. Centrally-located, the apartment hotel occupies levels 5, 6 & 7 of the 12-storey BSP Suva Central, right in heart of the capital’s Central Business District (CBD). Quest Suva is part of the Quest Apartment Hotel Group with over 150 properties throughout Australia and New Zealand.

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Quest Suva’s apartment-style hotel rooms allows guests to relax in comfortable accommodation suited for short or long stay. It is their home or office away from home, complete with separate living, dining and sleeping areas, separate work stations and fully equipped kitchens and laundry facilities. It is within walking distance to a variety of bars and restaurants, the vibrant Suva Municipal Market, Fiji Museum, the handicraft centre, cinemas, retail shops, corporate offices and key institutions including the Reserve Bank of Fiji, major banking headquarters and


diplomatic missions, plus government and global organisations. Quest Suva recently boosted apartment numbers to 54 after completing construction of 20 new Studio Executive Apartments. All 34 Studio, One and Two Bedroom Apartments were refurbished. The Studio Executive Apartments are the fitting alternative to a hotel room each with a fully equipped kitchenette. The One and Two Bedroom Apartments are good value for families, colleagues or larger groups looking for a home away from home experience. Quest Suva’s facilities also include a gym, business center, common area laundry facilities and parking as well as access to the building’s new food court, international bank, foreign exchange center, duty-free retail shopping and a beauty salon. Guests are spoiled for choice when dining with a good range of restaurants and local eateries close by. For a night in, you can cook in the comfort of your room with the kitchen facilities. Take advantage of Quest’s pantry shopping service, and have groceries delivered to your apartment, whether it be for your arrival or throughout your stay. Business travellers can stay in touch with high speed internet access, direct dial phones, in-room desks and business administration services.

Quest Suva BSP Suva Central Renwick Road, Suva Fiji Tel: (679) 3319119  *Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji. Photos by Quest Suva.

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Fly us there

A

n exciting way to explore Fijian paradise is by air. Savusavu Helicopters is a new helicopter services business based in Savusavu, the ‘Hidden Paradise’ on Vanua Levu in northern Fiji. They offer scenic flights, day trips and transfers throughout Vanua Levu including Labasa and to the islands of Taveuni (Garden Island) and Koro.

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One of its most popular trips is the Romantic Beach Escape where couples are whisked away by helicopter to their own private beach on Koro Island. They enjoy several hours of tranquility exploring a beautiful stretch of beach and snorkelling in crystal-clear waters. Savusavu Helicopters puts on an amazing picnic with sparkling wine for the couple to enjoy whilst soaking up the atmosphere.


On the return flight, they enjoy more magnificent views including coral reefs. Scenic flights are in high demand. Savusavu Helicopters 15-minute Eastern Bay Adventures tour takes in incredible views of crystal-clear waters and stunning coral reefs. It then crosses to the magnificent Salt Lake and Natewa Bay before flying over the wonders of the lush tropical rainforest. A new tour addition is Diving the Great White Wall. For the many guests who fly to Savusavu to dive at amazing sites, Savusavu Helicopters offers a day trip to Taveuni to dive the world-famous

Rainbow Reef and its most popular dive site, the Great White Wall. Guests are picked up early for the morning flight to Taveuni. On Taveuni, guests are met by local dive operators and taken on twotank dives to the spectacular Rainbow Reef. The pilot waits for the guests and flies them back to Savusavu through the low-level air. If you’re a keen diver, this is a must-do. Savusavu Helicopters also provide Medi Vac services to all of northern Fiji as well as transfers from Savusavu to Labasa, Taveuni, Qamea, Matagi and Nadi.

Savusavu Helicopters Savusavu Airport Fiji Tel: (679) 9182786 info@fijihelicoptertours.com www.fijihelicoptertours.com * Source: Edited by EXPLORE Fiji with text & images from Savusavu Helicopters.

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Fiji’s New

Flora & Fauna Design Banknotes & Coins Collector’s Items Single Banknote Folder

Price: $5: FJ$21.20 VIP $10: FJ$28.30 VIP $20: FJ$35.30 VIP $50: FJ$70.60 VIP $100: FJ$120.05 VIP

Uncut Sheets Available in all denominations of 20 and 25 notes in a sheet.*

Full Set Banknote Folder ($5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 of Matching Serial Numbers). Price: $338.90 VIP

(Note: Some sets may have a replacement serial number)

2012 Uncirculated Coin Set.

Price: FJ$33.30 VIP

Premium Limited Edition 2012 Coloured Coin Set Price: FJ$170.60 VIP

* Enquire with RBF for price Prices are effective 1st September 2018 and may be subject to change without notice.

