FIJI SHORE EXCURSIONS
We recently went on our third cruise on Royal Caribbean, this time on the Voyager of the Seas. We sailed from Sydney to New Caledonia, Fiji and back to Sydney. Our stops included Lautoka and Suva in Fiji and Noumea and Mare Island in New Caledonia. I have had so many ask about what we did on our shore excursions in Fiji so here it is !
We pre arranged a tour through Micks Fiji Tours & Transfers for our stop in Lautoka. We chose to visit the Garden of the sleeping giant, mudpool, and do some local shopping. The tour guides met us at the ship dock, and we had a aircon minivan to fit us all (we had a group of 4 adults and 5 kids). The guides were fantastic but my only disappointment was that they didn't speak fantastic English - we were met with stares and simple nods when we asked certain questions, which when you want to know as much about a place as possible, it was a bit disappointing.
GARDEN OF THE SLEEPING GIANT
The Garden of the sleeping giant was beautiful and definitely worth a visit. It was formally a private garden of the american Actor Raymond Burr but is now open to the public. It contains more than 2000 varieties of Asian orchids and Cattleya hybridsm, aswell as amazing lilli ponds, and much more. We didn't trek too far as we had 5 kids to lug between us all, but the scenery and rain forest was absolutely beautiful and the kids had a great time. The entrance fees cost us around $30 AUD for us 5.
Who could resist the thought of covering their body in dirty mud ! Sabeto mudpool is a short drive from the Garden of the sleeping giant, and the scenery on the way is just beautiful. When you arrive and pay the fees (around $40 AUD for the family), you go over to the Mudpool where you cover yourself in a thick mud and allow it to dry.The therapeutic mud pool claims to be the perfect remedy for self-cleansing or naturally beautifying yourself and I was told it can help everything from Ezcema,skin infections, rashes and much more. I actually had a rash that I get from sun cream etc at the time and I defnitley noticed an improvement!
Once the mud is dry you hop into the dirty muddy water and wash it off - this was a bit gross as you can feel the reeds below your feet but cant see them! I have a fear of not being able to see what I'm swimming in ! 🙂 Next you hop into the 37 degree hot spring - The sulphur in the hot springs is believed by locals to have healing properties aswell, and it feels amazing - like a hot bath but with a much better view. My 2 year old refused to get out he loved it.
There are showers to clean any remaining mud after, ( I don't recommend wearing white bathers I'm still trying to bring these back to white !) and some refreshments like watermelon, water and also massages are on offer. A great way to finish off the "cleanse".
Defnitley recommend this as a tour we had a fantastic time
We headed into Laukota city after this stop and had some lunch, there were a few restaurants there but a few we weren't overly keen on dining in. We found a great place that had pizza, chips, fijian beer and vodkas which all up cost around $40 for us 5. Our whole day tour cost our family of 5 $75 AUD which we paid in Australian Dollars when we finished the tour. Thank you to Micks Fiji Tours for a great day !
We hadn't pre arranged a tour at Suva but knew there would be plenty of options at the dock once we arrived. I had decided I wanted to visit a waterfall so we found a tour that included this option. I cant remember the name of the tour we went through they were a small family run business and the lady who was our guide was just gorgeous - spoke amazing English and was so informative and funny ! Our first stop was the waterfall - I wish we went here last so we could have spent more time. It was AMAZING ! The walk down wasn't too far (although coming back up the steps carrying a toddler it felt like miles), and I felt much better after our guide told us there was no snakes, and the government sprays all the jungles for mozzies (yes I have a bug and snake phobia!). We stripped off and were straight off to test out the rope swing. The kids loved it, the water was deep so no worry of them hitting anything, and a beautiful temperature. There is something about natural spring water, it is just so pure and refreshing. The 2 year old wasn't keen on having a swim but was happy to dip his toes in. There is toilets there if required, and its defnitley a trip that is suitable for all fitness levels and ages providing they are ok with some stairs. I Defnitley can't recommend this spot enough, I could have spent all day there it was just beautiful.
After here we had a little lunch and and a drink at a beautiful place called Raintree Lodge, it had the most gorgeous scenery and the kids could feed the fish in the lake.
We next were taken to a local Fijian village which was a great experience!. When we arrived we were sat down ready to watch the traditional dancing by the men and the Kava ceremony. My hubby and my friend both had a drink of the Kava (after the guide telling me how it can be so strong people lay there unable to move properly I swiftly declined). The kids were invited to dance with the men and my son thought it was fantastic leading the pack with them copying his moves ! We were allowed to wander around the village, try some traditional Fijian lunch and browse the little stalls. The village had their own community hall, had around 300 community members, and the houses each had surnames representing each family. It was a great experience for the kids (who now want to live in a village with the extended family!) and something I would love to go back and experience more of. The entry fee was around $10 FD for adults and $5 for kids.
We fell in love with Fiji - the people are just so happy and friendly. Never without a smile on their face ! Defnitley somewhere I will come back and explore more of !