How to Explore the Best of Fiji With 23 Unmissable Things to Do

April 12, 2019

Table Of Contents

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji | Blog

As far as tropical holiday destinations go, it’s hard to beat Fiji. Bursting with culture and perfect for a romantic getaway or family adventures, Fiji has so much to discover. It’s a lush paradise with adventure, history, tranquility and friendly locals.

When travelling to a new location packed with great things to see and do, it’s a good idea to make a ‘must-do’ list to narrow down your itinerary. To help compile that list, here are 23 of the most unmissable experiences on offer in Fiji.


1. Hit the beach

Let’s face it; a trip to Fiji wouldn’t be complete without lots of time spent at the beach. And with Fiji being made up of no less than 332 islands, there’s a lot of beach to discover. Fiji’s beaches are spectacular, and no matter which one you choose you can expect a picture-perfect experience.

Many beaches have a range of activities, from windsurfing and dolphin watching to surfing and parasailing. Some of Fiji’s most popular beaches include Natadola, Nanuya Lailai and Long Beach.

2. Chase waterfalls

Throughout the Fiji islands there are some beautiful waterfalls. Visit the wild and picturesque Tavoro Falls on Taveuni Island, or be amazed by the spectacular set of waterfalls found deep within the Bouma National Heritage Park. With the dense foliage serving as a backdrop, the waterfalls offer a serene setting that’s perfect for a secluded swim.

Wainibau Falls, also on Taveuni Island, lie at the end of the scenic five kilometre Lavena Coastal Walk. The falls don’t boast a tall drop, but what they lack in height they make up for in raw beauty. Biausevu Falls on Viti Levu Island are easily accessible and the 20m waterfall slides down in two tiers, providing viewers with a number of great vantage points.

The most famous waterfall in Fiji, Bouma Falls, offer stunning panoramic views. Cultivated taro and cassava gardens and river crossings are interrupted only by intermittent dips in the volcanic pools.

3. Go snorkelling

Viewing the abundant underwater world of Fiji is an absolute must-do. Richly-coloured coral, busy pelagic feeding grounds and over 1,200 species of fish make it one of the most rewarding, exciting activities you can do. Island cruising from a live-aboard boat is a great way to see a variety of snorkel sites where everything is organised for you.

Fiji is known as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’ and is home to the Coral Coast and the Great Astrolabe Reef – a network of brilliant coral reefs surrounding the 333 islands and atolls. When snorkelling, Fiji offers a unique underwater experience.

Fiji’s coral reefs expand over more than 4,000 square miles and are home to over 1,000 species of fish. Beyond the reef you can come face-to-face with grey reef sharks, hammerheads, silvertips and white tips. Go shark diving for an up-close look at these magnificent creatures, or even go swimming with large Manta Rays from May to October.

4. Whitewater rafting

One activity to get the heart pumping is whitewater rafting. One of the best spots for rafting is on the Upper Nayua River. There’s so much to see while you’re crashing through the waters, including rare, indigenous iguanas and bats, as well as stunning waterfalls and canyons. Another perfect rafting river is the Wainikoro Aluva. Weave your way through Class II rapids, and afterwards visit the quaint Nakavika village where you can say hello to the locals and even take part in a kava ceremony.

Raft in the awe-inspiring Upper Navua Gorge or the Luva River to get the adrenaline pumping with a good dose of whitewater. Rafting is also a great way to explore the highland country of Fiji that’s dotted with rainforests, narrow canyons and hidden waterfalls. For the enthusiastic rafter, take a two day trip up the Luva with Rivers Fiji’s well-trained Fijian guides.

5. Go diving

So much of Fiji’s beauty is underwater. Tropical fish, turtles, and networks of coral… there’s so much to see. So, why not go scuba diving? Diving is an experience that can be had by all ages and abilities, so whether you’re a complete newbie to diving, or have years of experience, there’s a diving option for you. Make sure you choose a PADI Qualified Instructor who’s qualified for both Open Water and Advanced dive courses, such as those offered by Viti Water Sports.

There’s diving spots all over the country, too. One of the highlights is the The Supermarket, one of Fiji’s most exciting dives with an abundance of reef and grey sharks. If you’re keen to discover a hidden gem, diving the Raiyawa is an awesome experience for anyone who’s already exploring Tivua Island. You can experience both of these dives on a cruise around Fiji, such as the seven night Mamanuca and Yasawa cruise offered by Captain Cook Cruises Fiji.

