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quikflikchiq Yasawa - A travel report by tara
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Yasawa,  Fiji - flag Fiji
9362 readers

quikflikchiq's travel reports

Octopus Resort - Waya Island, Yasawas

  17 votes
Page: 1 2
Its time for me to learn to scuba dive - and why not do it in the warm, clear, blue water of the Yasawa Islands! So set off to explore Fiji for the first (and hopefully not the last) time. Its the end of October and I needed some sunny weather!

The Yasawa Group
The Yasawa Group
Its nearing the end of the New Zealand winter, spring is here and summer is on its way. But its just not warm enough to don a wetsuit and splash around in a lake to get my divers ticket. So where do Kiwis go when its cold - Fiji!

Fiji is well known throughout the South Pacific for having warm water, white sandy beaches and fabulous places to stay that cater for every interest that any traveller has.

The Yasawa Islands are a group of about 20 islands - or an archipelago. The islands are of volcanic origin so the cliffs reach massive heights and the view is awe inspiring! There are 6 main islands in the group and a few smaller ones. The islands are so beautiful that the film "Blue Lagoon" was filmed here, twice.

There is a saying that Fijians have 15 words for heaven - and that the first one is Yasawa.

Favourite spots:
The bar and restaurant are on the left and Poppys Lodge is on the right
The bar and restaurant are on the left and Poppys Lodge is on the right
Octopus Resort - This is where we stayed.
We found it on the internet and it was all that they said it would be.

The resort is on Waya Island on the western side. It is nestled in a bay called Likuliku Bay and it is surrounded by beautiful hard and soft coral reefs. We would get up around 7am, snorkel for 20 mins or so, have a quick dip in the pool and go in for breakfast at 7:30.

Octopus has a meal package which is so cheap - and there are 3 meals a day all being served for around an hour and a half. The food is fabulous - all fresh and delicious. Most of it is grown or raised on the island.

Over the hill is Nalauwaki Village and most of the staff at the resort are from the village. They are all beautiful and happy people and its true that there is no smile like a Fiji smile.

We stayed in a bure with shared facilities and they are all cool (ish), clean and ours was right behind the pool and next to the bar. We even had an ocean view from our door.

What's really great:
Looking down on Likuliku Bay and some of the coral reefs
Looking down on Likuliku Bay and some of the coral reefs
Whats really great? Its a pretty long list.
We went to the resort for the diving. My friend has her PADI Advanced Open Water and I really wanted to learn. The Dive Shop is right on the beach and really close and the people there are very cool. Jodi was my Dive Instructor and I cant thank her enough for supporting me and training me through the course.

The resort rents out lots of equipment such as kayaks and there are 2 chances to dive each day. They dont dive on Sundays as per a request from the village. They also run 3 Discover Scuba courses each week. You can rent a snorkel and a mask and flippers from the Dive Shop for $5 for the entire time you are there.

Each day there are a series of activities planned - hikes, fishing trips, sunset cruises and drinking games but we werent forced into doing anything. Its all up to you - and once you cruise into "Fiji time" you can pretty much do anything you want whenever you want to do it.

Early morning
Early morning
As I mentioned, I was completing my PADI Open Water Divers certification so I didnt do some of the things that I might have otherwise and one of those was a hike in the morning up to one of the highest peaks on Waya. Apparently the views from there would just take your breath away. Instead I got to do a bit of exploring underwater. Magical!

Sunsets were also just amazing. The sun would set quick quickly and it almost looks like it was protesting and the sky lit up with wonderful blues and oranges.

Other people also form a large part of the scenery at the resort. And there are people from all over the world. You meet people on the transfer boat, all taking photographs of the beaches and the cliffs on the 1.5hr boat ride out to Octopus. There are kava ceremonies to welcome the people that arrive each day - and there are lots of screwed up faces after trying the local brew. There is always someone in the water - whether it is the ocean or the swimming pool!

The pool area - and my first scuba lesson
The pool area - and my first scuba lesson
Octopus Resort does a really good job of making sure you have everything you need. From Poppys Lodge to the dorm, each guest is really taken care of. 2 towels - one for the shower and one for the ocean or pool, mosquito nets, fans - it is all really good and well taken care of.

We stayed in a bure that used to be the Shop. We had booked a Garden view Bure with shared facilities - but the Shop was even better. We were right in the middle of everything. We had 2 beds, one double and one single in our room and loads of space. The floor was tiled and cool and each day our beds would be made up, the floor swept and each night our mosquito nets were placed down over our beds for us. Whenever we wanted dry towels, we just had to ask.

The pool area is new - and the pool is deep enough to dive in with scuba gear.

There was mellow music playing pretty much all day - either from the bar or the band boys. The guys are very talented and everyone in Fiji can sing really well it seems!!!

