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Page 1 of 11 |
The Pacific's Top 5 Cities For Street Food
Posted 22 Oct 2014

In most Pacific countries, your best bet for great street food is near the local bus stand or outdoor market. If you are new to a place, ask a local to point you in the direction of one of these and chances are you’ll stumble across some pretty good street food.

The trick to great street food is to look for the stall that has the largest number of local customers. When it comes to street food, safety is definitely in numbers, both because busy places serve popular dishes and they also never have food that has been sitting around for too long.

Here's our pick of the best cities in the Pacific to try great street food:

Suva, Fiji

Ask anyone from Suva with a late night appetite and they’ll direct you straight to the hot dog stands around the capital. Our favorite hot dog stand, Hunky Dog, is conveniently located along Victoria Parade opposite Maya Dhaba Restaurant and some of the city’s famous watering holes such as Traps and around the corner from O’Reilly’s Bar and Down Under. It is not uncommon to see late nighters queuing at these stalls waiting to be served some of Suva’s best hot dogs and burgers. We recommend that you order “the works” if you are sampling this stall. It includes a combination of pickles, cheese and sauces over a sinfully good frankfurter cushioned in a nice warm bun. For those who can’t handle any more heat than our tropical climate, ask the friendly Hunky Dog hot dog boys to hold the chili sauce, it has a reputation!

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Port Vila, Vanuatu

Located along the beautiful Port Vila Harbour, the Port Vila Market is this tropical paradise’s busiest building. Littered with tropical delights from raspberries, bananas and fish to firewood and flowers, the market is a popular dining spot. Meat lovers have the option of a hearty steak, but we definitely suggest trying the fish and rice.

In the shelter of the buzzing market, hand-pick your fresh fish and have it deep fried by one of the friendly Vanuatu vendors who will add a crisp salad, rice and some gravy to flavour, all for just US$2.

Ask for freshly made lemon juice for a truly-authentic experience. You can sit at one of their designated dining tables in the middle of the market and indulge in your delectable “street seafood” surrounded by local chatter, fresh fruity scents and a cool breeze.

Apia, Samoa

When travelling through Samoa do not miss out the roadside coconut stalls. Often manned by fine-looking Samoan men, these stalls are a good stop to hydrate you while travelling around the island during the day.

It is said that coconut water, apart from hydrating, helps with digestion and aids good skin. Ready-cut and cleaned for drinking, there’s no need for straws, bottoms up! But if you want something hot, don’t worry there’s coffee and food on wheels near the city center. You won’t miss its bright, coloured exteriors.

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Savusavu, Fiji

With a long journey ahead of you, it’s almost always advisable to pack homemade food for the trip. If you are somewhat like me and never having enough time to pack some food, don’t fret.

There are grub options aplenty at Port Savusavu. You can’t miss the vendors dotted along the wharf with colourful umbrellas and equally vibrant smiles to match, selling snacks and homemade roti parcels (a local wrap with curry filling), roast chicken and juices.

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Tarawa, Kiribati

Betio, an island and town located at the extreme southwest of South Tarawa in Kiribati is host to the main port of Tarawa Atoll. Famous for being the location for the Battle of Tarawa during World War 2, the area is now the centre of economic activity for the island nation hosting copra mills, shops and other enterprises for its ever growing population. Betio is popular for its roadside stalls abundant with fresh produce. Since fresh fruits and vegetables are rare on the mainland, they are sourced from the outer islands to meet the local demand, as well as the cravings of the ravenous traveller.

Getting there and away

Fly to Suva with Fiji Airways. Take a walk, hop on a bus or even jump in a cab and head down to the end of Victoria Parade. You won’t miss it

Organise your Fiji Holiday

- Flights to Suva - Fiji Airways operates flights to Suva regularly from many domestic and international ports including flights from Nadi to Suva, flights from Sydney to Suva and flights from Auckland to Suva.

- Flights to Samoa -  Fiji Airways operates flights to Samoa regularly from many international ports including flights from Nadi to Samoa, flights from Suva to Samoa, flights from Los Angeles to Samoa, flights from Honolulu to Samoa and flights from Hong Kong to Samoa.

- Flights to Vanuatu
- Flights to Kiribati

By Naziah Ali continue reading
Tagged: Culture, Family
Getting married at the Bure ni Loloma
Posted 21 Oct 2014

Bure ni Loloma - The Perfect Wedding Spot

Located on the highest point of Outrigger on the Lagoon, Fiji, the Bure ni Loloma Wedding Chapel commands a sweeping panoramic view over the Coral Coast making it the ideal dramatic backdrop for your celebration.

