Fiji is truly an isolated island paradise. It takes 10 hours to fly from either Hong Kong or Los Angeles and three hours from New Zealand, its closest large neighbor.
The islands are best known for white sands and crystal clear water, so we were surprised to discover a great mix of fun, offbeat things to do on Fiji.
Sure, you can still enjoy the relaxed island life, but it’s also nice to know that Fiji has enough to do that you can mix it up a bit when you get tired of sunning in your beach chair.
Here are our picks for 10 of the most fun and unusual things to do in Fiji.
Each February or March, Fijians break out their colored paints and powders to celebrate the Holi Festival. Also known as the festival of colors or the festival of love, Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival that Fiji has embraced with great enthusiasm. Holi isn’t a public holiday in Fiji, but Fijians of all religions get in on the fun.
Poseidon Undersea Resorts
Though it’s not yet open, and has been plagued by ongoing delays, the Poseidon Undersea Resort promises to be one of Fiji’s most unusual attractions. When it opens, not only will it be located on a private island in Fiji, it will be the world’s first sea floor resort. You might want to save up before you book a spot though; it’s rumored that rooms will cost $30,000 per couple per week.
Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool
Definitely not overly commercialized, the Sabeto mud pools are not much more than a heated mud bath in the ground with a distinct smell of sulfur. That said, they’re a nice taste of island life outside the commercialized resorts.
Visit one of Fiji’s 333 islands
When most people think of Fiji, they think of the largest and most visited island in the chain (named Fiji as well). In fact, Fiji is made up of 333 tropical islands, many deserted and private like Castaway Island Fiji (also known as Qalito island). With 333 islands to choose from, you’re bound to find one that’s perfect for you. Check out this map of Fiji to check out the islands for yourself.
Firewalking at the Mariamma Temple
Every July or August, you can watch men walk across red hot coals at the South indian fire-walking festival at the Mariamma Temple. Indigenous Fijian fire walking (known as vilavilairevo) was originally practiced only on the tiny island of Beqa, but today you can also see fire walking year round at the Pacific Harbour Arts Village, in many major resorts, or at Suva’s Hibiscus Festival in August.
Fijis underwater caves
The limestone caves of Sawa-i-Lau are famous for being one of the locations for the movie The Blue Lagoon. The inner limestone cave of Sawa-i-Lau is only accessible by swimming under a rocky veil so getting there isn’t for the faint of heart.
Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park
These vast sand dunes set against a deep blue sea are well worth the two hour hike that takes you along the dunes and through a mahogany forest. If you ask, the rangers will tell you a little bit about the ancient burial site in the park that has evidence of human habitation from almost 3,000 years ago.
Vinaka Fiji Volunteering in the Yasawa Islands
Fiji’s Yasawa Islands are home to 27 villages living below world standards of health and poverty. The Vinaka Fiji Trust was set up to give something back to the villagers and to say “thank you (vinaka) for welcoming us into your islands.” The Trust runs three main programs: marine conservation, education, and sustainable communities.
The Naihehe Cave was once a fortress for a cannibal tribe, and still houses a cannibal oven. Even today, the cave is secluded, and only accessed by a 4×4 drive through the limestone mountains.
Colo-i-Suva Forest Park
The Colo-i-Suva (pronounced tholo-ee-soo -va) Forest Park is a true lush rain forest. If you’re lucky, you may spot a sulphur-breasted musk parrot, Fiji warblers or goshawks. There are natural swimming holes along the walking trails, with a rope swing in the Lower Pools to bring out your inner Tarzan.