Visitors Guide F

FIJI AIRWAYS

Fiji Airways was founded in 1951 by an Australian named Harold Gatty, who became an aviation superstar in 1931 by flying around the world in eight days with American Willy Post. Jules Verne must have turned green with envy.

Gatty’s operation was originally known as Fiji Airways, but in 1972 the airline’s marketing whiz kids realized they’d be able to spread their wings with a more generic brand name and thus Fiji Airways became Air Pacific.

In July 2013 a mere 41 years later, Air Pacific re-branded back to Fiji Airways and now serves a mixed bag of destinations, including Apia, Auckland, Brisbane, Honiara, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Port Vila, Sydney, Tokyo, Tongatapu, and Vancouver. (Visit www.fijiairways.com for flight schedules)

FIJI BABY

This is what locals call Fiji Bitter (beer) so if someone asks you if you’d like a Fiji Baby it’s not a local adoption scam but an offer of an ale. The beer is lighter than most Australian and New Zealand beers (not unlike an American Bud with taste). It suits the tropics but international brand beers are also readily available.

FIRST LANDING BEACH RESORT

First Landing is an intimate resort about 25 minutes north of Nadi. Having the ‘feel’ of an island resort on the mainland, it works as a holiday destination in its own right or combines well with a Mamanuca island experience that’s to the resort’s new jetty or nearby Vuda Yacht Marina. There are a number of accommodation options (e.g. one or two bedroom bures, some self-conrtained), there is a swimming pool and a lively bar and beachside restaurant (seafood a specialty). The resort’s name, BTW, is because legend has it that the first Fijians landed on this beach in their large dugout canoes. Weddings can be arranged and, because of the varied accommodation options, it can suit both couples and their guests.

Contact us regarding First Landing Beach Resort

FISHING

The reef fishing and game fishing can be excellent and many resorts offer both. Hand line fishing is usually included as a free activity and there will be a charge for game fishing. If you do go game fishing, the boat will own the catch and it will probably be directed to the resort kitchen. If you catch a few, you way want to suggest that the local crew members take some for their village. On one fishing outing we pulled in some fine Spanish Mackeral (one was gaffed mid-air after getting off the hook – the local boys know their stuff!) and the resort was fine about sharing the catch with the crew.

FLAG

The Fijian flag has a pretty light blue background with a reminder of the countries colonial past – the Union Jack top left. The Fijian shield is centred on the outer side of the flag. There’s a yellow heraldic lion holding a cocoa pod (not a rugby ball) above four sections separated by the cross of St George. The four sections have sugarcane, a palm tree, a bunch of bananas and a white dove.

FOOTBALL

Rugby is the preferred football code (you will find soccer as well). The Fijians are masters of the running rugby game and throw the ball about with abandon. The tackling and serious scrumming lets them down.

Because many players grow up playing barefoot (spreads the feet wide), it can be difficult for players competing at international level to get boots to fit. If you join in a game of touch rugby at a resort, you will know why the Fijians are so good at running rugby – they have a one tip rule (if you are touched, the other side gets possession of the ball), so you see overhead wild passes and kick and catch moves that have to be seen to be believed.

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