RESERVE BANK OF FIJI “Leading Fiji to Economic Success”

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Physical Address: Pratt Street, Suva, Fiji. Postal Address: Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji. Phone: (+679) 331 3611 Fax: (+679) 330 2094 Email: info@rbf.gov.fj Website: www.rbf.gov.fj Our Values: Professionalism ... Respect ... Integrity ... Dynamism ... Excellence


RECIPE

Fijian Favourite

KOKODA Kokoda (pronounced kokonda) is served mainly as an appetizer or a salad. This delicious dish does not require any cooking and is served similarly to the ceviche where raw fish is “cooked” by marinating it in lime juice. Fijian Kokoda doesn’t stop at lime juice. It is bathed in rich coconut cream. Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS 500 grams fresh white fish (deboned and without skin). Trevally, Mahi Mahi and Snapper are good options. ½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice ½ cup coconut cream ½ red or white onion, diced 2 tomatoes, diced 1 green capsicum, diced 2 spring onions, finely sliced 1 red chilli, large, finely diced (optional) Lime wedges for serving.

DIRECTIONS 1. Cut fish into small 2cm cubes. In a glass or ceramic bowl, mix the fish with lime juice. 2. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 30-45 minutes. The acid of the citrus will “cook” the fish. 3. Combine in coconut cream, onion, tomatoes, capsicum, spring onions and chilli (optional). 4. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  5. Serve chilled in half a coconut, small bowls or lettuce leaf cups. * Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji. Photo: Fiji Culture Village.

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Plantation Island Resort photo.

QANTAS says

‘Bula’

with direct flights to Nadi

Q

ANTAS – Australia’s Flying Kangaroo – is returning to Fiji after nearly 20 years with four times per week flights between Sydney and Nadi on its Boeing 737 aircraft. Commencing March 31st 2019, Qantas will operate flights on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Describing the new route as one that meets demand for a “premium travel option” to Fiji, the airfares will include checked baggage allowance, inflight entertainment, food and drinks. Travellers will also have the option to fly or upgrade to Business Class. The new service will compliment low-cost airline Jetstar’s four times weekly service to Nadi by bringing the Qantas Group’s seat numbers to Fiji beyond 75,000 yearly. The Flying Kangaroo will also add its code to Jetstar’s flights between Sydney and Nadi, for travel from February 1st 2019, allowing Qantas customers

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travelling on the Jetstar codeshare service to enjoy additional benefits, including the opportunity for Qantas Frequent Flyers to earn points and status credits and a complimentary meal. Qantas International CEO Alison Webster said Fiji continues to be an incredibly popular holiday destination for Australian families, couples and adventure and luxury travellers. “The combination of Qantas and Jetstar also means we can provide more options to a destination which caters to different budgets and tastes, with good interstate connections for passengers travelling from other parts of Australia.” The premium Australian airline will also continue its existing codeshare partnership with Fiji Airways on services to Nadi. Book Qantas’ new Fiji service through travel agents or visit www.qantas.com. *Source: Qantas Airways.


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.


Bay of Islands, Vanua Balavu.

LAU GROUP I

f your 2019 resolution includes travel to unspoilt islands in Fiji, you’re in luck. Voyages operated by multi-award industry winner Captain Cook Cruises Fiji will get you across turquoise waters to idyllic locations including the pristine Lau group of islands. This is a rare chance to discover a part of the Fijian archipelago that few get the opportunity to explore. There is only two departure dates in a year and for 2019, you can set sail on March 5th and November 5th. Or plan further ahead for a March 3rd 2020 departure. Captain Cook Cruises Fiji’s 11-night Lau & Kadavu Discovery Cruise onboard its small ship MV Reef Endeavour explores the length of the beautiful Lau group and the island of Kadavu, a part of Fiji rarely seen by tourists and is a mix of cultural experiences and water activities. The Reef Endeavour caters for 130 passengers over four accommodation levels. Her small size allows her to negotiate remote islands, reefs and shallow bays where bigger ships are unable to go, Wailagailala.

