Total immersion in traditional Fijian dances and songs

Fiji has a vibrant and unique indigenous culture with a range of mesmerizing and inspiring traditions. We invite you to become immersed in South Pacific island life.

One of the most inclusive and entertaining Fijian traditions is Meke (pronounced meh-kay). Meke is a traditional story-telling dance incorporating music and movement to send messages from one village to another. Fiji did not have the written word before Western influence so historic events and important information specific to a village were taught to the young and preserved for future generations through these songs and accompanying dances.

Meke is a joyous and uplifting thing to see. You will love it. Small rotating groups take turns to dance while the those who are not dancing clap and sing to provide the musical accompaniment. Singers encourage and celebrate the active dances and you can expect howls of laughter and very happy faces.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort works with Vivili and Waivunia villages and invites these talented communities to visit the resort to share their culture with guests. It is a special and uniquely Fijian form of entertainment and a great deal of fun to watch these exotic performances. It is not possible to watch and not feel the elation built within you.

We also have the pleasure to offer our guests the opportunity to hear Urata village choir, who perform on Sundays at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji, bringing their angelic choral songs and hymns to wonderful and soothing life. Urata village choir is an exquisite collection of singers who have grown up together and over years of practice and natural ability blend their voices with an inspiring and impressive result. This simply must be heard to appreciate how good they are.

You don’t have to wait for us to bring more of Fiji to you at the resort. There are also adventures and excursions outside the resort which we offer and encourage.

We look forward to sharing these beautiful, exotic parts of Fijian life (and so much more!) with you during your stay at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.

3 steps to getting a private island in Fiji and 3 reasons you deserve it

Here are three steps to having a private island with three reassuring reasons you deserve the experience:

First, allow a scene to be set. You’re in Fiji, the sun is shinning, you’re standing on a sand beach with the warm ocean lapping at your feet, teeming with colourful marine life. You look up to intermittent white clouds dotting an otherwise clear blue sky. Light shimmers on the gentle waves all around you and as you look around you confirm that you and your loved ones are the only people there. This is not a TV show. It is not a trick. You’re on a private island in the South Pacific Ocean. It looks like paradise and yet it is all yours. You haven’t won the lottery, it just feels like it.

You have options. What will you do? You might snorkel, you might lay on the beach, you might explore the land and its plants and trees. Are you hungry? Because a meal was prepared by a masterful chef. Probably best to do all of the above. Will you share this rare luxury with the world on social media, or maybe you’ll only message your nearest and dearest. No matter how you use this time, there are simple steps to make it your reality.

Confirmation you deserve it

We hope you can accept this: You are awesome. So is your family. You deserve wonderful experiences. You deserve to know amazing things are real and available to you. The more unusual the experience is the more our minds take it in, the deeper the memory and the more lasting the connection. Your children and your spouse deserve these exceptional memories too.

You won’t be buying a private island, you’re visiting. It is a treat. What is fundamental to a private island experience is what it removes. There is no competition. There is no comparing yourself with those around you. There are no demands of your attention because everything there is the experience. There is no judgment. There is only this and your belonging there. It is liberating. These are all things you deserve, because we all do.

A Private Island brings privacy. This might seem obvious but the reality of it is rare. You are outside and maintaining privacy. You can be alone, or with those you love most. You can shout and dance and sing without being enclosed and without being viewed. It is freedom. Embrace your inner child and live with abandon.

Fiji Private Island Beach

So, how do you make this happen?

Three simple steps:

1. Fly to Fiji. You can learn about flights to Fiji with Fiji Airways

2. Secure a place at the award-winning Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. JMC Online Availability and Booking

3. After you arrive at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, inform staff you want to experience the private island exclusive to resort guests. There are four sessions a day and can include meals if that is what you want. The resort staff will arrange everything for you and will do all they can to ensure you have the Private Island experience you want.

Top historical sights to see in Fiji

People have lived in the Fiji islands for thousands of years, and that rich history means a multitude of historically significant places to visit. Here are just a few:

Sacred Heart Cathedral

This beautiful cathedral was built in 1902 from sandstone milled from Australian quarries, and it serves as the main Roman Catholic Church in the Fiji islands. Located on Pratt Street in the capital city of Suva, it features striking ornaments and stained glass as well as a basement crypt.

