• Family holidays

    Family holidays
    Our itineraries around New Zealand and Australia allow you and your family to have a memorable holiday, without the hassle of organising anything. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our representative, given a private tour, travel documents and vouchers, then off you go while being in 24/7 contact with us with a provided mobile phone.

  • Group tours

    Group tours
    Our very own tours around New Zealand have been designed to show you as much as possible in two weeks, with high quality accommodation, dinners in great restaurants, cultural experiences and our professional guides.  Our family holidays also can be realised with a private driver/guide.

  • Exotic destinations

    Exotic destinations
    Beyond our standard holiday itineraries, we are specialists in organising travel to more exotic destinations in the South Pacific, allowing you to experience unique cultures and customs.

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  • Luxury travel

    Luxury travel
    From lodges and beachfront resorts, to five star chauffeured transport, we will exceed the expectation of even the most demanding luxury traveller.

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  • Adventure and adrenaline

    Adventure and adrenaline

    Activities from jet boating to skiing are all on the menu for the adrenaline junkies. From team building workshops to hiking trips, we have made custom tours for all ages and interests.

  • Incentive travel

    Incentive travel
    Having organised incentive holidays for some of the largest companies in Europe, our incentive products are sure to satisfy even the most demanding clients.

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Fiji3Bula Fiji

Behind the reception desk at Crusoe’s Retreat Resort hang clocks showing the time in the main metropolitan centres of the world. One of these clocks however has no hands, and the sign ‘Fiji time’ below it makes you realise that this is one of the few places left on earth where time slows down, and no one is in any serious hurry. You can see this by the way the locals of these far away islands strut around, from to place, slowly yet confidently and with a giant smile. It’s as though they are making a happy occasion out of walking itself.

Somewhere in the Pacific
Many associate the Fijian Islands with warmth, beaches and palm trees and dream of visiting this magical place in the distant Pacific. For New Zealanders and Australians it is the most popular holiday destination, but there are also many Germans, Koreans, Japanese and Americans. Most tourist facilities are found on the two main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. There is a growing interest in visiting Fiji from other Markets such as South America and Eastern Europe.  
Crusoe’s Retreat is found on the island of Viti Levu halfway between the international airport in Nadi,  and Suva, Fiji’s capital city. To get here you need travel about 100 kilometres down the Queens Highway, the country’s main road. Although not all together comfortable because of the potholes, the drive gives you a glimpse of everyday life in Fiji as you pass through many small villages.

One great advantage this place has is its isolation. It is not a large resort, numbering only 30 bures (bungalows built in the traditional Fijian style), but for those on a more modest budget, this resort will definitely complement your Fijian experience. Each bure has its own bathroom, hotel amenities and a ceiling fan.

Fiji5The friendly locals
Upon arriving at the resort every guest is greeted by a musician, and given a shell necklace as well as a refreshing non-alcoholic tropical cocktail. ‘Bula’, meaning welcome and ‘bula vinaka’ meaning thank you, are words that follow visitors around for the duration of their stay. The local people are sincere, open and friendly, acknowledging everyone they come across with a smile, a wave or a loud “Bula!”.

Fiji can be visited all year round, but the most comfortable and pleasant weather is during the winter months, from May to October. The days are shorter, but the climate is very mild especially for northern hemisphere tourists who are accustomed to temperatures of between 25°C and 30°C. The nights can be cooler, with temperatures sometimes falling to15°C, but the important thing is that this is the least humid period of the year and the ocean temperature stays at between 20°C and 25°C. As is done in the tropics lying lazily at the beach soaking up the sun is a common activity, but there are also other things to do such as getting a relaxing massage – after which you are guaranteed to feel years younger. Lying on the massage table, listening to the sounds of the waves calmly breaking on the sand, one gets an idea of what heaven must feel like. An hour long massage after your arrival in Fiji will go a long way to relax your body and eliminate your jet lag.


A visit to the village
If lazing around in the resort is not for you, why not visit a Fijian village? Close by the resort is the village of Namaqumaqua. Without tourism it is unlikely the village could afford to have its own kindergarten or running water. The kindergarten if surrounded by a wire fence, most probably to stop the children running away to play at the nearby beach during recess. Houses in the village are simple, usually made from concrete blocks and roofed with corrugated iron (it is less and less common to see traditional palm thatched roofs. Inside, the concrete floor is covered with large and intricate hand woven traditional mats.

