In 2019, almost a year after my first trip to Fiji, I was offered the opportunity to go again. After winning an incentive at work, I was offered discounted rates for a holiday to Fiji and was happy to accept. I chose to explore more of the Yasawa Islands since I had fallen so in love with them in the past. I spent five nights in Fiji this time, taking along a friend I had made in New Zealand, Nickie. We stayed at a different resort each night and I was lucky enough to see three more of the varied islands of the Yasawas.
After leaving our previous resort, Mantaray Island, we had a short ferry journey to our next destination. As we stepped off the main ferry onto a small local boat, we noticed a local Fijian in traditional dress performing a warrior dance to welcome us to the island. This was done every morning and evening as the ferry passed and required the performer to cross the water to a rock in the sea. This was an impressive entrance and as we touched our feet in the sand of this island for the first time we knew we would like this place.
The resort was a lot more rustic than our previous accommodation and I would be staying in a tent on the beach whilst Nickie had a beach front bure. After a welcome cocktail, our first point of call was for a walk to the sunset spot. This was a track leading us around the island to a perfect lookout to watch the sun go down. We were already falling head over heels for this rustic and welcoming resort and we excited for a full day the next to explore the island.
Barefoot Kuata spreads out along a beach, with accommodation all to the left and dining and social areas to the right. In the middle of the resort is the reception and dive shop. Walking between the areas with sand between your toes was amazing and it really felt like you had landed on an island retreat.
After the sun went down, we washed up and headed for dinner. At the sunset spot we had met a couple who had arrived on the island a few days before and sat with them for dinner which was a delicious three course meal yet again. This resort only had a few people staying and therefore everything talked to each other. The bar was social and featured a circular bar where I spoke to a variety of guests who had come from all over the world to be in this special island.
My night in the tent was surprisingly comfortable. There was only one other girl in the six-bed tent and therefore we had lots of space. I woke up in the morning to the sparkling ocean and sat out the front of the tent admiring the view which felt a million miles away from Auckland.
That morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast and fuelled up we decide to hike to the summit of the island. This gave us amazing views of the island and its neighbour, Wayalailai which I had spent two nights on in my previous trip to Fiji.
The area is well known for the reef sharks living nearby and we were excited to go see them. I had done this on my last trip but had been a little nervous so was ready to be braver this time around! The boat ride out to the reef is around 20 minutes long but luckily wasn’t too bumpy. When we got to the reef it was perfect conditions and we could see the sharks clearly from the boats. White-tipped reef sharks are small friendly sharks who will do no harm to humans. Therefore, it is perfectly safe to swim with them!
Ready to get up close and personal with them, I jumped in and spent an enjoyable hour watching these amazing creatures. I think both me and Nickie were really impressed with our encounter and had been amazed at how close they got to us.
We made our way back to the island and were joined by some day trippers from the main port of Nadi who were amazed of the colour of the water in the outer islands and the coral. I felt very lucky that we had been able to stay here.
Before lunch we had a quick sunbathe a swim in the two swimming pools on site and caught up with some other visitors who had been Bull Shark diving that morning. Their tales were thrilling and made me add this activity to my bucket list.
After a lovely lunch we headed to the beach to read and swim as the tide got higher. There were loads to do on this island, from hikes, to diving and kayaking that we felt spoilt for choice. It was such a special resort and was the one that impressed us the most. The dining and facilities were all simple yet beautiful and made me feel right at home. Features such as the sunset spot and the warrior dances all made for a more memorable stay and we were very sad to leave this island.
Our ferry eventually came to take us to our last resort in the late afternoon and we boarded with a sense of sadness wishing we could stay just a little longer.
This part of the Yasawas is my favourite. The island themselves are varied and beautiful with lots of things to do, the people was welcoming and interesting and the views are to die for. The water is clear, the life is simple and life’s worries will simply fall away on these amazing islands.