B26 Bomber Wreck, Beachcomber Island

Fiji is known for its epic dive spots and this one has a historical flair to it. One note: You'll need a dive certificate to see what makes it so fascinating. This crash site on the seafloor near Beachcomber Island in the Mamanucas holds the remains of a World War II B26 bomber plane. The aircraft wreckage is scattered throughout the ocean floor, but wing sections and propellers can be clearly seen on a path led by a rope to guide divers.

Warrior Burial Cave, Taveuni

Possibly one of the most Instagram-worthy sights on our list is the Warrior Burial Cave in Taveuni. This extensive cave system is named after the Taveuni warriors that were buried here, which was once considered the burial site of highest honour for the area's original inhabitants. It acted as a hiding place for the remains of great soldiers, helping to keep them from desecration by invading armies. (Many of the large bones, however, were removed when the 350-metre-long cave system was discovered in the 1950s.)

Naihehe Caves, Sigatoka

If you still fancy cave life, consider this "place to get lost" – which is the literal translation of the name of these caves: Naihehe. And as Fiji's largest cave system it's easy to get lost. Historically, these were used as a fortress to keep ancient tribes safe from invading armies. A fun – and somewhat ominous – tip: Seek permission from the Bete, the traditional protector of the cave, upon entering. Legend has it that if you don't, you could be trapped in the cave forever. It even features a secret entrance through wild vines that enabled it to stay hidden.

Momi Bay gun site

If you find yourself with some extra time before you fly in or out of Fiji's Nadi International Airport, consider a quick 30-minute sojourn to a place that played a key role in World War II. The Momi Bay site was established in 1941 to protect against Japanese forces and features two 6-inch anti-aircraft guns. The area was chosen for its uncompromising panoramic views of the only channel in Western Fiji that large ships could traverse. There are also barracks and other historical markers for visitors to see.

Udre Udre's grave, Rakiraki

Now to one of the creepier historical sites, that of the grave of Fiji's most prolific cannibal: Udre Udre was a tribal chief in northern Viti Levu who – stories claim – had eaten more than 800 people in his lifetime. In fact, it is said that the leader kept a stone for each of his victims that can be seen surrounding his grave in Rakiraki. This simple grave does indeed feature those 800 rocks, and some say his spirit lingers. Perhaps don't visit this one alone.

NAAG Mandir Temple, Labasa

This is both an historical site and a modern-day temple, but with a notable twist. In this 'snake temple' lives the Sacred Cobra Rock that some locals claim can cure sickness and infertility. The temple isn't without its historical lore however as the 3-metre-high rock has reportedly grown so much since the 1950s that the roof of the temple has had to be raised four times. It has become a worshipful place for many and can be seen covered in flowers and tinsel as well as offerings of fruit, fire and coconut cream.

Tavuni Hill Fort, Sigatoka

This ancient fort sits on the site of brutal battles between Tongan invaders and British troops. Established as a stronghold on the steep hillside this fort served as the base for the Tongans, who would ultimately be driven out in 1876 by British forces. While the fort remained uninhabited until the site was reopened in 1994 the structure and items inside have been preserved and can be seen alongside guides who are actual descendants of the original inhabitants. Additionally get your cameras ready as the lookout points overlooking the Sigatoka River and Viti Levu Coastline are ripe for photo opportunities.

For more information on the best places to visit while staying in Fiji at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, contact us today!

Our quick guide on how to experience Fiji like a local

The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort has everything you need for an idyllic island getaway – crystal clear seas, activities for the whole family, and all the hospitality of our sunny staff. However, for those with an intrepid spirit and desire to see a little bit more of Fiji, look no further. Check out our quick guide on how to experience Fiji like a local.

Look beyond the islands

Many travellers never see more of the mainland than what's visible from the shuttle bus window on their way to one of Fiji's 300+ islands. However, the nation's metropolitan centres – Nadi and Suva – have a lot to offer for tourists looking for a taste of day-to-day Fijian life.

Nadi's Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple is a sight to behold, and the main place of worship for the island's many Hindus. The city is also home to a number of markets selling everything from fresh produce to local artworks and carvings. Nadi is a short 10-minute drive from the international airport, and is also reachable by bus or taxi from the nearby resorts.

Suva, meanwhile, has an array of green spaces that put paid to the notion that the city has nothing to offer. The Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve is a wildlife haven, while the Thurston Gardens offer visitors an escape to a tropical garden paradise right in the heart of the city.

