6 Crazy Things To Do In Fiji
Fiji’s white sands, endless ocean, blue skies, palm trees and cocktails are heaven, but if you’re the type who finds ‘lazy’ equals ‘stir-crazy’, don’t despair. Here are six ways to go from supine to seriously active in Fiji – slather yourself in mud, hurtle through the canopy, wince your way through firewalking, swim into caves and with manta rays, or sink your teeth into times past.
Get your hands – and everything else – dirty in the Sabeto mud baths, halfway between Nadi and Lautoka on the island of Viti Levu. Take a dip in the hot mud pool, slather yourself in the black muck, and leave it to dry in the sun. The ritual is thought to be age-defying and therapeutic.
While you’re in the Sabeto Valley, head to the base of the Sleeping Giant mountain to try your hand at zip-lining through the rainforest. Hurtle through the canopy, over streams and waterfalls and eyeball the butterflies as you zip by. The perfect way to bring out your inner Tarzan.
More than 500 years ago, legend has it, the warriors of Beqa Island were given the gift of fire walking. Now their descendants practise the tradition, singing traditional chants before walking across white-hot stones. Beware – forbidden for anyone who is not a descendant to participate.
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The Naihehe Caves in Sigatoka Valley were once a fortress for a cannibal tribe and still contain a cannibal oven. To enter, you need permission of the Bete, the traditional protector of the cave, but don’t worry – cannibalism hasn’t been practised in Fiji for more than 100 years.
To reach the inner cave lagoon in the Yasawa Islands’ majestic Sawa-i-Lau Caves – hideout of lovers and resting place of gods – you must swim through an underwater tunnel. Try it at low tide, when the rocky veil you swim under sits just out of the water – otherwise everything will be pitch black.
Swim With Manta Rays
Between May and October, manta rays – known as vai in Fijian culture – ‘fly’ through the waters around Mantaray Island Resort, performing underwater acrobatics for swimmers. Their wing spans can reach over six metres wide and their only predators are sharks and orcas.
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Travel for me is about conversations and connections. There’s nothing like setting foot in a new land and meeting people a world apart. From talking to North Sea fishermen in Norway’s Lofoten Islands to breakfast chat at a B&B in my own back yard, there’s always a story to share and a tale to tell.