18
Nov-2016

JET SKIS + SNORKELS: BEACHCOMBER ISLAND, FIJI

Beachcomber Island

CRASH.

Another wave clambered over the front of the boat.

SPLOSH.

My eyes stung with the saltwater that now drenched my entire body.

I tried to peel strands of hair away from my face while my wet clothes clung to every curve of my figure.

No wet t-shirt contests here – I was most definitely in the drowned-then-electrified-rat category.

Only half an hour earlier, my friend Louisa and I had successfully dried off after spending a day in the salt, sun and sand of Fiji’s Beachcomber Island.

As we took our spot on the front of the boat, our skipper warned us we might get a little wet.

What he didn’t say was that we would actually end up in the same state as if we had simply swum fully clothed back to the marina.

The saltwater stung against my sunburnt shoulders and the whiplash from the ocean wind dried my lips out to resemble a sun-dried tomato. 

Louisa threw her head back and laughed, her blonde and also soaked hair flying behind her in the wind. Carefree and happy, a little extra seawater was the perfect ending to her perfect day.

 

Underwater at Beachcomber Island

 

BEACHCOMBER ISLAND: AN ISLAND FANTASY

 

Beachcomber Island is one of Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands, the closest island group to the main island of Viti Levu.

My good friend Louisa was visiting Fiji off the back of the New Zealand winter. Like most travellers, heading out to one of Fiji’s beautiful little islands was high on the agenda.

From the second we stepped on the boat, I could see the excitement and anticipation in my friend’s eyes.

Beachcomber Island has quite a different feel to say, South Sea Island, where John & I visited earlier in our stay.

Beachcomber has a more party feel to it with lots of music and a DJ on all day, while South Sea Island is smaller and more relaxed.

Looking at the day’s activities it was hard to know where to start our island adventure.

Snorkelling was a given, but we also had the opportunity to jump on a jet ski, go kayaking or try parasailing.

 

SNORKELLING AT BEACHCOMBER ISLAND

 

Snorkelling at Beachcomber Island

 

I taught Louisa to snorkel back in New Zealand at Goat Island Marine Reserve some years ago.

Now it was time to give her a taste of the tropics.

Four years ago she was a timid newbie snorkeller – now she was diving down with ease, clearing her snorkel like a pro and lapping up every part of this tropical deliciousness.

 

Underwater Selfie at Beachcomber Island

 

We observed stripey sergeant fish, interesting coral formations, parrotfish, triggerfish and blue starfish. 

 

Parrotfish at Beachcomber Island

Coral at Beachcomber Island

Sergeantfish Beachcomber Island

 

I couldn’t help but smile watching my friend act practically like a dolphin in these waters.

But the best was yet to come.

After our buffet lunch, it was decided we would go jet-skiing.

 

DRIVING JET SKIS NANA-STYLE 

 

Jet Ski

 

Having never been on a jet-ski in my life, I was equal parts excited and terrified for our afternoon adventure.

If you’ve never ridden a jet ski, imagine learning to ride a motorcycle on a tightrope.

In the wind.

With too much slack. 

I barely hit 30kmh as my Nana-driving skills overtook any sense of losing my inhibitions. With every jolt forward, I could feel Louisa cling onto my life jacket and I spent most of the time trying to avoid driving in a manner which would see her fling off to the side into the ocean.

It reminded me of my first ever driving lesson with my Dad, bunny hopping down the road. Except, this time I was bunny hopping down a body of water approximately 20-30 metres above the sea floor.

With every jolt forward, I could feel Louisa cling onto my life jacket and I spent most of the time worried she was going to fly off.

After half time we swapped places and I let Louisa take the driver’s seat.

Two words.

Speed demon.

Now it was my turn to cling on to her lifejacket and I spent most of the way back to shore with my eyes shut due to the wind, the copious amounts of sea spray hitting my face and the fear of falling off.

My driver didn’t mind. She was clearly having the time of her life.

 

Jet Ski Beachcomber Island

 

We were on a jet-ski high for the rest of the afternoon.

The remainder of our time on Beachcomber flew by and after some serious chill-out time in a hammock, we rolled out of our cocoons for a ride home.

Unbeknown to us, there was still a little more adventure left in the day.

