NZET's first Fiji tour a success!
NZET's first Fiji tour a success!
21 November 2019

NZET recently completed our first offshore trip to Fiji with 23 high school age students. The tour was one night on the mainland, five nights on the beautiful and picturesque Plantation Island, a final night on the mainland and then home again.

Heading to the ‘Islands’ with 23 very excited teenagers was always going to be a bit of an adventure, but we’re happy to say the tour was a raging success. We were greeted with a Polynesian show on the first night which even had the students up dancing and culminated in a fire show on the beach which gave our trip the ‘wow’ factor from the get-go.

We transferred to Plantation via the Malolo cat which was a pretty impressive ferry! The students LOVED their accommodation at Plantation: stone bungalows with white tiled floors – just a stone’s throw from the water with some awesome snorkelling! Snorkel gear, kayaks, paddle boards, tennis rackets, volleyballs and table tennis sets were available to the students at any time, and after building up a sweat, they could plunge into the crystal-clear tropical waters to cool down.

There was also a 9-hole golf course on the island which the golfers among the students took advantage of, enjoying the beautiful backdrop of palm trees and blue waters. And in the 33 degree heat, ice cold lemonades were very much appreciated at the end of the round!

We completed two day trips whilst on Plantation island.  The first was to a local village school and market. This was a real eye opener for the students to see the simplicity of village and school life, but they also noticed how happy the students were, free from modern technology in very basic facilities. There were smiles all round. Our group donated the school some colouring pencils, snorkelling sets and a rugby ball to keep the kids entertained throughout their long hot summer holidays. Next year we will do a book drive before heading over to the islands, as the school relies on donations from the tourists to stock their library.

The second day trip was out near the surfing reefs in order to locate the family of Spinner Dolphins who live out there. We finished the morning with a deep-water snorkelling session over reefs teeming with fish life.

Students also had the option of learning to scuba dive, parasailing or doing banana boat rides to fill in the rest of their days. Surprisingly, for a very connected generation with limited patience, no one claimed to be bored and there definitely was some ‘Fiji time’ slipping into their time-keeping! Fifteen minutes seemed to be the standard Fiji time lag for any meeting time given to them… This is fine for a buffet dinner, but not so fine for a boat departing at 8:30am to beat the tides to get to the village!

It was great to see the students working as a group and forming life-long friendships. Many claimed it was an unforgettable experience and some of them the best week of their life to date! We thoroughly enjoyed the Ukelele singalongs with the students and the nightly entertainment. We’ll make a few tweaks to the itinerary and accommodation and book it in again for November 2020!

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