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showcasing the real Fiji and giving passengers a true cultural experience. On the way, visit Makogai Island, an old leper colony, closed to lepers since mid-last century, snorkel over giant clam gardens in the turtle sanctuary and enjoy a traditional song and dance by local primary school children. Explore a beautiful beach on the rugged southern coastline of Taveuni at Lavena, hike to a spectacular waterfall and fresh water pool and take part in a guided kayak tour. In the northern Lau group, snorkel in the caves and adjoining coral gardens at Vanua Balavu’s Bay of Islands at Qilaqila, known for its pristine waters, limestone caves and mushroom shaped islands. Enjoy a Methodist Tongan Church for Sunday service at Oneata and at Wailagilala explore the ruins of an old light house and snorkel untouched reefs. Visit the southern Lau islands of Fulaga or Komo, both extinct volcanic craters and known for their crystal lagoons and amazing corals, then


Magnificent islands & reefs rarely seen by tourists PHOTOGRAPHY: JAY PARK.

MV Reef Endeavour at Vanua Balavu.

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spend the afternoon at one of the Yagasa Islands, snorkelling, swimming, coral viewing or kayaking. Explore uninhabited Vuaqava and its centrally elevated salt water lake and view turtles, snakes and bird life, taking part in an island walk to explore the relics of this sacred island. Be entertained by the people of Naikeleyaga Village on the island of Kabara known for their wood turning and Tongan heritage and experience a traditional Tongan meke (dance), sevusevu (thanksgiving) and lovo (food cooked in earth oven). On Totoya Island visit a local school and see the children’s school work. At Kadavu, famous for its wildlife and underwater world and home to the Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, be amazed by the traditional ceramic craftsmen from a local village. All through the cruise, experience the underwater world with mind blowing scuba diving operated by Viti Water Sports, a PADI 5-Star dive centre. Two dives are offered daily and always in different locations. A beach on Vuaqava.

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Stay on-board and be pampered at the spa, work out in the mini gym or simply relax on the sun deck by the jacuzzi or pool and grab a cocktail at the pool bar. Dining is another vital ingredient of these amazing cruises. Whether it is an alfresco luncheon, a casual barbecue or table d’hote dinner, all food is prepared on board from fresh local and imported produce and cultural on-board entertainment adds a special flavour to the mix. Cruise fares include accommodation, all meals, guided village, school and island tours, snorkelling and glass bottom boat excursions, daily island stopovers and water activities, hikes and kayak safaris, on board entertainment, a kids club (5-10 years), 24-hour self-service tea and coffee bar, post cruise transfers to Nadi and Denarau hotels and Nadi Airport and use of the ship’s facilities including a swimming pool, jacuzzi, mini gym, sun deck, cocktail bar and library.

*Source: Text from Captain Cook Cruises Fiji. Compiled and edited by EXPLORE Fiji.


Captain Cook Cruises Fiji Denarau Marina, Denarau. Tel: (679) 670 1823 www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com

Fulaga.

Entertainment in the islands.

Guests meet students in a school on Totoya.

Crystal-clear waters of Vanua Balavu.

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River Rafting

I

n the remote highlands of Fiji’s largest island Viti Levu lies one of the most unique river trips on Earth. Slicing a deep chasm through the island’s tropical interior, the Upper Navua River is a hidden pathway to a pristine tropical wilderness. Shrouded in lush rainforest, fed by countless waterfalls and protected by challenging rapids, the Upper Navua River is Fiji rafting at its best. Rivers Fiji, with its office based in Pacific Harbour, dubbed the ‘Adventure Capital’, offers unique river and sea kayaking trips that are great for experienced veterans or first-time novices. Its selection of trips provides a fantastic opportunity to experience remote highland villages, dense tropical forests and aqua-blue ocean alive with brilliant corals and wildlife. Rivers Fiji’s Upper Navua Gorge is perhaps one of the most unique journeys in all of Fiji, if not the South Pacific and the world. Rivers Fiji is committed to sustainable tourism practices and they work closely with neighbouring riverside villages. Their guides grew up along the rivers they explore and know their environment better than anyone.

