Needing a break from Suva and day-to-day life we made a very spontaneous girls weekend trip across to Beachcomber Island a couple of weeks ago.
We left Suva just after 5am on Saturday morning and drove up to Port Denarau, arriving at 8:30am to catch our boat transfer across to Beachcomber Island. We arrived at Beachcomber along with people arriving for just a day trip just before 10am. We were fortunate enough to be able to check-in to our room straight away before having morning tea.
Rather than go snorkeling straight after arriving we opted instead to swim around the entire island. That sounds like a big effort but it is quite a small island. Once we’d completed the lap we opted to change from saltwater to chlorinated water and jumped in the pool. Sadly, there’s no shade over the pool during the day so despite covering ourselves in sunscreen sunburn was a bit inevitable. We spent the remainder of the morning in the pool and waited for lunch to be served in the main dining area.
Lunch consisted of traditional Fijian food as well and some basic western options like bread and fruit salad. It was nice to see so many tourists (most of them off the cruise boat that had docked on the main land) trying out the traditional Fijian food.
Post lunch came an afternoon snorkel and some relaxing time on the beach chairs and hammocks relaxing in the shade to recover from the amount of sun we took in this morning.
Almost every afternoon the staff come out to play volleyball with the guests on the beach while the sun sets. We walked to the other side of the island to watch the sun set over the water looking across to where somewhere on the other side of the ocean was Australia.
Beachcomber does have a reputation as the backpacker/party island and it certainly lives up to this reputation. Following dinner in a very empty dining area compared to lunch with all the daytrippers, the festivities started in the main bar hut area. It was Polynesia night so we had traditional dances by some of the staff, followed by the teaching of the ‘Bula’ dance and limbo. Afterwards the hut turned into an open air, sand floored night club.
Sunday morning was a definite struggle to get up, after crawling into bed at 1:30am. The room did get a little hot as the sun rose and the breeze died off, the other girls in the room headed outside and slept in the hammocks for a bit. Following our slow start we had breakfast and got ready to go out on the first snorkeling trip of the day.
Within 5 minutes of leaving shore we were ready to jump in and feed the fish around the boat. Most people stayed on the boat but as I had the GoPro handy we jumped in the water to practically hand-feed the fish, which was such an incredible experience. Sadly the coral was not as bright and colourful as the marine park out near Namena Island from our trip to Savusavu, but there’s something quite calming and realxing about snorkeling that makes up for the lack of brilliant colours.
After the snorkel and a little bit of last minute packing and showering it was time for lunch and an afternoon of naps and hammocks. Compared to yesterday the number of people visiting Beachcomber for a day trip was drastically less which meant the island was a lot quieter.
Our boat back to Port Denarau left at 4pm and got us back just before 5pm. After some quick refuelling and mini stock up on snacks we hit the road for Suva and drove straight through arriving home just after 8:30pm.
Despite the fact that we were only gone for 2 days and not even 48 hours it felt like a much longer break. It was interesting to see ‘brochure’ Fiji as most tourists see it and recognise the differences between it and real Fijians and how people actually live here. That being said I’m definitely eager to see more of the Fiji Islands in the Mamanuca and Yasawa groups in particular.