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The Bure ni Loloma’s architectural design concept is based on a traditional Fijian village. Constructed entirely out of timber with polished hardwood floors and a vaulted ceiling built from traditional masi bark cloth, the venue is the perfect place for those looking to combine a modern wedding ceremony with the customs and culture of the Fijian people.

Indeed, the Bure ni Laloma can cater for all types of exotic wedding ceremonies including a traditional Fijian wedding complete with Fijian dress and a four-warrior escort for the bride.

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Once the ceremony at the chapel is complete, guest can make their way to the Kalokalo Bar, also known as Star Bar, for an intimate reception. The reception area can cater up to 100 guests and is a great place to revel in the days previous events. Enjoy the glorious Fijian sunset over the water with a cocktail.

In addition to the Chapel and Kalokalo Bar, the summit of Vakalomalagi Hill is also home to the award-winning Bebe Spa Sanctuary. This haven for rest and relaxation focuses on uniting ancient traditional Fijian therapies and beauty rituals. It is the perfect destination for newly-weds to begin their honeymoon with a post-wedding pamper package and massage.

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The Bure Ni Loloma has a number of different wedding packages to suit all types of guests and budgets.

These packages can include:

  • Exclusive use of the Chapel for the duration of the wedding ceremony
  • Marriage Licence from the local authorities; includes cost of licence and transfers to the registry. Marriages in Fiji are recognised worldwide
  • Wedding Co-ordinator
  • Church Minister or Celebrant
  • Bouquet and Tiara for the Bride
  • Buttonhole for the Groom
  • Tropical Flower Arrangement
  • Wedding Cake (Two Tiers)
  • Bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne
  • Trio of Serenaders
  • Romantic Dinner for Two
  • Romantic Breakfast in Bed
  • VIP Status

Fiji Airways flies to Nadi daily from Sydney, Auckland and Brisbane and three times a week from Los Angeles, Honolulu, Hong Kong and Melbourne.

Getting there and away

-    Fly to Suva with Fiji Airways and take an approximately 3 hour drive to Coral Coast from Nausori Airport 
-    Fly to Nadi with Fiji Airways and take a scenic 1 hour drive from Nadi Airport along the Queens Highway

By Naziah Ali continue reading
Tagged: Romance, Wedding
Ride the rapids with Fiji's most experienced white-water rafting tours
Posted 18 Oct 2014

Imagine a miniature Grand Canyon in a tropical paradise—towering volcanic walls with lush ferns draping down from above, more than 50 waterfalls cascading throughout the gorge, and hidden slot canyons beckoning to be explored.  That’s what you’ll discover on a rafting trip through Fiji’s spectacular Upper Navua River gorge in the Highlands of Viti Levu with Rivers Fiji.

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Day rafting trips on the Upper Navua River allow you to travel into the heart of Fiji’s largest island and experience the real Fiji.  From Pacific Harbour, in the South East of Viti Levu, you’ll climb aboard a 4-wheel drive cruiser that will take you on an exciting drive along a coastal ridge before descending into the rainforest to the put-in for your adventure. 

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From here, it’s time to negotiate the rapids. The journey begins with an easy paddle through some Class II-III white water followed by a splash in the towering waterfalls. The exciting day continues with an enjoyable float through the narrow walls of the scenic gorge as you spend the day exploring the protected paradise of the Upper Navua Conservation Area.  Often referred to as “a River of Eden,” this adventure is unlike any other rafting trip in the world.

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Rated the top attraction in Pacific Harbour on Trip Advisor, Rivers Fiji has been operating rafting trips in the Highlands of Viti Levu for nearly 20 years.

Their full-day Upper Navua rafting trips embark from Viti Levu on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays year-round. Trips cost US$230 per person and include transportation, professional Fijian guides and equipment, as well as a beachside picnic lunch. Participants must be at least 8-years-old.

Not only are their trips considered one of Fiji’s ultimate adventures, but for each paddler who rafts the Upper Navua, Rivers Fiji contributes $33 back to the local communities and toward the continued protection of the Upper Navua Conservation Area. 

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Getting there and away

-    Fly to Suva with Fiji Airways and take an hour drive to Pacific Harbour from Nausori Airport 
-    Fly to Nadi with Fiji Airways and take a scenic 2 hour drive from Nadi Airport along the Queens Highway

Organise your Fiji Adventure Holiday

-    Flights to Suva - Fiji Airways operates flights to Suva regularly from many domestic and international ports including flights from Nadi to Suvaflights from Sydney to Suva and flights from Auckland to Suva
Flights to Nadi -  Fiji Airways operates flights to Nadi daily from many international ports including flights from Sydney to Nadiflights from Auckland to Nadiflights from Los Angeles to Nadi and flights from Hong Kong to Nadi.