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The excursion will take you through some of the country’s most formidable and phenomenally beautiful terrain in the relative comfort of inflatable rafts. This is a special trip not because of one unparalleled attribute upon which the success of the trip is based, but many special and scenically significant places; each individually worthy of special recognition. There is not one waterfall but many (some say at least 70); not one short stretch of deep, narrow canyon, but kilometers. This is a place where black volcanic walls are at points barely five meters apart and over 40 meters high and fringed by emerald rainforest. This is a place where man has been merely an intermittent visitor at best, where some of the wildest and most beautiful Fiji can still be found. Rivers Fiji Pacific Harbour Tel: (679) 345 0147 info@riversfiji.com www.riversfiji.com

*Source: Rivers Fiji.


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New national art gallery for Fiji A

planned National Gallery of Contemporary Arts is taking shape in the Fijian capital Suva. The National Gallery of Contemporary Arts (NGCA) will be housed in the heritage, St. Stephen’s Building on Victoria Parade in the city’s CBD, and the first and foundation phase of the project is almost completed. It is lead and supported by the Fiji Government. Listed as one of Suva’s historic buildings, the St. Stephen’s Building (above) was the Suva Grammar School in its heyday before it became the St. Stephens Boys Hostel or St. Stephen’s House. The founding of the NGCA is seen as an important cultural initiative, recognising the explosion of creative talent among Fijian contemporary artists and providing them with resources to showcase and promote their work. The gallery will not only be for artists. It will be a place for everyone, fostering enjoyment in all art forms through exhibitions, performances, music, dance, film, sculpture and painting. Internationally and regionally, the gallery will promote the diversity of Fijian art through partnerships, performances and exhibitions. For parents and educators, the gallery will provide an important starting point for developing creativity

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among young Fijians and encouraging the arts as a prospective career. For the City of Suva, the NCGA will provide new opportunities for business, tourism and heritage. Sally Ward, consultant and project manager, at the British Council provides an update: What needs to be done to turn the St. Stephen’s Building into an art gallery? Quite a bit of work is needed to ensure that the St. Stephen’s Building meets the safety and performance needs of the NGCA, while maintaining its beauty and heritage status. Refurbishment of the Gallery will begin this year and is expected to take 12 to 18 months for the old school buildings are repurposed. Once the building work begins, more information about the expected opening dates for the Gallery, will be available. What will the new NGCA look like? The St. Stephen’s Building will retain its heritage features, with new spaces being created for the planned galleries and exhibitions. It will have both indoor and outdoor performance spaces The building will house a semi-permanent, and two temporary exhibition spaces A café and a shop will be set up to create income for the gallery


Rehearsal and studio spaces will meet the needs of performing artists Education spaces especially for children will be developed, to encourage the talent and enthusiasm of young Fijians The building will be accessible to people who aren’t usually able to go to art galleries – the elderly, people with disabilities, those who have hearing and sight impairment and children and their carers How will people find out about the new NGCA? Phase two of the project will lead right up to the opening of the NGCA. The project will become more visible through media stories, the Gallery Facebook page (National Gallery of Contemporary Arts – Fiji) and other activities. A film projection onto the gallery in December 2018 provided the public with information about the gallery, encouraging them to support it. What happens next? Aside from the building upgrade, the technical requirements of the gallery will start to be addressed in the coming months.

Issues such as human resources, management and curating, art restoration, education and plans for the opening will be addressed, as well as a strategy to work with other galleries in the region and internationally. NGCA is set to start a new era for the arts in Fiji, one in which Fijians can be proud of their heritage, proud of what they can build on and even prouder of what they have to share – both with their local and regional peoples, and internationally. *Source: British Council.

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.

www.victoriawines.com.fj

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

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Suva’s new food court U

rban dwellers and visitors who frequent Suva’s central business district now have a new venue for casual dining at BSP Suva Central. The Suva Central Food Court provides diners easier access to a growing category of fast-casual dining in the city. Situated on the first level of the 12-storey BSP Suva Central building on the corner of Renwick Road and Pratt Street, the spacious indoor food hall is fitted with tables and chairs for patron dining and relaxation. A joint venture of the Motibhai Group and Bank South Pacific (BSP), the food court currently accommodates eight eateries. They are: Yang’s Restaurant (Chinese); Meet Pie (Chinese); Govinda Vegetarian Restaurant (Indian); Ming Feng (Korean); Chef Lanka (Sri Lankan / Indian); Sakura Express (Japanese); Spicy Corner & Catering (Indian) and Espresso Central (Coffee Shop). A pizza outlet is also scheduled to open. BSP head of marketing Nirdesh Singh said the food court is a great option for family and friends to meet up and enjoy tasty food and beverages amid wonderful surroundings.

