Lautoka, Fiji

Lautoka, Fiji is a busy working port town. There is no beach near but First Landing is between it and Nadi, and it is a quieter experience. Beware the taxi drivers might not take you where you expect but where they are getting a backhander, the buses are far more reliable. See our film, we show the bus garage.

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We go back and take you around Lautoka and remember where we shot our feature film for Universal. If you go all the way to Nadi (Pronounced Nandi) then there is a golf course, not one of the islands best. There are restaurants on the newish boardwalk marina with shops, and there are resorts on beaches. As with all these islands, the trips to the tribal villages are worthwhile, but Nadi is about as far as you dare venture on a day release from a ship.

If you have watched BULA QUO, the Status Quo romp movie set on Fiji, the run away to a boat was shot at First Landing. The leaving and arriving on the catamaran was shot at Nadi, as was the fight that leads to being thrown out of the restaurant window. The Russian Roulette game at the start which kicks off all the trouble is the Nadi boatyard across the way from the Marina.

Lautoka is the largest port on Viti Levu and used to have the colonial sugar trade, but the rails and trains are all gone now. We used one for a chase scene way down the coast but if you ran too fast you would be pushing the train. They also have a timber industry, and as you can see the mountains are very green. They have a serious amount of rain, and problems resulting from that. There is a chance to capture the essence of Fijian life in the markets in Lautoka. There is a complicated mix of local tribes and a very large and controlling Indian population. P&O suggest a visit to the thriving botanical gardens while, outside the city, the National Heritage Park and the Viseisei village – said to be the oldest settlement in Fiji – are the most popular tours on the spectacularly scenic northern side of the island.

We would suggest that a boat to an uninhabited island will make an impressive beach day. On most of these islands, there is nothing there. We used one for the party interlude in Bula Quo. It allowed the late Rick Parfitt another recreation of his Living On An Island. The waters are crystal-clear and you will need sun cream. You will be able to snorkel, take a kayak, or a glass-bottom boat ride. There is normally a BBQ lunch with the trip. The Vonu beer is great.

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