Many of the villagers work in two of the local resorts. They are the gardeners, receptionists, cleaners, waiters, chefs and drivers. Everyone it seems is also a talented musician or singer, and every evening staff perform traditional Melanesian and Polynesian songs. They are happy that they can be amongst these foreign visitors. Sharing a thing or two about their home surely gives them a sense of pride, and they definitely do not shy away from conversation. Fiji was a British colony, and so your experience will be that much more eaasy because the villagers to this day speak English.   

fIJI1In the Namaqumagua village, which I have visited many times with tour groups, life seems to have a very slow pace. Dogs, accustomed to the sight of tourists don't even lift their heads, and lie lazily in the shade, appearing almost bored. It is the Fijian children, playing and running around the village square that add any sort of commotion to the place. They do not shy away from the tourists either, smiling and waving. The presence of tourists delights not only the children, but also the local shopkeeper, who is more than happy to supply visiting groups with consumables to take back to the resort.

From the porch of a larger house an older man looks our away, he is the chief, the main authority in the village. He is looking after his granddaughter, as during the day her parents are working in the resort. He happily poses for photographs. The chief has the final say on all important issues in the village.

On many porches shell necklaces, wooden masks and coconut shell bowls are displayed for sale. We take a peek inside the Methodist church, which was built with money donated by an older Australian couple. In a village of only 200 people, there are a number of faiths living side by side in harmony. The village is a very close knit community, and everyone goes through both the good and bad times together.

Upon one of my visits to the village, the locals were preparing for a celebration, with the women preparing a giant feast. It was to celebrate the completion of a project to connect the village to the island water mains. The funds for this investment were collected by the resort, which added a FJ$5 gratuity to every visitor’s bill. This gratuity was voluntary, but almost all visitors were happy to pay it.

Fiji7Bula, bula, bula!
What is there to do in FIji? Apart from the standard tourist activities such as snorkelling and kayaking, visitors can take the time to learn how to peel a coconut with a machete, or watch an unforgettable frogs vs. crabs race, as you supportyour chosen animal contestant.  Every evening, there is a fire lighting ceremony during which young Fijian warriors in traditional dress run to the beat of drums with a flaming torch, lighting pole torches throughout the resort. This is the way it has been done for centuries. During dinner, guests are entertained with more traditional Melanesian singing and dancing.

Tourists also have the possibility to try a traditional Fijian drink, called Kava. It has nothing to do with coffee as some may assume. In all honesty it tastes nothing like coffee either.  Native Fijians, as well as some other Melanesian peoples have been drinking Kava for centuries. It is known to be a relaxant, and after a few, one may even experience hallucinogenic effects. It is made from the powdered root of the kava plant, which is placed inside a cloth and soaked in water. Upon squeezing the cloth, the water takes on a light brown colour. This mixture is served in a halved coconut shell, and preferably drunk in one go. The empty coconut shell is returned to the server. Following the drink, one must make three loud claps and shout out the magical words ‘bula, bula, bula’. Not all tourists drink Kava. The sight of Kava, not to mention its preparation using tap water and bare hands, makes some people understandably concerned about poisoning. The resort is adamant that there have been no cases of upset stomachs, and I can attest to this having drank Kava on a number of occasions. Not so long ago I had three in a row, and did not feel the slightest bit uneasy. The locals say that kava calms the senses and weakens inhibitions.

Fiji4Another recommended activity is and trip to Suva, Fiji’s capital city. This city of 250 thousand people is nothing too special. You can visit the markets, where locals will try to entice you to buy their local produce. The Fiji museum, located in the heart of Suva's botanical gardens is worth a visit, and in the city centre there are a number of interesting public buildings, including the government building built out of grey volcanic rock. Not far away is a wooden 19th century building, the Grand Pacific Hotel, for many years under renovation. Many tourists also photograph themselves with soldiers guarding the presidential palace. A walk along Suva’s promenade will also be a great addition to your time there.

Not all people know that Melanesians, the traditional inhabitants of the Fiji Islands are not the only people living here. Out of a population of around 900 thousand people, a significant proportion is comprised of Indians. They number approximately 45% of the population, and were brought to Fiji by the British in the 19th century to work on the sugar cane plantations, producing one of the countries main commodities. These Fijian-Indians are prosperous people, and have a great influence on the politics and economy of the country. In the past there have been tensions between the two ethnic groups, including government coups such as in the year 2000, in which thirty six government officials led by a Fijian-Indian prime minister were held hostage for almost two months.  The instigator of this coup received life in prison after being found guilty of treason. Despite cultural differences, both peoples are trying to live together in harmony, with tourism playing a big part by giving Fijians and Fijian-Indians employment and business opportunities, as well as a sense of national unity and pride.


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Contact us

Tel: +64 9 377 4657
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Email: info@greenlitetravel.co.nz

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Address: 7 Kalgan Place, Burswood, Auckland 2013, New Zealand

Post: PO Box 99177 Newmarket, Auckland, 1149, New Zealand

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