Roundtrip: Australia –> Fiji -> Australia

After I started my trip in May, I was about to plan everything a little bit more detailed and it was an easy decision to add a roundtrip Australia/ Fiji to my travel planning.

First destination: Fiji

After I had passed the first week of the new year in Sydney, I took off again to Fiji.  This has always been one of my dream destinations as I always got wanderlust in watching the surf events in Fiji and everything that was additionally shown of the islands. As a reason of that I had the plan, if I’ll every get the opportunity to go there to take the chance and do it.

Arriving on the main island Viti Levu in Nadi, I just got to feel the tropical, humid heat again and my first view was on the green mountains.

At the arrival terminal was a small band welcoming the tourists with guitar music and singing ? ?

The driver that picked my up at the airport explained to me in detail, which way is the best and fastest to get around on the streets of Fiji. This always includes to drive at a maximum of possible speed, know the shortcuts and if nothing is working out anymore, the sidewalks are also an option. Handling the police is also very easy if you know them, just give them a little bit of cash and this problem is also solved.

Luckily I could do all the things I wanted to do on Fiji, which meant surfing and diving.

I skipped the island hopping, which is normally also really liked by the tourists as I didn’t have enough time and I really don’t know if I’d been happy with such a lot of calm ocean and beach and island life everywhere ?

I could watch some of the traditional dancing, which also included fire shows. Having a cup of Kava, which is THE fijian drink, is obligatory. The local guys said, that if you never had a Kava on Fiji, you’ve never really been there. That meant….. take a big gulp of Kava, which tasted like diluted earth?……

Basically I can say that the island is really beautiful, the locals are always really kind, good-humored and open for any small talk. I experienced, what is being said of the fijian people, that they are one of the kindest people. When they start talking to you on the street with the fijian “Bula” (what means hello), what else can you answer than also “Bula” ??

Second destination: Sunshine Coast

I flew back from Fiji to Australia, Brisbane. I was really lucky to be able to visit friends of mine, Sue and Don, at the sunshine coast.

I got to know the two of them approx. 3 years ago during a surf trip in Morocco. With lots of enthusiasm I listened to their travel stories and that they early retired that year to also use the heaps of time for traveling. The intersting thing was when I wrote them an Email in May from Panama to ask where about they live in Australia and that I’ll be around the eastcoast in the beginning of 2017, the just replied “oh right now we are in Panama, but we’d be happy if you visited us in Australia at the sunshine coast”. That was extremly funny as we have only been some 100 kilometers away from each other ?

I spent 6 days with Sue and Don at the sunshine coast and can only thank them a loooot for their extremly generous hospitality.

Don got me out of the bed the first day at 8 a.m. to go surfing. Afterwards I was so glad he did that, because during my whole stay we only had 2 days of surfing as the surfspots looked more like a lake than anything else the other days. As a reason of that Don could only show me the top spots of Noosa from the shore, which if they had been working they would have been really great rights. The spots are located next to the Coastal Track, which is a beautiful walk alongside the ocean and as we had nothing to do, due to the bad surf conditions, we went to the Noosa National Park and walked the Tanglewood Track back to the parking lot. The following day we also hiked up Mount Coolum.

After the time in Hawaii my “pro surfer stalking career” got started again as Don showed me around the quarter where Julian Wilson is living ?

Sue always cooked great food every day and could show off with her vegetarian repertoire, which I really liked a lot ??

All in all I did have a wonderful time with the two of them, with a lot of tropical heat (>30°C) and flat waves ?

Third destination: Cairns– great barrier reef

From Brisbane I made my way up to Cairns. I got the idea for this destination during my time in Panama as I was doing my diving certificate. In telling a friend about my travel route I got the recommendation, while being in the norhteast of Australia anyway, to go to the great barrier reef for diving. I could not resist to take that chance and stayed 3 nights in Cairns.

Although there are that maaaany discussions about the great barrier reef, that it is anyway already dead and the biodiversity and amount of fish is not that great, I can only say that for myself it was worth doing 3 dives. Never before I had seen such a lot of different and colored fish during my previous dives as I did that day. Additionally the reef formations are extremly awesome. I can not imagine how it must have looked like 10 or 20 years ago…..

I just can say that I did have a lot of fun, took lots of (funny) pics under water and I was enjoying the dives.

Svenja and the ocean

Being in Fiji it’s kind of a challenge to go surfing. There are not that many surf spots which can be reached from the shore, what means that it mostly takes a boat, which sadly is really expensive, to get to the spots around Tavarua island.

One day I went on a beach tour to Natadola and could go surfing with a softboard with the local fijian guys. During low tide the water was only above knee high reef and the waves were really small. That was also a nice experience as I’ve hardly ever surfed on a softboard before. As high tide was coming I could also take my own, shorter board with which it was still hard to catch the waves as this spot is more suitable for longboards. Anyway it was still fun ?


The following day I really took a boat out to cloudbreak. This wave is located at a beautiful spot in the middle of the ocean. When the boat went in direction of the wave, first Tavarua on one side and the judge’s tower being built on the reef for the surf events on the other could be seen. In coming closer the wave also showed up.

In arriving at the spot I was amazed by the wave. It is really fast and tough, but also close to be perfect. Nevertheless I hopped off the boat and paddled into the line- up. I did have lots of respect and took care to always be on the right spot not to get a set on the head. There is definitely better things that can happen than being stuck in the impact zone of cloudbreak? I took all of my courage and paddle power to paddle into one wave. I couldn’t believe as I made the drop and did not get a washing machine. Sadly I was so overwhelmed by it that I didn’t make it properly on the wave and my respect for the reef made me hop off and paddle uncommonly fast back into the line-up.

This wave is for sure a worldclass wave, with which shouldn’t be messed around. That day (which was also my birthday) I was so happy and blessed that I was able I could experience it.

 

As already mentioned I was only able to surf 2 times at the sunshine coast. Thus I don’t have any surf pics?

The only pics I have are those from the flat spots, where normally great waves can be found? At least….. beautiful beaches?