Moses played onboard the Sunset Cruise down the coast of Waya to the south
Moses played onboard the Sunset Cruise down the coast of Waya to the south
There was always something happening at night in the week that we spent there. I tried not to go on too much of a bender but I was worried about my bar tab towards the end there a little!

They put on a curry night for Dwali around the pool, we had movie night with a huge screen and popcorn, International Crab Racing, a few drinking games, a meke from the Resort Staff and my friends went on a night dive.

We went on a Sunset cruise and a chilli bin full of Fiji Bitter was on board for purchase. The band played not only Fijian songs, but a few interesting tunes (from someone who was possibly only learning the ukelele I think!).

We also got lucky with the handline fishing - the boat was full but one of the guys Esava took us out on his sport fishing boat. It didnt help us catch anything other than bait though!

I missed a lot of the late night drinking due to not wanting to dive with a hangover. I managed to complete my first dive with a headache and I didnt want to do that again.

The view from the deck, theres a hammock hanging from the trees
The view from the deck, theres a hammock hanging from the trees
The resort stretches almost from one end of the beach to the other and the whole way along there are loungers and shade provided by open bures. The pool area has really good seating along one side with cushions to lie or sit propped up against. There are also about half a dozen hammocks hanging from trees around the pool and beach area.

What I am trying to tell you is that anywhere is a good place to hang out - depending on how much sun or shade you want :)

The deck of the bar and restaurant was a favourite place to see and watch the life on the island go by. We ended up having most of our meals out there. In the evenings we would sit around and have quite a few Fiji Bitters telling stories and getting to know our fellow island dwellers. We tried to play a few games - even though Andrew didnt bother to read the rules of "Fact or Crap" it ended up being a lively and funny evening. Trivial Pursuit was a bit more difficult - and who wants to think that much on holiday!!

My friend Ronelle with a Fiji smile and a plate full of delicious food
My friend Ronelle with a Fiji smile and a plate full of delicious food
I think the meal package is $45 per day. For the food that we had - its an absolute bargain!

Fresh pineapple, watermelon, mango, pawpaw, bananas and coconut are served with every meal. Each meal lasts around 1.5 hrs and there is a large selection at lunch time. In the evening we had curry (including vegetarian and dhall), a buffet barbeque, fish wrapped in palm leaves and cooked in the ground, as well as marinated chicken. My mouth waters just thinking about it!

At any other time during the day you can order from the bar but I never felt hungry - except after coming back from a dive. Swimming makes me hungry but diving makes me ravenous!

One night, a Lovo was prepared. This is a pit surrounded by rocks usually filled with coconut husks which are lit and left to smoulder and then the food is wrapped in banana or palm leaves and covered for 2-3 hours. The chicken and the fish were absolutely delicious and I loved the vegetables which are normally placed on top of the meat in the pi

Other recommendations:
This was taken by my friend Nel on my second dive at the Autobahn
This was taken by my friend Nel on my second dive at the Autobahn
Take your time and make sure you have a few days at the resort. It takes a day or so to cruise into "Fiji time" but theres no need to hurry for anything.

I completed 4 dives as part of my course and each dive site was completely different. I have probably remembered them all wrong as I was either petrified, inquisitive, enthralled or very excited but here goes. By the way, all of them are no longer than a 15 min boat ride from the resort and 2 of them you can see the resort from where we entered!

The first dive site was called Three Sisters and it was a large wall. We hung around about 12 metres at this site.

The second site was the Autobahn and there were lots of crazy channels. Around 13.5 metres and I am sure I saw a ray here.

Then we went to somewhere near Smurf City where the current was really strong and it was lots of fun to get your buoyancy right.

The last site was called Village Reef and it was on the other side of Likuliku Bay.

Published on Tuesday October 31th, 2006

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Mon, Mar 19 2007 - 05:19 AM rating by downundergal

Hi Tara, I am currently researching a trip to either Fiji or Vanuatu so I really enjoyed your report. I have also had a look at their website, is the beach as good as it looks?

Wed, Nov 01 2006 - 12:11 AM rating by rangutan

Amoungst the most interesting reports this month - "heavenly" pleasure to read good information about a new remote place!

Tue, Oct 31 2006 - 06:36 PM rating by picasso

Very interesting and looks like you had wonderful time .You had provided a lot of information and supported your report with nice immages.It has been written from the heart.

Tue, Oct 31 2006 - 06:02 PM rating by eirekay

Tara, this is a terrific report! I have thought about diving in Fiji ~ your report makes me think that should be my next destination!

Tue, Oct 31 2006 - 04:50 PM rating by davidx

This is a really first class report.

Tue, Oct 31 2006 - 12:06 PM rating by marianne

Excellent information

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