By Cari Morgan continue reading
Tagged: Adventure
Fiji Surfing stories - Cloud Break
Posted 17 Oct 2014

Cloudbreak is the holy-grail of the Pacific Ocean. The famous reef break, located about a mile off the coast of Tavarua Island, Fiji, is one of the most photographed surf locations in the world. Photos of its famous face are riddled throughout magazines, social media, television and scribbled on the back of many text books. For many surfing photographers it is the make or break of the surfing world and this week, it broke its fair share of boards and records. Internationally renowned surfing photographer, Steven Lyon, retells the tale…

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As a water-baby and lover of all surf that curls, I had recently been frustrated by the prolonged period of small waves lapping at Australia’s East Coast. Every day was the same. Flat and windy, or pouring with rain. It seemed like the ocean was on a mission to drive this surf photographer insane – and it was working.

But that soon began to change when, in the late weeks of September, I checked the swell charts and saw a glimmer of hope. In fact, it was more than a glimmer. It was four and half metres of pure surging white water racing for Fiji. Indeed, a huge low pressure system had just formed below Australia and New Zealand and was about to send the biggest swell to Fiji since the Volcom Pro in 2012. Desperate to get back into the water with my camera, I booked the next flight to Fiji on the Fiji Airways website and I was off.

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On Sunday the 5th of October I was welcomed with famous Fiji smiles at Seashell@Momi Resort, a secluded hideaway along the south east coastline of Viti Levu that boasts stunning views of the ocean and surrounding mountain ranges.

“The Boat leaves at 6am, are you ready?” said Seashell’s boat captain with a grin.

“Definitely!” I said cheeringly but again I was questioning myself. It was the day before the big swell and this was going to be the biggest slab of ocean I had ever tackled. A new emotion trickled in through my excitement. I believe it is commonly known as fear.

Cloudbreak is a wave that forms on the outer reefs of Tavarua Island. The locals call it Kurukurumalagi, which means “Thunder in the Clouds”. It was branded this because the waves were high enough to reach the clouds. I was about to see the mother of mothers at full height.

Adrenalin kept me up that night so the 5.30am wake-up knock was a welcomed escape from what seemed like a very long night of tossing and turning. It was time to load the boat and get ready for the big day. You could feel the exhilaration in the air around the Resort. The rolling white mountains of ocean could be seen on the horizon from the breakfast table packed with excited surfers scoffing their coffee and pancakes. As we jumped on the boat, the sky started to shine. The new day was here. The boat ride out to sea was deathly quiet as we couldn’t take our eyes off the swell that was waiting in the distance.

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Arriving at Cloudbreak that morning is a moment I will never forget. Within minutes of mooring up, I watched an ant-sized figure take a drop on a giant 30ft wall of water. He did a huge bottom turn into the long barrel and got spat out into the channel.

The collection of spectator boats erupted with roars and whistles. Goose bumps were sent down my spine, it was a dream come true. While everyone was chatting and congratulating each other, they were also keeping an eye on those who were unlucky and felt the wrath of Cloudbreak’s power. The skilled Jet Ski drivers from Tavarua, Namotu and Fijisurfco were on standby for anyone who got caught on the inside and needed help. The atmosphere out on the passage was electric. Everyone was working in unison to ensure the safety of others while enjoying the magic that Fiji’s Cloudbreak had produced.

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After many hours of watching the surfers and one talented windsurfer battle the monster, it was time for me to jump in and get a few different photo angles from the water. Swimming with the beast of the Fijian ocean is one of the most thrilling and nerve-racking experiences I have ever had. It is to be at the complete mercy of Mother Nature, but to be in awe of her at the same time. It is something I will forever find very hard to describe, so I hope the images can help me out here.

Shortly after we headed to another wave off Tavarua Island called ‘Restaurants’ which delivered some more world class waves on a smaller, safer scale. The day ended with hugs, laughter, many high fives and a round of much needed beers by Seashell’s swimming pool.

We shared stories of the day, cheered to the unforgettable memories and took pride in our efforts. Was it the scariest wave I’ve ever been in? Yes. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Sorry mum!

Steven Lyon is an Australian-based water and landscape photographer. His snaps are regularly featured many surfing publications such as FluidZone and magicseaweed.com.

Getting there and away

Fly to Nadi with Fiji Airways. From Nadi Airport, take a 20 minute drive to Port Denarau, where you can reach the Tavarua island by yacht or speedboat, which depart daily. There are also transfer points at Vuda Marina Fiji.

