Finding the Authentic Fiji
Since 1996, FijiGuide has provided readers with accurate, curated information.
This includes comprehensive data on top destinations, accommodations, cuisine, diving, dining, surfing, trekking, recommending itineraries, driving, what to pack and other advice. We also publish a blog featuring news and exclusive interviews.
In addition to the nuts and bolts, we offer insights into Fijian culture, language (i.e. useful Fijian phrases), history, bird watching, art, natural history, kava drinking and even the necessary protocol when visiting a village.
In short, visiting Fiji is all about getting to know the inhabitants. There’s so much more to this country than the latest fusion restaurant. Understanding the culture and perhaps a few words of Fijian, are going to help you get a lot more out of your visit.
Note that every contributor to this site has either lived in Fiji or currently lives there.
A little about the creator of the website:
Rob Kay began his journalism career with the San Francisco Chronicle Foreign Service in 1975, later working as news department director for KVML-KROG in Sonora, California.
Rob’s history with Fiji began with a press trip in the early 1980s on Continental Airlines. He resonated with Fiji and ended up spending about a year, living near Suva where he was “adopted” by a local family. During this period he worked as a freelance writer and a tour guide, traveling around Fiji, penning travel articles and doing research. This experience led to a guidebook for the Lonely Planet series and a subsequent Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award .
He also worked as the director of marketing and public relations in North America for both of Fiji’s (former) domestic carriers, Fiji Air and Sunflower Airlines.
When the Internet offered creators an opportunity to publish online, his LP book became the core of Fijiguide.com back in ’96. He continues to update and refine FijiGuide on a regular basis.
Rob has also contributed to a number of newspapers including Newsday, San Jose Mercury, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal. He currently writes a regular column on technology and sustainability for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
His most recent book is an update of “Suva A History and Guide”, which he co-authored with the late (see below) Albert Schütz.
More “About Us”
As they say, it takes a village to raise a child and in Rob’s case its taken a “koro” (village) to develop FijiGuide.
Chief among his collaborators was the late Dr. Albert Schütz, Professor of Linguistics, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. The author of numerous books on the Fijian Language (including Say It in Fijian and Discovering Fijian), Al provided the site with a comprehensive primer on the Fijian Language for visitors. This includes useful phrases, tips on pronunciation and a history section explaining how European explorers and missionaries perceived and chronicled the Fijian language. Sadly, Al passed away in 2020 and he is missed.
Then there are the photographers.
Appreciation goes to Paddy Ryan, undoubtedly the most recognized nature photographer of the Fiji Islands. Paddy lived in Fiji as a child where his father worked as a meteorologist. Thus he has a visceral feel for Fiji and this is reflected in the quality of his art. He once told Rob that the his landmark book, Fiji’s Natural Heritage, was highly recommended by Sir David Attenborough–an accolade that he is justifiably proud of.
Rob also owes a great deal to photographer Jon Apted, a Suva native, who is among the best living chroniclers of contemporary Fiji. Many of the people featured on the FijiGuide index page and throughout the site are the work of Jon who works in Suva as an attorney. His work can be found on Humans of the Fiji Islands.
The work of Stefan Cabaniuk, who generously provided some remarkable landscapes of Fiji’s parks, forests and heritage sites, is also featured on this website. A former British volunteer (VSO), Stefan focused on conservation and development of heritage tourism, which established community-based parks and reserves such as the Sigatoka Sand Dunes and Koroyanitu in Viti Levu and Bouma in Taveuni.
Finally I would like to thank Richard Goodman, whose classic black and white photos from the 1970s can also be found on this website. Dick Goodman, founder of Goodtravel Tours based in Oakland, California, was a pioneer in eco-tourism before the concept even existed. He introduced me to Fiji back in 1979 and for that I am eternally grateful.
Suva–A History and Guide now available on Amazon
Readers of this site might also be interested in our latest publication, Suva–A History and Guide which is now available on Amazon–both in Kindle format and, as a print on demand paperback.
First published back in 1978 by the late Al Schütz, it has been completely updated for 2022. Click on this link for the story behind the book.
Bottom line: It’s the only guidebook devoted exclusively to Fiji’s capital city. As the title suggests, this book also chronicles the remarkable history of Suva, highlighting the famous and not so famous personalities that made it the hub of the South Pacific.
Included are restaurant, cafe, hotel and cafe recommendations, not to mention the latest on Suva’s evolving cultural and performing arts scene.
Our accompanying FijiGuide Walking tour App of Suva, for Android and iPhone platforms is also available. A collaboration between FijiGuide Publishing and Gpsmycity, it can be downloaded on Google Play or Apple Store.
If you have any comments email Rob at email@example.com.