If diving isn’t really your thing and you’d like to stay close to the surface, you can always try snorkelling, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding.

6. Check out the blue lagoon

Another Yasawa Islands gem, Turtle Island was made famous by the 1980’s hit film, ‘Blue Lagoon’. With crystal water, white sandy beaches and an abundance of coral reefs, it’s the perfect snorkeling spot. The best way to get around the Yasawa Islands is on a cruise. Captain Cook Cruises Fiji offers three, four and seven night cruises to the Yasawa Islands to suit your travel needs.

7. Take a cruise

With over 300 islands to explore around Fiji, a cruise is the best way to get around and take in as much as possible. With everything planned for you, you can sit back, relax and be assured you’re seeing the best that Fiji has to offer, with at least twice-daily shore and water activities.

Plus, if you’re travelling with kids, there’s plenty of entertainment onboard to keep the little ones occupied, and Captain Cook Cruises Fiji child fares apply to ages five to 17 years! Fiji has great weather just about all year round, so you can take a cruise at any time, however a top tip would be to go in the off-season and beat the crowds.

Island hopping is what Fiji is all about, and with around 13 of the 20 Yasawa Islands offering accommodation, each resort is different to the next. Visit several in a single day or scout through them at your own convenience.


8. Take a mud bath

Indulge in a therapeutic mud spa at the Sabeto hot water springs (a naturally occurring cluster of sulphur pools that locals claim have healing properties). Bathe in the pool, cover yourself in mud from head to toe, and then wash it off in the warm springs. A great place to rejuvenate and chat with the locals, it’s good, clean fun (well, sort of).

9. Stay in an overwater bure

Likuliku Lagoon Resort has Fiji’s first and only overwater bures, and the private accommodation is something straight from a James Bond film set. It’s like living in an aquarium – there are even lagoon views from the bathtub! The bures are elegantly designed, blending traditional architecture with modern comforts like air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Pure bliss.

10. Relax at a day spa

After all the adventuring and sightseeing, the best way to wind down is with a relaxing day at a luxury day spa. Discover the Fijian secret to beautiful skin and hair, and indulge in treatments using pure coconut oils and flower extracts. Walk out feeling relaxed and ready for the next activity. LikuLiku Lagoon Resort is home to Pure Fiji day spa, so why not multi-task on two great experiences?

11. Have a hit of golf

If you’re a keen golfer, you won’t want to miss out on teeing off on a beautifully-landscaped Fijian course. Fiji has plenty of great courses, however you can’t go past the Natadola. The Natadola hosts the Fiji Open and was designed by famous Fijian golfer Vijay Singh. Other courses to check out include Denarau Golf and Racquet Club, and the Pacific Harbour’s tough Pearl. With challenging hazards and beautiful scenery, it’s a must for every golfer.


12. Enjoy a kava ceremony

Usually consumed at ceremonies and auspicious gatherings, kava is a drink made by mixing the powdered root of the pepper plant with water. The effect is a numb feeling around the mouth, lips and tongue, as well as a relaxed sensation.

For many Fijians, kava is a link to their ancestral past, so it’s important to take the ceremony seriously. You’ll be invited to sit in a circle on the floor while a large bowl is placed in front of the leader. The plant is pounded, the pulp placed in a cloth sack and mixed with water in a tanoa bowl where it will turn brown. Although drinking Kava requires an acquired taste, it’s definitely worth experiencing this local tradition.

You’ll be able to participate in a welcome Kava Ceremony in several Fijian villages on one of Captain Cook Cruises Fiji’s three, four, seven and 11 night cruises.

13. Sip a beer at Savusavu

Savusavu is a throwback town that highlights its importance to the country’s nautical history. Savusavu’s main drag is a shabby chic mix of cosmopolitan restaurants, second-hand shops, eclectic watering holes and bush markets. Home to two excellent marinas, the view from above is spectacular and is the perfect place to enjoy an ice cold beer.


14. Visit a local Fijian village

Visiting a traditional Fijian village should be a top priority when you’re on the islands. As soon as you arrive at a village you’ll be greeted by excited children. Village elders will also take the time to shake your hand, and you’ll invariably receive offers of a meal or a longer stay.

You should understand and practice the local etiquette. Both men and women should dress conservatively, and hats and sunglasses should be removed. Avoid visiting a village on a Sunday for religious reasons, and on arrival ask to see the Turanga Ni Koro or village headman and present him with a small gift. Other appreciated gifts include goods for the village school, books or toys.

