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TOURS & EXPERIENCES

Immerse yourself into the heart and soul of Fijian culture

Prefer to keep your feet on dry land? Volivoli has plenty of land-based activities for everyone that will immerse you into the heart and soul of Fijian culture.

Your tour guide Soni, is a kaumatua (village elder), originally from Rakiraki, who knows the area and its local people intimately. He’s also our former dining room manager—who worked for the Darling family for 15 years. He strives to preserve the Fijian culture by sharing the colourful history and traditions with our guests.

Soni has carefully curated tours that explore the area’s dramatic landscapes, lush tropical forests, spectacular waterfalls, bustling markets, remote villages, and rich history. We also offer culinary adventures from the resort featuring the unique array of local foods, produce and culture we have here in Rakiraki.

FIJIAN CULTURE & HISTORY

Once renowned as the ‘Cannibal Isles,’ Fiji is now better known for its friendly, easy-going people and warm generosity.Immigration and colonisation have seen the country develop into a fascinating blend of cultures including Melanesian, Polynesian, Indian, European and Chinese.

This cultural mix creates a rewarding diversity that is reflected in the variety of food, languages and traditions.The Fiji archipelago was first settled about three and a half thousand years ago by the Lapita people. Linguistic studies have shown that they may have come from Vanuatu or the eastern Solomon Islands.During the 19th century, Fiji developed into a trade centre for the South Pacific and in 1874 the country became a colony of Britain.

Between 1879 and 1916 Indians came to Fiji as indentured laborers to work on the colonial sugar plantations.

After the indentured system was abolished, many Indians remained as business people and independent farmers. Fiji gained independence from Britain in 1970.

Unlike many other countries, the indigenous people have not lost their traditions and some aspects of life today are as they were a hundred years ago.

Fijian Culture

Traditional Fijian society is based on communal principles developed from village life. The people of a village share the obligations and benefits of community life and are still led by a hereditary chief. Everyone in a village works together to grow crops, prepare food and build homes.

This communal system works as an extended family unit that allows no-one to go hungry or uncared for.

Come along on a Fijian Village Visit!

VILLAGE VISIT

Departure 9am — Approximate Return 12pm (3 hours) - F$55 per person*

Come and see the way our iTaukei (local, indigenous people) live and experience authentic Fijian village life with your guide Soni.

You’ll be warmly welcomed in the traditional way, by the turanga ni koro (village chief) followed by a kava ceremony, where you’ll have the opportunity to taste Fiji’s national drink by sharing a bowl (or two) with the village leaders.

Then, you’ll have a chance to take a look around the village, chat with the locals, listen to stories and legends, take photos, and experience the beautiful, simple-yet-intricate way Fijians live together in their villages.

Fijian cultural visit with Volivoli Beach Resort, Fiji

Afterwards, you’ll visit the local primary school and have a chance to mingle with the students. Later, we’ll head into Rakiraki town to explore the market where you’ll taste freshly-picked local fruits like popo (aka papaya) and pineapple and vegetables including taro and tapioca brought down from farmers in the mountains, buy fresh spices, and shop for traditional Fijian goods. We’ll return to the resort just in time for lunch, unless you choose to spend more time in town.

Note: If you’d like to give gifts or school supplies to the village or primary school, please let your guide, Soni, know and he’ll arrange for a traditional exchange with the village chief. Also, if your group would like to spend more time in Rakiraki town, please let him know in advance.

Also to note, women should have covered shoulders and wear long pants or a skirt that comes below the knees when entering a village. Men should not be shirtless. Remember to remove your hat and sunglasses.

* Prices are only an indication and are subject to change at any time

What to Bring

  • Bottled water
  • Camera
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Women, please bring a sarong or something to cover your legs

Includes

  • Local, English-speaking tour guide
  • Ground transportation
  • Donation to the village
  • Kava offering

RAKIRAKI DISCOVERY TOUR

Departure 9:00am — Approximate Return 5:00pm (8 hours) - F$65 per person*

Are you a history buff? This tour will take you to see the highlights of the historical Rakiraki district of the Ra province.

