The Pacific Harbour for Foodies
Located just off the Beqa Lagoon, the Pacific Harbour has the freshest food source right off its shores. Needless to say, this region on the south coast of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, is one of the best to try fresh seafood – Fiji style! Out on the Beqa Lagoon is Beqa Island, rich in culture with its own unique traditions, most famous for its “firewalking”, however, there are many cultural traditions to experience through food. We’ll guide you through the best accommodation, activities and restaurants for foodies in this foodie guide to the Pacific Harbour and Beqa.
10 Things to Do on the Pacific Harbour for Foodies
- Learn to cook local food in a Fijian cooking class
- Check out the restaurants and stalls at the Arts Village
- Learn about local herbs and spices in a Fijian medicine walk
- Do a Fijian Food Safari
- Try moonlight prawning, crab catching and beekeeping
- See a coconut demonstration
- Try “destination dining” with a beach picnic
- Try a traditional lovo feast
- Experience a traditional kava ceremony
- Treat yourself to some fine dining.
For more information on each of these activities, see our 10 Things to Do on the Pacific Harbour for Foodies, or simply continue reading…
How to Get to the Pacific Harbour and Beqa Island
Located on Fiji’s mainland and accessible by road, the Pacific Harbour is one of the easiest Fiji destinations to get to. The harbour is located along the Queens Road, 2h30mins from Nadi International Airport and one hour from Suva. You’ll find a number of road transport available, as well as water transport to get to the outer islands such as Beqa Island. See more options in our 7 Ways to Get to the Pacific Harbour & Beqa or here are just some suggestions…
Travelling to the Pacific Harbour by Bus
Budget-conscious travellers can take one of the express buses along the Queens Road. Trips take around one hour from Suva and three-four hours from Nadi to travel to the Pacific Harbour. Expect to pay FJ$10-$20 per person between Nadi or FJ$5-$15 per person between Suva. Express bus services are available with Pacific Transport, Sunbeam Transport and Coral Sun that go through the Pacific Harbour. Check out Where to Book Bus Transport in Fiji? for more information on taking the bus in Fiji.
Travelling to the Pacific Harbour by Taxi
A quick and convenient way to get to the Pacific Harbour without having to book is via taxi. Expect to pay around FJ$150-$200 one way for a taxi between Nadi and the Pacific Harbour, while a taxi from Suva, is usually around FJ$40-$60 one way. Taxis do not use fare metres when leaving a city so be sure to negotiate and agree on a price first. Get more tips in our 10 Things You Need to Know About Taxis in Fiji.
Resort Road/Boat Transfers to Beqa Island
If you are staying on one of the Beqa Island resorts, then you have a couple of options to get to the island from the Pacific Harbour. The easiest way to get to the island is through a resort road & boat transfer, which is organised with your resort, costing around FJ$200-$300 per person one way or it will be included in your room rate. Be sure to inquire about transport when booking.
Foodie Activities on the Pacific Harbour
The Pacific Harbour and Beqa Island might be known for being the “adventure capital” of Fiji, but after seeing this extensive list of foodie experiences, we’re sure you’ll wonder why it isn’t the “food capital”! Here are just some of the ways you can discover the local culture through its food.
Fijian Cooking Lesson
One of the most immersive foodie experiences that plenty of Pacific Harbour and Beqa Island resorts offer are Fijian cooking lessons. Guests at the Beqa Lagoon Resort will get to learn how to make kokoda – a traditional dish of fish marinated in coconut milk. Or learn how to cook kokoda using prawns over an open fire at the Nanuku Auberge Resort. Other resorts which offer cooking classes include the Royal Davui Resort and the Lalati Resort & Spa.
Learn how to husk a coconut at resorts like the Lalati Resort, Kulu Bay Resort, Royal Davui and Nanuku Auberge. You’ll also get to learn how coconut milk is made at the Beqa Lagoon Resort and taste real fresh coconut milk!
Try Fijian Food the Arts Village
Foodies staying on the mainland can’t miss the Arts Village! With over 50 market stalls and eateries, there is plenty of food to sample and locals to mingle with. For example, the Bula Massage Clinic is a great place to try kava (see below) and do Fijian food tastings. You will also be able to buy fresh produce and sit down at one of the many eateries of this colonial-themed shopping centre.
Medicine Nature Walk
Discover Fijian herbs and medicines on a medicinal walk through the tropical forest. This is a particularly popular foodie activity to do on Beqa Island where it has its own unique culture – the same culture that invented “firewalking” in Fiji. Join medicine walks with Kulu Bay Resort and Lalati Resort.
