August 12, 2022
  • Menu
  • Menu
About Us

About Us

Home » About Us
Rob Kay, author Lonely Planet Guide to Fiji and FijiGuide
Rob Kay, author (photo by Cynthia Ramirez)

Since 1996, FijiGuide has provided readers with all they need to plan a vacation. This includes advice on accommodations, cuisine, diving, dining, surfing, trekking, kava drinking and the protocol of visiting a village. In short, the mission of FijiGuide is to steer the visitor to the very best of Fiji.

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, 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 .

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.

“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.

Albert Schutz--Scholar of Fijian Languages
A youthful Al Schütz

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.

The app’s interactive map allows visitors to zero in on Suva landmarks and heritage sites.

Stay Tuned for Suva–a History and Guide and, check out our FijiGuide Suva Walking Tour App

Shortly FijiGuide Publishing will release an update of Suva–a History and Guide. First published back in 1978 by Rob’s late colleague, Al Schütz, 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. We’ve also included restaurant and hotel recommendations, not to mention a section on Suva’s evolving cultural and performing arts scene.

Our accompanying FijiGuide Walking tour App of Suva, for Android and iPhone platforms is now available. A collaboration between FijiGuide Publishing and Gpsmycityt can be downloaded on Google Play or Apple Store.

If you have any comments email Rob at rkay@fijiguide.com.