If you enjoy being active on your holiday, seeing more of the place you’re visiting, and getting a real feel for a country’s vibe, then Fiji has more to offer than you might think. Yes, there’s diving, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking and all things water-related, but Fiji is also a great place to go hiking.
We like our sevens in Fiji, with one of the best Sevens rugby teams in the world. So, whether you call it hiking, tramping, trekking, rambling, or just plain old walking, here are seven reasons to come and do it in Fiji:
1. Breathe in the views
Fiji’s islands are not all delicious white-fringed specks in the ocean. Many of Fiji’s islands were formed through volcanic processes and have rugged, mountainous interiors with a mix of tropical forest and grassy slopes. A good hike will get you in amongst this and afford you fantastic views across this amazing landscape.
The dramatic Naloto range is visible on many of our hikes
2. Take a plunge
In the tropics, one of the great pleasures is cooling off in a river on a hot day. Elsewhere you spend so much time avoiding getting wet, as getting wet means getting cold. On a hike in Fiji, jumping in the river at a lunch stop or cooling your feet on a river crossing is part of the pleasure of it all. Once you’re wet you dry off pretty quickly as you start walking.
Crossing the Ba river on the Cross Highland Hike
3. No need to worry about dangerous wildlife
Whether you’re trekking through tall grass, swimming in the rivers, or scrambling up a hillside, you don’t need to worry about anything dangerous lurking out of sight. Fiji doesn’t have poisonous snakes or spiders, or crocs in the rivers, or anything to worry about too much. We do have pesky mosquitoes (but no malaria), but they’re not as voracious as the sand flies our friends in New Zealand enjoy! What Fiji does have as an isolated island group is some unique flora and fauna that can be hard to spot, but that you can’t see anywhere else in the world.
A noisy cicada, near Nubutautau village
4. Experience the culture
If you’re a hiker, you know that great walks get you to places you would otherwise never see. In Fiji, longer hikes can give the opportunity to open a little window onto life in remote rural areas, whether that’s by chatting to a guide as you walk, seeing people farm, hunt and fish, or visiting villages way off the tourist track to experience their natural hospitality, and at the end of the day sit on the woven pandanus mats, share a bowl of kava, eat the food grown in their gardens and ask all the questions you can think of until your heart is content and your belly full!
Mixing kava in Nubutautau village (Photo: Rob Rickman)
5. Take on a challenge
The best hikes are never the easiest. Part of the pleasure a good walk is the reward and satisfaction you feel at the end of the day having achieved something… whether that’s a long distance covered or a peak summited. Fiji’s natural terrain, tropical weather and the fact that most routes are not purpose built hiking tracks, but old pathways that were used to connect villages before roads were built, mean that even the fittest hikers can feel a sense of satisfaction while enjoying the beach after their hike.
Fiji's highest mountain, Mt Tomaniivi (Mt Victoria), 1324m
6. Disconnect and reconnect
Fiji’s mobile network is pretty good, but once you get in amongst the hills and valleys of the interior, you’ll not find much of a signal. It’s a great opportunity to disconnect, let your phone be just a camera, and to reconnect with nature, the people around you, and of course yourself! Listen to the experts and enjoy the benefits of not being dictated to by your device for a few days.
Traditional bures and the installation seat for the chief of Navatusila (Photo: Rob Rickman)
7. Escape the crowds
As hiking becomes more popular around the world, it gets harder and harder to escape the crowds. We have that in Fiji at coastal hotspots, but you can go on a 4-day hike into the interior and not see another tourist. It can really feel like a different world.
Views across the grasslands on the Cross Highland Hike and Full Monty
For some proper hiking check out our Cross Highland Hike, Full Monty or Hit the Heights, and have a look at our scheduled treks for 2018. If you’re keen to stretch your legs, but not go on a full blown hike, ask at your hotel or resort. Many places offer a walk from the resort into the surrounding hills, and some parts of Fiji, such as Taveuni island, the Koroyanitu Heritage Park, and the Sigatoka Sand Dunes, have established tracks you can follow independently.