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BSP Suva Central combines all the comforts of modern city living with Prouds’ flagship store’s top retail shopping, boutique shops, banking services, offices, serviced apartments, food court and a multi-levelled parking area. Suva Central Food Court BSP Suva Central Suva. Open Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm. *Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji. Photos by William Whippy.


We accept UnionPay International cards on our ATMs & EFTPoS terminals.

BSP accepts all major credit cards.

With the largest network of ATM’s and the convenience of BSP EFTPoS almost everywhere, enjoy holiday banking made easy! ATM

EFTPoS

www.bsp.com.fj 33


COMMENTARY

COFFEE on the run

With a busy schedule that involves frequent travel from the capital Suva to the sugar-city Lautoka, Fantasha Lockington knows just about everywhere that brews a cuppa coffee. When there’s only time to stop for a quick coffee or one ‘to go’, she’ll find it. Part One.

I

f you’re like me, you can handle a business trip to Nadi (or Suva) and get back the same day, you’ll need your favourite coffee (or two) along the way. Let’s start from Nausori Airport, on the outskirts of Suva. The service isn’t as sociable (maybe they’re not morning people) and the coffee is “so-so”; far too milky for my preferred Flat White, but it’s hot, can come in a mug and if you’re lucky, you can find a newspaper to read at one of the cramped tables. On Ratu Mara Road at fast-developing Nakasi, the girls behind the tiny coffee cubicle at Shop & Save Supermarket

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can turn out a great brew when they’re not serving the very popular, multi-scooped ice creams. For less than $5! Further down at the Khalsa Road intersection and Harvest Plaza is the charming D.Light Coffee that serves Fiji’s seriously largest (and therefore cheapest by volume) cuppa. Try their freshly baked cakes and the best grilled sandwiches. Service is friendly and quick. If you’re used to the Fiji “piyala”, you will enjoy the large serve. If you’re in a hurry, go for the regular, which is also a “Fijian version regular” - large anywhere else in the world.


Approaching the capital city, you’ll find some options along Princes Road in Tamavua where good coffee can be enjoyed at the new eateries situated at the Kundan Singh complex. Still in the ‘burbs, there is Distill in Flagstaff. Great coffee and evil pastries that take away your ability to say no, in surroundings that offer you wines and pretty gifts. Further down the road is Governors, lovely coffee set in old-world charm and reminders of movies made in Fiji over the years. There is The Mad Hatter Hut with its colourful interior and kids-friendly corner. It would be sinful not to try their popular Savusavu Bliss cake with your favourite coffee served in pretty, colourful china. Still within walking distance to the CBD is the Tanoa Plaza Hotel. While they make the best coffee (temperature, taste, just enough froth, milk heated just right), their regular size is on the pricey side. Skip the city and head out toward Lami and grab a quick coffee at the self-help coffee machine at Total Service Station. They’ve upgraded to

a bigger machine that works well and try their popular, fresh sandwiches and the best pies for miles. There’s always a queue so it’s not a secret. At Pacific Harbour, Skinny Bean Cafe has good coffee. It would be ideal if they open earlier for crack-of-dawn commuters like myself. Down the Coral Coast there are many places to get a coffee. I’ve found Jack’s curb side coffee kiosk in Sigatoka town (if you can find parking) or their outlet at Baravi Handicrafts, worthy stops. Good coffee for under $5 and they can do a quick toastie when it’s not too crowded. For coffee stops along the Nadi to Lautoka stretch, be sure to read part two of this commentary in EXPLORE Fiji’s May-Jul 2019 edition.

*Fantasha Lockington is the chief executive officer of the Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association (FHTA). The views expressed is that of the author and may not necessarily be shared by this magazine.

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TOURISM UPDATES Tanoa Plaza Expect fresh new rooms to be rolled out at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel located in the heart of the capital city, Suva. As part of a refurbishment program that started last October, there will be a complete rebuild of the rooms and public areas. Enquire with the hotel directly on a date when you can check into the refreshed Superior Rooms, the first of the accommodation category being rebuilt. www.tanoaplaza.com

Plantation Island Plantation Island Resort has released a new room category - Ocean View Hotel Room - at its iconic resort which will be ready for guests on September 1st 2019. Ideally just footsteps from the ocean, each of the 40 hotel rooms offer balcony or patio views of beautiful Malolo Lailai Bay, placing them in one of the most premium locations in the

Tanoa Group photo.