Respect Fijian village traditions

Seeing a real Fijian village should be high on your To-Do list when in Fiji. However, did you know that most communities require visitors to participate in a gift-giving ceremony before they can enter? Known as a sevusevu, these welcomings are part of historic Fijian traditions.

Kava is the most common form of gift, and should be presented to the head of the village on arrival. When presenting your sevusevu, dress conservatively and avoid wearing anything on your head, like sunglasses or a hat. The head of the village will meet you, share a smile and a few sips of kava, and then welcome you in to explore.

Those who don't bring a sevusevu may not be welcomed into the village. As such, it's best to use a guide who can organise your sevusevu and guide you through the local customs.

Fijian customsThere are particular customs you need to follow when entering a Fijian village.

Say 'bula'' to everyone you meet

The Fijian greeting may wear thin after a while, but it is genuinely used so widely on the island by locals and tourists alike that it's almost second nature. Fijians are also naturally friendly, so many will greet you with a loud 'bula' to ask how you are enjoying your time on the islands and what you plan to do. Respond with a smile and a bula of your own – it's that easy!

For more information on how you can live like a local during your stay at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, contact our friendly team today.

Top 5 Things To Do In Fiji For Nature Lovers

If your ideal vacation entails seeing the unique natural wonders your destination has to offer, then Fiji is a fitting locale for your getaway. The island is chock full of stunning sights, from spectacular waterfalls and lush rainforests to shimmering waters teeming with diverse marine life. The only challenge? Fitting it all in. If you're wondering what to do in Fiji on your next romantic getaway or family vacation, then you'll definitely want some insight into these sightseeing activities.

Nakawaga Waterfall
Without a doubt, one of the top 5 things to do in Fiji is visiting this breathtaking waterfall nestled in the jungles of Savusavu. After making a 20-minute hike, cool off by taking a dip in the natural pool at the base – or, if you're feeling adventurous, boldly take a dive from the top. In addition to wearing a swimsuit under your clothes and a pair of comfy closed-toed shoes, we suggest you pack a picnic to enjoy while you soak up the waterfall's natural beauty.

Savusavu Bay Mangroves
Looking for some amazing things to do in Fiji that can have a positive environmental impact? There's hardly a better way to learn about the astonishing tropical ecosystem in Fiji than by exploring the mangroves in Savusavu Bay. Fortunately, we offer a unique opportunity to engage in this educational experience with the expert guidance of our resident marine biologist. While observing the wildlife firsthand, you'll also have the chance to plant mangrove seedlings.

J. Hunter's Pearl Farm
If you've ever been curious about the science behind pearls, be sure to take a guided tour of the legendary J.Hunter Pearl Farm, which is conveniently located just a short distance from our resort. Not only will you get to see gem-quality pearl oysters at different stages of growth, but you'll also get to observe technicians begin the culturing process if you happen to be visiting Fiji during the period of seeding and harvesting (from April to May and October to November).

Flora Tropica Gardens
While strolling along the stone paths and elevated walkways at this bayside botanical garden, you can marvel at the more than 250 palm species — one of the most varied collections of palms in the eastern hemisphere, which includes many rare and endangered varieties. The garden is also home to a plethora of other plant life, from orchids and water lilies to more than 40 types of tropical fruit trees and other flowering shrubs. Whether you're looking for photo ops, interested in bird watching, or simply want to absorb some of nature's most beautiful blossoms, this is the place to do it.

Feeling inspired? For more information on the many nature-related adventures offered at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, take a look at our excursions.

What is the best new activity to share as a family?

SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. It is possible to become trained in scuba diving and gain a globally recognized PADI certification, all within a family vacation.

You can learn the science and techniques of spending so much time underwater. You can swim with fish large and small, connect with the tranquility of Fiji’s tropical waters and broaden your understanding of how spectacular our planet is. There is a small amount of studying and a huge amount to talk about. This is an ideal activity to share with your nearest and dearest as they get older and start taking part in the world on their own.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort’s professional dive centre offers experienced  instructors catering to all of your needs at competitive prices. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort trains more divers in Fiji than any other resort. To take part you need to be at least 10 years of age. The most basic course is an Open Water Diver certification, and students younger than 15 years of age who complete the course become Junior Open Water Divers. For those who are 15 years of age and above, the full Open Water certification is something you can keep and use for the rest of your life and is recognized all over the globe.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort offers resident marine biologists to assist with expanding your knowledge.

