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Coral Coast Holidays, Fiji Islands

fiji islands

In this Article  —   by Ian Osborn
Coral Coast Holidays —  Sigatoka & Valley  —  Korolevu & Rainforest  —  Pacific Harbour  —  Beqa Lagoon & Shark Dive  —  Namosi Highlands

The Coral Coast is popular as a family holiday destination and it's easy to see why. The region is quick to reach from Nadi Airport so there's no hanging around for a boat or plane - just hop in a taxi or coach and you're there in an hour or so no matter what time of day you arrive. But the other great appeal is that there is plenty to see and do along the beautiful coastline from great golf courses to river rafting and waterfall treks.The beaches aren't the best though - they are pretty enough to look at but usually of coarse sand and the lagoon in places can be too shallow for swimming.

With a dozen or so large resorts offering great value all inclusive holiday packages, and a handful of small motel style accommodations, the Coral Coast is an affordable holiday option compared to the offshore "island resorts" which sell at a premium.

 

Reasons to Visit Coral Coast
  • Great Value Family Holidays
  • Weddings & Group Receptions
  • Fantastic Sightseeing & Golf Courses
  • Shark Dive off Pacific Harbour
  • Exploring Rainforest & Villages
Best Coral Coast Hotels


Coral Coast Holidays Overview

The Coral Coast meanders for around 50 kilometres starting off as dry rolling hills around Sigatoka and gradually turning to a more rugged landscape of tropical mountains covered in dense rainforest. The beaches here are pretty but with only narrow and often shallow lagoons for swimming and snorkelling.

Sigatoka, a small market town beside the river, is a 1-hour drive from Nadi Town and is the market centre for the Coral Coast villages. The town has a lively outdoor market where fresh produce is brought down from the fertile Sigatoka River Valley by truck or boat. There is excellent sightseeing in this region, both up the valley and along the coast with the Sigatoka Sandunes National Park a highlight. Nearby Natadola Golf Course is the best in Fiji

Further east towards Suva the rainforest kicks in making it a great spot for adventure, especially around Pacific Harbour. Here there are shard dives, white water river rafting and zip lines through the rainforest. Pacific Harbour is a 2hr 30min journey from Nadi Airport and just 40-minutes from Suva City.

sigatoka pottery village

One of the most scenic drives in Fiji meanders along the Coral Coast darting in and out of sleepy roadside villages and crossing numerous creeks descending from the mountains. There are few specific attractions on the Coral Coast apart from its scenery, but situated mid way between the sites of Sigatoka and the activities of Pacific Harbour, and with plenty of accommodation, it makes a good holiday base to enjoy the two.

Sigatoka Town & River Valley

Sigatoka marks the start of the Coral Coast although two of Fiji's largest resorts lie just before the town: The Shangri-La Fijian Resort is located on rocky Yanuca Island connected to the Queens Highway by bridge and there's a small cultural centre opposite with a reconstructed ancient Fijian village. You can also catch a beautified colonial sugar train to Natadola Beach which lies 10-minutes up the coast towards Nadi. Natadola is the best beach on the mainland and has good body surfing and a couple of reasonable beach breaks good for beginners. It's a popular spot on weekends with locals.

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picture of Intercontinental Resort beach
The large majestic Intercontinental Resort has beautifully appointed contemporary styled rooms and suites aimed at both couples and families. Set on the white sands of Natadola Beach, the Intercontinental offers a private golf course, three swimming pools and a spa centre.
Shangri-La Fijian Resort, Yanuca Island
F$ 630 - 1,875 per couple
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picture of the Fijian Resort beach
This is the largest resort in Fiji and is great for both families and couples with separate wings dedicated to each. The hotel has a plenty of watersports and day tours along the coast, a 9-hole golf course, tennis, beautiful wedding chapel and five restaurants for dining out.


Just before reaching the market town of Sigatoka is the Sandunes National Trust Site. Fijian guides can be provided from the information centre and there are well maintained tracks leading through coastal forest to the sand dunes which help preserve and protect this fragile ecosystem. Pottery sherds dating to 3000 years ago are scattered in the sand, evidence of settlement by the early Lapita people. The sand dunes reach heights of up to 50 metres and the wild beach with crashing waves makes an exceptional place to walk and surf.

beach along coral coast fiji

Two scenic dirt roads lead inland from Sigatoka Town running either side of the the Sigatoka River and each offers great sightseeing through valleys and rural farms with two points of notable interest. On the Sigatoka Town side of the river, about two kilometres inland, is the Nakabuta Pottery Village. The village makes traditional style pottery and demonstrations are displayed in the large Meeting House bure. On the Suva side of the river is the Tavuni Hill Fort National Historic Site. A trail leads up a steep hill, the top of which an ancient Tongan Fort remains. Highlights of this historic site include the killing stone, used in the times of Cannibalism, and sweeping views across the Sigatoka River Valley.


