Our flight from Vanuatu brought us into Fiji in the early evening and we opted to overnight at a fairly modest airport resort before transiting to our private island resort the next morning. We stayed overnight at the “TokaToka”, which seemed to evoke like a low-priced Disney Polynesian Resort. The place is literally across the street from the airport. Thankfully we were just passing through.
The next day, we caught a domestic flight in a small double-engine prop plane with another couple headed to the Royal Davui Resort, where we were staying for several nights. As we approached the outpost landing strip, we ran into some lousy weather, with driving rain and low visibility. Our pilot had a student with him and we had to loop back twice and increase our altitude after they misjudged our initial approach. Without being a pilot, the upper lip sweat on both of them told us all we needed to know about the situation. I must say, I got a real appreciation for how much weather complicates a landing when we approached a few hundred feet over the water and couldn’t see the runway until we were almost on top of it. Luckily though, in addition to not ending our vacation prematurely in a flaming ball of crumpled metal, the rest of our stay in Fiji had fantastic weather and no other rain to speak of.
This is the view of the Royal Davui Resort private island from about 300 feet, at sunset. The grass in the front of the island is actually used as a helipad for guests that come in from Nadi airport directly by helicopter. We opted for a domestic flight and a short boat transit.
There are a total of 17 villas on the island. Ours was a "beach villa" which was a little misleading... It was directly on the beach, but the rocky cliffs mean your porch doesn't give direct access.
On the south side of the island where our villa was located, there was a nice little private beach with only a couple of villas facing it (one under renovation)
There's a circular path around the island, which doesn't take long to loop.
This is the beach behind our villa. At high tide there is only a few feet of sand left.
Lots of interesting shells washing up, and tons of little hermit crabs running around in the debris.
Beach behind our villa at low tide.
This is the sunset view looking at our side of the island. For obvious reasons, I kept the drone very well clear of parts of the island with villas.
This is as far out as the drone could venture into the open water towards the larger neighboring island.
Sunset view from west side of island, 400ft up and way out on the water.
Standup paddle boards and kayaks for guest use. In choppy waters offshore, our standup paddle boards were more like kneeling paddle boards.
Staff regularly feed the fish around the dock, so snorkeling there is a frenzy of fish that are totally fearless.
The reef around Royal Davui is in great shape and makes for some nice snorkeling.
On one day we took a picnic lunch on an isolated sandbar south of Royal Davui.
We were able to have the staff just leave us there alone for several hours while the tide and weather permitted.
Just us on the island... Apparently the place disappears at high tide, so it was virgin footprints in the sand for our visit.
Drone flights in the area were just completely stunning.
The little Mavic drone we brought on this trip performed like a champ hundreds of feet up and up to a half kilometer away in some pretty windy conditions.
We've tried to arrange private island visits in several South Pacific countries now and this was the first time we legitimately had a place completely to ourselves for a time.
We got the staff to extend our time there by a couple of hours, but low and behold, just as it was almost time for our pickup... another boat rolls up packed with tourists from another resort. These guys swarmed the island like a bunch of hooligans... one little kid was going nuts with a fishing rod and other kids running around. Savages disturbing our peaceful little sand cay. Sigh. That was our cue to pack it up. You have to travel really, really far away, to get away from people.... and even then, those moments are pretty fleeting.
Meals at the resort were superb. Seriously. The food there was considerably better than the resort we stayed at in the Maldives which was more than double the price.
Hermit crab race in one night at the bar
Martha won the women's hermit crab championship. Definitely getting this framed.
Banana soufflé... unbelievable.
Kava preparation.... even if this was weak, diluted tourist-strength kava, it still had a pretty noticeable effect with one coconut filled to "high-tide" level.
All the sunsets were nice, but this one was just perfect
We arrived on a new moon, so I was able to capture the Milky Way pretty well from our private beach at night.
Our next stop is Tonga for a few days, rounding out this bit of island hopping.