There’s more to these enchanting isles than luxury resorts, indulgent spas and delicious seafood. Adventure seekers can discover vibrant coral reefs or go river rafting, while the kids will love the water parks and wildlife encounters. Although the restorative feeling of your holiday will fade, the spirit of the islands and the warmth and friendliness of the Fijian people will be etched in your memory forever. These are the best things to do in Fiji.

See dolphins in the wild

The spinner dolphin is the most common species found in Fijian waters and is named for its ability to revolve up to seven times in the air in a single leap. The Mamanuca Islands, a volcanic chain just west of Viti Levu’s Nadi, is a great place to see these acrobats in action. At Musket Cove Island Resort & Marina on picturesque Malolo Lailai Island, dolphin-watching cruises leave in the morning when the pods are at their most playful. Most resorts can organise dolphin-watching tours, especially from popular departure port Denarau.

Dive right into a waterpark

Big Bula Waterpark

What child can resist a waterslide? Denarau Island’s Big Bula Waterpark delivers adrenaline-fuelled fun with its array of colourful rides. There’s a dedicated swimming area for the younger kids, as well as a wave pool and stationary inflatable waterpark with animal-themed slides, ideal for more energetic family members. Plus, there’s a canteen on-site for mid-slide snacks.

Zipline through the canopies

The Koroyanitu National Heritage Park in Viti Levu’s west is all towering dakua trees and plunging waterfalls, with summits that overlook jagged valleys below. Sleeping Giant Zipline has wires strung up on the park’s edge, offering high flyers a unique view across 14 hectares of tropical wilderness. On your 600-metre-long zipline ride, you’ll reach heights of up to 160 metres, whizzing above waterfalls and through lush jungle canopies.

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Catch Fiji’s best surf breaks

Fiji Cloudbreak surf break

Fiji is home to the epic Cloudbreak, which is consistently ranked among the 10 most challenging surf breaks in the world. It can only be accessed by boat, so serious surfers should think about checking into a resort in the nearby Mamanuca Islands. Other renowned breaks include Cloudbreak’s little brother, Restaurants, and Swimming Pools – named for its clear, aquamarine water. The mighty Frigates Pass, also known as the Fiji Pipeline, is a 20-minute boat ride from Pacific Harbour and can be accessed from low-key surf resorts scattered along the Coral Coast. Beach breaks in Fiji are limited due to the protective barrier reefs that fringe many of the islands but Sigatoka Rivermouth has a decent wave. Beginners and bodyboarders can take to the smaller swell at Natadola Beach on the Coral Coast.

Scuba dive or snorkel Fiji’s coral reefs

As the “soft coral capital of the world”, Fiji has plenty for snorkellers and divers across more than 10,000 square kilometres of reefs. The sea is home to more than 1500 species of marine life and in many areas, it’s so clear you won’t even need a mask and snorkel. The beauty of Fiji’s reefs is that they’re everywhere – no matter where you’re staying you won’t be far from an underwater wonderland. Many resorts have their own dive set-ups or will happily organise an experienced operator for you. More advanced divers might choose a live-aboard experience that navigates through the stunning reefs of the Bligh Water and Koro Sea.

Explore Kula Wild Adventure Park

Encompassing almost five hectares of coastal forest that’s open to the public, this enchanting sanctuary is alive with birdsong and there are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife such as bright green crested iguanas and baby snakes. A fast-flowing stream meanders through the park and elevated boardwalks and bridges lead you through the forest. Walk-in enclosures provide a natural habitat for birds and reptiles and the aquarium brims with soft corals, tropical fish and turtles. The park also operates as a breeding and education facility with all proceeds going towards protecting Fiji’s endangered species. 

SEE ALSO: 15 Kids’ Clubs That Prove Fiji Is the Ultimate Family Destination

Embark on a river rafting tour

Fiji river

With its source high in the misty mountains on Viti Levu, the Upper Navua River (also known as the River of Eden) sweeps through the island’s scenic highlands. Half of the one-day rafting tour by Rivers Fiji twists through narrow canyons where palm trees cling to the banks and steep volcanic escarpments are covered in rainforest. Grade 3 rapids provide ample excitement while dozens of waterfalls add to the wet-and-wild experience. Professional guides come from surrounding villages and share a genuine love of the river and traditional culture.

Hike across an island

Fiji hike

Fiji’s national parks sprawl across lush highlands, dip down to steamy rainforests and hug picturesque coastlines, offering hikers everything from leisurely afternoon strolls to rigorous mountain treks. For longer hikes, enlist a guide to lead the way and share their knowledge of Fijian culture, wildlife and traditions. Talanoa Treks works closely with local communities and offers a number of treks lasting one day to three nights.

Rejuvenate at Bebe Spa, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

Outrigger Resort, Fiji

The Fijian word for “butterfly”, Bebe clings to the top of Heavenly Hill and is an enchanting cocoon-like sanctuary from which you’ll emerge relaxed and radiant. Bebe Spa’s private treatment rooms look out to the Coral Coast; some even have sunken hydrotherapy tubs on the balcony. An extensive menu leaves you spoilt for choice, with treatments combining ancient techniques, Pure Fiji oils and world-renowned Pevonia spa products.

Drink kava with the locals

No trip to Fiji is complete without sharing a bowl of kava with the locals. The much-loved national drink is made from the crushed roots of the kava or yaqona plant, a member of the pepper family. Kava, which is mildly narcotic, was traditionally only drunk for ceremonial purposes but these days you don’t need to look far to find a kava bowl. The taste and appearance is kind of muddy and it takes just one or two serves to make your mouth go numb (much like local anaesthetic at the dentist), but if you drink a lot, you’ll probably experience slight euphoria. Before you drink it, familiarise yourself with the correct etiquette as drinking kava is serious business!

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