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Fiji, Vanuatu or Cook Islands?

Australia
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267 posts
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Fiji, Vanuatu or Cook Islands?

Hi All

I know this question has been asked numerous times, but I couldnt find any recent answers.

Friends and I are contemplating going to Fiji next year, for the first time for about a week or so. We in the past tend to go to SE Asia for our holidays but wanted to go somewhere new.

We had Fiji on top of our list, though after some digging there seems to be a few options. I'm just wondering what your thoughts and recommendations are based on:

We are in our mid 30's, like trying a variety of restaurants (we generally have a rule not to dine at the same restaurant twice) like to have a beer or cocktail. We also like hanging by the beach or pool though at the same exploring new places so probably a good mixture.

We're not party animals, go out clubbing til 5am with the doof doof music, we're more pub people who generally like to be in bed by midnight :)

Thoughts and recommendations on places / locations to stay would be good.

Thanks in advance.

Auckland Region...
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1. Re: Fiji, Vanuatu or Cook Islands?

With Fiji you can either stay at Denerau in one of the big resorts (Sheraton, Sofitel, Westin, etc) and you're within easy walk/bus of the restaurants and bars at each resort plus there are a bunch of restaurants and a couple of bars at the Marina. Once you get out to the islands you get much nicer beaches (white sand, clear waters, postcard style) but you will be limited to the bar and restaurant/s on your island. It's not like going somewhere like Thailand or Bali where the nightlife is a big part of the experience. Fiji is much more about the relaxation.

I've only been to the Cook Islands once so other posters could give you a better idea on that.

Australia
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2. Re: Fiji, Vanuatu or Cook Islands?

Great thanks, is Fiji much more expensive food wise than SE Asia in general?

Auckland Region...
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3. Re: Fiji, Vanuatu or Cook Islands?

Yes, Fiji food is notoriously expensive in the resorts. In the restaurants in the marina though prices are more comparable to what you'd pay at an NZ or Aus restaurant.

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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4. Re: Fiji, Vanuatu or Cook Islands?

Hi

All the pacific islands are expensive compared with SE Asia.

I've been to all three countries that you mention.

I would suggest looking at Rarotonga. It's a small island - easy to get around so has access to lots of different restaurants. Beaches are good but a great advantage is that there are numerous self-catering properties and holiday homes. These give the option of saving money by preparing some food 'at home', usually are roomier than hotel rooms but still give the option of eating out as much as you like.

Vanuatu, with its French influence, is really the most expensive of the three. Good food and wines but not cheap.

Waitakere City, New...
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for Mamanuca Islands
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5. Re: Fiji, Vanuatu or Cook Islands?

You could add Outrigger on the Lagoon to your list for consideration but it does come with a warning that this is a family friendly resort and on the larger size however they do have some adults only areas - new adults pool, spa with fantastic views and a place for adults to enjoy tapas, their Ivi restaurant is also adults only (no beach / casual wear). They have other options for eating - casual poolside, a beachfront restaurant - steaks, pizzas etc and buffet options. The good thing is that their location allows guests to get to other places to eat without too much hassle. A short walk will take you to Le Cafe and Bedarra (excellent happy hour at Bedarra) a bit further on is Koko's Bar (they will provide complimentary transfers if needed) and a 10 minute taxi ride will have you in Sigatoka if you want a change of scene. The Outrigger is located on the Coral Coast which is an excellent base for many day time activities such as river rafting, cave tours and much more and if you want a bit of entertainment in the evenings larger resorts such as this will generally see people enjoying an after dinner scene with drinks and music etc until a later hour than is normal out on the islands.

On the other hand if an island does appeal you could check out Musket Cove on Malolo Lailai Island which is not too far from the main island and has three resorts and a separate restaurant to provide some dining choices. Plantation Island Resort seems to be a likely after dinner spot for a bit of fun. We didn't go there in the evening but could hear their music some evenings from where we were staying and they appeared to be having a great time. You don't say when you're going but from April through to September you'll find boats from all around the world moored at Musket Cove. They come for the safe moorings and to meet up with each other and for the Island Bar which provides liquid refreshment at a reasonable price. They are yachties doing the round the world thing in most cases and you won't find too many airs and graces among them but you will find a great sense of fun and a willingness to share a drink or two after dark along with the tales of their adventures so far and what they have planned next. September is Regatta Week at Musket Cove, serious fun for those with a sense of humour! Again, lots of day trips etc available from the island but these are, obviously, slanted towards water activities - island hopping, village visits, dolphin safari, sunset cruise, para gliding to name a few. Nice pool at Musket Cove too and the fact that it has a swim up bar isn't going to loose it any points either. :)

6. Re: Fiji, Vanuatu or Cook Islands?

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