Surfing Fiji; Perfection in the south Pacific

"Fiji is most famous for breaks like Restaurants and Cloudbreak, but even for the surfer that hasn't got a $200 dollar plus budget there's places where you can score epic south pacific perfection"

Getting there:
Access is by plane into Nadi which is on the main island of Viti Levu. Most surfcamps will pick you up from the airport if you notify them that you are coming.

Travel:
The roads are reasonable standard, the buss system runs on Fiji time, which mean that it will definitely not run on time. It's cheap and a lot of fun because it gives you the chance to meet some friendly locals.

Language:
Fijian is the local language but english is the second language.

Season:
Season runs from April to October, although quality waves can be found year-round, the rain and humidity can be intense though in southern hemisphere's summer. A wetsuit is never needed. A good rash vest and sunscreen is though!

Cost of living:
Cost in Fiji can vary from pretty cheap places to stay and eat to very very expensive. Buy a Lonely Planet for all the options.

What to take:
It is best to take a board that can handle 5' -10' barrels. A rash vest and boots for the razor sharp reef is also advised, for the gnarly grinding spot a helmet would also be good.

Positive

  • Worldclass breaks
  • Very friendly people
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Excellent diving and snorkeling
  • Good fresh fish food

Negative:

  • Boat access only for top spots
  • The humidity and rain from November - March
  • Some resorts are very expensive

When I was in Fiji I stayed most of the time in the SeaShell Surf & Dive resort, which is a nice budget place to stay (Since then it has changed management). And gives you the chance to surf top quality breaks that equal cloudbreak for only a fraction of the price! It's also a good place to meet fellow like-minded surf travellers.

This resort was pretty much the first resort that took a boat out to Cloudbreak. But as you have probably heard Tavarua claims to "own" the right to surf cloudbreak, so you can not surf that break anymore.
* Update below


Trouble In Paradise: There have been reports of major problems for surfers (other than guests of Tavarua) who wish to surf Cloudbreak. According to sources in and out of Fiji many surfers have been chased away from Cloudbreak and even physically threatened if they remain in the area.
* Update below

Wilkes passage and Swimming Pools
Very nice bareling fast right-handers over a shallow reef, on Wilkes there is an occasional left coming through, but you'll have to pick'em carefully!!

Lighthouse Right:
One day we took the boat out to Wilkes, we passed Cloudbreak, and both of them were looking very messy, choppy and completely blown out. On the way back we passed Lighthouse Rights, and to our surprise it was 3-4' and perfect!!!! And we were the only 3 out there.

Access to these 3 breaks is by boat only, and will set you back 25 FD, boat leaves from Sea Shell Surf and Dive Resort.

Tavarua
If money is not a problem for you , you can always stay at Tavarua, although the fact that a non Fijian " owns" the reef I do not like. , even the locals from the mainland of Fiji can't surf Cloudbreak or Restaurants. It costs 300 FD to stay on Tavarua, meals included, sleep in a simple bure.
* Update below

Namotu/Magic island.
Different island, same idea, private access to Namotu Lefts. It is not as expensive as Tavarua, but is not as nice either, also owned by an American. When we were there Namotu lefts was looking good, and since I'm a goofy footer , and there was nobody surfing it we friendly asked for permission, to surf it, but the reply was NO.
* Update below

There are also a couple of breaks in Fiji were a boat is not needed to go for a surf, the quality of these breaks is not to be compared with the breaks mentioned above

Hideaway Resort
Half way down the coral coast is a high tide surfing spot with a short wave gnarly wave that often barrels. Unlike Suva it is can be accessed from the beach by a short paddle. Don't stay in the resort, stay at the Vakaviti Resort on the highway, it is owned by Rugby legend A.J.. It costs Apr. 10 FD

Sigatoka
The Sand Dunes outside of Sigatoka is Fiji's only beach break. Here at the mouth of the Sigatoka River, sandbars cause the waves to break as well formed peaks though on a large swell long walls are seen – left and right. It works best on a low tide and early, before the wind pops up . You'll have to get up early before the winds turn onshore, and be shore to bring a pair of sandals, as the beach gets very hot!! It is located 1 hour from Nadi. Best place to stay is the newly renovated Club Masa, The owner Alex is really cool and a good cook, price is 22 FD with 2 good meals

Natadola Beach
Has both a small beach break and a challenging outside reef break. It is probably the nicest beach on the mainland and well worth a visit just for the swim. It is the entrance to the bay, which provides surfers with a very hollow and powerful left wave.

Frigates Passage
Is called the Fijian Pipeline, it's a sick , big and gnarly left hander that on it's day equals Cloudbreak. There is a surf camp in the area, but it's VERY basic, price is 60 FD including meals, or you can rent a boat from pacific harbor for day trip, but beware of incompetent captains and boats.

There are some more places to surf on Fiji, Taveuni and Kadavu supposedly have some good breaks, or you'll have to go buy a big sail boat, to discover some new breaks.

Update on the Fiji exclusive wave ownership

 Starting July 2010 there's a new law in place that opens up , previously privately "owned" waves in Fiji to the public.

This mean that you no longer have to stay on tavarua to surf Cloudbreak, or on Namotu island to surf the surrounding waves.

More about the Fiji surf decree:

More surf travel features:
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