Just to be clear, in the past, I’ve never had two tropical island holidays within one year (or even two, three, four or five years!) and I’m unlikely to be so lucky again… but 2023 has delivered ten days in Hawaii and a week in Fiji.
It was my first visit to Fiji. The purpose of the trip was total relaxation, and an opportunity for my son, who is in Year 12, to have a decent break before his final exams. Fiji delivered (and we kept wondering why we had never been before).
We stayed at a resort and didn’t tour around, aside from a few day trips to small islands. This was not a culturally-rich trip (my next visit there will be). But the convenience of a short flight (4.5 hours) and then to be at the resort within half an hour of collecting our luggage was fantastic. What followed was crystal clear water and lots of snorkeling, perfect weather, and cocktails served in coconuts (obvs).
Our day at Malamala was brilliant. We splurged on a private cabana and enjoyed hours of snorkeling, kayaking, a few jumps off the pier, and indulged in fish tacos and fruity cocktails.
02. Diving at South Sea Island
A brief (35 minutes) but extremely satisfying five-metre dive. I was worried I’d have forgotten how to dive but as soon as I got going, any anxiety gave way to wonder – so many fish species (my favourites were the schools of Bluegreen Chromis, the ostentatious Bicolour Parrotfish, and the flashy Blue Devils). And I couldn’t help but be impressed by the giant clams.
03. Swimming with the turtles at Cloud 9
Cloud 9 is essentially a bar and pizzeria, floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (or more specifically, in the middle of the Maloho Barrier Reef). The snorkeling was a slow-reveal. The reef (pic at the very top of post) was chock-full of colourful fish and coral but the real win was time spent hovering over the seaweed beds, when the turtles, feeding on the grasses, revealed themselves.
04. Five books in seven days.
It’s the measure of a restful holiday, right? Our day trips were interspersed with time by the pool, where I managed a fair bit of reading. I read Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener; The Draft by Emma Quayle; Temper by Phoebe Walker; Big Swiss by Jen Beagin; Ransom by David Malouf; and got halfway through both Dinner Party: A Tragedy by Sarah Gilmartin and Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley.
Vinaka Fiji! Hope to see you again very soon.