By choosing a spot at the front of the boat, we were subject to intense wind and waves on our way home. In simple terms, we got absolutely drenched.

Not quite the relaxing end to the day we had envisaged, but kept in with the theme of exhilarating adventures.

Louisa didn’t want to leave. 

Luscious beaches, sparkling blue water, cocktails, hammocks, palm trees, jet skis… it was my personal form of paradise. The casual, relaxed atmosphere makes you feel as though you have no cares in the world, miles from anywhere. We took to those magic waters to explore the marine life with snorkels, and I was amazed by how clear the water was, how much we could see.  The fish were surprisingly curious, coming right up to us to see what we were up to. It was my fantasy island day come to life.  

 

Fantasy island indeed – and we both got to tick jet skiing off our bucket list. 

 

Beachcomber Island from the sea

 

 


DETAILS: Beachcomber Island is a 45-minute cruise from Denarau Marina. Day tours start at $99, including lunch, morning and afternoon tea.

DISCUSS: What’s your idea of an island paradise?

 

Snorkelling and Jet-skiing at Fiji's Beachcomber Island - paradise!

 

Weekend Wanderlust


Time Travel Blonde
Wonderful Wednesday

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  • Jet Set Brunette

    Jetskiing is so much fun, but definitely a little chaotic! I also drive like a nana on a jetski, even though I feel like I’m going a bazillion miles an hour!

    • I’m glad I’m not the only nana driver! But it was still so much fun, I felt like I was going much faster!

  • Jennifer Morrow

    Jet skis are fun, but I would rather spend the entire time under the water. That looks like a great snorkel spot, and probably even better scuba diving nearby!

    • Fair enough! There’s certainly lots to explore underwater. This time we didn’t dive as my friend is not a diver. But the snorkelling was still pretty good 🙂

  • I haven’t been on a jet ski since I was quite young and it was on a lake. I’d love to get on one again, although I’m not sure I’d be the best driver–I’d definitely be nana-driving too! 😛

  • Nancy Pitman

    What a fun read! From becoming drenched rats by staying in the front of the boat to the wild jet ski adventure I was amused to say the least. Plus you got some great underwater shots while you were snorkeling. What a beautiful place!

    • Thanks Nancy! Glad you enjoyed the read. It sure was a beautiful place – despite getting drenched at the end!

  • OMG I’m in love with how bllllue the water is!! I’ve never gone jet skiing before but you certainly made it look like fun! #WeekendWanderlust

    • Oh the water here is just ahhh-MAZING. Every island has the most beautiful turquoise colours surrounding it.

  • Never done jet skiing before. These pics are thrilling! and speed demon, clinging on to jacket… I can feel the thrill there. 🙂

    • To be honest, I don’t even know if she was that much of a speed demon but it felt like it from where I was sitting! Hope to try it again soon though.

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    I spent last Christmas in Fiji and it is such a beautiful place. Waters are crystal clear, that marine life, all so awesome. Love that Beachcomber is so close the the main island and you can experience it as a day trip. You really looked like you had a ball.

    • Oh how awesome to have a Christmas here! Where did you stay? Beachcomber is so accessible from Denarau. The Mamanucas are beautiful, especially being so close to the mainland & ideal for a day trip. We had a blast!

  • Look how clear that water is! Jetskiing looks like so much fun and I would love to snorkel somewhere that is so clear and beautiful! Great share 🙂

  • David Johnston

    Looks like you had heaps of fun at Beachcomber Island, love seeing your photos and the colour of the water. I don’t blame you at all for not wanting to leave #FlyAwayFriday

    • Sure was a lot of fun! I never want to leave – we just visited another island over the weekend and I think that might have been my favourite one so far!

  • Brilliant I have never tried jet skis but this looks like the perfect place to attempt it. The waters around Fiji are so beautiful it is the one thing that I loved most about the place,not to mention the locals are so friendly. I did a kava kava ceremony once and it was a hoot, bula! bula!

    • It was actually quite windy when we went, it would have been better to try it earlier in the day when the water was calmer. But it was still heaps of fun & an amazing setting to try it! The locals are wonderful here. Ah good on you for joining the kava ceremony! Could you walk and talk afterwards? Ha ha!

