Great Big Wow! Someone told me that Denarau, Worldmark South Pacific was a holiday destination must, but I was completely unready for the Wow that faced me when I entered our 3-bedroom ocean view apartment. Scenery. All I saw was the movie, ‘South Pacific’.
Family members, including my only granddaughter, had greeted me at the door, having had only to fly from Sydney, while my husband and I had started from Brisbane. Their two-hour advantage had already affected an almost nonchalant familiarity of ownership with the beautiful tropical setting. I had booked 12 months earlier and now our mutual smiles told it all.
From the initial welcome to the reluctant farewell staff greeted us with smiles, and the customary “bula” became the daily password. A special welcome visit came from Sue, a friendly hostess who guided options of all the ‘to dos’. Armed with personal aromatic, coconut oil toiletry packages for the ladies, she made us feel like 5 star guests.
Our first day was spent spoiling ourselves as we tried to slow down to “Fiji time” as we ambled along pathways with adjoining gardens exuding their warm, somewhat intoxicating tropical magic. I had seen pictures of the Denerau pool, but its enormity was something else. Now, I have a personal aversion for cramped swimming areas, but overcrowding was just not on the agenda. Everyone, old, young and in-betweens swam and played comfortably. After testing out the pool with its swim-up bar, we carried cool fruit cocktails to some ocean-view poolside lounges and focused on learning to live in low gear. Our holiday was now really getting underway.
The week drifted into days of decadent relaxation by the pool and day ‘do’ options. On a boat trip to South Sea Island we snorkeled, viewed coral depths and indulged on a scrumptious Fijian smorgasbord under shady trees.
Another day, a very affordable taxi took us out to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. Imagine walking through orchid-draped rainforest, blackening yourself in thermal mud, having a thermally-heated hole-in-the-ground bath and an open bure massage, in one day. Paradise indeed.
At the risk of sounding clichéd I must say “So much to see and so much to do and so many lifetime memories to share.”
“Farewell Denerau. I’m coming back”.
Words and Photos by Irene