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Castaway kava & a cool Coral Coast caper

JENNY ROWLAND tries her first home brew in Fiji

I am feeling a little bit crazy tonight - slightly unhinged, but in a nice, blissfully relaxed way. I’ve been to my first ever kava ceremony in Fiji at Castaway Island.


Castaway Island


Four men in grass skirts is enough to get my heart racing any day of the week but after a day in the hot sun and in an already mellow state the sight of these bare-chested, muscular specimens is enough to send me over the edge.... and that’s before they pour the kava down my throat. It’s a heady mix of passionate chanting, clapping and Bula-ing preceded by the kava offering. 


I’m very nervous as to be honest the murky brown liquid the chief has in the bowl between his legs looks a bit like the water that’s just had your socks and jocks washed in it. 


However I dutifully clap once, shout “Bula” and skull the proffered beverage. While I’m all for the tradition and ceremony I cannot lie... I have never drunk ‘sock water’ but I feel that if I had it might taste quite similar. 


After the third round, however, and with a numb bum (I’m sitting on the floor) and numb tongue, I’m starting to get the taste for it. I wonder if I can buy a litre in duty free? The Bula spirit has got me.


Jenny enjoyed the kava ceremony as a guest at Castaway Island – just one of the many activities on offer that made her go weak at the knees.

Image Ecotrax


Is it a train? No! Is it a bike? No! Is it a totally new and fun way to see the stunning Coral Coast in Fiji while traversing tropical rain forests, caves, villages, schools and farms? Yes!


It’s Ecotrax, Fiji’s number one visitor attraction (as voted in the Fiji Excellence In Tourism awards and also TripAdvisor’s number one rated outdoor activity) and you must add it to your ‘to do’ list when you are next in Bula country. It’s an electric-assisted bicycle carriage mounted onto the old sugar cane tramline and something the whole family can enjoy.


The journey through the tropical rain forest takes you to the most pristine and completely deserted ‘Frangipani beach’ where you can swim and enjoy the tropical fruits provided by the crazy gang at Ecotrax.


Our ‘crazies’ were Dolly and Brittney, who ensured that our afternoon cycle was hugely entertaining, fun and of course safe. They provided a running commentary of our scenery and surroundings with a few tall tales of sharks and crocks in the waterways we were passing. Really? Sounds like a whole load of Bula to me!


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Written by: Jenny Rowland
Published: 14 June 2019

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