Bula! A Day in Dravuni Island in Fiji

Our second stop when we visited Fiji was to Dravuni Island. The country of Fiji itself contains 330 islands with 110 of them permanently inhabited. There are even 500 smaller islets, so there are many islands to visit.

For many decades in the 1700s, European sailors would not step foot on any of the Fijian islands. As ships would get close to shore, natives with clubs studded with shark teeth would greet them. Most of the stories of headhunting and cannibalism were set in Fiji.

Now (well, hundreds of years ago it started), this is not the practice and everyone in Fiji will greet you sahing “Bula!” which is their “hello” greeting.

The population of Dravuni is small, only 125 people and is located 40 miles south of the main, large island of Fiji. And, Fiji is roughly 1,000 miles north of New Zealand.

Before leaving for our trip, we always research our destinations. We learned there is a small primary and kindergarten school on the island near the area where the cruise ship docks. In reading about the school, we learned that they welcome any donations of school supplies for the children. So, before we had left, Amanda had filled a bag full of notebooks, pencils, coloring books, and stencils — and the look on the headmaster’s face was one of the most priceless things about our stop in Dravuni.

We spent our whole day on the island from the cool morning shade at 10am to the warm sunshine in the afternoon.

The villagers cook in outside block ovens by creating a fire in the ground, then add the meat on the coals and cover them with the palm leaves.

Morning shade on the beach, which the sun quickly chased away.

Our ship in the distance

The tender boats which ferry passengers from the ship to shore and back

Taking a break under some shade before returning to our ship

This was our first trip into the South Pacific. We found the islands and water became more beautiful the further east we traveled from Australia. Click here to read about our adventures in New Caledonia. And, click here to visit our post about Vanuatu… oh, I cannot forget about our first stop in Fiji to Beachcomber Island, here.

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