for your weekend read, we thought we’d share some of our knowledge of Fiji – surf breaks, seasons, recommended resorts for your stay and post some pictures and video.
Fiji is a great choice, whether you are on honeymoon, backpacking or with your family – unlike some real hardcore surfing destinations where a non-surfer would not have too much to do, Fiji offers plenty of activities to keep you entertained during your holiday and wishing you had stayed for longer. Be it fishing, diving, trekking, ocean rafting, exploring local villages or drinking Kava, this little island country will satisfy even the most active traveller.
When to travel there: The top season is from April to October with larger swell and predominately off-shore winds. The surf is generally outer coral reef and overhead high, can be challenging for inexperienced surfers. The rest of the year is a shoulder season with smaller and less consistent waves – good if you are beginner or lower intermediate, or if you prefer uncrowded waters.
What to bring: The water is warm all-year-round so you won’t need too much rubber. You might want to consider a spring suit for some eastern islands in July-September, but just bring your board shorts for the rest of the year. Reommended surfboard would be a ‘hotdog’ short board and a larger semi-gun for the bigger days. Reef booties, tropical wax and sunscreen will also come very handy.
Where to stay: Countless options: we have hand-picked the best that is available. All resorts have either direct access to surf, or have organized surf transfers so you don’t need to worry about anything once you arrive. Please see below the recommended places to stay for a family holiday, honeymoon or just a budget trip.
Surf breaks: In July 2010, the Fijian government officially deregulated the surf breaks, which means that the waves are no longer exclusive to local landowners, resorts etc. The main surfing areas are at the south and west coast of Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji: Mamanuca Islands (Cloudbreak, Restaurants), Viti Levu (Hideaways, Frigates) and Naninya Island (The Bombi, King Kong Left and Right).
Beqa Lagoon Resort – a short distance from world class surf break Frigates Pass; Offers quality accommodation in 25 deluxe, private air-conditioned bures spread out beneath the lush tropical landscape. They have a great restaurant and it is also one of the best diving resorts in the world – Beqa Lagoon is one of the worlds largest barrier reefs. Fishing is equally awesome.
Fiji Hideaway Resort and Spa – winner of several awards for the best resort in the area. Out the front, the have a right-hand reef break, only a short paddle in front of Hideaway Resort – Hideaways. It’s a hollow, fast, ledgey barrel, but only good around high tide. Starts working at less than 3ft and holds up to 6ft plus. Year-round wave, although it is more consistent from May to October. Recommended for experienced surfers only. They have a good kids club and offer accommodation in beautiful Beachfront Villas, Oceanview Bures, Frangipani Bures and 2-Bedroom Bures.
Matanivusi Surf Eco Resort – excellent family-friendly surf resort, just across the lagoon from excellent Viti Levu Breaks. It has 8 bures, designed by an award-winning Australian architect. Daily boat trips to the local breaks for surfing and snorkelling are included, longer trips to Frigates can be organized for an extra cost.
Plantation Island Resort – offering a wide variety of accommodation from Beachfront Bures to Hotel Rooms, this resort has great facilities, restaurand and kids club. It also offers daily boat transfers to more remote surf breaks like Namotu, Wilkies, Cloudbreak and Desperations.
Honeymoon or a Couple getaway:
Lomani Island Resort – a stunning adults-only property on Malolo Lailai island (in the Mamanuca group of Islands). Stay in a Beachfront Bure, or one of Deluxe or Hibiscus suites. It also offers daily boat transfers to more remote surf breaks like Namotu, Wilkies, Cloudbreak and Desperations. Lomani Beauty Spa will definitely please the ladies, they also have a 9-hole golf course and are close to dive sites.
Musket Cove Resort features beautiful bures and villas and the daily surf transfers to Namoutu, Wilkes, Desperations and even Restaurants and Cloudbreak can be organized with Small John, who is independent to the resort. You can also go hiking to secluded beaches with a picnic basket, or even charter a yacht or a motor cruiser. The resort has scuba diving for the more adventurous and resident instructors for those who want to take advantage of obtaining their certificate and dive on the renowned coral reefs.
Royal Davui Island is an exclusive adults-only island resort, situated in Fiji’s spectacular Beqa Lagoon. They have 16 beautifully appointed fales (bungalows) surrounded by a lush tropical landscape. This ensures there are no more than 32 guests on the island at any one time ensuring supreme privacy and personalised service. Voted as “The Most Romantic Island Hideaway in the South Pacific, Caribbean and Atlantic” by Conde Nast, Royal Davui is the ideal location for your wedding, honeymoon, anniversary or just a beautiful luxury escape for couples.
