Visitors Guide K
Kadavu (pronounced kan-davu) is the fourth largest island with a population of around 12,000 people spread across 70 remote villages. It’s very unspoilt with very few roads (most people get about by boat). Sun Air flies there daily from Nadi (45 mins) and Air Fiji flies daily from Suva (30 mins). The diving, surfing (Great Astrolabe Reef) and kayaking here is excellent. The premier resorts are Dive Kadavu Matana Resort, Matava The Astrolabe Hideaway, and Jona’s Paradise Resort.
Kava is a legal opiate that comes from grating or grinding the root of the plant.
There is a charming ceremony that goes with kava drinking in Fiji (hand-clapping before and after a shell) and it should be swilled down in one motion, simply because it tastes pretty ordinary. It is a great stress reliever and is useful in healing urinary tract infections and stomach ailments. How many shells should you have? Probably no more than three at first although some have a motto that kava is like breasts – one’s too few, three’s too many. Once your lips become numb, you should have had sufficient to be ‘mellow’. Another test is to get up and go for a short walk as kava can also affect the limbs. It can also heighten the senses so bright lights and loud noises may be annoying. If you find that kava agrees with you, you can take some home with you and kava tablets are available in some pharmacies and health food stores. Kava drinking in resorts is considered a fun activity and no one minds if you decline but if you go to a village and are invited to take kava (especially with the Chief) it is considered impolite not to – and, because kava is served in order of status – the Chief will drink first, no matter how important you think you are.
Family resorts have Kids Clubs and, on the whole, they are excellent for children and parents. Most involve sport, craft and fun activities that also impart a bit of Fijian history and culture and may extend to videos at night so parents can dine out. Activities usually include Story telling, drawing, face painting, fish feeding, crab hunts and races, beach cricket and volleyball.
Resorts that have Kids Clubs include Plantation (the kids pool also has a waterslide) and the Shangri-la Fijian has the Little Chief’s Club for children aged 2 to 12. The Outrigger’s Kids Club is also good. Castaway Island Resort has one of the best Kids Clubs you’ll find anywhere – apart from the activities, they manage to keep the littlies away from the honeymooners.
Fiji uses the European METRIC (and Australia/New Zealand) system for weight, length, distance and area: millimetres, centimetres, metres, kilometres, Celsius etc. For US and UK visitors’ reference:
- 1 mile = 1.609 kilometres
- 1 pound (lb) = 0.45 kilograms
- 1 gallon = 4.55 litres
This is not the famous New Guinea war-time track but a seafood dish.
Kokoda (pronounced kokonda – like Nadi is Nandi) is also known as “Coconut Ceviche”, “Tahitian Fish Salad” and, in the Cook Islands, “Mata”. It takes about ten minutes to knock up and it’s a delicious South Pacific favourite (you’ll see it on most menus in Fiji). It’s raw fish, marinated in lime juice, with coconut cream and is served cold. Fresh tuna is probably the best choice of fish but even calamari works for me.
For an entrée for 4 people, get:
- 400g fresh fish
- 1/2 cup lime or lemon juice (kiwi fruit can be used for a quick-time marinade)
- 1/2 cup thick coconut cream
- 1/2 cup red onion
- handful chopped coriander
- finely sliced spring onion or two
- a green or red chilli (no seeds, no pith and finely chopped)
- salt and ground black pepper
Cut the fish into small chunks or thin strips and mix through the lime juice. Leave it for at least an hour – up to four hours – in the fridge. The finer the fish is sliced, the quicker it will “cook” in the citrus juice. Combine the remaining ingredients, drain the fish and toss through the coconut mixture. Serve at once with salt and pepper to taste. A crispy bed of lettuce makes a nice presentation and a cool crunchy taste. For a different taste replace the coconut milk with soy sauce. For a speedier marinade, use kiwifruit – don’t leave for four hours or the fish may “melt”.
KORO SUN RESORT
For those on a bit of a budget but still wanting luxury, the Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa is a romantic wedding and honeymoon destination on Fiji’s ‘other big island’, Vanua Levu up north.
Contact us regarding Koro Sun Resort