01 Jul Fiji’s Largest hidden Adventure
In my post before I left, I shared the photography gear I was taking with me for my Fijian photography trip and mentioned I would be doing more posts about my trip. I’m going to do a series of 3 posts covering the trip, places and some of the people we met and experienced.
From the moment we started to fly in Nadi (pronounced Nandi) we had perfect conditions for some aerial photography from the plane window. When you fly in, you notice the beautiful expansive landscapes with mountains, rolling hills and fields that makes the view so diverse.
If you are looking at travelling to Fiji, you might come across a place called Denarau in your research. This is like the “up market” area for tourists with the 5-star resorts and a similar look and feel to Hope Island on the Gold Coast, Australia if you’ve ever been there. There are so many nice places to stay along there as well as eat but for me, it doesn’t have that real, authentic Fijian experience I’m looking for which is why places along Natadola (pronounced Natandola) or the Coral Coast are where I like to stay. The atmosphere of the area is so relaxing and if you get a bureè on the beach, you will not want to leave.
Even if you choose to stay along the Coral Coast, there’s no limit to the amount of activities and tourist venture into. Everything from relaxing on the beach to sailing the islands and exploring caves, it’s all incredible. The first big adventure we did while we were there was a cave safari tour which takes you through the heart of Fiji along the Sigatoka river and gives you a view of the brilliant landscapes as well as taking you through villages and giving high-fives to kids, a kava ceremony and finally into the Naihehe cave.
A few fun facts for you. The cave is 170m long, 50m high after you crawl through what is called “The Pregnancy Gap” and has 3 main chambers making it the largest cave in Fiji. If women could climb through the pregnancy gap, they would get to the pregnancy chamber. If they couldn’t get through the gap, the chief believed the woman was no longer pure because she was hiding a pregnancy before marriage. She would be killed and eaten by the villagers and warriors in the cave. Don’t worry though, nobody has done that for hundreds of years and cannibalism is long gone.
Inside the cave, after you’ve crawled through the gap, it’s fascinating to see the cave just open up immensely to 50m high ceilings and carry on into darkness. Continue through the pregnancy chamber and you will come to the warriors chamber.
This is where the warriors would defend the cave from attackers as well as hunt because there are two 20m tunnels (now blocked) that would let them get in and out quickly. The last major chamber is the chiefs. This is the one where the chief or the priest of the village would stay as it has its own bathing pool (where the chief would wash with his 10 wives) and is secluded slightly more so he could have his peace and quiet.
It’s also said that the chiefs escape tunnel (which is now flooded) leads to a chamber deep underground that has gemstones covering the walls. There has only ever been one team of divers that explored the chamber but they could not continue through the tunnel as they ran out of repeater 500m! It would be amazing to explore that area one day. Maybe next trip 😉
I think that covers it for this post, but in my next post I’m going to share what it’s like to experience driving around the island as well as some other experiences that are truly incredible to have seen and been a part of.
Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought of this post, the adventure or what you like most about Fiji, I’d love to know! Thanks to Off Road Cave Safaris for making this trip brilliant.
Find the Fiji Gallery with prints available here