  • Wow, it does look like a paradise island! I drove a jetski in Panama and, even though I was also terrified at first, I quickly got the hang of it and it couldn’t go fast enough for my taste! I hated being a passenger though, so I could totally relate to your story! haha

    • Awesome! Panama would have been a great place to try it! Yes I think I would have been a bit more confident if I was driving by myself too as I was worried I was going too fast for my friend!

  • In Africa N Beyond

    The island looks beautiful. And you girls certainly had alot of fun. I’ve never ridden a jetski or snorkelled before and I must admit that I’m a bit scared to try it out.

    • Oh we had a blast! Snorkelling is amazing – just find somewhere warm, clear and calm to try it with lots of colourful fish to distract you 🙂

  • Gokul

    That looks like a great adventure. I maybe a bit scared of going into the water but I need to get over the fear sometime.

    • Do you know how to swim? That will help you a lot venturing out into the ocean. The underwater world is quite magnificent.

  • Fiji looks awesomeee! And I love a good snorkel. My best friend has a Jet Ski and it was always fun but slightly terrifying haha. But what a fun day in the sun! I could really use one of those right about now…

    • Fiji is incredible – we are so fortunate to be here! Jet skiing was so fun but yes, mildly terrifying at the same time. Hope you make it to Fiji one day!

  • TravellingMom

    Island fantasy is right! What a stunning place to snorkel. I’m not a fan of jet skis, but I’ve added it to my list for the snorkel factor.

    • Thanks – snorkelling was awesome! All the Mamanuca Islands around Fiji are excellent for snorkelling with warm, clear waters.

  • Coleman Concierge

    Beautiful pictures. I want to go. We snorkel here in San Diego but the it’s a lot like work. Wet suits, low vis, surf and none of these beautiful fish. If we live there we would never leave the water.

    • Ah, what’s the water temperature in San Diego? Yes I hate having to get out of the water here – it’s like a bath!

      • Coleman Concierge

        It is pretty chilly! Typically 65 to 70° Fahrenheit. Definitely want your wetsuit most of the year.

  • Gorgeous picture. Wow. Love how the clear the waters are. Island fantasy is right. I’ve just added Fiji to my bucket list. Thanks for the inspiration. Stunning!!

  • Megan Claire

    So glad you both had a wonderful time! Awesome underwater snorkel shots 🙂 We’re based in Australia so Fiji isn’t too far of a trip for us – will have to add Beachcomber island to the list for 2017 🙂

    • Thanks Megan! Yes it’s not far at all to get here from Aussie so you should definitely take advantage of the sales that pop up at the start of the year! And spend some time hopping around the islands. Beachcomber is just one of many!

  • Sabine @ The Travelling Chilli

    This seemed like so much fun. I’ve always wanted to go and visit Fiji, but from Europe it’s a long distance away. Your photos made me even want to go more. Really pretty out there!

    • Thanks Sabine, we had a blast! Fiji is quite far from Europe, yes, so perhaps you can do a Pacific/Oceania trip and visit NZ + Australia too!

  • Corinne Vail

    What a fun place to be. I’ve never gone to Fiji…and yes, it’s high on the list….lucky you!

    • Hope you get here sooner rather than later! We’re loving living here. It’s pretty special. Very popular holiday spot for New Zealanders + Australians in particular as it’s only 3-4 hours flight away.

  • Chronic Wanderlust

    I imagine it’s a wonderful place to dive as well! Love your water photos!

    • There are lots of dive spots off from the island apparently, but we didn’t get to go this time as my friend is not a diver. But the jet skiing was a fun alternative!

  • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

    I think it’s time I start snorkeling – I feel like I’m missing out on so much! That water is so inviting. Beachcomber Island sounds like the perfect place for some relaxation and recreation.

    • Yes, you must! It’s a whole new world beneath the surface, it will open your mind and your eyes to this incredible place we call Earth. Best to find a place with warm, clear waters for maximum enjoyment – like Fiji!

  • Lisa

    What a beautiful place. I haven’t been there since I was a kid.Looks like you had loads of fun trying new things. Pictures are really nice thanks for sharing with us!

  • Mags

    That water looks so blue and inviting. I wouldn’t mind escaping winter here.

  • Jenna

    Gorgeous photos! The water looks amazingly clear and filled with lots of beautiful fish, and jet ski’s are my favorite! I’ve never been on one in the ocean though, only on lakes, but it would be fun to jet ski in the ocean sometime! Sounds like a fantastic day!

