Personal: Fiji

Bula my friends! As it's the festive season and we're all in the holiday spirit I thought it would be a good time to share some pics from my recent trip to Fiji.

I hopped over there in November, which admittedly is an unusual time to leave Australia given that the wedding season is just starting to heat up. But Pixie Face had just reached her big 3-0 and wanted to celebrate in style, and as I had a gap in my schedule we locked it in.

The timing of the trip turned out to be perfect. I'd been super busy for the last few months and on the weekend before the trip I had back to back weddings and a 7 hour Love session, all in sweltering heat. Oh, plus there was the small matter of being best man at my best mate's wedding, held in the "humble" surroundings of St Mary's Cathedral and the Opera Point Marquee! For some reason everyone thought I would be able to churn out a world class best man's speech in my sleep given the amount I've heard. But they overlooked the small fact that when the speeches are on I'm taking photos, not making notes! So on top of everything else I had also spent weeks stressing over the most important speech of my life! In the end it all went to plan but I couldn't wait to jet off to Fiji the next day for some serious down time!

The flight to Fiji is only four hours long but you really do feel a whole world away. It was our first time in Fiji and as the singing welcoming committee greeted us at the airport, we immediately succumbed to the charm of the relaxed and friendly Fijian people.

We stayed at the InterContinental resort on the beautiful Coral Coast. The rooms, restaurants and day spa are world class and it has private access to Natadola Beach, rated in the world's top ten beaches. If you want even more perks, my tip is to join InterContinental's Ambassador programme. For a one-off US$200 fee you get automatic room upgrades at any InterContinental hotel, plus 4pm late check out and a Pay TV movie per stay, a complimentary night each year and lots more!

We could easily have stayed in the resort for the duration but we took two excursions that came highly recommended. The first was a day cruise to the tiny, private Savala Island. It was amazing for the superb crew, the reef snorkelling and the unlimited food and drink :)

The second trip was to the local primary school. It's run by volunteer teachers who don't have much to work with; they've only just installed their first computers and don't have internet yet. But the InterContinental makes donations and is currently funding the construction of a new kindergarten classroom. Plus the weekly visits by hotel guests has also resulted in donations of books, furniture and office equipment. But you would never have known the children were lacking or missing the things that we take for granted. As we arrived the classroom doors flew open and dozens of gorgeous smiling, giggling kids ran out to greet us with a welcome song. We spent about an hour playing with them, telling them about ourselves and being treated to a show of native songs and dances. It was one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences we've ever had.

Our last evening was spent in the resort's Navo restaurant which would surely win at least one Hat if it was in Sydney. As we finished our delicious meal the staff gathered by our table to sing a beautiful farewell song barbershop quartet style. It was the perfect end to an unforgettable trip. If you haven't sampled Fiji yet you really should try it. It's bula-licious!








































































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