After an early start and the usual rigmarole of dealing with Sydney Airport, we made it to our first (temporary) stop at Radisson Denarau Island. Better still, we made it in time for a swim and a cracking sunset.
Our driver for the transfer from Nadi Airport was great value, also providing facts about the island nation and it’s inhabitants seemingly without drawing breath.
The fact that Denarau Island is a reclaimed swampland is in itself an extraordinary feat, and Fiji’s tourism has never looked back.
The bold plan commenced in 1969, with a large scale clearing of land for the first resort, the 300 room Regent Hotel which opened 3 years later.
Over the next 20 years the precinct grew at a slow but steady pace, with a marina and other luxury hotel chains appearing including Sheraton. In 1988 a championship golf course was built, and a Japanese consortium cleared the remaining swampland opening the way for further development.
Today there is another swamp reclaiming procedure taking place at a neighbouring location, and while sugar is Fiji’s number 2 trade, tourism is by far and away the number 1.