An Unexpected Stop in Fiji

Our last stop before settling down in Melbourne was supposed to be Sydney. After flying out from Seattle and than Los Angeles, we landed in Fiji at six in the morning. Our transfer to Sydney was not for another three hours, so exhausted we laid down to catch some sleep.

Change of Plans

About one hour before we were supposed to leave, a message was broadcasted stating our flight was overbooked and Fiji Airways was looking for volunteers to stay a (fully paid) day in Fiji and fly business class to Sydney the next morning. After a short discussion, we decided to go for it, and postpone our flight by a day. After waiting a while in the business class lounge, we were transported to a luxury resort on Denarau Island, about 30 minutes from the airport.

The story could have ended there, with us just relaxing in the resort, but we decided to explore more of Fiji. A short walk to the harbor later and we were waiting for our private boat to show us around Castaway Island and uninhabited Malamala Island.

Castaway & Malamala Island

The bumpy ride to Castaway Island took a good hour, and upon leaving the boat we were on the white sand beach part of the Castaway Island Resort, which actually owns the entire island. After having lunch there, and taking a quick dip in the water we went back into the boat to go to the next island.

The beach of Castaway Island was covered in small but annoying stones, and the water had a lot of small branches floating in it, we hoped Malamala would be a little better for swimming. We tried snorkeling first, as the water looked extremely clear, and when approaching the island we saw feet long bright blue fish. However, it turned out that closer to the beach not much fish could be seen.

Somewhat disappointed we just went swimming. This beach also had a lot of rocks making it painful to walk, yet the water was of decent temperature and the hot sun made it for a comfortable two hour stay. After that, our private tour ended by dropping us back of at our resort.

As food was included with our stay, we enjoyed a three course dinner at the resort restaurant, before dipping in the pool and getting to bed early for a good nights’ rest. The next morning, well rested, the business class journey to Sydney was very comfortable with very good food and lots of legroom. Next time, we will be sure to volunteer again!

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We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.

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