Mamanuca Islands Breaks
- Wilkes Passage – This fun right-hander is great for most levels of surfers & is best at mid to high tide. Like most of the breaks in the area, it works best with S – SW swell. The only access is by boat. Unfortunately, it is very exposed and prone to being blown out by the prevailing trade winds. Afternoon glass-offs, though rare, can be a truly wonderous sight as clean right hand barrels peel off mechanically into the safety of the deep channel.
- Desperations -A classic wave that doesn’t really work until its 4-5ft but just keeps getting better the bigger it gets. A left and a right with length, speed and nice hollow sections.
- Namotu Left –A left that breaks all year round, best from October to April with lighter winds. When its under 6 ft, it will even suit longboards, but becomes very challenging over 6 ft. Namotu itself is a quality wave, but remember to kick off at the end of your ride – don’t fall into the trap of going for that final barrel section – no one gets out of it.
- Cloudbreak – The world famous WCT location is one of the best lefts in the world. With the new laws prohibiting the exclusivity of surf breaks, you can now surf this awesome waves any day you want. This is a serious wave though, and will definitely sort the crowds out when it gets over 6ft.
- Mini Cloudbreak – Powerful, fast wave. The best wind direction is south-east. Best around high tide.
- Lighthouse –South of mini-cloudbreak, near the lighthouse. Unfortunately, this one rarely breaks, but when it does, it’s for pros or kamikazes only. Hollow, fast and powerful with a right and a left.
- Restaurants –This is a good, fast left hand reef break for pros or kamikazes only. However, with the new laws prohibiting the exclusivity of surf breaks you can now surf this awesome waves any day you want.
Viti Levu Breaks
- Hideaways – Hideaways is a right hand reef break, only a short paddle in front of Hideaway Resort. It’s a hollow, fast, ledgey barrel, but only good around high tide. Starts working at less than 3ft and holds up to 6ft plus. Year-round wave, although it is more consistent from May to October. Recommended for experienced surfers only.
- J’s –J’s is a hollow, fast wave that breaks from 2’ to 6’. It’s best around the high tide with winds from NE to W. It needs some west in the swell to run down the reef.
- Shifties –This wave has a deep water take off making the break a ‘not too threatening’ ride. This outside point of the barrier reef picks up all the swell and can be double the size of J’s and Vunaniu. It is powerful and thick. When everywhere else is flat, you can almost guarantee a 4-foot wave at Shifties. It can be surfed at all tides. Again, a wind of the north quadrant is needed.
- Vunaniu –Vananiu is a short wedging right which has a bowl section at the end, usually smaller than other breaks. This would be a good option for the kids. It does get good. It’s best at high tide
- Frigates -Definitely a world-class left that can rival Cloudbreak for power, size and consistency. Because of the gradual tapering of the reef, it can handle all swell sizes. The SE trade winds are offshore, so when the inside waves near Matanivusi are blown out, there is always the consistent Frigates. Because it’s out in the ocean, about 20 kilometres from Matanivusi, it picks up all swell. However, some west in the swell can make it a bit dicey. It definitely makes the end section stand up! Frigates is accessed by a number of resorts and can get crowded. However, once the swell gets up over 10’, there is a drop in the numbers tackling the waves. A longer board is recommended to tackle the big drops and strong offshore winds.
Naninya Island Breaks
King Kong Left –This is a 40-metre long wave that has a take-off in deep water, reducing risk of coral scratches and is good for intermediate to advanced surfers. The average size is 3 ft to 5 ft offshore, but it can hold up to 15 ft plus. It was named King Kong because of the famous 1935 movie which was partly filmed underneath the mountain Nabukelevuira. This mountain also has a moderating effect on the wind at the King Kong Left break so that it is still operating when other areas are blown out.
King Kong Right -This is often 6ft plus face height. This is an exciting very fast tube for a more advanced rider. The trade winds are onshore for this break, but the summer wind (north easterly) is offshore. It is best early morning before the trade winds start, or late afternoon if the trade winds die down.
The Bombi -10 minutes from Naninya Island Resort by boat, can be seen from the resort deck.
Middle Daku -Daku is the Fijian name for the beautiful sandy beach. In the middle of the beach, 60 metres from the sand, is a coral break. It breaks both right and left but the right is generally better. The trade winds are onshore/across this break but the summer wind (north-easterly) is directly offshore. It is also best early morning before the trade winds start.
Little Daku -This break is often suitable for the less experienced surfer. This is also an excellent area to enjoy a free “getting started” surfing lesson by Naninya’s surf guide.