With 2022 fast approaching, here's another island destination that's likely to succeed in its attempts to grab your attention.
Fiji is opening its borders to New Zealand travellers from December 1 almost two years to the day since Newshub Travel visited the island not long before COVID-19 arrived on our shores.
As the pandemic slowly but surely recedes, Newshub Travel spoke to Tourism Fiji about some of the most spectacular and unique places that can be booked for travel this summer.
Kokomo Private Island Resort
Sing along with me now…
"Off the coast of Fiji, there's a place called Kokomo, that's where you wanna go to get away from it all. Bodies in the sand, tropical drink melting in your hand…"
Okay, you get the picture. Florida may have been swapped out for Fiji, but the rest of the lyrics remain true to this experience.
A short 45-minute seaplane flight from Nadi, this luxury resort on the island of Yaukuve Levu is set on 140 acres of lush island paradise. With more than two hectares of organic herb, vegetable, sprout and flowers located in a hydroponics garden, there is enough fresh ingredients for guests to experience a full farm-to-table dining experience.
Its vanilla plantation produces vanilla beans all year round for the pastry kitchen to whip up sweet treats which can only be found on the island.
Buzzing from just beyond the farm are 16 beehives, 170 free-range chickens providing fresh eggs daily, all of which feature on the Island Resort's fresh and flavoursome menus.
Kokomo is also part of a massive conservation project called Manta.
Around the resort is the Great Astrolabe Reef, a coral reef that spans around 65km in length.
Kokomo partners with Mana Project Fiji for the project and has a dedicated team of all-female marine biologists that aim to preserve, protect, and raise awareness about the Manta rays in their waters.
In 2020, the team had identified 115 manta rays at Kokomo, which accounts for 36 percent of the rays in Fiji. Part of the programme is the 'adoption initiative' - this allows guests or people who are passionate about the project to make a direct contribution to the marine programme by adopting manas and making a donation where all the proceeds go directly towards the manta project.
Eco Trax was established by Kiwis Mandy and Howie De Vries who moved to Fiji's coral coast in 2017. The adventurous attraction takes tourists along a retired sugar cane railway track through Viti Levu's lesser-explored internal landscapes.
Travelling in specially-built rail-mounted tandem bikes called velocipedes, the attraction was previously very popular with international tourists. The company has a zero-carbon footprint, and 100 percent of the bikes are powered by solar, in turn reducing their carbon footprint and creating small-scale businesses in the villages along its tour path. When the tour reaches its destination a picnic is waiting for them on a white sandy beach, made from fresh produce gathered from local village farms along the way.
In the time since border closures, Eco Trax has maintained the lines and velocipedes, and has a second fleet of vehicles ready to welcome visitors back.
Malolo Island is the tropical setting for Six Senses Fiji resort, a 25km flight from Nadi International Airport. Open for just two years before the pandemic hit, the resort has implemented many initiatives with a large focus on wellness and community inclusion. Its Fiji's only fully solar-powered resort. Rather than importing produce it also has a farm-to-table concept, with an on-site organic farm, a herb, vegetable and fruit garden and employs local fishermen to serve up a 'catch of the day' on their main restaurant menu.
The resort has its own reverse osmosis plant and water refinery allowing the resort to collect rainwater and produce high-quality drinking water for its guests, served in glass bottles to eliminate the use of plastic. They also use their onsite brewer to make all tonics, bitters and kombucha, ensuring no synthetic varieties are served within the accommodation.
Additionally, the stunning resort is home to 39 Fijian crested iguanas. There are less than 5000 of these beautiful reptiles remaining in the world and specialist insights show the critically endangered species is successfully reproducing within their protected habitat on the resort.
Do you have a place in Fiji you'd like to recommend? Head to the Newshub Travel Facebook group and let us know.