When you think of Fiji and see expansive swimming pool resorts, sun drenched beaches and big smiles on everyone’s faces, you’re probably seeing Denarau. Being just 20 minutes from Fiji’s Nadi International Airport, and only 8 minutes from Nadi town, Denarau is one of the most popular destinations for Fiji’s holiday makers. There is an abundance of different resorts and hotels for you to choose from in Denarau, most of which are large international chain brands. You’ll also find Port Denarau Marina here, which is a local hub full of shops, restaurants and a jump off point for a lot of the cruises and tours around Fiji’s islands.
Things to Do
When it comes to looking for things to do in Denarau, you don’t have to look very far to find a huge variety of activities that are suited to all ages and interests. One of your first steps toward having a fun-filled holiday will be heading to Port Denarau Harbour, exploring the local spots and deciding which of the many activities available there you’re going to do – you certainly aren’t going to be able to fit all of them in. Everything from snorkelling, kayaking and rafting all the way through to a luxury cruise of the islands can be booked here.
Denarau is also home to a championship golf course with sand bunkers carved in the shape of sea creatures – just be weary that there are quite a few water hazards on the course so it can be difficult to make it through a round without losing any balls. If you like the idea of sports, there’s also quite a few tennis courts which are available to be booked either for day or night time usage. If it gets a little too hot on the tennis courts, Bula Water Park is an awesome way to cool off and if you’re with the kids they’ll be singing your praises for days. If the water is where you want to be then all you need to do is take a stroll along the coastline and you’ll find plenty of places where you can hire jet skis, stand up paddle boards, or even scooters to explore the area!
One of the nicer things you can do while the sun sets is taking a walk along the paved boardwalk that runs along the beach in front of the Radisson toward the Sheraton properties. It’s only a short walk but the serenity of the ocean as the sun sets is pretty magical and from here it’s not far to walk 20-30 minutes to Port of Denarau for dinner. But if walking isn’t really your thing, then you can try the Denarau Shuttle. It’s an open blue bus that operates from the early morning through to late evening every day, and runs a circuit which stops at the lobby of every hotel, the golf course and finally Port of Denarau. It’s approximately FJ$8.50 per adult for a day of unlimited rides, while children ride for free (tickets are available at most shops in the hotels and at Port Denarau).
If you’re looking for more of a shopping experience, then don’t worry, Denarau is well equipped to deliver. You’ll be able to find everything from groceries and alcohol, through to famously branded clothing stores and Fijian souvenirs. There’s even a chemist and newsagents in case you’ve forgotten to pack some of those last-minute necessities – like insect repellant or a sim card for your phone. And if that isn’t enough, we can’t recommend enough starting your morning with a freshly baked loaf of bread from Denarau’s very own bakery!
Being one of the most popular sites in Fiji, Denarau plays host to numerous international hotel brands as well as a variety of boutique hotels with their own individual charms. Some of the big names which you may be familiar with include Radisson Blu, Sheraton Resort and Villas, Westin, Sofitel and the Hilton. All of these resort options have incredible swimming pools and dining options within their facilities so you aren’t going to be short of things to do. If you’re travelling with the family, most of the hotels in Denarau also offer the options to have extra beddings in their rooms for the kids – some even have rooms with separate children’s sleeping rooms!
One of the handy things about staying at some of the larger resorts is that they can literally be your jump off point to do any activity you wish. Most front desks offer the ability to make bookings for various activities and transport services to get you where you need to be. If you’re staying at a Sheraton property (the Sheraton, the Sheraton Villas or the Westin), there’s actually a bus service which runs between each of the hotels and the golf course. It’s called the Bula Bus, it’s free and if you’re wanting to try out some of the different swimming pools or play a game of golf, there’s no better way than jumping aboard and smiling a ‘Bula’ to the driver. If you’re in a bit more of a hurry, or want to go a little further abroad, you can catch a taxi from the front of your hotel. It’s typically FJ$10 for the trip from any of the hotels to Port Denarau and around FJ$20-25 to get to Nadi town.
Food in Denarau
If you’re looking to explore the culinary delights of Fiji, then you’re in luck when it comes to Denarau. You’ll be spoilt for choice and there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Taking in the atmosphere by dining by the ocean or enjoying a romantic moonlit dinner on the beach are two of the things we’d say are pretty special. But you’ve also got the opportunity to have an authentic Fijian meal at Denarau Marina as well as plenty of very high quality dining options within the resorts. No matter where you decide to have your meals, it’s an absolute must that you watch a Fijian sunset with a cocktail in hand at one of the many ocean-side bars – a holiday in Denarau just wouldn’t be the same without it.