BY DONNA PARKIN — Australian travel writers got their hands dirty during a recent media familiarisation trip hosted by Outrigger on the Lagoon • Fiji (FOR) and Castaway Island, Fiji (FCI).
Four Australian-based media professionals joined in a community tourism project that underpins the company’s global commitment to provide a deeply engaging hotel experience for its guests. The project enables resort guests the opportunity to participate in the construction of a traditional meeting hall / bure for Conua School and village in the Sigatoka Valley.
It was not all hard work with the group – Tiana Templeton, freelance travel writer; Andrea Black, Fairfax Media; Lin Kuang, OBQ Australia; and Mark Smith, Leader Newspapers – later enjoying a cocktail at the swim-up pool bar and relaxing in the resort’s award-winning Bebe Spa Sanctuary.
I hosted the writers, who spent several days experiencing the resort and exploring its surrounds, including a visit to the Sigatoka produce markets and attending a hard fought game of Fijian rugby before flying by helicopter to Castaway Island.
An afternoon spent on the idyllic Cloud 9 reef pontoon and dinner at Castaway’s famed Restaurant 1808 rounded out an action and event-packed program.
The travel writers certainly experienced an authentic holiday experience where ‘local culture meets world-class hospitality.’