Organise your Fiji Holiday

Flights to Nadi - Fiji Airways operates flights to Nadi daily from many international ports including flights from Sydney to Nadi,flights from Auckland to Nadi, flights from Los Angeles to Nadi and flights from Hong Kong to Nadi.

By STEVEN LYON continue reading
Tagged: Activities, Leisure, Surf and Dive
Diving Fijis Vatu-i-Ra Passage with Dive Wananavu
Posted 15 Oct 2014

The reef has a heartbeat, I am convinced. A lazy one, but it is pulsing nonetheless. The “current” side of a giant pinnacle is palpitating with yellow, red, orange and purple. Hundreds of reef fish dart in and out of a garden of soft coral swaying in a liquid breeze. If Fiji is the soft coral capital of the world, then diving here, in the Vatu-i-Ra Passage off the northern-most tip of Viti Levu is a tour through the vibrant capital city square.

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Wananavu Beach Resort is just as its name translates, “wonderful”. Waking up in one of the 34 bure that sit among tropical gardens, I look out onto the Bligh Waters that are a little choppy today, but enticing. As lush as this setting is, I can practically feel the hilly backdrop pushing us to hurry up and hit the water for our first morning dive. After a breakfast of sun-dried tomato and cheese loaf, and a cup of coffee on the restaurant balcony, I saunter down in search of the Dive Wananavu dive shop – recent winner of a 2014 Trip Advisor ‘Travelers Choice’ Award.

Dive Wananavu managers Chris and Victoria Liles came to Wananavu Beach Resort just over a year ago. “Our belief and goal is to run the dive operation to the exact standards we would expect when we travel for our scuba diving holidays,” says Chris. I first met the dynamic duo in 2011 when they came onboard a dive operation I was training at on the Coral Coast in Sigatoka. Many a beer-drinking afternoon was spent on their porch, listening to this ocean-loving couple’s stories of diving everywhere from India to Hawaii.

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They have brought this love of adventure and challenges to the Wananavu Beach Resort. In the right conditions, the long boat ride is worth enduring to get to one of Chris’ personal favourites - Pinnacles

The coral towers that give the dive site its name are teeming with life. Soft coral greedily blankets the ridge and I am so caught up in their hypnotic sway that the swirls of reef fish catch me off guard. My fin-movement ceases and I simply drift in awe. Scalefin, orange and pink anthias crowd the coral gardens while clouds of fusiliers surround me, dashing up and down the steep wall. Punctuate this with barracudas and schooling jacks, and I’ve landed in a fish intersection during rush hour.

Despite the underwater traffic, there’s a sense of peace in diving this Bligh Water Pinnacle. Maybe this is because although you’re in the soft coral capital of the world, there’s probably not another dive group for miles around. Getting dropped off out of the current, you can either hangout on the sheltered side and search the hard coral for octopus (I count a total of four this morning) or scour the depths for a reef shark or two.

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All of this combines to make up what Vicky calls an “average” day at Dive Wananavu as we sit down to lunch after the dive. If that wasn’t the Vatu-i-Ra Passage in its top form then I can’t imagine what is.

Enjoying a famous Wananavu Burger on the restaurant balcony, I look out over the waters that house some of the healthiest reefs in the world. If you’re looking for brilliant diving with miles of surrounding ocean to yourself, Vatu-i-Ra is the place for you. If you’re looking to be overwhelmed by sheer amounts of coral and clouds of fish, dive these waters and prepare to be stunned. Cruise leisurely along with the current or go on a treasure hunt for reef critters, the choice is yours. Either way, it’s going to be a “Wananavu” experience.

Getting there and away

Fly to Nadi with Fiji Airways. From Nadi airport, head along Kings Road for approximately 2 hours until you reach Rakiraki

Fly to Suva with Fiji Airways. From Suva Airport, head along Kings Road for approximately 1.5 hours until you reach Rakiraki.

Organise your Fiji Festival Holiday

- Flights to Nadi -  Fiji Airways operates flights to Nadi daily from many international ports including flights from Sydney to Nadi,flights from Auckland to Nadi, flights from Los Angeles to Nadi and flights from Hong Kong to Nadi.

- Flights to Suva - Fiji Airways operates flights to Suva regularly from many domestic and international ports including flights from Nadi to Suva, flights from Sydney to Suva and flights from Auckland to Suva

 

By DRUE SLATTER continue reading
Tagged: Activities, Adventure, Resorts, Leisure, Relaxation, Surf and Dive
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