Things to Do in Nadi and Coral Coast
Have you ever traveled to a place and immediately thought “I could totally see myself living here”? Well that is what you are going to think the second you step off the plane. If you like having options when you travel, Fiji is the place for you!
There are over 330 islands that make up Fiji, however there are only two main islands – Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Fiji is a warm and wonderful place and I am not just talking about the temperature, though the temperature never drops below 18 degrees celcius.
If you are looking for accommodation in Nadi, then you should consider Denarau Island. The island has a great collection of luxury resorts all along the beach.
Here we are going to talk about all the vast and wonderful things that you can do on the island of Viti Levu – the main island. Viti Levu is considered the main island because this is where the nation’s capital is in Suva but more importantly this is the home of the “Flying Fijians” the country’s Rugby Team.
Little tip: if you don’t like or don’t know anything about rugby…keep that to yourself during your visit. The locals joke that rugby is tied with God depending on what day of the week it is – just remember they are only half joking, they LOVE their rugby!
Okay, so Viti Levu! If you pick up a book about Fiji or research online about visiting Nadi you will be told that there isn’t a lot to do but as someone who has traveled there with the entire family, I have to say that it is simply not true. During a three-week trip we were able to have the perfect balance between being able to sit on the beach and relax and be out and about doing activities.
That is important to remember while reading this article, you can be doing something every single day of your vacation but remember that you are also on “Fiji Time”. Which means there is no clock (literally in some shops) and everyone just goes along with the flow. If you are the “super scheduler” type, Fiji is the place for you to finally let your hair down and relax a little and just let things come to you!
Now that I’ve given you a little background into Nadi, I want to now share with you Top Things to do in Fiji.
Things to do in Nadi and Coral Coast
1. Flavours of Fiji
Flavours of Fiji is a great way to be introduced to Fijian culture – through FOOD! This is a cooking class that is offered on the island of Denarau (a man-made island that was built by the Chinese government to help boost the local economy by bringing in top notch resorts). This class has two options, an all day or half day excursion.
The full day includes a trip to the local market where you are taught about the foods that are staples to the Fijian diet as well as items that are locally grown. Be sure to get yourself a fresh coconut to sip out of while you are shopping (you won’t have a lack of coconuts during your trip).
Once you are done shopping for your meal items you will be taken back to the school where you then dive into the cooking classes. If you choose to do the half day classes, the only thing you will miss out on is the trip to the market. Which you can do easily on your own, both options are good.
This isn’t just a “one and done” meal, no you will be making two full meals during the class. The first half of the class you will be cooking traditional Fijian food, the second half of the class you will be cooking Indian food.
The school wanted to honour both main residents of Fiji. During the class you will hear “we do not look at the colour of skin or what your religion is, we are all Fijian”. At the end of the class, you will be both educated and full!
2. Half Day Highland Tour
If you are wanting to get a little perspective of Fiji the Highland tour is perfect for you! Starting down in Nadi you will see the beautiful beaches which then takes a turn off the main road onto a village dirt road. If you aren’t comfortable with a little off-roading, I would reconsider taking this tour, it isn’t terrible, but it does get a little bumpy.
The view at the top is totally worth the ride, when you reach the crest you can see 360° view. With ocean all around you can see beaches, rising to villages and farm lands while standing on the mountain peak. Once the sightseeing portion of the tour is over you will drop down into the Highland village where you will be greeted by the village spokesman.
He will take you to the Chief’s house where you will be welcomed to their village and home by a Kava Ceremony. The Kava ceremony is explained to you, the history of Kava for Fijians and why they perform this ceremony when welcoming guests to their home, store, village, or country. For more information about Kava and Things to do in Fiji, please check out this article.
Get ready to walk after this, you will be given a very extensive tour of the village. After you’ve been welcomed the spokesman will give you an in-depth history of the village, Christian missionaries coming to Fiji, history of cannibalism and how the Fijian people adapted.
Then you will be fed lunch while the little ones of the village dance to music that will be played for you. All too soon it is time to say good-bye, with lots of hugs and “bulas” you will leave the tour feeling like your family has grown a little.
3. Sail to Cloud 9
This isn’t a play on words, there is truly a Cloud 9 that you can visit off the coast of Nadi. Cloud 9 is a floating bar/pizzeria!
Now, this sounds like it wouldn’t be friendly for families but they welcome kids ages 8 and up! This isn’t just a floating party barge, this is also your chance to get out on the water.
There is snorkeling gear to hire (if you don’t have any of your own) so you can take a dip in the crystal blue water and swim over to the reef that the barge is anchored near. When you feel like you’ve gotten your fill for the moment take a break and eat some pizza.
The pizza is cooked in a brick oven and is delicious! Another great thing about Cloud 9 is though it is a little pricey, you get part of that Fijian Dollar back.
They give you a $60 bar tab (which includes the purchase of food) that way you already have money to start with when you get there. If you are looking for Fun Things to do in Fiji then I highly recommend going to Cloud 9 while you visit Fiji!
4. Take a Romantic Cruise
There are several options for a romantic night away on a cruise ship! One of the options is the Robinson Crusoe Dinner Cruise. Though this isn’t a dinner on a boat you do take a boat to get there.
The drive to the jetty takes about 45 minutes from Denarau but transportation is included in your ticket price. You are transported by both bus and boat to the Robinson Crusoe island! This island has a lot of options for vacationers. You can either spend the day, do the dinner cruise, or even spend the night on the island!