There are several small beach motels and restaurants in the beach suburb of Korotogo known as the Sunset Strip as well as the large Outrigger Lagoon Resort perched on a hill overlooking the ocean and with a beautiful spa centre. Opposite the resort is the interesting Kula Eco Park which has many of Fiji's endemic species of wildlife.

Outrigger Resort, Coral Coast
F$ 495 - 1,295 per couple
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picture of Outrigger Resort beach
The Outrigger Resort combines modern comfort with traditional Fijian culture. Accommodation is in ocean rooms or plantation bungalows and the focus is on a huge landscaped swimming pool. The beachfront is OK for sunbathing although not good for swimming or snorkelling.

Bedarra Inn, Korotogo Beach
F$ 180 - 195 per couple
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picture of Bedarra Inn beach
Bedarra Inn is a budget motel situated across the road from the Sunset Strip beach in Korotogo. With 20 spacious rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, a picturesque pool, restaurant and bar, this is a great base for a budget holiday with easy access to the fantastic sights of the Coral Coast and shopping in Sigatoka Town

East of Sigatoka Town, the scenery begins to change from rolling grassy hills to a more rugged coastline doused in denser forest. There is also a distinct change in climate - here begins the wet tropical side of Viti Levu. For many, this vibrant scenery with swathes of emerald green are refreshing. Here too begins a parade of traditional fishing villages along the coastal highway.
Fiji Hideaway Resort, Coral Coast
F$ 355 - 595 per couple
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picture of Fiji Hideaway Resort beach
Fiji Hideaway Resort is located alongside the Queens Highway on a small sandy beach with shallow lagoon and surfing passage. This is a lively resort with organised events throughout the day and night, ideal for young couples or families. Duplex bungalows are set in a garden setting.

Tambua Sands Resort, Coral Coast
F$ 195 - 230 per couple
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picture of Tambua Sands Resortbeach
Tambua Sands is a small beach resort offering spacious accommodation on a picturesque beach along the Coral Coast. This is a quiet resort, ideal for couples looking for a more intimate atmosphere and looking to explore the nearby sightseeing attractions.


Korolevu & The Rainforest

Heading east from Korolevu towards Pacific Harbour and Suva, there are several tours available into the rainforest to see waterfalls, caves and local villages. As the hills become more rugged, the coastal highway detours inland. Set in secluded bays off the highway are several lovely small resorts, Mango Bay for young budget travellers. All are on picturesque beaches and have access to great snorkelling, game fishing and shark diving off Beqa Island.

Warwick Fiji Resort, Coral Coast
F$ 595 - 995 per couple
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picture of Warwick Hotel beach
The Warwick offers a protected swimming lagoon fronted by tall coconut trees and has two swimming pools. The resort is ideal for couples or families looking for a relaxed atmosphere yet with the convenience and amenities of a large resort and with good sightseeing nearby.

Naviti Hotel, Korolevu
F$ 470 - 940 per couple
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picture of Naviti Hotel beach
The Naviti is a large resort aimed at families with young kids and offers great value all inclusive meal, drinks and ice cream deals which let you relax by not having to worry about spending. Set on a small beach with two swimming pools, The Naviti has a great kids club and lots of organise activities by day and night.

Crusoe's Retreat, Coral Coast
F$ 275 - 350 per couple
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picture of Crusoe's Retreat  beach
Crusoe's Retreat offers affordable bures for adventurous couples tucked into a pristine bay, surrounded by tropical rainforest and adjacent to a traditional Fijian village. Crusoe's is close to the fabulous sightseeing around Pacific Harbour.
Waidroka Bay, Pacific Harbour
F$ 250 - 395 per couple
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picture of Waidroka Bay beach
Waidroka Bay Resort is tucked off the Queens Highway in a secluded tropical bay facing the ocean. With access to world famous scuba diving and surfing passages around Beqa Lagoon, and mid way between Nadi and Suva, Waidroka is a decent base for adventure holiday-makers.