Traditional Lovo Feast
You can’t visit Fiji without trying the smokey flavours and melt-in-your-mouth textures of a “lovo”. This traditional cooking method has been used for centuries, slow-cooking meat and tropical vegetables in an earth oven with a ceremonial unveiling. Lovo feasts occur once a week at resorts like Lalati, Kulu Bay and Nanuku Auberge Resort.
Traditional Kava Ceremony
Continuing with traditions, another one you have to experience is the kava ceremony. Kava is a narcotic drink made with ground Yaqona roots mixed with water. The earthy drink is usually served during a welcoming ceremony performed when new visitors arrive at the village. The experience is replicated at most resorts in Fiji, usually performed during one night of the week, at the same goes for most resorts on the Pacific Harbour and Beqa Island.
Fijian Food Safari
Guests staying at the Nanuku Auberge Resort will certainly get their foodie fix on their Fijian Food Safari. Your guide will teach you how to catch crabs in the mangroves like a local before taking a medicinal walk to learn about the local herbs and spices. The tour also includes a visit to a market and farm to buy fresh produce for a Fijian warrior to prepare for you back at the resort.
Moonlight Prawning, Crab Catching and Beekeeping
Yes, there are more foodie experiences to be had at the Nanuku Auberge Resort! Go crab catching by taking a bilibili raft to a mangrove forest to catch crabs and bring them back to resort to prepare in a traditional lovo oven. You can also go up the Navua River to cast nets for prawns at moonlight, followed by an evening with a local family to learn how to cook coconut-steamed prawns. Finally, an alternative experience is to play beekeeper for the day visiting the resort’s beehive. Learn how honey is made followed by a honey-focussed spa treatment and a five-course honey-themed tasting menu.
Best Restaurants on the Pacific Harbour
Treat your tastebuds at some of the Pacific Harbour and Beqa Islands best restaurants! Here’s a quick overview of the Fijian food, fine dining, cheap eats and unique dining experiences in the Pacific Harbour. For a full list of recommendations, head to our Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants on the Pacific Harbour & Beqa.
Where to Try Fijian Food on the Pacific Harbour
There are many restaurants on the Pacific Harbour offering international cuisine from burgers to Chinese dumplings, but if you’re looking to educate your palette and eat like the locals, try restaurants like the Oasis Cafe in the Arts Village for their local seafood (served un-filleted the local way), as well as Fijian appetisers like kokoda. Resorts like the Kulu Bay Resort keep things local with Fijian and Indo-Fijian dishes such as kokoda, cabbage lolo (coconut) soup, fish tacos with roti, curry and roti, local fish in lolo sauce and more!
Fine Dining on the Pacific Harbour
Although Fiji is more about casual island-style dining – even eating on the floor with your hands if you’re staying in a Fijian village – there are a few fine dining experiences to be had on the Pacific Harbour should you want to really treat yourself. Try Seduce at The Pearl Resort serving Fijian-influenced cuisine with fresh local ingredients. Alternatively, Nanuku‘s signature restaurant, Kanavata Restaurant and Lounge, showcases the fresh Beqa Lagoon seafood prepared in internationally-inspired ways.
Unique Dining Experiences on the Pacific Harbour
Eating out doesn’t necessarily mean eating at a restaurant when you’re at the Pacific Harbour and Beqa Island. Romantics can whisk their lovers away to private sandbars for a beach picnic with resorts such as with Lalati, Kulu Bay, Royal Davui, Beqa Lagoon and Nanuku Auberge. Alternatively, there’s always the option to enjoy in-residence dining in your resort. Or how about a private dinner with a personal butler on the pier of the Lalati Resort.
Cheap Eats on the Pacific Harbour
Finally, for those on a budget or those who want to get those “street eat” experiences, try some of the cheap eats on the Pacific Harbour. Mama’s Dumplings served up delicious Chinese dumplings and other Asian cuisines, while Rik’s Harbour Restaurant serves up real Indo-Fijian-style curries for under FJ$10! Find out more in our Top Cheap Eats on the Pacific Harbour.
Vegetarian and Special Diets on the Pacific Harbour
On the Pacific Harbour, it’s all about the seafood. So unless you are a pescatarian, then you should have no trouble finding a wealth of options when it comes to vegetarian food. However, those keeping meat and fish out of their diet will find very limited options in comparison to the larger tourist hubs of Fiji. There will, however, always be at least one vegetarian item on the menu.
When staying at one of the off-shore islands, your dining options are limited to your resort’s restaurant. Wherever you stay, it’s best to let the resort know your dietary requirements before booking to see if they will be able to accommodate you. Resorts such as the Beqa Lagoon Resort and Royal Davui Island Resort are known to be particularly accommodating for different diets.