Buckle your (virtual) seatbelt. It may seem impossible to swap your ugg boots for barefoot Mai Tais with coronavirus restrictions still upon us, but our friends in Fiji have made it easier than ever to feel the Pacific vibe. Visiting its breeze-kissed islands, heart-melting sunsets and fabulous hotels and resorts is only a click away. Bula!
1. Sigh over the sunset
Put your feet up on your virtual deckchair, mix yourself a drink with an umbrella in it and settle in for one of Fiji’s famous sunsets, thanks to the live feed from Marriott Momi Bay. Situated on the western coast of Viti Levu, the staff at this Marriott know they have an ideal spot to toast the end of another day, and it’s too good not to share. Keep in mind that, with the time difference between Fiji and where you are, sundowners may start in the afternoon. Of course, if you are very keen, we’re told the sunrise is also beautifully serene – but with the time difference, we’ll leave that to others to decide.
2. Surf, tube and swim the warm waters
Our beaches are slowly opening up, but the warm waves and secret surf breaks in this video will still have the surfers among us salivating. More famous breaks such as Cloudbreak (pictured above) and Restaurants have often taken the headlines, but here you can see lesser-known breaks such as Lighthouse. Further inland, Fiji’s rapid rivers and cascading waterfalls can be explored through tubing, and thanks to another of Tourism Fiji’s cool little retro-flavoured videos, you can come along for the ride. Check out the other videos alongside these, and you can add everything from jetboating to witnessing fire-walking to your virtual itinerary.
3. Zoom through the islands
It seems that the working population of Australia can now be found on the video conferencing app Zoom for a good portion of the day. You can add a little island style to your work day with a scenic background added to your Zoom, thanks to the photo galleries of several kind-hearted Fijian resorts. Over your shoulder, you could have anything from fire dancers to iguanas, tropical marine scenes to endless lapping aqua ripples of water on white sandy beaches. Our favourites include the galleries of the Likuliku Lagoon Resort, VOMO Island Fiji Resort, and Malolo Island Resort.
4. Become a certified turtle ecologist, online
So many visitors to Fiji have meeting a sea turtle up at the top of their must-do list, and dozens of resorts keep diving personnel on hand to make that a reality. One of these resorts has helpfully devised an online course so you can learn everything there is to know about these wonderful creatures, entirely from your couch. Volivoli Resort’s Sea Turtle Ecology course offers full certification, as you discover how to identify different species, learn swimming and migration patterns, and conservation concerns. Situated as they are up on the northern coast of Viti Levu, the resort has plenty of diving to offer in real life once restrictions are lifted.
5. Learn how to travel to Fiji responsibly
A raft of podcasts are experiencing a surge in popularity as we travel virtually through the pandemic period. One of these is The Thoughtful Travel Podcast, with this episode exploring the concept of ’empowerment tourism’ and its application in Fiji. Western Australian podcaster and travel writer Amanda Kendle chats with her guests about their firsthand experiences connecting with locals in the remote Ba district islands, witnessing the hard work that goes into husking coconuts, and really understanding the important role that ‘community’ plays in island life.