Sugar is the main natural resource in Fiji, and grows wild in the area. Our first stop will be the Penang Sugar Mill. Built in 1878, it’s the smallest and oldest of the four mills operated by the Fiji Sugar Corporation—the sole producer of raw sugar in Fiji.

After Tropical Cyclone Winston hit in early 2016, the mill closed down operations due to irreparable damage, and is now preserved as a part of the region’s history.

Next, we’ll visit the local hospital and then head to The Church of the Black Christ, a catholic church built in 1917, made of limestone, famous for its stunning ocean views and a mural painted by Jean Charlot, depicting a black Christ.

Black Christ fIJI

Later, we’ll head into Rakiraki town to explore the market where you can taste freshly-picked local fruits like papaya and pineapple and vegetables including taro and tapioca brought down from farmers in the mountains, buy fresh spices, and shop for traditional Fijian goods.

For our last stop of the day we’ll explore our nation’s cannibal past. Just over a century ago, Fiji was known as an unforgiving nation where cannibalism was a symbol of dignity and pride conducted for many reasons, from celebrating a victory against a rival tribe, building the foundation of a new home, or as part of the grieving process of members of a tribe.

The fighting claimed its last victim, an English missionary, in 1867. Just minutes from the resort lies the grave of cannibal chief, Ratu Udre Udre, who ate the most humans in recorded history. He collected a stone for all 999 of them, which have been left at the foot of his grave that we’ll visit.

Note: Please sign up a day in advance and we’ll let the kitchen know to pack you a lunch so we don’t have to rush back and you can make the most of your day in our beautiful highlands.

* Prices are only an indication and are subject to change at any time

What to Bring

  • Comfortable walking shoesSunglasses
  • Camera
  • Pre-ordered packed lunch
  • Bottled water

Includes

  • Local, English-speakingtour guide
  • Transportation
  • Entry fees
  • Donation to the village

CAVE & WATERFALL TOUR

Departure 9am — Approximate Return 3pm (6 hours) - F$65 per person*

Fuel up on a delicious breakfast at Nuku Bar, then meet us in the lobby for departure to Wailotua Village—about 1.5 hours from the resort—where the entrance to the cave lies.

Before Christianity came to Fiji, our forefathers worshipped spirit gods.

Though nearly all native Fijians have converted to Christianity, the history and legends will never be forgotten.

Caves were formerly a meeting place for chiefans d this cave in particular is said to be home to a spirit god, the snake god Deigei, known as the supreme god of Fiji.

Though there are no longer any snakes in Fiji, due to mongoose being brought in to eradicate snakes from the sugarcane fields to yield a better crop, the legend lives on.

There’s no hiking required on this trip as we drive right up to the entrance of the cave.

We’ll spend 45 minutes inside exploring and learning more about the legends (don’t miss the stalactites in the shape of snakes’ heads). After that we’ll eat our packed lunches, then head to a nearby waterfall to cool off with a swim.

Note: Please sign up a day in advance and we’ll let the kitchen know to pack you a lunch so we don’t have to rush back and you can make the most of your day in our beautiful highlands.

* Prices are only an indication and are subject to change at any time

What to Bring

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Bathing suit
  • Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Pre-ordered packed lunch
  • Bottled water

Includes

  • Local, English-speaking tour guide
  • Transportation
  • Entry fee for the cave
  • Donation to the village

NABALASERE WATERFALL TOUR

Departure 9am — Approximate Return 6pm (8 hours) - F$150 per person*

Looking to escape the beach, and discover the heart and soul of Fiji? Let’s head for the highlands.

Known as one of the prettiest remote villages in Fiji—with every building painted in the same matching shade of mint green—Nabalasere is also home to the biggest, and most spectacular, waterfall in the country, Savulelele, found within the newly-launched Nabalasere Ecotourism Forest Park.

