Day 1 Arrival Into Nadi
Upon clearing customs and immigration, you will be greeted by Rustic Pathways’ Fiji leaders, and transported to your new home at our beautiful Eco-Lodge Base. After a round of icebreakers and introductions with the local staff, the group will receive an orientation about the seven days ahead.
Your accommodation during your stay will be at the Eco-Lodge Service Base. The base is located in a rural area, about 40 minutes’ drive from the main town centre of Nadi and is surrounded by cane fields and local farming families, many of whom have lived here for decades. Accommodation will be in bunk bed rooms that sleep up to eight people each. These rooms have their own flush toilets and solar powered hot water systems. The base is situated on 14 acres of land and has extensive areas set aside for the growing of vegetables and fresh local fruits. There is also a swimming pool, small gym and sports ground situated at the base.
Before you finish your first day in Fiji, you will be welcomed in the traditional way, through a formal sevu sevu ceremony. Learn more about the incredible local culture of Fiji as local guides lead you through your first step of cultural understanding as you participate in this ceremony. Sharing in a kava ceremony, with guitars and traditional Fijian songs serenading as you watch the sunset from our huge deck is the perfect end to your first day in Fiji.
Overnight: Rustic Pathways Eco Lodge, Momi Bay
Day 2 Village Life and Zipline
Sunday is a very ceremonial day in the Fijian culture. Fiji’s native people are predominantly Christian, and Sundays are observed as a day of rest. Your new friends around the Base will lend you some traditional Fijian clothing to wear and invite you to church. If you would like to attend, this is a wonderful occasion where the whole village gathers — elders, parents, teenagers, and young children alike — for a morning of singing and respectful thanks for the wonderful environment in which they live. It is impossible not to get caught up in the open delight villagers show towards each other and their surroundings – and the singing makes this a very memorable experience!
This afternoon we’ll head out for some high-flying fun. Soar through the canopies of the rainforest and get your adrenaline pumping as you travel from platform to platform among the trees. Conquer your fear of heights while travelling 50 kph through the air through the air and let out a loud “Wananavu!” as you enjoy stepping outside your comfort zone.
Overnight: Rustic Pathways Eco Lodge, Momi Bay
Day 3-6 Service Projects
Rustic Pathways has developed a wonderful relationship with the local people of Momi Bay and the larger Nadi area. Project work during the course of your program is focused around the six service initiatives we have undertaken at the Eco-Lodge.
You will typically get involved in two projects during the course of the day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. You can expect to spend time working in the local schools, tutoring students in English, getting involved with afternoon sporting events, and facilitating much-needed art and music classes. In addition, you might teach computer literacy classes to older youth and young adults or help a neighbour repair their roof or build a kitchen. You will also get involved in some environmental projects to help preserve the beautiful and fragile ecosystems here. Your service will be varied, interesting, challenging, and extremely rewarding and worthwhile.
In the afternoons and evenings, you will enjoy some of the beautiful natural wonders Fiji has to offer. We’ve included the following activities in the program:
- Beaches – hang out on the white sand beaches
- Hot Mud Pools – a rustic location where warm water flows from beneath the ground, offering the chance to cover yourself in mud and relax in warm to hot pools of water.
- Momi Historical Gunsite – located a short distance from our base, the Gunsite offers an outstanding vista of the waters and nearby islands surrounding Momi Bay.
- Sigatoka Sand-dunes – hike over enormous sand-dunes and take in some stunning coastal vistas along the way.
- Shopping Excursion – enjoy the chance to shop for souvenirs and negotiate for Fijian handicraft bargains at the local markets and retail shops located in Nadi township.
Overnights: Rustic Pathways Eco-lodge Service Base, Momi Bay
Day 7 Island Hopping
After a hearty breakfast this morning, you will enjoy a full-day island-hopping excursion to several of the islands located in the Mamanuca Island group. These islands are located just off Nadi and offer the chance to soak up some sun, swim in the tropical waters and snorkel to explore the underwater world Fiji is famous for. You can expect to set off around 8.30am and return by about 5:00pm.
