We flew from Argentina and surprisingly to get to New Zealand it was cheaper to fly back up to North America and across from there. So we took the marvelous opportunity to stop off at LA and Fiji on the way. Why not?
How can you go to Fiji if you’re on a tight budget and you’re a backpacker? EASY!
Ok – Fiji is not the cheapest place on the planet but all things considered, a trip there doesn’t need to break the bank.
Places to Stay
Unless you have to, don’t bother staying on the mainland overnight. I can’t speak for the mainland in the South of Fiji but the mainland in the North is dirty. It’s not the picture of Fiji you would have in your mind and you will be able to afford staying on one of the Islands which are beautiful – and clean!
If you have to stay on the mainland because of flights, just take your pick according to your budget (you can hook via Hostel World/Hostel Bookers). I can’t recommend any of the budget options. We stayed in one, which looked like the others. I didn’t feel very safe, the food was crap and the locals were on drugs. It just wasn’t particularly nice – but that is just my opinion based on staying in one area. I regretted not staying for longer on the Island.
Malolo Island – in the Mamanuca Group
Ok – so my first reservation about this place was the fact that it was a surfers hostel. I was nervous that the water wouldn’t be safe for swimming, and I was worried that the people at the resort would be American Spring Breakers being loud and getting wasted.
There was absolutely no need for me to be worried at all! The resort was absolutely beautiful, clean and calm and the staff were friendly, and professional. The water was still and perfect for swimming in. In fact – the way the resort is positioned means that it actually gets less wind/rough sea in comparison to the other surrounding islands!
Surfing trips are organised but surfers are taken out by boat during the day for a day trip, which they have to pay a small fortune for, and so the surfers weren’t students, as I imagined they might be. Everyone at the Funky Fish got on really well! People were friendly and chatty. You had a mix of families, travellers and surfers. It was a really lovely mix!
The Funky Fish organise day trips to the Castaway Island, as well as other trips. It’s fairly relaxed and you don’t have to book anything in advance of arriving. Just see what’s on offer when you get there. You can also borrow snorkel gear and paddle boats, free of charge.
There is a set meal option you can opt in for – I will tell you now – the evening meals are incredible! Served buffet style you will definitely eat your fill (I eat a lot of food and I was so stuffed it hurt!) It’s beautifully cooked and organic. Just beautiful food!
Compare transport prices via Funky Fish (which can be found on their website), and South Sea Cruises – the ferry company who drop off at Funky Fish resort. Remember prices are in Fijian Dollars – not US! I can’t stress enough how much better it is staying on the Island to staying on the mainland – so pay the little extra, if you can. You will not be disappointed.
Take it easy, sit back and relax – because it’s Fiji – and there’s not that much else to do, to be honest!
Next Stop: New Zealand