After eating a hearty breakfast, we’ll depart from the resort at 9am, and arrive to the village after an hour and a half drive.

From there, we’ll take the newly upgraded 1km jungle track to the waterfall (which can be wet and slippery at times so proper footwear is essential).

Upon arrival, we’ll walk right under the waterfall, take in the beautiful scenery, and cool off in the pristine, crisp swimming hole beneath the falls, then enjoy our packed lunches.

Keep an eye out for small spouts of water coming off the side of the falls, there’s a legend that every time someone is born, a new spout opens, and when they pass away it closes, only to open again when another new life begins.

Note: Please sign up a day in advance and we’ll let the kitchen know to pack you a lunch so we don’t have to rush back and you can make the most of your day in the rainforest.

* Prices are only an indication and are subject to change at any time

What to Bring

  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking clothing
  • Bathing suit
  • Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Pre-ordered packed lunch
  • Bottled water

Includes

  • Local, English-speaking tour guide
  • Transportation
  • Local trekking guide
  • Entry fees
  • Donation to the village

VOLIVOLI COOKING CLASS

Put on your chef’s hats for an afternoon by the beach in our outdoor kitchen

Wash your hands, tie your aprons, and put on your chef’s hats for an afternoon by the beach in our outdoor kitchen with our head chef Lakepa Setitaia, an expert in Fijian cuisine, and/or Janey King-Lilo, our internationally-recognized food and beverage consultant who prides herself on cooking with locally-grown ingredients.

In this fun, light-hearted class for guests with all levels of cooking experience—a celebration of Fijian cuisine and local culture through gastronomy—our chefs share their traditional cooking techniques, local secrets, and crack some good jokes. They’ll teach you how to make Fiji’s signature fish dish, kokoda, from scratch: fresh fish marinated in lime juice, mixed with local vegetables and chilis, bathed in freshly-made coconut cream.

By the end of this class you’ll know how to crack open a coconut like a pro, scrape insides out, squeeze the fresh juice and add just the right amount of chili to your kokoda.

You’ll also learn how to make a simple, Fijian-style curry, focusing on how to choose spices and how to work with them. You’ll also learn how to make our staple side dish, roti.

Prepare to leave with a full belly and a handful of Fijian recipes to take home to share with your friends and family back home.

Note: There’s also the option to start the day with a fully-guided tour of the Rakiraki fruit and vegetable market, where we’ll hand pick and learn about the freshest seasonal ingredients for our class and meet the locals who sell them.

Later, we’ll pay a visit to the local farmer who grows all of our lettuces and herbs.

* Prices are only an indication and are subject to change at any time

What to Bring

  • Camera
  • An empty stomach

Includes

  • Guidance from a local chef
  • All materials and ingredients
  • Recipes to take home with you

SUNSET CRUISE

Departure 4:30pm — Approximate Return 7pm (2.5 hours) - F$99/pp*

Let your hair down, put your swimmers on, and jump aboard our catamaran for the most spectacular night of your trip.

We set out on the open seas at golden hour, our favourite time of day at Volivoli.

Just before the sun goes down, we cruise the peaceful waters encompassing the surrounding islands, including Malake and Nananu-i-Ra, and head out towards Bligh Water.

Listen to some good tunes, snack on canapes served by our on-board steward, and sip free-flowing champagne and beer as the sky turns from vibrant coral, to burnt orange and fiery red—it might just be the most stunning sunset you’ve ever seen.

Feeling brave? Jump off the boat into the warm waters, basking in the last glowing embers of the sun before it dips into the ocean for itself.

We’ll have you back in time for dinner.

* Prices are only an indication and are subject to change at any time

What to Bring

  • Sunglasses
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Camera

Includes

  • Transportation
  • Sparkling wine and beer
  • Canapes
  • Lifejackets 🙂