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Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

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Noosa, Australia
posts: 1
Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

Hi there,

Can anyone share their opinions on this please...

My husband and I (+4 yr old daughter) are thinking of an 8 day holiday in Fiji late Nov-early Dec....We are thinking of basing ourselves on Denarau island (5*resort) and just make day trips to islands and inland booking them when we get there.

....any suggestions greatly appreciated!!! Thanks heaps.....

Sydney
posts: 1,289
reviews: 16
1. Re: Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

There are several islands that are not too far to travel to from Denarau- you could take South Sea cruises to Mana island resort and Casatway islnd resort. The SSC website has more information including the cost on day trips and yes, you can book it from the hotel. The hotels at Denarau are large and popular with families, have a look at the Radisson and the Sofitel. Plenty of swimming pools and activities for children. You can also eat at the Marina so youre not just limited to the hotels. The beach at Denarau is no where near as beautiful as the islands but makes a pleasant enough holiday if thats where you choose.

Tea Gardens...
Destination Expert
for Mana Island
posts: 1,606
reviews: 20
2. Re: Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

In my view staying at Denarau and travelling to the islands is not the way to go. The cost of boat travel alone to the islands is expensive and you are going to spend most of your time travelling. Denarau is nice if you like hotels like those on the Gold Coast, there is no worthwhile beach and the "island" is merely a reclaimed swamp If you have to, stay one or two nights at Denarau and the rest of the time on one of the islands i.e. Castaway or Mana. .

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 154
reviews: 3
3. Re: Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

I agree with Manaregular..............I notice you live in Noosa so if you are expecting a beach at Denarau will be sorely disappointed.

If it was me I would go straight to an island and forget Denarau. We just returned from Fiji 2 weeks ago. On our previous trips we have stayed at Denarau for a few nights upon arriving and then headed out for 8 nights at Castaway. This time simply because of how our dates fell we went to Castaway first and then came back to the Radisson. OMG was sooo disappointed doing it this way. Such a let down after being in paradise and our next trip will be straight to Castaway. If necessary a quick 14hr stay at Raffles but Denarau will be left behind for good now.

Even our daughters were sad and disappointed when the arrived at Denarau, despite having being there before. Our 6yo cried the first night in Denarau because she missed Castaway so much. She kept asking why the beach was so "yucky"?

Wellington
posts: 300
reviews: 7
4. Re: Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

The beach at Denarau certainly isn't postcard material, but I've swum (several times) at the beach in front of the Sofitel. It's not dirty, but it's more akin to swimming in a harbour than at a nice beach. The sand is more mud than sand.

On our next trip we're staying at the Radisson for three nights. I've been there before, for lunch, and it looks fantastic, nice gardens, really nice pool, the food is great. (Also stayed at the Sofitel, which is really nice but with a less developed and more open style of garden. Brilliant food and cocktails, though.)

Denerau is really nice - for what it is. I wouldn't discourage anyone from visiting there. The islands are quite a different experience.

If you don't mind rushing around a bit, and taking on a new trip each day or two (and maybe facing disappointment at the end of those days), do it as planned. But personally, I'd be aiming at maybe three days at Denerau, and the other five in one other place. (In my case, that's Octopus on the Yasawas. It's like living in a postcard.)

I wouldn't want to do day trips to resort islands from a base on Denerau, unless I was reconnoitering for the next holiday. I would do excursions from Denerau to local villages, attractions, or Nadi. Denerau is perfect for that.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 5
reviews: 160
5. Re: Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

If you're going to Denarau, be aware that you are trapped by the ridiculously high prices of food there, e.g. $15 milkshake, $8.50 one scoop icecream. I would suggest you get a package deal from MyFiji, where you get your breakfast and evening meals included. We recently took one of these packages, which also included two day trips to islands - we went to Mana and South Sea Islands. If you book day trips there, they are very expensive. The Bula Bus runs from each of the eight 5-star resorts on Denarau ($8 per person for the day), and there are a few shops at Port Denarau. I would recommend a half day trip to see Nadi markets, village and Sleeping Giant Gardens, which was a good way to see the real Fiji.

Another great trip (but it's an hour by bus and another hour by boat) is to Robinson Crusoe Island where you see fire walking, have a great dinner, then enjoy a two hour cultural show.

We stayed at The Sheraton on Denarau - rooms were lovely and the Kids Club seemed a great hit with all the children and parents there.

Fiji is a great place for just relaxing. If you don't get a package, and want to visit a small island, I would suggest South Sea Island, which is tiny, but the cost includes your lunch and all your drinks for the day (beer/wine/softdrink/water) - on Mana we were charged $5.50 for a small can of Coke!

Weather is disgustingly humid - quite oppressive at this time of year, so be prepared! Take plenty of sun lotion - it will cost you around $30 to buy a small tube at any of the Resorts there.

Melbourne
posts: 264
reviews: 63
6. Re: Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

It would be a waste of time day tripping in and out of Denarau it would be better spending 1 nightie and 1 night out between going to an island but we have stayed at Tokiriki a number of times but it is a couples resort,if you go down the coral coast thats nice but take the Fijian people out and its much like staying at a resort in OZ again down at the coral coast beaches not much good. We love the area of RAKI RAKI as a number of good resorts with a 20 minute trip to a host of islands with great beaches and they are kid friendly.

What ever happens FIJI because of the People is fantastic

Ballarat, Australia
posts: 1,094
reviews: 30
7. Re: Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

Have only been to Denarau to catch a transfer to another resort and it hasn't impressed me.

I'm actually with Manaregular. Have a look at Mana as well as Castaway Island Resort, Musket Cove.

I can assure you that the fijian staff will love your youngun.

Just to the right of your original post there is a dot point section which lists often raised topics. Have a look at Which Island.

Good Luck and let us know what you decide.

All the best

Baz

Bellingen, Australia
Destination Expert
for Fiji, Mamanuca Islands, Navini Island
posts: 7,127
reviews: 94
8. Re: Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

I agree it is very expensive for starters plus the weather. The mainland, calling Denarau an island is something of a misnomer as it is separated from the mainland by a 10 meter canal and was built on reclaimed mangrove swam so no pristine white beaches. The mainland is very hot and humid and prone to daily showers or storms. The islands offshore are generally drier. Of course if a low pressure system exists then everyone will get rain. A hotel room is a hotel room wherever you are in the world. For the real Fiji go to an island and enjoy the pristine beaches, lagoons and coral reefs.

S.F.
posts: 6,256
reviews: 12
9. Re: Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

The main island does not make it. That is all I will say.

10. Re: Fiji trip * island stay VS Denarau stay and day trips ???

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