advertisement

Fishing -- The waters off southern Viti Levu are renowned for their big game fish, especially when the tuna and mahimahi are running from January to May, and when big wahoos pass by in June and July. The women's world records for wahoo and trevally were set here. Xtasea Charters (tel. 345 0280; www.xtaseacharters.com) can tailor excursions -- from going for big ones offshore to trolling for smaller but exciting catch inshore. A full day of big game fishing costs about F$1,860 (US$1,208/£620). Reef fishing is less expensive, at F$1,050 (US$682/£350). Xtasea also has snorkeling trips to Beqa Lagoon for F$950 (US$617/£317). Up to six persons can be accommodated on each trip.

Golf -- Robert Trent Jones, Jr., designed the scenic 18-hole, par-72 Pearl Championship Fiji Golf Course (tel. 345 0905), on the north side of the Queen's Road, at the Pearl South Pacific hotel. Some of its fairways cross lakes; others cut their way through narrow valleys surrounded by jungle-clad hills. Greens fees are F$40 (US$26/£13), and the pro shop has equipment for rent. The clubhouse restaurant is open daily from 7am to 7pm.

Jet Skiing -- An adventurous way to see Beqa lagoon is on a 60km (37-mile) excursion led by Jetski Safari (tel. 345 0933; www.jetski-safari.com). Depending on weather conditions, you will speed across Beqa Passage and explore Beqa Island's picturesque Malumu Bay. The boats also stop for snorkeling on a tiny sand islet in the lagoon. Up to three persons can ride on each boat (realistically, two adults and one child) for F$285 (US$185/£95) per craft.

Jungle Canopy Rides -- ZIP Fiji (tel. 930 0545; www.zip-fiji.com) has strung wires in a rainforest between Pacific Harbour and Suva; you are strapped into a harness and ride from platform to platform high up in the jungle canopy, sometimes as fast as 50kph (30 mph). Some wires are 200m (650 ft.) long and 30m (98 ft.) up in the trees. The rides cost F$115 (US$75/£38) per adult; children ages 5 to 17 are charged half price. Reservations are required.

River Rafting & Kayaking -- The South Pacific's best white-water rafting is with Rivers Fiji (tel. 800/446-2411 in the U.S., or 345 0147; fax 345 0148; www.riversfiji.com). This American-owned outfit uses inflatable rafts and kayaks for trips through the Upper Navua River Gorge, the "Grand Canyon of Fiji" and an official conservation area. I have met experienced rafters who say the Navua Gorge was one of their top experiences. The adventures cost about US$170 (£85) per person. It also has inflatable kayaking trips -- "funyacking," it calls them -- on the 'Luva River, another picturesque waterway up in the Namosi Highlands, for US$130 (£65) per person. Their 6-day multisport trips include kayaking down the 'Luva, sea kayaking in the Beqa Lagoon, and white-water rafting the Navua Gorge. Prices for the long trips start at US$2,375 (£1,288). Reservations are essential.

Videos and brochures often feature tourists lazily floating down a Fijian river on a raft made of bamboo poles lashed together. In the old days, mountain-dwelling Fijians really did use bilibilis -- flimsy bamboo rafts -- to float their crops downriver to market. They would discard the rafts and walk home. Discover Fiji Tours (tel. 345 0180; www.discoverfijitours.com) takes you upriver by motorized canoe and usually brings you back on a bilibili (ask if the bilibili ride is included before you sign up). These 7-hour trips cost F$115 (US$75/£38) per person from Pacific Harbour, more from Nadi and the Coral Coast. Reservations and a minimum of three passengers are required.

The Navua River is a scenic delight as it cuts its way through the foothills. Depending on how much it has rained recently, you'll have a few gentle rapids to negotiate, and you'll stop for dips in waterfalls that tumble right into the river. Wear swimsuits and sandals, but bring a sarong to wear in the Fijian village, where you'll be welcomed at a yaqona (kava) ceremony.

Scuba Diving -- Pacific Harbour is famous for its shark-feeding dives, especially over the nearby Shark Reef Marine Reserve. You're almost guaranteed to come close to large bull and tiger sharks as well as six reef species. You watch from behind a man-made coral wall while the dive master does the feeding. Only experienced divers need apply for these exciting excursions.

Beqa Adventure Divers (tel. 345 0911; www.fiji-sharks.com) pioneered the shark-feeding dives and charges F$110 (US$71/£37) for a one-tank excursion, and F$200 (US$130/£67) for two tanks. San Francisco-based Aqua-Trek (tel. 800/541-4334 or 345 0324; fax 345 0324; www.aquatrek.com) also has shark-feeding dives among its repertoire. Both companies also dive in Beqa Lagoon, and Aqua-Trek teaches resort diving and a full range of PADI courses.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.