Mamanuca Islands. Conveniently located in a brand new precinct which includes a new arrivals bure, restaurant, pool and bar that all have west facing views; taking advantage of stunning sunsets. Each room can accommodate two adults and two children under 13 years old, with a maximum capacity of three adults and one child. They feature a queen bed and two day-beds that is easy to convert from a sofa to a bed or vice versa. For more information visit www.plantationisland.com

THE VERY BEST FOR LESS

ASK ABOUT OUR HALF DAY, 1 DAY & 3 DAYS SPECIAL FOR FEBRUARY & MARCH 2019 RESERVATIONS Phone: (679) 672 2233 (24 hours) Email: info@avis.com.fj Website: www.avis.com.fj 36


A Romantic Fijian Proposal Looking for the right location to propose to the one you love? How does on a tiny, remote island surrounded by a white sandy beach, in the middle of the picturesque Mamanuca Islands sound? This romantic scenario can be made real with Captain Cook Cruises Fiji, Tivua Island Proposal Package. Sail onboard the magnificent tall ship Ra Marama or the sleek sailing catamaran Fiji One, on a 90-minute cruise to Tivua and enjoy Fijian entertainment and morning tea along the way. On the island, enjoy a kava ceremony before being whisked away to a deserted part of the beach. Here your loved one will discover a “message in a bottle” lying at the water’s edge, containing your proposal message or “will you marry me” written in shells or flowers in the sand. Celebrate your engagement over a delicious tropical buffet lunch and a bottle of sparkling wine in a private romantic bure. Spend the rest of the day on cloud nine, laying on a comfy beanbag under a beach hut, taking a leisurely

swim, feeding the fish, sleeping on a hammock, go diving or snorkelling and glass-bottom boating over magnificent reefs and clam gardens, and even try a romantic kayak or paddle board around the island. Contact Captain Cook Cruises Fiji on telephone (679) 6701823. www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji photo. *Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji.

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EVENTS

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

W

hen planning your must-do and must-see list while in Fiji during the months of February, March and April, here are some events to consider. Note: In April, there are three national public holidays during Easter: Easter Saturday - 20th Easter Monday - 22nd Good Friday - 19th

FEBRUARY 5TH

Chinese New Year (Year of the Pig). In Suva, members of the Chinese Youth Social & Cultural Association perform the popular lion dance publicly in different locations. Fiji’s larger hotels and resorts often prepare cultural events including a special banquet to welcome the new lunar year. Some big and small retail shops offer in-store specials during the week of the new year.

Athletics Fiji Grand Prix Series 2019 SPG 2nd Trials. 8TH 9TH

16TH

23RD

15TH — 16TH 22ND — 23RD

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Round 1. 5pm to 9pm. ANZ Stadium, Suva. Events are 100m, 400m, 800m, 5000m, Long Jump, High Jump and Shot Put. Grades: Open Men and Women. Round 2. 8am to 5pm. ANZ Stadium, Suva. Events are 100m, 400m, 800m, 5000m, Long Jump, High Jump and Shot Put. Grades: Open Men and Women. Grand Finals. 10am to 4pm. Churchill Park, Lautoka. *Call Athletics Fiji office on telephone 3306470 for more information or visit: www.athleticsfiji.com The 6th Martintar 7s Tournament will be held at Prince Charles Park, Nadi.

The 2019 Oceania Beach Volleyball Tour will be held at the Pacific Harbour beach courts in Deuba. Pacific countries will compete against each other in a Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) sanctioned event and accrue FIVB point, and it will serve as a stepping stone for teams striving to compete on the Asian and World Tour. Tournament will feature 12 teams in each gender competing in four pools of three before progressing to quarterfinals. www.oceaniavolleyball.org


MARCH 8TH — 9TH

The 10th Uluinakau 7s Tournament will be held at Prince Charles Park in Nadi.

The following rugby events will be held at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. 8TH

World Rugby Pacific Rugby Challenge: Fiji Warriors vs Tonga A (Round 1).

