Think outside the box this Schoolies and go behind the scenes to experience true Fijian friendship. Fiji may be a small group of islands, but the impact its people has on visitors is enormous! Rustic will take you on an exclusive program to villages where no other schoolies students go. Escape the crowds and have a personal experience where you’ll live like the locals. After the intensity of all those years of school, kick back and enjoy a week of laid back Fiji time. Soak up the charm of these friendly islands, then help build a school and teach local Fijian kids! Relax beneath towering waterfalls, play some water rugby in a nearby river, lend a hand at a grass-roots farming enterprise, visit and work within a small rural kindergarten (the local children will love you!), engage with friendly villagers and learn about another way of life, explore remote trails and come away experiencing a side of Fiji that few visitors have the opportunity to witness, understand and be a part of. Our Fijian Highlands Immersion trip is an insane blend of off-the-beaten track adventures within a safe, welcoming and fun group travel experience. Come by yourself, or bring your school mates for an adventure that reaches way beyond the typical schoolies week. You’ll come home raving about the friends you make, the activities you enjoy, and the places you visit.
Australian citizens do not need a visa for entry as a tourist into Fiji. On arrival into Fiji, immigration will issue Australian citizens with a tourist visa for entry into the county. No prior arrangements for Australian citizens are needed.
Participants will not be accompanied by a flight leader. Our program staff will greet participants when they arrive at Nadi Airport in Fiji.
Fiji is 3.5 hours by air from Brisbane, 4 hours by air from Melbourne, and 9 hours by air from Perth.
The start date listed is when you need to be in Fiji and the departure date listed is the date you will depart Fiji.
Participants need to arrive before 4pm on the arrival date and need to depart in the afternoon/evening on the departure date.
This program operates on the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu. This program will be traveling to the mountain region of Viti Levu about 2 hours from Nadi.
Each program will have leaders who are certified in First Aid and CPR. Some of our program leaders are also certified as Wilderness First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), Wilderness EMTs, or Life Guards.
Rustic Pathways maintains a minimum of 1 Program Leader for every 7 participants.
Rustic Pathways uses sterilization techniques to ensure that all drinking water for participants is potable and safe to drink. We ask participants to bring reusable water bottles in order to reduce plastic usage.
Participants are allowed to bring phones on their Rustic Pathways program, but must abide by our cell phone policy. Participants will not be allowed to use their phones during group activities, nor at any other time where it is disruptive to the group dynamic. If participants are unable to abide by this policy, disciplinary action may be taken.
Fiji operates at 240 V and uses plug I, the same as in Australia and New Zealand.
The weather is an average of 30 degrees Celsius. Rain is likely as it is the start of the wet season.
The focus of the trip will be in the mountains where participants will be in homestays with local families. Participants will also spend time at a hostel where they will sleep on mattresses and have access to running water and cold showers. Each home style will vary but include a mattress, running water and flush toilet. Each homestay will have 2 participants of the same gender. Participants will also spend a night at a farm where they will stay in traditional Fijian bures/huts on a mattress on the ground. There will be little to no accessible electricity while on this portion of the trip.
Participants will also stay at the Eco Lodge where they will have electricity, a hot shower, and common amenities.
Each location has its own resident chef and team of cooking staff. Participants will eat a combination of local Fijian dishes and more western-style dishes. Breakfasts typically include cereal, breads, eggs, crackers, and fruit. Lunches and dinners range from traditional Fijian lovo feasts of chicken, cassava, and dalo (root crops similar to potatoes) to barbeques, pastas, stir fries, curries, salads, and vegetables. Vegetarians can easily be catered for, and most dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
Many of our homestay families in Fiji have been hosting Rustic Pathways participants for years. Homestay families have been interviewed and trained on Rustic Pathways rules and protocols. Our local staff within the community holds homestay families to a high standard of accountability while participants are in the village.
While staying in the mountains there are bucket showers or river bathing and flush toilets. At the eco-lodge, there are western showers and toilets.
Local phone cards typically offer the best rates (about $5 for 15mins) and participants can purchase these when in Fiji. Participants are not allowed to use cell phones during scheduled program activities.
Safe arrival emails will be sent out when participants settle in country. Participants will have the opportunity at least once during the week to check the Internet in town.
Laundry can be washed by hand at any time. It is best to pack without the expectation of doing laundry.
On average, our programs in Fiji are 60% female and 40% male.
Please visit HX Global or Smart Traveller for an up to date report on current situations regarding visiting Fiji. Staff will alert participants if any changes to safety occur within the country.
Please consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for immunization and other medical recommendations, based on the area(s) where you will be traveling and on your own medical history. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, please visit the following websites for country specific information around immunizations and traveler’s health. Please let us know if you have specific questions.
www.traveldoctor.com.au – The Travel Doctor
www.smartraveller.gov.au – Australian Government Travel Advice
www.cdc.gov – Centre of Disease Control (US)
HX Global is one of the world’s leading providers of medical evacuation and travel services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways will have access to HX Global benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership.
As a member you will have access to HX Global’s extensive travel information database to help you make informed decisions prior to travel. Additionally, all travelers who travel outside their country of residence will have access to medical evacuation support during their program.
While in the mountains, participants are 3-4 hours away by bus. While at the eco-lodge, participants are 40 minutes away by bus.
For more critical cases participants are an additional 3 hours away from the more advanced private hospital, and 4-hour flight to Western-style in New Zealand or Australia.
This program can cater to most specific diets including but not limited to vegetarian, vegan, gluten and lactose free, as well as peanut free cooking.
Mosquitos are prevalent in Fiji and participants are expected to bring bug spray.
Personal gifts, Internet, phone calls, and snacks are not included. All other costs (accommodation, meals, in-country transportation, and activities) are included in the program price.
AUS $100-$200 depending on the number of souvenirs, snacks and ice creams you would like.
Rustic Pathways works with local community leaders and organizations to identify and prioritize the needs of each community. This program will focus on various education and infrastructure initiatives.
Rustic Pathways Travel Pty Ltd
ACN 145 984 452 ABN 82 145 984 452
Vic Travel Agent's License No. TA-0032954-C
1800 321 435 (within Australia)
+61 3 5972 0862 (outside Australia)
+61 3 8738 1553 (fax)
PO Box 3453
Mornington VIC 3931, Australia