To learn more about scuba diving with Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji you can refer to our frequently asked questions about diving or you can choose from one of the dive packages.

And don’t forget: Two children under the age of thirteen stay for free when you book your holiday with Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. 

Fun facts to know before your first Fiji holiday

If you've never been to Fiji before, you're in for a treat. White sand islands, swaying palm trees and year-round warm weather. Here are some interesting insights to help make your first visit to Fiji as perfect as the scenery.

6 fun facts for your first visit to Fiji

1) Fiji is made up of over 300 islands

Fiji is one big chain of tropical islands, only around 100 of which are inhabited. The two biggest islands – Vanua Levu and Viti Levu – host the vast majority of the population and are the region's international travel hubs. A range of light aircraft and boats connect the other islands.

Hundreds of tropical islands make up Fiji.Fiji is a country made up of hundreds of tropical islands.

2) Traditional music, singing and dancing are a huge part of the culture

Fijians are often called the happiest people in the world. Maybe it's because they're always singing and dancing – you'll even be serenaded at Nadi airport as you disembark your international flight.

Expect to hear a Fijian tune whenever anyone arrives or leaves the resort, and make sure to take in one of the spectacular evening cultural shows.

3) The underwater scenery is just as impressive

Hailed as the coral capital of the world, Fiji's reefs are mighty impressive. One of the most popular options for visitors is the Namena Reef, complete with a huge variety of fish and a colourful collection of coral.

Colourful coral reefs in Fiji.Fiji's waters are home to colourful coral reefs.

4) Kava is the national drink

Kava is the country's traditional drink is mad from the ground root of a plant in the pepper family. It's believed to cure headache and stress, as well as help you sleep. As an important social and cultural custom, it's usually consumed as part of a ceremony and you may well have the opportunity to join in during your stay.

5) Bula and Vinaka

The Fijian words for "Hello" and "Thank you" are just two of the words you'll hear warmly exchanged between old friends and new all the time when you visit Fiji. However, there are actually three main languages in region – Fijian, Fiji Hindi and English. The English language is taught in school, so you'll find it easy to communicate with locals.

"Bula" is a local Fijian greeting.Say "Bula" to your new Fijian friends.

6) Christian culture

Fiji's main religion is Christianity, but there are also a number of Roman Catholics and Hindus too. In fact, one of the major landmarks in Nadi is the colourful Sri Siva Subramaniya temple. For Fiji's Christians, Sundays are typically a day of rest, with the vast majority of locals putting on their finest to attend church.

Of course, depending who you speak to, rugby is a local religion too.

Are you ready to book your Fiji hotel? The Jean Michel Cousteau Resort offers sustainable, eco-luxe accommodation with plenty of entertainment for the whole family. Find out more today.

How can I learn about sustainability while on holiday in Fiji?

At Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji guests have ample activities to choose from and many are not what you expect. Sure, there is world class diving, exceptional snorkelling sites, waterfall visits, spa treatments, kayaking, and so much more of the excellence Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is known for, but this award-winning luxury family friendly resort offers less common choices too, including:

Junior Chef Program

Children want to learn and want to be involved. Incorporating an education with fun activities is the best way to learn. That’s why children take a tour of Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort’s organ garden and learn about organic farming practices as they harvest fresh produce, dressing in a chef’s uniform before helping prepare fresh and healthy meals in the Bula Club Kitchen.

Our Organic Garden provides 20 per cent of food for our guests.
Our Organic Garden provides 20 per cent of food for our guests.
What do your kids have to look forward to on a family holiday in Fiji?

Mangrove Planting

Mangrove Planting brings many benefits. Mangroves are fish nurseries, providing a safe haven for juvenile fish as well as protecting shores against coastline erosion. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort guests have worked with our resident marine biologists to plant 7,500 mangrove saplings in the last year alone. Whoop!

Coral Planting

Guests can choose to take part in coral rehabilitation by planting coral! Healthy and abundant coral landscapes are essential to marine biodiversity. This ongoing project has led to a snorkel trail and is another example of the sustainable contributions led by Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort’s marine biologists.

Medicinal Walk

Fiji has a longstanding culture of traditional medicine. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort doesn’t encourage the use of these traditional medicines over Western medicines, however we do want to preserve this knowledge and share it with others, which is why Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort has built an extensive collection of indigenous medicines and rare plants -some of which are extinct in the wild. Guests can learn about how these age-old practices were applied from a village elder..