Get off the tourist track and visit the remote north coast of Vanua Levu. There are four different cultures here; the Ellice Islanders (Polynesian), Banabas (Micronesian), Indian and Fijian (Melanesian) people. When you visit Vanua Levu’s largest town, you can sample a lovo feast, visit a local school and Choral Church service, and buy fresh produce from the busy market place. Book for our seven-night 4 Cultures Discovery Cruise to tick this one off your list.

15. Visit the Fiji Museum

The Fiji Museum gives its visitors an in-depth look into the country’s history and culture. A popular exhibit is the Ratu Finau (1913), a double hulled war canoe. Other attractions include an array of war clubs, rudders and even a display on former traditions of cannibalism. After the museum, take a leisurely stroll around the green lawns of Thurston Gardens. This botanical garden is well maintained and you can relax under the shade of its many fig trees. It’s here where the original village of Suva once stood.

16. Visit Levuka

The port town of Levuka was Fiji’s first colonial capital, established in 1874. Characteristically known for it’s small buildings set among fruit trees, it showcases influences from its indigenous population and its colonial past. You can visit Levuka on the Captain Cook Cruises seven-night Colonial Discovery Cruise.

17. The capital

If it’s great food and awesome nightlife you’re after, you should head to Suva, Fiji’s buzzing capital. It’s here you’ll experience beautiful architecture in a central location, providing access to everything Fiji has to offer.


18. Go hiking

After having so many great water adventures, you might be looking to do something on land. Fiji’s home to some of the most amazing rainforests in the world, so strap on your walking shoes and look out for local flora and fauna.

Mount Tomanivi is Fiji’s highest mountain, standing at 1,232 metres tall with an average six-hour climb to the summit. On a clear day, you can see the Yasawas from the top. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a hike that satisfies more than one ‘bucket list’ experience, you won’t want to miss the vistas of Blue Lagoon from the top of Mount Tamasua available on the four night Northern Yasawa cruise.

The hilly terrain and lovely tropical scenery of Fiji provides excellent hiking for those wanting to discover the islands on foot. Make your way through diverse trails consisting of lush tropical rainforest, amazing mountains, unpolluted clear blue waters and incredible waterfalls. Explore Fijian flora and fauna up close, get to know the locals of the villages you cross, and experience the wonder of Fiji’s national parks.

19. Garden of the Sleeping Giant

One of the best-kept horticultural secrets in the South Pacific, this fantasy garden houses more than 2,000 varieties of Asian orchids and Cattleya hybrids. Once belonging to the American actor Raymond Burr, this collection is now open to the public. Spend a day lolling about the perfectly manicured lawns, and explore the lily ponds, fountains and rainforest.

20. See Fiji from the air

Choose from a 10 to 55 minute helicopter ‘flightseeing’ tour of the islands. Get a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the interconnecting coral reefs, the pure white sands of deserted islands, rugged volcanic rock formations and lush, verdant rainforests. This is the only way to get a true picture of the diverse ecosystem of the area. You can even fly over the world’s premier surf spot, Cloud Break, and spot the professionals.

21. Visit the Kula Eco Park

This is Fiji’s only wildlife park and is a great place to view local birds, reptiles and insects up close. Kula Eco Park is a maze of boardwalks set amongst coastal forest with expertly displayed animals in their natural habitat. Established in 1997, the park also works closely with The National Trust of Fiji and the Parks Board of NSW to successfully breed critically endangered species such as the Peregrine Falcon and the newly discovered Monoriki Crested Iguana.

22. Explore the Sawa-I-Lau caves

Did you know there are 15 words in the Fijian language that mean heaven? One of those words is ‘Yasawa’. The Yasawa islands make up Fiji’s Western border and are known for natural beauty as far as the eye can see, including the Sawa-I-Lau Caves. The spectacular limestone has been gently eroded by the sea to form caves for you to swim around and explore. If you have a GoPro or underwater camera, this is the place to take it! Give yourself the opportunity to explore the caves on our four or seven night Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands cruise.

23. Explore a Fijian rainforest

Picturesque Colo-I-Suva Forest Park provides an escape like no other. The tropical rainforest is home to a number of exotic birds and has some of the best swimming holes you’ll ever find. Don’t leave your camera at home or you’ll regret it!


With so many things to do in Fiji, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Fiji has absolutely everything for anyone; it doesn’t matter if you’re a solo traveller, a family looking for a fun tropical vacation, or a couple seeking a romantic escape. Make your dream of discovering Fiji a reality with one of our cruise packages. Enquire with our friendly team today.

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