March 12, 2012
If you have the ambition or fortitude to do a semi-rugged hike, heading up the impressive hill behind the resort will reward your inner-Robinson Crusoe. Depending upon your speed and time of day, you’ll need 30 to 60 minutes to reach the top and when you get there, there will be no doubt it was worth it. Once at the top, you will have a bird’s eye view of the Yasawa chain of islands, an archipelago that is about as spectacular as it gets.
The resort will provide a guide which you will surely appreciate. Locals seemingly climb this hill while barely breaking a sweat. We highly doubt that you will feel the same. Any time of day to trek is fine, but the noon time sun can be pretty harsh if you are not ready for it. When you reach the top, we suggest that you give a big Vinaka vakalevu to the Higher Power of your desire, because you’re a little closer than normal, He/She just might hear you a little clearer.
The trek is available any day you stay at our resort. Pease try to give us a at least a few hours notice or let us know the day before and we’ll make sure that your excursion is properly prepped. Happy Trails!
February 24th, 2012
We were the first two people to sleep on an uninhabited island in at least 60 years or more. My fiancé and I were lucky enough to be selected to do the trial run of the ‘Alone on an Island’ adventure offered by Oarsman Bay Lodge. My name is Steve Reid, my fiancé is Litea Varo. We stayed one night, together and alone on the island. We wished it were a lifetime.
We slept on a hammock under a mosquito net. We heard a few sand crabs at night and the soothing rhythm of the ocean waves. We swam a lot and climbed a surprisingly tough hill in sweltering mid-day heat where we had to cut a path through dense foliage using a cane knife. We ate some food for lunch and dinner that was prepared for us by the resort and we made extra sandwiches later (we were real hungry!).
We talked and explored and swam and talked and explored and swam some more. We split coconuts for extra sweet water (that’s not easy to do and next to impossible if you don’t know what you are doing – so I suggest that you get training on this) and we saw a glorious amount of stars over our head all night long. It gets dark fast and we had torches soaked with a small amount of kerosene and some solar lanterns that gave us a bit of comfort when a crab or two made some noise. We lit a bonfire but I must admit, we started it with matches. We’ll keep details as to the rest of the nocturnal events to ourselves but it is safe to say that romance is alive and well in the South Pacific. The next day we got picked up in the late morning and we couldn’t have felt more bittersweet it. It was one single and magnificent day and night and it all went so fast. We were finally just getting the hang of this whole thing…but we truly earned and will always treasure some of the most amazing memories we will ever have.
We cannot thank Ratu Epeli and the while team at Oarsman Bay for giving us the honor of the inaugural stay on the island. It was truly epic in every sense. My words to anyone who reads this…“Do this!”
September 27th, 2011
Bula Everyone, My name is Steve Reid and I am the Executive Director of Webmedia Fiji. I have lived in Fiji for 15 years and have literally seen or visited probably more than 90% of the resorts in this country. Our firm likely works with two or three times more tourism based organisations in the South Pacific than any other firm I am aware of in our industry. Why is this important? Because it gives me a perspective on Fiji that very few have. And now, what is that perspective? …. Well, I’m glad you asked.
I personally feel that Oarsman Bay is one of the most sensational and intimate locations that I have ever come across. This place has absolutely amazing beauty. The lagoon is strikingly beautiful. The island is near perfect. The honeymoon (private) island nearby is unparalleled. The resort is run by local Fijians, many who are related, almost all from the nearby village and all with a similar killer smile. Their fearless leader is Ratu Epeli, a generous, easy going man with many a comforting way and quite a bit of high level culinary skill from his younger days served in many 5 star resorts. I have been here numerous times and the staff always looks to meet your needs and get you what they can.
I am not telling you that you will experience a 4 or 5 star luxury stay. This is a budget level resort that earns that distinction. It is a loooooong way from the mainland and it caters to independent travellers, romantics at heart, backpackers and hearty, adventurous souls. I can’t promise you lush showers, amazing mattresses and gourmet dining. You will get the basics done well, or at least well enough, while you will stay in one of the most surreally splendid locations I have ever visited. The water caves are nearby, the hills are a challenge to climb, the snorkeling is awesome, the swimming is spectacular and the whole ambience is everything you can ever imagine. This is the real Fiji, the real South Pacific with no pretensions. I really do hope you enjoy this place as much as I do.