The dinner cruise takes you beach side where you are met by the “village warriors” as well as the “locals” who are singing you onto their shores. There are several exhibits they have set up around the island to give you an insight on how rural villagers still live but also how the Robinson Crusoe family could have lived.
These exhibits include, a beachside firepit, fire-walking, Meke and Lovo (traditional foods cooked in an earth oven), wood carving, and of course after a delicious dinner you will see traditional knife and fire dancing!
Be prepared to be surprised at the skills of both the men and women with fire dancing. During the demonstration you will learn how different styles of fire dancing were introduced over the ages as more tribes arrived and established themselves as Fijians.
The night ends with a farewell song “Isa Lei” sung as your boat backs away from the jetty to return you to the bus that will take you back to your hotel or central pick up/drop off location.
5. Sigatoka River Safari
Take more than just a tour with the Sigatoka River Safari! This tour is going to take you along the Coral coast, where you will be traveling up the longest river in all of Fiji!
These special speed boats were designed specifically for traveling the Sigatoka River being able to operate in less than six inches of water! Our tour was with Capt. Jack who gave a very informative tour up the river as he showed you National historical sites, talk about how certain areas of the land are being preserved due to archeology finds.
Finally you arrive at one of the many villages along the Sigatoka, which you will be welcomed into their village. Of course there is a welcoming Kava ceremony then after a brief tour of the village where you are given lunch and a history of life along the Sigatoka through song and dance.
However, when you get back on the boat this tour isn’t over! In some ways it is just getting started! You are forewarned at the boat house when getting on the boat you are getting in the splash zone (you are given rain coats for this reason).
These boats are going to demonstrate their full potential as you are whipped around the river in 180 degree turns. This tour is great for ALL ages! Ages 1 and up are welcome! They have special live vests for babies and Capt. Jack made sure that we were well taken care of with a little one.
6. EcoTrax Tour
The EcoTrax tour is one that gets you out in nature, gives you a little exercise but you don’t have to feel obligated to pedal!
EcoTrax is a tour of electric bicycles that have been mounted to a retired sugar cane train track. Riding in pairs is just like entering Noah’s Ark along the coastline of the Coral Coast. Let the rhythm of the rails carry you along through beautiful bush, rock cuttings, villages and fields with a smile around every corner.
The tour’s halfway point takes you to a deserted beach that stretches for miles as you traverse untouched tracts of the famous Coral Coast. What is beautiful about this tour is you can either pedal or simply use your accelerator to cruise along.
This is what makes this tour perfect for all ages and all physical abilities! When you stop to stretch your legs, you are able to take a swim or snorkel in the turquoise clear water. Snacks are provided of local fruits and coconut drinks at the remote beach location.
This is great for things to do for couples in Nadi wanting an outdoors excursion that gets you out and about on a bus or car. For families (even with little ones – they have car seats they attach to the back) of all sizes or even if you are traveling on your own – you won’t be strangers with the people on your group!
7. Shark Diving
Fiji has several shark diving locations around Viti Levu but one of the best places to hop on a shark diving adventure is based out of Pacific Harbour. The Beqa Lagoon is one of the world’s main shark conservation sites!
There are five different dive locations where you can enjoy the majesty of these misunderstood creatures around the Beqa Lagoon, one off the coast near Nadi. Sounds far scarier than it really is, there are nearly a dozen dive masters who go on the dive with you and are the ones in charge of feeding the sharks during the dive.
An extensive safety brief is given before you even leave the boat jetty to head out to the dive sites – they want to make sure that you are calm and at ease as much as possible, the more tense you are the sharks will react to your demeanour and become tenser around the group.
Since you are scuba diving, the best advice is to focus on your breathing and to enjoy the aquatic marine life and it’s surrounding. It is truly a magical sight to see.
Be sure to check in with the different tour sites and info stations around Fiji to ensure that it is okay to dive before booking. There are certain times of the year that it is not “good for diving”, so it is always good to check the information before you pay for the dive.
8. Fishing trips
Since you are visiting a series of hundreds of islands where the indigenous people primarily live off the food sourced from the sea it is an easy outing to do!
There are hundreds of charter boats ready and willing to take you out for a fishing trip. You can do deep sea, net fishing, reef fishing – really any fishing trip you can imagine that is based in the sea throughout the islands of Fiji.
Be sure you read the reviews first before booking, there are few scam sites or boats that just scam tourists for the cash. Best way to avoid this is to read the reviews, book with a credit card so you can track the transaction and make sure they give you EXACT details about your trip at the time of booking.
Don’t let them call you back or wait for an email. If they can’t provide the information for you at the time of booking then there is a good chance you are walking into a scam. It is rare but there is always a chance it can happen so be sure that you are mindful.
Fiji is one of the friendliest places that you might ever visit! I can tell you that it is difficult to come home after spending time in Fiji living by “Fiji time”. The locals love telling you about their lives but even better they love hearing about you.
There are a lot of stores around Nadi that are big commercial stores, so it is best to look around first. Once you know what you are wanting to take home you can then purchase from the local stores.
These stores are run by villagers who take turn in the store front. This helps build the village economy, build better homes and schools or pays for school education past 8th grade for many of the villages.
Most importantly about your visit to Fiji, make memories! It is a magical place and one that you will remember for forever! Enjoy your time relaxing at the spa, poolside or on the beach but also get out and enjoy everything this beautiful country has to offer! This is truly a trip of a lifetime!
What will you do in Nadi and Coral Coast? We would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below.