Monthly Archives: March 2015

Taveuni, Fiji – Matangi Private Island, Part Three

Leaving Paradise Taveuni we’re now headed for Matangi Private Island.
So how do we make it over to Matangi? By speed boat and a quick snorkel on the way at Rainbow Reef.

Glass-like water at Rainbow Reef as it’s one of the best snorkelling areas in the world and separates Vanua Levu and Taveuni, (the second and third largest islands of Fiji). Among its many wonders is the Great White Wall, a sunken escarpment blanketed in luminescent white corals. Consistently rated as one of the world’s best dive sites, the wall is reached via a tubular swim-through and starts at a depth of 20 metres.

Snorkelling at Rainbow Reef from our vessel before heading to Matangi. Not far from us is the International Date Line.

Our crew looking after us as with the required equipment, water and sunscreen.

We’ve arrived to a traditional welcome song by the staff at Matangi with eight fox terriers jumping around in the water to meet us as well.

And who best to show our group around is Sireli (centre) who is the resident ‘go to’ person who can help with any enquiries.

Bures are on the beach frontage and an easy walk to the main dining area, spa, library and pool.

Standard accommodation appears to be superior in so many ways. Love the open louvers allowing a constant breeze without having to turn on the air conditioning. A big thumbs up in my book.

However, there’s a Tree Top Villa which is pure luxury and ideal for Honeymooners.
Surrounded by lush tropical foliage, offering ultimate privacy and yet only steps from the beach, these three split-level Treehouses are unique to this island.

Matangi Private Island is listed in Conde Nast Traveler as one of the “Top Five Most Romantic Resorts in Fiji”

At Horseshoe Bay there’s the opportunity for more snorkelling and an afternoon tea (this is an additional option which can be taken after you arrive). You’ll uncover the tranquillity of an intimate hideaway of a 240-acre unique horseshoe-shaped Fiji island paradise; boasting virgin tropical rainforest, white sand beaches and volcanic rock faces rising from crystal clear waters.

Spa treatments are additional but so worth it. The variety of treatments on offer include the traditional Fijian Bobo massage, Lava Shell massage, Hot Stone massage, Earth Sea Salt Body Glow and Coconut Sugar Glow.

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Sunset dinner for two can be arranged.

Cooking demonstrations are part of the day as an activity to guests.



Courtney makes friends with the resident goat Blackie.

A traditional dance is held before dinner – hot stuff and candy for the eye!

Matangi Food
Truly? This is the best lobster I’ve ever eaten in my life. Not sure where the owners source their sea food but don’t change!

Taveuni Island, Fiji Part Two

What would we have done without our multi-skilled pilot Sam taking a ‘selfie’? We’d have to do our ourselves of course …

Here we’re flying over the main island of Viti Levu which is Fiji’s largest island and down below is where Fiji Water flourishes and is produced. Best natural water on the planet as far as I’m concerned and it was interesting to see shelves of it throughout European supermarkets late last year.

Heading towards Taveuni – it’s a 1 hour and 15 minute flight.

Also known as the Garden Island and third largest of the Fijian group it’s spectacular doesn’t matter which way you look.

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We’re about to land at Matei Airport.

Baggage arrival and away we go.

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Yes we were picked up and transferred to our first night stay at Paradise Taveuni and what an adventure as most of the northern part of the island is an unsealed road. It is about an hour or so by vehicle depending on the conditions.

The owners weren’t the only ones to greet us, Beethoven came along as well.

Orange juice you say? Not likely …

Beautifully manicured gardens throughout this resort.


Who needs air conditioning here!

Paradise Taveuni known for it’s close proximity to Rainbow Reef is a haven for snorkelers and diving.

Just when you think the sunset can’t be any better, there’s another one to take your heart away.


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So what to do after all the swimming, eating, watching superb sunsets? A game of Jenga is the order of the day with our own Ellie the expert, resident owner and company who care to play. Another round of Fijian 8-year old rum will do that to you!

Fiji – Frontliner’s Conference. Part One

Photo courtesy of Fiji Airways.

With Fiji Airways showing off their new uniforms and livery, we’re off to Fiji for the Frontliner’s Conference to learn more about the products, services and facilities on offer to share with our clients. And some site inspections …

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Right now can’t think of a better place to go.

Room with a view alright!

Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa is located on beautiful Denarau Island. This five star Fiji resort overlooks the beachfront, adjacent to the world class Denarau Golf and Racquet Club.

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And what better way to start a conference, mingling and networking at the Radisson Blu with Ellie, Karen, Liz and Julie.

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Relaxing at the Radisson. It doesn’t matter which property you stay at, the sunsets are amazingly spectacular.

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What a treat, we’ve had the pleasure of listening to the local school children’s choir at a mock footy game between Australia and New Zealand. Put this on your ‘to do list’ as the harmonies are like no other.

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Whilst staying on Denarau Island, the Bula Bus will take you around on a circuit for as little as FJD8.00 per day.

Time to split. Here with my group of specialists in various fields of travel along with our leader Carlah from Fiji Tourism, we’re heading off to Taveuni Island, third largest island of Fiji. Pilot Sam is at the ‘wheel’ of Island Hoppers regular service.

Although the island technically observes one standard timing convention, there is a marker and sign that observes the official location of the International Date Line, where visitors can straddle time by firmly setting one foot in today while the stands in the past.
the 180 degree line in Fiji is also the international date line. With a single eastward step here on Taveuni island we can leap 24 hours back into yesterday. Stepping back across the line literally brings you back to the future … For a New Years party, this would be the place to be and has been added to be “must do’ list.

Stay tuned for Part Two.

Riding the Rail Trail

Europe Rail 2014_TBulletin
Article published by Travel Bulletin, Australia. Author Grace Lech

The Eurail Pass hardly needs an introduction, having earned a reputation as the leader in European rail travel. I’ve sold European journeys to clients for well over a decade, the words Eurail Pass have crossed my lips countless times. But a recent trip to Europe allowed me to experience the rail network first hand once again. Read more

Bergen to Oslo Norway
From Bergen to Oslo.

Norway Scenery (2)
Superb scenery in Norway.

Puttgarden to Malmo onboard
The ICE on board the ship from Denmark to Germany Puttgarden and included on the Eurail Pass.

ICE at HAM Hauptbanhof
Busy Hamburg Hauptbanhof.

Fields of gold
Fields of gold in Europe.

25per cent discount with Jungfraujoch
Jungfrau Railways in Switzerland offer a 25% discount if holding a Pass.

second-class CNL
Seating in Second-class travel on the City Night Line (CNL).

Thayls hi-speed train in France and compulsory reservations are required at all times.

Back in Berlin and the S Bahn is included if the date is marked on your pass.

ICE Germany
The Intercity Express (ICE) one of the fastest trains in Europe.

Viking Cruise Lines
Heading across by ferry from Stockholm Sweden to Helsinki – a discount is given for Eurail Pass holders.

Rovaniemi Lapland Santa Claus Express
Arriving in Lapland Finland with the Santa Claus Express.

Arctic Circle Pspt Stamp
Have your Passport stamped at the Santa Claus Village.

Rovaniemi Station
Departing from Rovaniemi to Helsinki – there was only one and half hours of daylight each day during mid December.