Overnight: Rustic Pathways Eco-lodge Service Base, Momi Bay
Day 8 Morning Kayak Then Departure
For your final morning in Fiji, explore the beautiful coastline of Momi Bay by kayak, stopping for swims along the way. After lunch, you’ll travel to the airport for some high-fives and final photographs before bidding Fiji an emotional goodbye. Moce! Fiji’s doors will always be open for you to return again!
An Important Note About Schedule Changes
Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity. The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.
Do we need to get visas for this program?
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.
Will there be a flight leader to this country?
Participants will not be accompanied by a flight leader. Our program staff will greet participants when they arrive at Nadi Airport in Fiji.
How long is the flight to this country?
Fiji is 3.5 hours by air from Brisbane, 4 hours by air from Melbourne, and 9 hours by air from Perth.
Does the advertised trip length include international travel time?
The start date listed is when you need to be in Fiji and the departure date listed is the date you will depart Fiji.
What time should I arrive and depart?
Participants need to arrive before 4pm on the arrival date and need to depart in the afternoon/evening on the departure date.
Which areas does this program operate in?
This program operates on the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu at our Eco Lodge Base in Momi Bay, about 40 minutes from Nadi.
Is your staff certified in First Aid?
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.
What is the ratio of Program Leaders to participants?
Rustic Pathways maintains a minimum of 1 Program Leader for every 7 participants.
What water will we be drinking?
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.
Can I bring a cell phone?
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.
What sort of electrical voltage adapters do I need to bring?
Fiji operates at 240 V and uses plug I, the same as in Australia and New Zealand.
What is the weather like?
The weather is an average of 30 degrees Celsius. Rain is likely as it is the start of the wet season.
What will the accommodation on this trip be like?
The Eco Lodge consists of a main house with kitchen and activity space and several small houses that sleep six to eight participants on bunk-beds. Participants share rooms with others of the same gender. Each house has an attached bathroom with solar powered hot water showers, sinks, and flush toilets. There is an infinity-edge swimming pool, soccer field, small weight room, and pool table.
What kind of food will we be eating?
The Eco Lodge 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.
What are the bathroom facilities?
Bathrooms are western style toilets with running water while at the Eco Lodge.
How often will I have access to email and phones?
Participants can call home in the morning of the program before their program departs for the day’s activities. 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.
How often will I have the chance to do laundry?
Laundry can be washed by hand at any time. It is best to pack without the expectation of doing laundry. Laundry can be sent out once a week for FJ$25-$50 a load depending on weight.
How many girls and boys are usually on this trip?
On average, our programs in Fiji are 60% female and 40% male.
What should I know about safety on this program?
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.
What immunisations do we need to get for this trip?
Please consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for immunisation and other medical recommendations, based on the area(s) where you will be travelling and on your own medical history. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, please visit the following websites for country specific information around immunisations and traveller’s health. Please let us know if you have specific questions.
What is my membership with International SOS?
International SOS is one of the world’s leading providers of medical evacuation and travel services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways will have access to International SOS benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership.
As a member you will have access to International SOS’s extensive travel information database to help you make informed decisions prior to travel. Additionally, all travellers who travel outside their country of residence will have access to medical evacuation support during their program.
Where is the nearest healthcare?
We are a 45-minute drive away from a doctor and public hospital in the town of Nadi; 3 hours from a more advanced private hospital in the capital, Suva, and a 4-hour flight to Western-style care in New Zealand or Australia.
Can Rustic Pathways cater to specific diets on this program?
The Eco lodge can cater to most specific diets including but not limited to vegetarian, vegan, gluten and lactose free, as well as peanut free cooking.
Will mosquitoes and/or other insects be a problem on this trip?
Mosquitos are prevalent in Fiji and participants are expected to bring bug spray. Participants will be provided with a mosquito net over each individual bed.
What costs are not included on this trip?
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.
How much spending money do you recommend I bring?
AUS $100-$200 depending on the number of souvenirs, snacks and ice creams you would like.
What service projects will I work on and how are the projects identified?
Rustic Pathways works with local community leaders and organisations to identify and prioritise the needs of each community. This program will focus on various education and infrastructure initiatives.