A Fijian bula party on Beachcomber Island
- Recommended for:
- Activity, Beach, Gap Year, Budget, Expensive, Mid-range
Beachcomber Island in Fiji is one of those paradise islands that dreams are made of: golden sands, blue seas and a place where you would love to get castaway
Beachcomber Island is the party island of the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji. The majority of tourists to Fiji stay in Nadi on the mainland in all inclusive hotel resorts and might pop out on a day trip to one of Fiji's many islands. This island retreat is every beach lover's dream, golden sands with blue sea and towering palm trees.
There are lots of activities that will keep you entertained on the island if you don't want to lie on the beach and recover from the night before. The island offers all sorts of watersports including wake boarding, water skiing, jetskiing, paragliding and canoeing. One main reason why people visit the island, apart from the bula parties, is for the diving school, which has a 5 star PADI dive rating.
Every day there are specific daytime activities planned such as volleyball, cocktail mixing, coral viewing, fish feeding and turtle feeding. If you want some tips on how to recreate some of the dishes that you ate on the island there is also the option of island cooking lessons. If you are into fishing then you can participate in a fishing trip, where you may catch a range of fish from barracuda to marlin.
There are some day trips that are offered from the island such as shopping, pubcrawls or seafari. These trips give you the option to experience life on different islands and if you are a fan of Tom Hanks' film Castaway then the seafari trip will let you visit Modriiki Island, where it was filmed.
The sun is extremely strong. In fact my friend that I travelled with got second degree burns, so I would recommend that you bring adequate supplies of sunscreen.
I imagined that the party island would have a range of bars and nightclubs that could be visited, however all the nightlife on the island takes place in the same spot at the Barefoot Bar as the island is approximately the size of a football pitch. It is a great venue, however if you are on the island for a long time then you will soon get to know everyone so there may be some people you love or some people that you wish you could escape from in paradise.
Every evening will commence with entertainment. There is a Polynesian and Fijian cultural floor show at least four nights per week. On Wednesday and Saturday nights, the staff from the island will perform traditional songs and dances. Other entertainment includes fire eating, dancing and limbo competitions or Fiji bula parties. There is an island or imported DJ every night, which will make the parties go on for the majority of the night. The biggest highlight of the parties for me was the bula dance, a song that the DJ gets everyone to sing and dance to. The words to the song go something like this, 'left left, right, right, bula to the left and bula to the right. We came to bula party' and so it continues.
The cuisine was my least favourite part of the experience. It was not very nice and is included in the price of the accommodation. Unfortunately there is nowhere else to buy food apart from snacks during the day. However, I was really pleased that I purchased some supplies at the airport and took them to the island. If you get caught with food or drink bought from elsewhere it can be taken away from you, luckily I managed to hide mine. The cheese toasties that you can buy from the bar kept me going, as by the end of my stay I couldn't face eating anything from the all inclusive buffet.
There are three main options for all arrivals to Beachcomber Island Fiji. The accommodation is owned by the same company and you can choose from a place in a dorm, a lodge or one of the private bures.
A bunk bed in the dorm is probably different to what you would expect. The main dorm has approximately 84 bunk beds, which are covered by some netting but not a solid roof. If there is a storm during the night, you will get wet and with 84 people sleeping in very close proximity to each other it may be unlikely that you get any sleep at all. It is a party island after all. A bed in the dorm costs 114 Fijian Dollars per night.
The next type of accommodation is the lodge rooms, which is where we stayed. There are 16 lodge rooms and it costs Fijian $365 for a twin. The lodge rooms are basic, but clean and quite comfortable and have ensuites too.
If you want to experience luxury on Beachcomber then the best option is a place in one of the 22 bures. A bure is Fijian for a wood and straw hut or cabin and the cost of these ranges from Fijian $479 - $529, depending on whether you fancy a beachfront or ocean view.
How to get to Beachcomber Island
We booked our transfer to Beachcomber Island at the airport, where we got a taxi to the port in Nadi and then a speed boat ride that took 30 minutes. The cost of an unscheduled transfer is about Fijian $200. One tip is to remember to get enough cash out at the airport, as there is no ATM on the island.
We arrived late at night at Nadi Airport and would recommend staying a night in Nadi. Try Nomads Skylodge Hotel if you are on a strict backpacking budget or if you have cash to splash you could stay somewhere like the Tanoa International Hotel.