With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex paying a 2018 visit to Fiji as part of their tour Down Under, the 333 islands are having a moment – despite their far-flung location.
Practically the furthest you can possibly travel from the UK – flights from London to Nadi on the main island involve a layover in Hong Kong, LA or San Francisco and take more than 24 hours – and 13 hours ahead, Fiji is a bit of an effort to get to, to put it mildly. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.
Once there, it’s clear there’s more to Fiji than the aquamarine waters and white sand beaches that have made it a top honeymoon destination. Forget the sunset walks and candlelit dinners: there’s a wealth of opportunities for adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies.
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Whether you’re travelling alone, with friends or on a couples’ getaway, here are some of the best things for adventurous types to do in Fiji.
Dive with sharks
If snorkelling through clear waters and spotting the cast of Finding Nemo isn’t exciting enough for you, take things up a notch and go diving with sharks – Fiji is one of the few places in the world that you can do so without a cage.
Join a reef safari at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa, from where you can venture out to the area around Beqa island.
Experience the exhilarating rush of swimming among black and whitetip reef sharks (which grow to more than 5ft long), safe in the knowledge that they’re not going to eat you – the sharks seldom pose a risk to humans.
Whizz down 16 zip lines
Sure, you may have done a zip line before, but have you ever done 16 in a row?
Head to Zip Fiji near Nadi, where you can tackle the longest zip-line course in the South Pacific.
You’ll climb up to 200m above sea level and enjoy incredible views of the ocean as you whizz through the tree-top canopies where mangoes grow (and alarmingly big spiders hang suspended in their webs).
Six lines in, you get to see the so-called cannibal cave – a creepy limestone hollow that was once the site of killings for cannibalism and now home to bats and swallows, who swoop in and out.
As you progress round the course, the zip lines get faster and longer – the longest is 250m – allowing those with a need for speed to get their kicks.
Swim through ancient caves
The Sawa-i-Lau caves are part of the Yasawa Islands, just round the corner from the Blue Lagoon where Brooke Shields shot her film of the same name.
The biggest is easy to climb down into to take a dip in the 7m-deep pool.
The adventurous can turn things up a notch by scouting for the hidden underwater tunnel through to another cave, positioned about a metre below the surface of the water.
You’ll need to hold your breath for about five seconds and, if you don’t have a head torch, it’s probably best not to swim through without a guide going ahead of you.
After a few seconds’ swimming into the darkness, you emerge into another smaller cave, almost pitch black save for the tiny burst of light shining through the water from the main tunnel.
The water is too deep to stand in and – somewhat terrifyingly – you can’t hear anyone in the main cave, nor can they hear you. However, your eyes soon acclimatise, and swimming back out is a doddle compared to going in – simply head towards the light.
You can visit the Sawa-i-Lau caves by boat or as part of a cruise, such as Captain Cook Cruises, Blue Lagoon Cruises or Awesome Adventures Fiji.
Climb a mountain
Reaching 763ft above sea level, the climb to the top of Mount Tamasua in the Yasawa Islands is steep but not too long – it takes about half an hour if you’re walking at a decent pace.
The soil is crumbly so the descent is more difficult than climbing up, but the reward for venturing through the giant succulents and lush scenery to the peak is views over the Blue Lagoon, tropical reefs and Sawa-i-Lau island.
And if you’re willing to get up early enough, you’ll catch the sunrise too.
Island-hop by seaplane
As beautiful as the Fijian islands are from the ground and as wonderful as the ocean is when you’re submerged in it, there’s nothing like seeing the land and seascapes from the sky.
Jump in a seaplane for a day of island-hopping, where you’ll view turquoise reefs and lush islands from a height of around 1,000ft.
As well as the captivating scenes below, experience the thrill of taking off from and landing on water – it’s much more fun than an airport runway.
Return flights from Heathrow to Fiji (Nadi) via Hong Kong cost £1,183 with British Airways.
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