Why don't vacationers stay on Fijis main island?

Old Aug 24th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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Why don't vacationers stay on Fijis main island?

Hoping somebody here can offer some suggestions. My 80 year old mother and I are considering a 7 night Captain Cook cruise next July. How would it be to stay on the mainland for 3 or 4 nights prior to the cruise? A couple travel agents said to not stay on the main island, but to get to one of the offshore ones. Is Fiji dangerous, dirty? I'm just afraid we're going to have 'our fill' of small islands (with the cruise), and I thought it would be fun to rent a car and tour around the main island prior to the cruise. Any suggestions on where to stay should we decide to do this?
Also, are there any offshore islands that would offer more than just lounging at the resort? Are all the offshore islands really small? Are there any nice islands that would be easy to get to? My mother wants to 'tour' and do things, but she's not much into water sports. She likes the cultural activities. I like to lounge. We're on a somewhat limited budget, so any suggestions about those types of accommodations would be greatly appreciated - either for the mainland or offshore islands. If on an island, would we be stuck eating all meals at the resort? Often times, we prefer to pick up some fresh bread, cheese, fruit and have a picnic instead of a big dinner.
Thanks so much for any suggestions
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Old Aug 24th, 2006, 09:50 PM
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Most people go to the offshore islands because the swimming and coral etc is better. They are small, but not miniscual(sp).
If you want touring and are not into swimming, then stay on the main island, you can drive right around it (Kings Road & Queens Road).
Most of the resorts have a cultural show in the evenings, where the staff sing and try to get the guests to participate,
Pacific Harbour is a good place for cultural stuff
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 01:45 AM
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The main island isn't dangerous or dirty but most people skip it, as a previous poster has said, cos they are hell bent on the island life!! Doesn't mean that a road trip wouldn't be a lot of fun. There aren't any "must sees" that I can think of. That's sort of the point, though, isn't it? Just being there; talking to people; wandering; visiting the markets and walking on the beach, watching the sunset, etc, etc.

There's all sorts of stuff you can do that I didn't have time for - river trips, staying in an inland village, etc - but then maybe they wouldn't be good for your Mum!!

I liked exploring Suva and the museum was pretty cool. For an offshore island where there is nothing much to do except be there - Ovalou. Lovely. You can do an easy hike, again, to a village away from the coast where you can meet the people who live there, and have something to eat. The local guide can tell you about the history, and the flora and the fauna. But then, maybe not for an 80 year old.

A salute your Mum for being up for it at all.

Go slow; go easy. And have an amazing time.
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 06:31 AM
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It has been awhile since I was in Fiji, but I think one of the problems with the "reputation" of the main island is that many people never see more than Nadi, which is where the airport is. So people land, and if they decide to check out the main island they take a look at Nadi, don't find it all that appealing and then get off to the little resort islands. When I was there this town was lined with shops selling sarongs, and people hawking them hard as you passed by.

If you can get around to the other side and stay in Suva you will have a completely different experience of mainland Fiji. I also went to Ovalau (sp?) and really liked it as a lowkey place with a small village feel. This was a long time ago though so don't know how it or the other towns may have changed.
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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We don't need to do any major sites (if there are any), but we do enjoy driving and stopping where ever looks good. We especially enjoy the local market-type thing. Is it a safe island? I read one report where two gals hired a taxi to take them to a restaurant and were scared out of their wits - all windows and doors had bars on them; creepy area; couldn't leave the restaurant without their ride waiting for them. My idea of a restful vacation is finding a place where you feel safe. I'll check out the Suva area. I'm assuming our flight would land in Nadi??? From there, I'd like to find a nice place to stay within a reasonable drive.
Thanks so much
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