Things to do in: Nadi

Things to do in: Nadi

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Here’s an insider tip to the South Pacific — there’s way more to do in Fiji than lay on the beach (although you’ll want to do that, too). And while many travellers only view the city of Nadi on the main island as the airport hub, there are sites to see and experiences to be had in and around the city. From kava drinks to mud baths, here are the best things to do in Nadi.

Drive Viti Levu

Hire a rental car and take a drive around the main island of Viti Levu to experience the real Fiji and get to know the local Fijians better. Despite being Fiji’s largest island — and home to the nation’s capital — Viti Levu can be driven in a day. Of course, we recommend diving in and getting the real experience, so give yourself a night or two rather than cramming it all into 12 hours. Some of the villages offer homestays — perfect for getting into local life. Eat with the locals and sample Fiji’s national drink, kava. And trust us, there’s no escaping kava. You can find it being drank pretty much every night, and it’s a deep part of Fijian culture. Be warned, many foreigners don’t love the taste, but if you want to go local, you have to try it at least once.

nadi_temple

Go island hopping

Hire a boat for the day and travel to the Mamanuca Islands. This chain of 20 islands is admittedly touristy and resort central, but that’s just because it’s so beautiful. Spend the day hopping from one island resort to another, with breaks for dips in the turquoise waters. Fun facts: the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away was filmed on Monuriki, one of the islands in the Mamanucas, and several of the islands are submerged by the ocean during high tide.

Make some kokoda

In addition to kava, you’re also going to need to try kokoda (or kokonda), one of Fiji’s most iconic traditional dishes. This fish salad is similar to ceviche, in that the fish is “cooked” in citric acid. Most of the hotels in Fiji offer kokonda on their menus, but be warned, it can be expensive. A better option? Ask a local to teach you how kokonda is prepared (hotel staff are perfect resources to ask). Then, grab some friends, buy some local ingredients, and whip up a group meal.

nadi_food

Taste the local flavours

It can be admittedly hard to escape the hotel world in Fiji, but if you want to dine where the locals dine, hit up Flaming Wok or Tu’s Place. Flaming Wok has got to be the cheapest place to dine in Nadi, with large portions as well. This small eatery on the busy nightlife stretch will fill you up — perfect for laying the base for a night out. Most meals come in under FJD 10 (about USD 5), so if you’re low on dollars, this is the place to go. Alternately, if you’re tired of having small portions of fish and chips at hotels, Tu’s Place offers one of the best fish and chips in Nadi — and huge servings. Fijians are known for their love for food but the servings at Tu’s are even more than most Fijians can finish.

Know where to go for beer

Looking for the cheapest beer in town? Head to NASA Bar, where they sell beer (Fiji bitter or Fiji Gold) for a mere FJD 4 (USD 2) a bottle. (As a comparison, hotels sell the same beer for FJD 10 to 15 a bottle.) NASA was originally built as a bar for Fijian soldiers, but it’s now popular with tourists and locals who want cheap beer and a fun night out. A good place for drinking it up and being merry.

nadi_mudbath

Soak in the mud

If you’re feeling jetlagged or suffering from aches and pains (or maybe hungover from a night out at NASA), the Sabeto Mud Pool is the place to be. The Sabeto hot water springs are said to be therapeutic and beautifying — soft skin, anyone? It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, making it as much a social experience as it is a relaxing retreat. It’s said a soak in the pool can help to ease joint pain, arthritis, and muscle soreness.

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Comments
  • kava enthusiast#1

    November 18, 2016

    thanks for sharing looks like an awseome time, i just got into kava and i love it!

    Reply
  • Krysten Alberg#2

    November 23, 2016

    Really gross that those people covered in mud seem somehow completely unaware of the history of blackface and are insensitive to how that might be harmful to people. Sure they’re not “trying” to do blackface but it is white people’s responsibility to be aware of how their words and actions (and pictures) can affect the black community.

    Reply
    • Sonia Michael#3

      July 17, 2017

      Krysten Alberg, my family live in Sabeto Village which owns the mud pools.
      I know that you are trying to be culturally sensitive, but you are looking for something that is not there…too political.

      Fijians are extremely proud of their culture and customers, and even more proud when people come to share.

      The mud pools are also a vital income to those locals.

      Fijians are the least cynical and the happiest people on earth. The people visiting are participating with the locals who bring them there and encourage them to roll in the mud and be happy.

      Finally, you just cannot stop Fijians from the photos, they LOVE photos they would have been laughing along with them throwing the “peace” sign that is ubiquitous in all photos in Fiji.

      The Fijians are not, simple or uneducated, despite many being very poor, they have an excellent education system and almost all speak and write English equally as well as their native tongue and are able to tell when someone is being superior or condescending to them.

      Fijians are the most accepting happy kind people in the world. This would never be seen as mocking being black, unless someone literally pranced around pretending to be black, which would be offensive.

      All that they request is that visitors respect village protocols such as asking permission to enter a village, bring sevusevu (gift), dress modestly, cover shoulders and wear a sulu…..and share with them in their traditions when welcomed to do so.

      I wish everyone had the experiences that I have had…..the world should be like the real Fiji

      Reply

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