When you travel the length of the Fiji Islands you find that every island – inhabited or uninhabited – seems to be just as magical as the other. Each of these 300 or so of the Fiji Islands is a jewel set in the perfect blue South Pacific Ocean. Even among so much beauty, here are some fantastically scenic places in the Fijian archipelago that, simply, stand out from the rest.
One of these exquisite places is the Nausori Highlands. The Highlands are located on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. The area is relatively unspoiled by modernity and development. Here the traditions and culture of the Fijian people has not changed in millennia. The customs and practices of the local inhabitants are untouched by the outside world.
The best, to my mind, and only way to encounter firsthand the true Fijian experience is to take a trek through one of the most beautiful places on Earth. A walking tour is a fantastic opportunity for the casual and also the ‘I want the authentic local feel’ visitor. The cultural and eco-tourists will also be hugely thrilled with a trek up into the Nausori Highlands.
The trek will take you high up to almost 5000 feet to the mist-shrouded mountains. They can be surprisingly chilly during the evenings and early mornings. So packing a warm sweater or a jacket is a good idea.
The mountains are covered with luxuriant rainforests. Numerous clear streams and rivers that flow across the landscape invite you to bathe in their cool waters. The jungles are populated with plenty of very raucous and brightly coloured tropical birds. Walk along trails that have been used by the local villagers for untold generations and have not changed in all that time.
The journey up into the highlands will also give you amazing views of Viti Levu‘s rural countryside and of Nadi Bay. You will also have uninterrupted views of the Mamanuca and Yasawa Island groups stretching out into the distance.
The sheer beauty of the Nausori Highlands is not the only enjoyable aspect of a trip up there. It is also the amazing people who live here and their gentle, warm and uninhibitedly inviting ways. You will come across a number of long-established Fijian villages and a fantastic opportunity to experience their traditional rituals and courtesies.
The people are all too willing to teach you about their unique culture. You can get a chance to peek into the tribal ways of Fijian villages tucked away and out of sight of the world. The greeting involves a drink of Kava, a ceremonial beverage, which is quite significant to Fijians. Guests are invited to an open kitchen and to participate in preparing an authentic Fijian meal.
The food is cooked over a firewood stove and comprises of coconut milk, spinach or Taro leaves stuffed with fresh water prawns or beef with a sprinkle of coconut cream cooked in a green bamboo trunk. The meal also includes yams and taro along with a drink of freshly squeezed lemon juice or “yaqona” (Fijian traditional drink made from grounded pepper roots).
No interaction with Fijians is complete without singing and on that front one is never disappointed.
The magnificent scenery, the beauty of the islands, the timeless village life and the warmth of the people will add up to an experience like no other.