Staying in Denarau Island, Fiji
I have been to Fiji a few times now, twice to Denarau Island and once to the Coral Coast. It's just a 3 hour flight from Auckland so you don't have to travel far for a tropical island getaway. Most of us New Zealanders hop over there during the winter months to try and escape the freezing cold. If you are traveling there between May - July you can expect it to be pretty busy. Especially if your travel dates fall within the New Zealand or Australia school holidays! Prices will also be higher during these dates so try avoid them if you can.
I love traveling to Fiji, I have gone over with my boyfriend the past two years for my birthday. Very spoilt! This year's trip we actually on booked a few weeks in advance which was crazy. I'm not usually that spontaneous haha but when a really good package deal popped up over the week of my birthday we couldn't resist.
Fiji is made up of so many islands it can be difficult to decide where you want to stay Denarau Island is a popular place to stay, there's quite a bit to see and do. All the 5 star resorts are located here and it is where I have spent most of my time in Fiji.
- Luxury accommodation which you can get at a good price if you time it right. I suggest looking on sites such as Grabone, Groupon, Luxury Escapes and Grabaseat which often come up with great deals to Fiji.
- Close to Port Denarau which is where all day trips leave from. This includes trips out to Cloud 9, the surrounding islands and cruises.
- You can buy an all day Bula Bus pass for $8 FJD and this will take you round all of the resorts and to Denarau Marina
- Easy access to the Denarau Marina. If you are staying at the Hilton or the Sofitel you can actually walk there. The marina is where you will find great restaurants with affordable food options. My personal favourite is Cardos which will often have a live band at night and fantastic $10 FJD frozen mango or strawberry daiquiris!
- The beach isn't exactly what you would expect to see in Fiji. When you are at the resort you will do all your swimming in the pool. If you are wanting a holiday where you can step out onto a picture perfect beach, Denarau Island isn't for you.
- Being all 5 star resorts you aren't going to find any backpacker or budget friendly accommodation
- If you want to go snorkelling you'll need to book a day trip out to one of the islands
Mamanuca Islands, Yasawa Islands etc.
- When you think of Fiji it is these beaches you imagine with the clear blue water and beautiful sand
- You can find more affordable accommodations options. For example Beachcomber Island is labeled the party island because of the backpacker accommodation. If you are traveling as a family or want a quiet escape I would avoid this island
- You don't have to travel far at all to experience great snorkelling, just go straight from the beach!
- Once you are on the island you are pretty much stuck there. If you are after a secluded romantic escape then the islands are for you. It is also common to find families with young children staying here.
- Food on these islands is expensive, everything has to be shipped over from the main island. This can also mean it isn't always as fresh as what you would get in Denarau.
- These islands can be quite exposed if the weather takes an ugly turn. Unfortunately when I spent the day on Castaway Island the weather wasn't in our favour and it got quite windy. This island also took a bit of a beating after the cyclone earlier in 2016.
Personally I haven't stayed out on the islands but I have done a lot of day trips. Based on my experience I think I prefer staying in Denarau Island, it's nice going back to somewhere that you find familiar. I love the beautiful beaches but I definitely get my island fix by venturing out on day trips. I have travelled to Castaway, Beachcomber and Tivua Island and also Cloud 9. If you want to read more about Cloud 9 you can read my blog post here.