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Fiji OVERVIEW

The rules have changed in the Fiji islands, but Fiji still rules.

On June 30, 2010, the Fijian Government announced “The Regulation of Surfing Areas Decree 2010.” The short version goes like this: “Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. The Attorney-General said that the Decree aims to liberalize access to any surfing area in Fiji and thereby enhance Fiji's image as a premier surf travel destination.”

The new rule opened access to all of Fiji’s reefs to everyone so resorts like Tavarua and Namotu which had enjoyed managed access to some of the world’s best reef breaks are now sharing access. However as time has passed since the ruling, guests at the resorts have found that open access to all the reefs in the area has given them more options and places to explore – which allows them to take better advantage of wind and swell conditions.

Fiji still rules. This is the archipelago of choice for water people who want to make the most of their vacation and immerse themselves in the warm, clear, energy and life-filled waters of the South Pacific: surfing for beginners to top pros, snorkeling, scuba diving, standup paddling in and out of the surf zone, kayaking, fishing for fun or dinner, sailboarding, kite surfing.

Fiji is water world, where the jungle, the sea and the sun come together in swift collision and create an H20 experience that keeps people coming back, year after year after year.

When Captain Cook passed through the Tongan Islands in 1773 and 1774, he and his crew heard stories of fierce, cannibalistic warriors from a neighboring island the Tongans pronounced “Fisi.” When Cook later met these natives, he understood that the Tongans were mispronouncing the word “Viti,” but that is how the world came to know these people of mixed Polynesian and Melanesian blood as Fijians. ‘

A little more than 200 years later, the world began to become aware of the Fiji Islands as a place of world-class surf. Out of Fiji’s 322 islands and 522 islets, one small island emerged as the Mother of all modern surf camps. Thousands flocked to Tavarua to ride the world famous reefbreaks called Restaurants and Cloudbreak, while thousands more wondered: “Is that all there is? What other natural wonders were the Fiji islands hiding?

The sun beats down, the rain falls, the hills are green, the jungle is alive and so are the reefs.  Driving over the grassy green hills and down through the low valleys, Fiji feels like the oxygen supplier to the world. As if the islands were breathing in all that global warming CO2 and exhaling oxygen – working frantically to undo all the damage of civilization.

If you are personally feeling damaged by modern civilization, Fiji is the place to wash away the stresses, toils and troubles, slings and arrows, and leave all that in your wake as you boat, paddle, sail, kite or snorkel out to empty waves breaking in warm blue waters over pristine coral reefs. This is the place to go to live the words of John Severson, spoken in the 1960s, but still ringing true in places like Fiji: “In this crowded world, the surfer can still seek the perfect wave, on the perfect day and be alone with the surf and his thoughts.”

LOCATION

All those islands and islets are between 15° and 19° south latitude, so Fiji is roughly the same distance from the equator as the Hawaiian Islands. But the Fijian Islands are far to the east, directly on the antemeridian, exactly halfway around the world from Greenwich and on the dateline. Fiji is almost directly above New Zealand which puts all those islands and islets directly in the path of the swell train from those big red globs of low pressure swinging up from out of the Southern Ocean and to the west or east of New Zealand.