Why should you visit Fiji, you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked. Practically on Australia’s doorstep, Fiji is a tropical paradise with so much to offer, from glorious beaches and stunning wildlife, to its rich and fascinating culture. Fiji is a nation of proud rugby players and supporters, making it the perfect destination for school rugby tours. So whether it’s a relaxing beach holiday or an exhilarating team challenge, we all need a touch of Fiji in our lives.
You probably don’t need to be told that Fiji is overflowing (pun intended) with fantastic water-based activities and attractions. The many islands of Fiji are surrounded by protected coral reefs, famous for their soft coral formations. These reefs are home to thousands of fish and other ocean dwellers, and make for some pretty amazing snorkelling and diving excursions. Fiji’s crystal-clear seawater is inviting for surfing, boating, water-skiing, paddle-boarding, and just plain swimming. However, there are plenty of offshore adventures on offer as well. Of course, sport is the number one land-based activity for locals. Playing a game against a Fijian rugby, netball or volleyball team is a lot of fun for visitors! Hiking, mountain biking, horse treks, ziplining and off-road cave tours are just some of the other activities that will allow you to explore Fiji’s beautiful islands.
One of the joys of visiting any new place is trying the local cuisine, and Fiji will definitely be a delight for your palate. The two national traditional cuisines of Fiji are indigenous Fijian and Fijian Indian. Seafood is the star of the indigenous menu, featuring typically mild flavours and both raw and cooked fish. Fijian Indian is a happy marriage between the spices of India and fresh ingredients of the islands. Fiji’s national drink is Kava, a root-based plant crushed into a drink that has relaxation effects. Tropical fruit also plays a large part in the smorgasbord of Fijian cuisine. You’ll be in tastebud paradise with delicious fresh pineapple, papaya, mango, and the best coconut water you ever had.
Fijian culture is primarily social, with song, dance, performance, sport and food bringing locals and tourists together. The multi-cultural background of Fiji offers a great many proud traditions and local customs that visitors can both observe and take part in. Seeing a traditional meke dance performance is an opportunity not to be missed. For those travelling to Fiji on school rugby tours, you might even be treated to a different kind of meke – a war dance not unlike New Zealand’s haka, designed to intimidate your opponent! Perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring cultural traditions you can find here is the ancient practice of firewalking. Fiji observes two different types of firewalking: the indigenous Fijian tradition of walking over hot stones, and the Hindu purification ritual of walking on ashes and charcoal. It is a colourful and almost magical experience that you will never forget.
Renowned the world over for their warmth and friendliness, Fijians are considered to be some of the happiest people on earth. Interacting with the locals is one of the great pleasures of a trip to Fiji. It is a tight-knit society with a very strong sense of community, yet they are also well known for their wonderful hospitality. With a nearly nation-wide love of song, dance and laughter, the Fijian culture values togetherness. And there is certainly no shortage of spirit-lifting vitamin D! It is no wonder that you will find yourself greeted with a cheery ‘Bula!’ nearly everywhere you go in Fiji.
As if you needed any more, one stand out reason to go to Fiji is always rugby! It is Fiji’s national game, almost their third religion. Nearly every village has a rugby team, and wherever you go in Fiji, it won’t be difficult to find a rugby field. More than likely, one already filled with Fijians playing a game in their own unique, energetic style! Fijians are some of the best rugby players in the world, often being selected by international teams. One fantastic way to experience Fijian culture is to compete with them in a game of rugby. Student Horizons can organise competitive fixtures with schools across Fiji to really test your team’s mettle. When it comes to school rugby tours, Fiji is one of the best destinations on offer.
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