Fiji is full of many hidden gems and treasures and so it was no surprise on our recent visit to Port Denarau on a cruise port day we discovered one of them - the Thermal Pools and Mud Bath.
Finding a family friendly shore tour that provides a bit of activity is often hard to come across but this one jumped out as something we would all enjoy. Having visited Mud Baths in Nha Trang, Vietnam, we were not afraid of smothering ourselves in local soils and are glad we took the opportunity to do it again. Here are six top reasons you should try the natural thermal pools and mud baths of Fiji.
Upon arrival freshly made flower necklaces will be bestowed upon you as you enter past the serenade of the village’s welcome song. As tradition requires, an official welcoming ceremony follows with the Chief including an opportunity to sample the local delicacy of Kava.
2. Get away from the city
The thermal pools are an approximate 30 minute bus journey from Port Denarau. If you are fortunate like we were your journey will be commentated by an enthusiastic local guide. Our guid, ‘Mr Cool” as he referred to himself, enthusiastically provided a myriad of fascinating facts and stories about Fiji and the local way of life. The tour takes visitors away from the hustle and bustle of the touristy Nadi and gets you out into the villages.
3. See the Sleeping Giants
This part of Fiji is famous for the mountain range known as the two sleeping giants. The mountains literally look like two giants have just laid down and mountains formed in their shapes - it is a bucket list item to see. Whilst you don’t get up close to them you do get a fair view of them on this tour.
4. Cover yourself in mud
Honestly, how many times in your life are you legitimately going to have an opportunity (as an adult or a child) to take a bucket of mud and simply lather it all over your body. The mud is dug from the mud pool and put into large buckets and you simply go for it. Dressed in bathers you simply slap the wet mud on from top to toe and cover every part of your body. It is quite an unusual thing to do - but one I highly recommend. The sun then does it’s job and dries the wet mud into your skin so it becomes a full body mud mask.
5. Enjoy the thermal pool
Once your mud mask has dried you head into a series of thermal pools to wash and cleanse - the first pool was all natural you could feel the mud squishing in your toes beneath you - the second one man made with the thermal waters pumped into it for a warm and relaxing bath like experience in the great outdoors.
6. Finish with a massage
The final part of this tour, which was not in the brochure, was the inclusion of a 15 minute full body massage from the local village ladies. A great way to finish the outdoor spa adventure of being scrubbed and buffed to relaxation.
After being farewelled with another village song we shuffled back into the bus and headed back to Nadi to catch our ship home all buffed, primed and relaxed. The only downside to the tour was that we stopped at a shopping street on route back to the ship and the last thing we felt like doing was shopping in our relaxed mode of buffed bliss. However others seemed to be thankful for the opportunity so each to their own - we had a little nap on the bus instead.
Itchy Feet Family
Penny, an avid Trip Advisor Reviewer, is the author of ITCHY FEET FAMILY. A family living in Adelaide, Australia, and taking every opportunity to travel and explore the world.