If you haven't been to Fiji before, we highly suggest to stay in the Denarau Island of Fiji first. The island is very slow-paced and is perfect for those who just want to chill, relax, and escape the city life. With the clearest waters and most beautiful sunsets, Fiji is certainly a tropical paradise you want to get lost in. Here's our guide for the first-timers.


1. Explore Fiji's islands

Absolutely recommended. Fiji consists of many beautiful islands and it's something you cannot miss. You can do a day cruise to explore the islands and we did ours with South Sea Cruises. You can visit their website, but if you are checked in at one of the hotels along the beach of the Denarau island, you can just visit the hotel reception and they can organise the booking for you, which is what we did. It's just over a $100 at the time but totally worth it. You can also hop off on any of the islands you fancy and get back on on the next ferry.

Mana Island port in Fiji

Tip: Bring your swimming gear. It will take every inch of you to resist the temptation of jumping into the clear-as-gin waters of Fiji so make sure you have everything you need for when you couldn't resist no longer!


2. Get off on the Castaway island (but you will not see Wilson)

If the above does not make sense to you, I'm referring to Tom Hanks' movie "Cast Away", where our favourite character Chuck Noland gets casted away into an island nearly losing his mind. While that was filmed in an uninhabited island of Fiji called "Monuriki", this is not to be confused with the actual Fijian island called "Castaway island", which is inhabited, and full of tourists. A lot of travel agents, including our tour guide, did say this was the same island featured in the film, later research says it's not. Whichever, you believe, good luck looking for Wilson!

Castaway island, Fiji

The Castaway island is one of Fiji's most popular island resorts, fantastic for couples and families looking for a more private holiday. You can either stay on this island itself, or just spend the day snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, or PADI diving. It also offers land activities, such as playing tennis, table tennis, volleyball as well as guided walking tours.


3. Feast on seafood

Fijian's local diet mainly consists of seafood, particularly fish. So it does not make sense to go to Fiji and order a steak! If you were to try a type of fish in Fiji, a good one to have is the Mahi mahi, which can be grilled or pan-fried next to rice and vegetables. 

Seafood dinner with a sunset view

But if you are not a seafood or fish person, you can always resort back to steak or pasta and a view to go with that!

Fijian dinner with a view


4. Go for a swim

Well, we all know you did not go to Fiji if you didn't go for a swim. But as always, it pays to know where you can safely swim, or at least allowed to in the beach. If you're staying in a hotel that has a beach front, then it pays to check with your hotel reception, talk to life guards or read the signs. During our visit, there were huge waves on the beach our hotel was facing to and there was a beach net to ensure swimmers only stay in the safe zones.

Otherwise, you can always stay in the resort pools which are grouped into zones perfect for families, or for the more quiet "adults only" pools. This is one is at the Radisson Blu Resort "Adults only" pool.

Radisson Blue Adults Only pool


5. Get a massage

Most of the resort hotels by the Denarau Island have spa / massage. We fully recommend Harmony Retreat Day Spa. We got the couple full-body massage that was ahhh-mazing! 

Harmony Retreat Day Spa Massage room


7. Watch local performances

There is a dance show / performance every night in one of the selected hotels by the Denarau Island. We stayed in Radisson Blu and around 6:30pm, there was a dance performance by the pool. Some guests from the nearby hotels had access and were able to watch via the connected beach area from the different hotels, including Shangrila and Wyndham.

Night show in Fiji by the pool


8. Try the Signature Dinner

This one was one of the highlights of our trip. This Signature Dinner is an offering by Radisson Blu Hotel. It's a dinner by the beach with a choice of a 3-course meal or a seafood banquet. During our visit, the seafood banquet was $180 AUD for a couple. The food was good, but the ambience and set up was fantastic. Check out the photos below.

Frances seated at the dinner table by the beach

Seafood banquet served by the beach with a glass of red wine

Set up of the Signature Dinner by the beach next to grass