Travel Diaries - The Coral Coast, Fiji
Follow Flick Palmateer as she surfs the island with the famous lefthanders and spends time in the first certified sustainable surf resort.
" Australia is undoubtedly my favourite place to spend time, especially on the East and West coasts. But travelling is one of
life’s great riches. And I’m lucky that I never seem to be tied to the one place for too long.
The South Pacific and various islands neighbouring the East Coast of Australia are ideal escapes, for families or couples looking for quick getaways, and especially surfers – there are a lot of options within hours by plane. Some are renowned, others not so.
Fiji is one place that I’ve always wanted to head to."
It’s famous for its lefthanders, like Cloudbreak and Restaurants. It’s tropical. And it’s so close to home, you can literally wake up in the morning and be out in the lineup that same afternoon. Catching waves over brilliantly coloured coral reef, experiencing a different culture and watching the sun set over a foreign landscape."
" For me, Fiji has always been one of those places like Hawaii or Indonesia, that as a surfer you simply have to visit sooner rather than later.
The Coral Coast is the name given to the southern-facing coast and more than 10 years ago, it’s here where a couple of Aussies, Brian and Donna began construction of an Eco Resort.
Sustainability and the protection of wildlife and ecosystems is high on my list of priorities. I can’t learn enough about this stuff and I love being able to support people who feel the same way.
They achieved a world first when their Matanivusi Resort became the first certified sustainable surf resort and recently they’ve gone one better, becoming the first recertified surf resort for their continued efforts in sustainability management, environmental conservation, and community development.
As a guest, the only immediate noticeable difference for me was the elevated walkways and construction of the rooms (very comfortable btw!) a metre above ground level, allowing for minimal impact on surrounding native vegetation.
Beyond this, the sustainable victories that Brian and Donna and their team have achieved are less obvious. The water conservation measures, waste and refuse programs, local education efforts, recycling and energy efficiencies are the outcome of hard, concerted work.
Love Flick's Outfits from Fiji?
“If you spotted a horizontal palm tree and you told me that you wouldn’t want to climb it and have your photo taken while the sun sets then I would call you a liar! OMG, I am in love with this moment. I think this afternoon made my entire trip.”
“Absolutely filled with love for these schoolkids who came running out of class to greet me. Before I knew it, they started singing to me. Their voices were amazing! I confess I didn’t know what they were saying, because they sang in Fijian, but judging by their smiles it was nice!”
“Posing, being a model, on a boat ‘cause sometimes you just have to.”
“We had a drone camera over there, which always results in some amazing imagery. The perspectives you might get by climbing a hill or mountain, or by getting out on the water can be awesome, but to me the aerial vision just about always takes my breath away. It’s something you rarely get to see.”
“Lots of yummy food came straight from local surrounds, including a bunch of my all-time faves like papaya, bananas and of course coconuts! This guy (sorry, I forget your name!) climbed up the tree especially for me and picked me some coconuts. I also think he liked the idea of having his photo taken.”
“OMG, so adorable.”
“Bit of R&R. When you have a perfectly good tropical lagoon all to yourself, why not laze about for a bit?”
“Hard not to think of the movie Avatar when you first see this tree which Brian and Donna have made a centrepiece of the resort. The boardwalks you can see are at least a metre above the ground, and ensure the surrounding vegatation remain relatively undisturbed by guests.”
“Brian and Donna have constructed just six rooms at Matanivusi Resort so no matter how many guests are staying, you can always find your own palm tree to sit beneath. In fact, I don’t think the number of people in Fiji will ever outnumber the palm trees! At least I hope not!”
“I’m a coconut killer. You have been warned!”
“I love surfing, it’s my life, my happy place.”