Is it time for a remote work escape in Fiji?

It's no secret that we'd all like to indulge ourselves with an island escape every now and then, however, work and life often gets in the way. Luckily, some employees have the ability to take their work on the road with them. Thanks to the internet, many tasks can be carried out anywhere in the world – even on the sun-kissed, relaxing beaches of the tropics. Is it time for a remote work escape in Fiji?

Remote workAn escape from the office is always a good idea – try taking your work to the heat of the tropics.

What is remote working?

The term "remote work" is used to describe work that is carried out outside the confines of an office. In it's first iterations, this meant working from home, or perhaps a local cafe. Now, remote working transcends time zones, with certain professions allowing employees to work by the seaside, on snowy mountains or on the other side of the world, provided there's a strong internet connection.

This flexible work arrangement is increasing in popularity. An International Workplace Group study showed that almost half of Australian workers work remotely for half a week. The same study reflected the allure of remote work, with 69 per cent of millennial opting to trade other work benefits in favour of flexibility.

Family time in FijiA remote working escape allows you to spend quality time with family in an exciting environment.

What are the benefits of a remote work escape?

An escape to a tropical destination like Fiji brings many benefits to the stressful work life of a busy employee.

Regulating sleep

The reality for many employees is that they find themselves working beyond office hours, sometimes into the night to get tasks done. A remote working excursion to Fiji provides you with the perfect excuse to reset and regulate your working clock.

If you start work at sunrise, around 6.30 a.m. local time, you'll still get to enjoy the warmth of the Fijian air, finishing early for a relaxing afternoon. Furthermore, working hard during the day gives you plenty of time to enjoy what Fiji has to offer in the evenings.

Quality time

Even if you're busy typing away during the week, a remote working holiday allows you to spend quality time with your family in an incredibly dynamic environment. After getting your tasks done, consider going on a snorkeling excursion with the kids, or sit down for a cosy family dinner – with remote work, your time is yours to allocate.

What are you waiting for? If you're ready to book your escape to the Jean Cousteau-Michel Resort, get in touch with our friendly team.

Three incredible day trips to take from Vanua Levu Island

Fiji's second largest island, Vanua Levu, is certainly one of the nation's most beautiful locales. Pristine coral reefs, thick green jungle, powder white beaches and calm blue waters aren't all it's got to offer, however. Thanks to the beautiful natural environment, there's so much to do here.

We picked three of our favourite Vanua Levu day trips to give you an idea of the intrepid adventures waiting for you on the island.

1. Discover unexplored reefs off Namenalala Island

Fiji is widely recognised as the soft coral capital of the world and one of the best locations for diving. If you want to experience the best of the best, go snorkeling and diving at Vanua Levu and Savusavu Bay, where the 200 km-long great sea reef converges, alongside countless other coral deposits. 

Whether you're a keen diver or just a learner, take a day trip to small island 20 minutes to the south of Savusavu and you'll find Namenalala Island. This tiny paradise is fringed by endless drop-offs, rainbow coloured soft corals and an abundance of marine life. If you're lucky you'll see sharks, tuna and mantas coming in from the Koro Sea. 

2. Tour a pearl farm and learn how they're made

Just a few minutes boat ride across the calm Pacific Ocean from Vanua Levu is the country's first commercial pearl farm that produces some of the world's rarest and most coveted jewels. Book a tour at J. Hunter Pearls Fiji to witness these underwater treasures being made.

The tour will start in the showroom with a quick explanation of the pearl culturing process and how it has been adapted to suit the Fiji environment. Following that, guests are whisked away to tour the farm and witness its day-to-day operations. 

If you're lucky enough to come during seeding season (April, May, October and November), you might even see highly experienced Japanese pearl technicians performing surgical operations on the pearl oysters to start the culturing process. 

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3. Get lost on your on private island

If you need some time to yourself, or with someone special, why not book your own private island and relax on its perfect white sand beaches? We're serious! Naviavia is the Jean-Michel Cousteau resort's private island, available for bookings for full or half day excursions.

This perfect little paradise is around an acre in size, and all you can hear when you're relaxing on its beaches is the warm Pacific Ocean lapping on its shores. To find out more about the incredible adventures available to you on Vanua Levu or to make it your home for a week – make a booking at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort today.