Mango Bay Resort, Serua Bay
F$ 200 - 280 per couple / $ 30 dorm
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picture of Mango Bay Resort beach
Mango Bay Resort is a budget resort located on a picturesque beach along the Coral Coast. With twelve acres of tropical gardens overlooking the secluded bay, this is the ideal retreat for budget travellers looking for comfortable living with a vibrant atmosphere at night and lots of activities during the day.

Beachouse, Coral Coast
F$ 150 - 180 per couple / $ 45 dorm
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picture of Beachouse beach
The Beach House is a small friendly family run backpacker hang-out attracting travellers of all ages. With a pretty beach side location, tall coconut trees and mature landscaped gardens, the Beachouse is a long-established backpackers and a great base for chilling or exploring.


Other Accommodation on the Coral Coast

Beach Cocomo, Coral Coast
Crow's Nest, Coral Coast
Tubakula Beach, Coral Coast


Pacific Harbour

view over the tropical rain forest

Pacific Harbour is the adventure tourism centre about an hour drive east from most Coral Coast hotels and just 40-minutes from Suva City. Pacific Harbour is primarily a residential area with a couple of hotels set alongside a decent beach and a couple of independent restaurants. It's two biggest attractions are the Arts Village / Cultural Centre, and the fantastic Pacific Harbour Golf Course, but unfortunately both are mostly overlooked by tourists and seem to have passed their best years. What is keeping the area alive today is its deep sea fishing and scuba diving appeal most notably the shark dives around Beqa Lagoon (40-minutes by boat).

Pearl South Pacific, Pacific Harbour
F$ 420 - 850 per couple
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picture of Pearl South Pacific beach
The Pearl Resort is located on the sweeping beach at Pacific Harbour, the adventure activity centre of Fiji. This contemporary designed resort offers a great base for exploring the surrounding environment, be it the championship golf course, the tropical mountains or traditional villages.
Uprising Resort, Pacific Harbour
F$ 255 - 395 per couple / $ 45 dorm
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picture of Uprising Resortbeach
Uprising Beach Resort Fiji offers traditional thatch bures facing the ocean with an atmospheric restaurant and bar. This is a good base for enjoying an active holiday including jet ski, kayaking, scuba diving expeditions to Beqa Lagoon and adventure tours up the Navua River and into the tropical rainforests of the Nausori Highlands
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picture of Lagoon Resort beach
Lagoon Resort is set in the residential area of Pacific Harbour overlooking the river and golf course. Specialises in the world famous soft coral reefs and shark dives in nearby Beqa Lagoon and there are plenty of adventure tours in the surrounding rainforest.

Beqa Lagoon

One of the main reasons people visit Pacific Harbour is for game fishing and scuba diving around Beqa Lagoon which is around 30-minutes by boat from Pacific Harbour. Although the famous Beqa shark dives are purely commercial with sharks being lured in by bait almost on a daily basis for the past ten years, it doesn’t negate the excitement of coming face to face with these ancient predators. On a good day you may see over a hundred sharks in the two dives, which range from 15 to 30 metres in depth, and will include Reef Sharks, Silver-tip Sharks, Tawny Nurse Sharks, Sicklefin Lemon Sharks, Bull Sharks and the occasional Tiger Shark as well as schools of other large fish taking advantage of the free feed. Both operators offer PADI dive courses as well as regular daily dives to explore the soft corals and wrecks around Beqa Lagoon. The shark dives are available through Beqa Adventure Divers or Aqua Trek Beqa.

Navua River & Namosi Rainforest

The stunning interior of Viti Levu is often veiled in clouds and its roads sometimes inaccessible. Some of the richest rainforests are found inland from Pacific harbour, notably the Sovi Basin and the Namosi Highlands. Fijian villages are found throughout this interior, many of which are far from roads and electricity. Here lies the most remote and conservative village environments, and the most hospitable of Fijians. The region is steeped in history and tradition, has some breathtaking mountain scenes, river gorges, caves, waterfalls indigenous flora, bird life and scenic lookouts. The area is excellent to explore but there is nowhere to stay, buses are infrequent and few tour companies offer these off the beaten track itineraries. To get close to this mystical environment tale an organised boat trips up the Navua River and or a 4WD drive adventure into the Namosi Highlands to explore walking tracks through the rainforest leading to waterfalls. There's even Grade 4 white water river rafting on the Lua River (from November to April only).




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