    • I think it might be easier on a lake – although it can get windy on lakes too, but you don’t have the same swell as the ocean. That’s what made me a bit nervous, the wind picked up in the afternoon and I wasn’t too comfortable on the rocking, rolling waves!

  • Oh damn this looks fantastic. Fiji is on my list since 4.5 years now (yeah very precisely lol). have done jet skis and snorkeling before but beachcomber looks like pristine paradise. Does the day tour cost include jet ski and snorkel gear rentals?

    • That is very precise! I hope you can tick it off soon then! The jet ski trip was additional to the day trip, I think we paid about $140 FJD for the experience. As for the snorkel gear, we had our own gear with us, but I think you just have to pay a refundable deposit for it (in case you lose it at sea!). All food was included and our deal included 2 x beverages (wine, beer, house spirits + soft drinks).

  • Jess Weller

    Looks great its on our list of places to go in the near future !!

    • Hope you can visit! It’s a beautiful place and there is lots to keep you occupied, as well as being the perfect place for pure relaxation!

  • Elisa Subirats

    wow girls, you know how to have fun! amazing underwater pictures, did you use a go pro?

    • Thanks! We had a blast! No, we don’t have a GoPro, instead we use the Olympus Tough underwater camera + underwater housing which takes pretty good shots!

  • Melody Pittman

    Beautiful beach. I loved hearing about your adventures. We are all fans of jet skiing so glad you got to to try it. We had a jet ski accident in Aruba once that was a horrible experience so it took us awhile to get back on them. Lovely fish pictures. 😉 What kind of camera did you use?

    • Thanks Melody! Oh that’s terrible about the jet ski accident, that must have been terrifying. Glad you were able to eventually return, that must have been very difficult. We use the Olympus Tough TG 860 camera with the PT-057 housing.

  • Vishal

    Very beautiful photos, beach, activities and people. Love it.

  • That water looked gorgeous. Is it possible to spend the night there for camping or whatever or is it a day playground?

    • There’s no option for camping but there are bures (island style accommodation huts) throughout the island so people can stay for as long as they’d like!

  • Goodness, now I’m dreaming of swimming in crystal clear water. I’ve been on a jet ski a few times but am not a big fan having been flung off a few times from hitting waves lol

    • Oh dear that must have been terrifying being flung off a jet ski! I was so scared that was going to happen to me!

  • This looks like so much fun! I’ve never been on a jet ski either (motorcycle, yes), but I would love to. And I’m sucky at snorkeling too… I feel like I always get water into the tube and need to spend time to clear it. I haven’t learned to dive like that yet.

    • We had a blast on the jet ski, you’d be great at it I’m sure if you have been on a motorcycle. Snorkelling takes a bit of practice – you need a good snorkel with a splash guard and also watch your head positioning – if you lift it too high it will drop the snorkel back into the water! So keep your head level so your snorkel is mainly upright.

  • Johann Kuruvilla

    Definitely my kind of beach day out. The way you have penned it down here makes me want to take a dip in salty waters right away. I’m heading to Goa in a few weeks and will be looking forward to similar experiences hopefully, carefree and wild!

    • Goa! Wow that sounds fantastic. Great beaches, I’ve heard! Do you know what the snorkelling is like there?

  • This is definitely my idea of an island paradise! The clear blue water and gorgeous beaches? I’m in!

  • such beautiful photos! found you through wanderful wednesday and so glad i did! i love how you open the post in media res and really draw the reader in to the island setting from the get go. love this!

    • Thanks so much Erin! Glad you were able to stop by and find our blog – we love having graphics and images at the top to draw in the readers. Thanks and hope to see you again here!

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  • Beautiful water! Sounds like a wonderful day out! 🙂

  • Wow, love all your photos – as always! I REALLY can’t wait to go next year <3 Love having you on #FlyAwayFriday!

    • Thanks Kana! You’re going to have a blast when you get here. Message me if you’d like any recommendations.

  • Wow! This looks so beautiful and you guys look you’re having so fun!!! I have to say I’ve never been on a jet ski and need to do it ASAP!!! Can’t wait to see what you share on FlyAwayFriday tomorrow!

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