12TH

World Rugby Pacific Rugby Challenge: Fiji Warriors vs Junior Japan (Round 2).

16TH

20TH — 21ST

22ND — 23RD

World Rugby Pacific Rugby Challenge: Fiji Warriors vs Samoa A (Round 3).

Holi - the Hindu “Festival of Colours” brings together those of the faith and others as the event signifies victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring. It is common to see people pelt multi-coloured powders or pour coloured water on each other and share sweets and other food.

The 43rd Fiji Bitter Marist 7s Tournament will see 64 teams compete in what is being touted as the country’s most prestigious local sevens tournament. This year‘s annual event will play a pivotal role in the defense of Fiji’s Gold Medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. The Waisale Serevi coached Russian national 7s team will also feature for the first time in the event at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

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APRIL 5TH — 6TH

Easter National Championships 2019 SPG Final Trials. ANZ Stadium, Suva.

13TH

Skipper FRU Cup - Provincial Teams - Round 1 Naitasiri vs Namosi Tailevu vs Suva Rewa vs Northland Nadroga vs Nadi

ANZ Stadium, Suva Cakobau Park, Nausori Burebasaga School, Rewa Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka

Vodafone Vanua Championship - Round 1 Western Pool Draws Lautoka vs Ra Tavua vs Yasawa Vatukoula vs Navosa Ba vs Malolo

Churchill Park, Lautoka Garvey Park, Tavua Theodore Park, Vatukoula Ba Market Ground, Ba

Central / Eastern / Northern Pool Draws Bua vs Macuata Solevu Catholic School Ground, Bua Nanukuloa vs Nasinu Saivou Primary School Ground, Saivou North Bulls vs Cakaudrove Nauluwai School Ground, Naitasiri Serua vs Ovalau Thompson Park, Navua *Contact Fiji Rugby Union on telephone 3302787 for more information.

14TH

16TH — 18TH

Rama Navami - A Hindu religious festival to celebrate the birth of Lord Rama is mainly celebrated in private homes, although you may see worshippers wade into ocean water to throw flowers.

Coca Cola Games – The Fiji Secondary Schools’ National Athletics Championships. 8am to 5pm daily. *Call Athletics Fiji on telephone 3306470 for more information. www.athleticsfiji.com

Fiji Dept. of Information photo.

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20TH

Fiji Games organised by FASANOC. ANZ Stadium, Suva. 8am-5pm. Call FASANOC office for more information on telephone: 3303525.

26TH — 30TH

Oceania U20 Championships. ANZ Stadium, Suva.

27TH

ANZAC Fishing Competition organised by the Denarau Game & Sport Fishing Club, Denarau. www.dgsfcfiji.com *Compiled by EXPLORE Fiji.

6700221

6720922

6750533 41


USEFUL INFORMATION EMERGENCY POLICE DIAL 917 AMBULANCE DIAL 911

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.

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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.

VAT & OTHER TAXES

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.


C

M

Y

M

Y

Y

Y

K

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

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

SAVUSAVU

• Savusavu Branch

ATM LOCATIONS

BSP

NADI

• 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

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

LAUTOKA

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

BA/ TAVUA/ RAKIRAKI • Westpac Branch

LABASA

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

LEVUKA

• 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 33 Ellery Street, Suva • Tel: 330 4130.

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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.

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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.

POLICE

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 good morning hello goodbye yes no thank you village lady mister little plenty quickly house eat come go bring toilet one two drink

Fijian ni sa yadra (ni sah yan dra) bula (mbula) ni sa moce (ni sa mothey) io (ee-o) seqa (senga) vinaka (vee naka) koro marama turaga (tu rang ah) vaka lailai (vaka lie lie) vaka levu (vaka ley vu) vaka totolo (vaka toe toe lo) vale/bure (valey/mburey) kana lako mai (la ko my) lako tani (la ko tanee) kauta mai (ka ou tah my) vale lailai (vale lie lie) dua (ndua) rua 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 7th Fl, BSP Life Centre, Suva Tel: 331 2233 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

CONSULATES

Belgium Mr Richard Naidu Munro Leys & Co. Tel: 331 4188 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

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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


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EXPLORE Fiji Feb-Apr 2019  

Fiji's popular tourism/travel quarterly magazine.

EXPLORE Fiji Feb-Apr 2019  

Fiji's popular tourism/travel quarterly magazine.