Wednesday, March 1, 2023

[NADROGA-NAVOSA] South Sea Island


My trip down under was just supposed to be a revisiting of Australia and New Zealand, at least not until I stumbled upon info online that Fiji and Vanuatu are visa-free for Philippine passport holders. Since flights are available, I thought why not. It was a matter of dividing an entire week between the two island chains which seemed really doable. And then two typhoons struck Vanuatu. But let’s dwell on that some other time. For this blog entry, let’s talk about Fiji. How do you get there?


I flew in from Christchurch via Fiji Airways, a flag carrier that is part of Oneworld that deserves the bragging rights, at least personally proven after two flights with them. There are also flights to and from Australia aplenty with choices ranging among Fiji Airways, Qantas, and Virgin Australia. Flights usually tend to be around four hours in duration. Once you land in Nadi, the capital, you either get a taxi or have your resort or Airbnb arrange an airport transfer for you.


I shied away from hotels in Nadi because feedback on internet connectivity was pretty bad. Unless you are booking a pricy four or five star hotel, you are most likely going to get crappy connection, which is a no-no because I have to work. This is what prompted me to check out Airbnb after a long hiatus where I found hospitable hosts who didn’t just give me the stable WiFi I needed, but also the warm welcome I didn’t really expect. The people in Fiji are nice.


As for itineraries, I found a website called South Sea Cruises. The website is user friendly and quite detailed, from the price of a day trip or half day tour all the way to the schedules and maps of the itinerary for each destination. Once you choose, you can pay via credit card and receive the itinerary without headaches. Since I only had a day to spare, I opted for the South Sea Island combo tour which is just one of several available. For combo tours, you have to pay an additional fuel surcharge on the day of the tour itself.


The wharf is in Port Denarau which is a bit far from Nadi. South Sea Cruises organizes free pick-ups and drop-offs from various hotels. The downside is they won’t go to your Airbnb if you are doing homestay. In this case, just find one of the hotels on their list nearest you. Departures are usually set for 9 AM where you reach the nearest island in 30 minutes on a catamaran. You then get your free lunch on whichever island you end up in for the morning leg of your tour.


South Sea Island was really small. There were Monobloc benches and hammocks all around. There is a playground for kids. There is a small family pool as a centerpiece. On the other end of the island is a small bar, probably the only place on that island with a roof. Soda, beers, and water seemed to be free flowing and complimentary. Cocktails were charged individually and there were price discounts when we were there. A bulletin board of activities is also available, giving you options as to what you want to do.


Some of the activities include snorkeling and diving. Some of them are free of charge, on a first-come-first-served basis. Some of them you have to pay for extra. If you are not in the mood, you can always colonize a hammock and stay there for the entire duration of your beach bumming time on the island. Buffet lunch is served at 11:30 and lasts for an hour. At 12:30, those on a combo tour will have to hop on the boat to meet the catamaran en route to the sail-by tours of other islands.


Yes, that is the caveat of the combo tour. You don’t really visit the other islands. Instead, you get to sail past them as visitors who are slated to actually visit them for the day or overnight are ushered onto smaller boats. That’s about it. I was a bit disappointed when I found out, but given the bad weather and frequent rain showers that ambushed this tour, I guess that was for the best. If you just want to kill time at the beach, then I recommend an entire day of stay on JUST one island to maximize your enjoyment.


Since there are several tours to choose from, you can select one for each day you are in Nadi. As for me, getting stranded here after that Vanuatu double typhoon fiasco afforded me the opportunity to rest and recover from this whirlwind work/travel setup. Since it was also raining a lot, island hopping was tedious enough anyway. In the end, I believe Fiji has been worth it. Just make sure you check the weather forecast before you go to avoid disappointment.

[NADROGA-NAVOSA] South Sea Island

0 creature(s) gave a damn:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Protected by Copyscape DMCA Copyright Detector
 

Book Review

Book Review

Theater Review

Theater Review