It took me longer than I intended, but let me share with you all my wonderful trip (a.k.a. honeymoon) to Fiji with my brand new husband Rory!
As you’d know from Honeymooning Through Food, we stayed at Taveuni Island Resort. To travel there from New Zealand was a bit tricky however. We flew from Wellington to Nadi on Sunday afternoon (it takes around 3 and a half hours). Then we needed to take a connecting flight from Nadi to Taveuni. The timing of both flights always clashed. So we ended up having to stay the night in Nadi. This was on our first night in Fiji, and again on our last night as we ran into the same problem timetable wise.
For our one-night stay in Nadi, we booked with Aquarius on the Beach. This was a lovely hostel, only 15 minutes from the airport. They also offer to pick you up and drop you off to the airport (for only $14 FJD), so we thought it would be a good place to stay.
Their rooms were fairly small, but had air conditioning which we were thankful for. They also offer free breakfast and wifi, always a bonus. We spent most of our time there in the common area. Drinking, eating and listening to the Fijian cultural band that was playing that night. They also had a Kava drinking ceremony. Rory and I tried it, you’re meant to drink it all in one go. I did not, because no matter how hard I try, I choke when I try to drink faster than a sip. It tasted interesting though. Very root-y. We then went back to our cocktails and desserts. I would recommend staying here if you’re staying short term.
Now let’s get to the main event. I’ve never stayed at a five-star resort before, but from this experience I would absolutely do it again! (You know, when it fits in the budget). We booked it through Luxury Escapes. We chose to stay for 6 days, and the package came with many perks, free champagne on arrival, complimentary 30 minute massage, amazing daily meals, return airport transfers, romantic dinner in the lagoon bure…we jumped on it when we saw it come up.
We were picked up by Ric at the airport. It was literally a two minute drive to the resort. There, we met Dorothy (his wife) who checked us in. The owners are lovely, chatty people. The staff were also incredibly friendly and fun. They all made our stay amazing!
Our room was Lomalagi, an upgrade to what we had booked originally, which was very generous! We later learnt Lomalagi meant Heaven 🙂
We spent a lot of time in the day room. They had a giant chess set! We played a few times, and I lost every single time. I have no strategies in chess, while Rory always thinks steps ahead. I will never learn. I’m better at Scrabble, we both won a game of that.
Our first day (and every day after) was half spent in the infinity pool. We kept getting the pool to ourselves, and we spent hours in there. Rory practised his diving and handstand skills, I practiced swimming lengths. Then we would sit in the sunchairs and dry, then jump right back in.
We also explored the beaches that the resort owned. It was very hot at this point and we were getting very sweaty.
The second day, we checked out the Meridian 180 Line. Apparently, Taveuni is the only land that crosses over the line. This divides the eastern hemisphere and western hemispher. So one side is today, and the other is yesterday. It was neat.
Then we went shopping in the local town, Naqara. Our guide, Roberta, translated it to ‘hole’…alright then. We had fun looking through the shops.
I bought a miniature version of a Lali. It’s a Fijian drum made of wood, with a slit in the middle. I love it!
This trip only cost us $60 FJD (40 NZD), and covers the drive down and back.
The third day, we woke up to rain. The rain was warm! Such a difference to New Zealand rain. On this day, we gave snorkelling a go. We are both novice swimmers, but we thought it would be fun. Funnily enough, we were taken out to Honeymoon Bay to do some snorkelling. We thought it was a fitting name.
My first 15 minutes in the water consisted of me trying to breathe through my nose, failing, coughing and having to spaz my way back up to sort everything out. Once I stopped doing that, I had fun. The flippers help you to float, so sometimes I would just float face down, staring down at all the sea life below me. The water is so clear! I wish I had a waterproof camera so I could have taken pictures. It was an amazing experience, and now I can say I’ve been snorkelling! This trip cost us $37.50 FJD (25 NZD) per person, and covers the boat ride out.
The fourth day, we just hung out in the resort all day again. We’re here for relaxation after all. We got our complimentary half hour massages. I enjoyed it afterwards, but during I had thoughts of “Ow”. Afterwards, we discovered a cooling-down jacuzzi right next to the spa! Another water spot for us to hide in. We had a particularly lovely sunset that evening too.
Ooh also, that night, we had a crazy thunderstorm! The lightning lit up our whole room, and the thunder literally shook the villa! It was awesome!
The fifth day, we decided to head out again. We went on a horse riding trek. It was very relaxing, and we got to explore the gorgeous Fiji nature. We went with local guides from the Wiwi vilage. The trek was led by Charlie, who owned 11 horses altogether. I went on Ewok (she was named after Star Wars), Rory went with Hidalgo (he was named after Hidalgo). Ewok is 30 years old, she’s the oldest. She was also more interested in drinking puddles and trying to eat leaves and kept going off track. The whole trek took two hours, we went through dalo (taro) and yaqona (kava) farms. It was a very scenic ride through the hills and was a lovely way to see the land. Horseriding costs $60 FJD (41 NZD) per person, which we paid directly to Charlie. It also cost an extra $35 FJD ($24 NZD) for the van ride to get there and back.
The sixth day, we took one last trip to the pool, and the beaches. We grabbed some snorkels and headed off on our own. We knew what to do this time, and I had fun stalking the colourful fish around. They swim a lot faster than me.
In the late afternoon, we headed back to Nadi for one last night at Aquarius on the Beach.
Our Fiji honeymoon was amazing. Taveuni is known as the Garden Island of Fiji, and I definitely recommend it!