Imagine waking up in a beachside Bure to the sound of a drum. You know that means breakfast is served.
You finish breakfast, grab your book and find one of the shady hammocks right next to the white sandy beach.
At times, you roll out of the hammock and take a dip in the warm, crystal clear blue water.
All of a sudden you hear the drums again! It’s already lunch time. That must have been a good book.
The afternoon calls for exploring the shallow reefs around the island. Beautiful coral and wonderful reef fish enjoying life under sun’s rays cutting through the water.
Life is definitely enjoyable at Nacula Island in Fiji, and affordable too!
A week at this place is enough to come home refreshed and relaxed, but leaves you wanting it to last forever.
Oarsman’s Bay Lodge is a small resort on Nacula Island, run by the locals from the village. Next door is the Blue lagoon Resort. It is more upmarket, but definitely does not have the local feel of Oarsman’s Bay Lodge.
The staff at the Lodge become your instant family for the week, and every night they hold a traditional kava session with their guests. That is also the time to learn their traditional songs and dances. Boy do they sound beautiful (when being sung by the Fijian’s and not us).
With two family Bures, 6 individual Bures and a dormitory sleeping 14 persons, it is definitely not crowded, but very affordable.
The other guests become part of your extended Oarsman’s bay family.
On some afternoons the lodge runs games, such as resort olympics. At night, they provide numerous activities including cross-dressing, so come prepared.
The boys looked beautiful don’t you think?
When new guests arrive the staff wait with a beautiful greeting song. For the other guests, when you hear that, you know there will be new people to meet.
When it’s time to leave, the staff sing you the traditional Fijian farewell aong “Isa lei.” That is my favourite, though it almost brought a tear to my eye when it was our turn to leave **sniff**
In the afternoons you will find various staff members sprawled throughout the shady gardens having a nap. Seeing this just makes you forget the outside world, and do exactly the same thing!!
OK, I know I have described this place like somewhere I could not last a week because of lack of activity. I can guarantee you that it is not short on activities. I was there with 3 other girls, and they will safely tell you that I found them plenty of things to do and not all of them costly.
The things we did:
1. Dragged the girls out of bed and did a sunrise walk up the mountain. The view was breathtaking! We had to do this barefoot because of the mud after it rained every night. That just added to the experience.
Our personal guard dog, Charlie, also came along.
2. Snorkelling tour on the reefs.
3. Village visit: meeting the locals, the school children singing for us, finding out the history of the village and the building of the chief’s hut, and seeing their basic medical centre.
4. Cave diving. This was ultimate! These caves are featured in the movie Blue Lagoon. It is fully dark when you make it into the main cave. The highlight was everyone singing happy birthday to me with the echo. Jumping off the sides was super fun as well.
That’s us inside the cave with Ili, our wonderful guide.
Did I mention they made me a birthday cake??? such a nice family.
5. Visiting honeymoon island. There is fantastic snorkelling just off this one.
It was so nice we jumped for joy.
We found some crabs and created a crab race.
6. Exploring Nacula island. We climbed over the rock edges to make our way around. This is a big island, so making it the whole way around would be impossible. We came across a man with a machete who told us about a “short cut” back to the lodge. This was more like a survivor style course. So much fun.
7. The girls did an island hop, which I didn’t personally attend. They loved it and it allowed them to see other resorts.
8. Playing beach volleyball every afternoon with the Oarsman’s Bay Lodge staff and Blue Lagoon Staff.
Some of the older men would hang around the edges making kava. I’m happy to report that I have crushed some tree root which contributed to the kava making process.
9. Turn a windsurfing board into a makeshift paddle board.
10. Relax, relax and relax!
Nacula island is in the Yasawa group of islands Fiji. To get there, you have to fly into Nadi (only 3.5 hour flight from Brisbane, Australia). The Yasawa flyer takes you up to the island. Because it is the furthest away, it stops at every other resort along the way. The trip is about 4.5 hours.
Buying a Bula pass on the Yasawa flyer means you can use the service numerous times and book yourself into different resorts along the way. Just hop on and pick your next stay. This was really good for the backpackers we came across who had more than a week to spare, unlike us.
A week on Nacula Island in Fiji is perfect for anyone wanting to get away from the daily grind, needing to relax, wanting some sun, experiencing Fijian culture, taking their family on a holiday and for backpackers finalizing their world tour.
For the sailors out there, Oarsman’s Bay is a great place to anchor as well.
Oarsman’s Bay Lodge: http://www.oarsmansbaylodge.com
Yasawa Flyer: http://www.awesomefiji.com