Choosing the right friends to travel with is often a challenge. It doesn’t matter how well you think you know your pals, you will get to know them a whole lot better – or worse – when you are sharing 24-hours-a-day with them on holidays.
You will find out which friend is generous. Which one is tight with their money, and which one is awesome – but in small doses. Before you go away you need to set some ground rules to make sure the holiday is relaxing for everyone. Chat about what everyone likes, and what everyone wants to do. Make plans. Set boundaries on a budget. Not everyone has the same amount of money.
Once you have settled on who is on the plane with you, the next thing you need to agree on is the destination.
That’s where Fiji comes into play.
Fiji, about a four-hour flight from Sydney (three hours from Brisbane), is blessed with gorgeous beaches, turquoise waters and fascinating culture.
But there’s not just one Fiji. This island paradise is a chameleon. Fiji is a perfect family holiday destination. It’s also scrumptious for couples destination for those looking to smother each other in romance; there’s something for everybody on your group holiday!
Fiji also has great bars and restaurants and shared living accommodation that makes it desirable to groups of friends looking for a slice of Fiji time.
Let’s start at the Pullman Nadi Bay Resort and Spa in Wailoaloa Bay, just seven kilometres by car from Nadi Airport. The beautiful beachfront hotel has 236 rooms and suites; four restaurants; three bars; a day spa; and a 24-hour fitness centre. It has an adults-only pool and also an adults-only Asian restaurant.
This Wailoaloa area has other great dining and drinking options.
Club 57 – a rooftop bar at Ramada Suites by Wyndham – is perfect for watching the sun sink into the ocean and it offers great value for money. You can easily get a filling meal here for under $20. The six-storey Ramada dominates the skyline along this coast and the hotel offers two-bedroom self-catering suites that suit groups who don’t mind cooking the odd meal, or two. There is a well-stocked mini-market at the junction into Wailoaloa so you will have no problem putting together a creative menu.
After a night at the bar, though, you might want to recover and grab brunch at Ghostship Bar & Grill in Smugglers Cove Beach Resort.
There’s a massive deck overlooking the beautiful Wailoaloa beach and Nadi bay – and if you are missing your football there are lots of big-screen televisions that broadcast Australian sports.
You should also check out Ed’s Bar on Queens Road in nearby Martintar (it has a five-hour happy hour), Bounty Bar & Restaurant (across the road from Ed’s), and if you like dancing, head to the Ice Bar in the Jetpoint Shopping Centre.
If you are looking for an action-packed fun group adventure activity, sign up with Go Dirty Tours Fiji for a Quad Bike trek.
A three-hour “Play Dirty” tour takes you along Nadi’s back roads, past Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple (the biggest Hindu Temple in the South Pacific), and off-road through cane fields and mud puddles. The tour costs about $230 (Australian). You will need a driver’s licence. They supply everything else.
If you are looking for something a little more sedate then you might be up for a game of skins at the Denarau Golf & Racquet Club. The par 72, 7150-yard course is picturesque, yet challenging with four par fives, and four water-carry par threes. Good luck. Buy an extra sleeve of balls just in case.
You may want to consider escaping to one of the many Fiji islands with your mates.
Mantaray Island Resort, in the Yasawa Islands, has some of the best diving in Fiji. From May to October, you can swim with the Manta Rays and there are 12 dive sites on the island.
The Blue Lagoon Beach Resort ticks all the boxes when it comes to Fiji group holidays. The resort caters for about 100 guests across multiple budget points. You can even rent an eight-bed air-conditioned dorm so you really can keep your group together under one roof.
In the Mamanuca Islands, Musket Cove is also worth a look. You can stay in one-of-10 two-bedroom villas on your own island here. You can set the 90-square metre rooms up with four single beds and there is a large living area with kitchenette. There is also a shared pool and BBQ area.
At First Landing Beach Resort and Villas, on Nalamu Beach at Vuda Point, your villa will look across Nadi Bay to the mesmerising Mamanuca Islands. Go big and rent the four-bedroom Nalamu Grand Villa, which can sleep up to 12 people. It even has its own 25-metre private pool.
Contact your Hoot Holidays consultant to discuss what Fiji option would be best for you.