Back to Beachcomber Island for the Last Time

Beachcomber Island in Fiji is a very special place for me. It may have the reputation for being the party island of the Pacific and originally that was what brought me there, but it is absolutely gorgeous and has really calmed down in recent years. I just went back to Beachcomber Island after I attended a wedding in Fiji then traveled to Vanuatu. This was my third time on the island and it was so great going back to Beachcomber Island.
Beachcomber Island, Fiji
Way back in 2003 after I quit my job for the first time, my buddy Jake and I did a massive, long trip around all of Australia (literally), all of New Zealand (literally) and all of Fiji (again literally). Then we spent our last week in Fiji on Beachcomber Island. We had heard tales for months about this island and couldn’t wait to not travel, just chill, hang out, party and actually look like we went to Fiji for a few weeks and get a tan! We succeeded at all of those things.
Beachcomber Island, Fiji, bula, diving pool
Aside from Beachcomber Island being a wonderful place, what made it special to me was that I re-met a girl I knew from New York, who I ended up dating for 4.5 years. That whole thing came about because of Beachcomber Island.
Beachcomber Island, Fiji, bula, welcome
Then back in 2009 or 2010 I was in and out of Fiji 4-5 times because I was visiting a bunch of different South Pacific islands and as I always say, in the South Pacific, all roads lead to Nadi. So I had 2 nights in Fiji before a flight to Vanuatu and decided to go back to Beachcomber Island.
Beachcomber Island, Fiji, bula, jetskis
I quickly realized I was amongst the older people on the island even though I still think I’m 22. I did meet some great people to hang out with an enjoyed my first night at the famous Sandbar. The second day I started to get sick so I didn’t really enjoy that day and then I got really sick in Vanuatu for my time there-which really sucked. So after that and since I had some time to kill in Fiji this trip, I figured I would go back to Beachcomber Island once again and probably for the last time.
Beachcomber Island, Fiji, bula, view
I arranged a day trip with the Westin Denarau Hotel and headed out to paradise. When I arrived, I was surprised to see the island was essentially empty. Each of my other two times, the island was packed with 200+ people and it was a big party.
Beachcomber Island, Fiji, bula, Lee Abbamonte, frame
As I arrived in a private boat for the day trip, so did a boat of Asian tourists. Needless to say, that was a new demographic for Beachcomber as far as I was concerned! Plus, these Asian groups, they go to the beach and they don’t even use the beach or wear bathing suits. They just take photos and wear long sleeve shirts, pants and jackets with umbrellas. Why go to the sun if you don’t want any of it?! The fact that I don’t understand Asian tourists is another story for another day!
Beachcomber Island, Fiji, bula, beach
So there were a few boats that came through during the day, some kids went to the bar and chugged beers before getting back on the booze cruise or whatever they were on. The kava still flowed and the island was still beautiful but it’s different now than it was and I’m not just saying that because I’m older now.
Beachcomber Island, Fiji, bula, rear view, reef
The island has new owners in recent years and the changes aren’t good or bad but they’re certainly noticeable; mainly in expensive bungalows and private rooms. Plus if you ask the backpackers who used to inhabit the island like lice, they’ll tell you how expensive Beachcomber Island has become-even for the massive 100+ person dorm. The backpackers I met could only afford 1-2 nights on island and for that reason many forego Beachcomber altogether. That’s too bad.
Beachcomber Island, Fiji, bula, view from side
So as I walked around and reminisced a bit, it kind of hit me in a weird way that this would almost certainly be the last time I ever go back to Beachcomber Island. It’s one of those, that time in my life has passed kind of realizations that are actually kind of cool to have-epiphanies if you will. With all that, it was good to have some closure, I met some really cool people while I was out there and had a great time. It was great to go back to Beachcomber Island for the last time.

Comments

  1. I wish I could teleport to this right now as I sit here miserable in my cube. Great post, thanks Lee.

  2. One of the best times of my life was had on this little gem about 10 years ago. Thanks for bringing back some memories.

  3. Wow that looks beautiful! It’s exactly what I expect an island in Fiji to look like.

  4. Why not go back? It looks amazing!

  5. I was just there! I went to three different islands in Fiji and beachcomber was my least favourite. It’s beautiful but I felt like it was too resort like compared to some of the other islands where you actually saw Fiji culture.

    • It is a resort for sure…most Fijian islands are to be honest. The main island is where you really see the Fijian culture but to Beachcomber’s credit they do demonstrations of local things during the day but it is a resort/party island 100%.

  6. Hey Lee, great post! I am looking forward to Beachcomber and my Fiji trip in a few weeks! Currently I am living and working in NZ. I was wondering if there is a cost effective route to see all of the other south pacific countries? (Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga, etc.) Any help would be great and thanks in advance. I too am following in your footsteps and planning to visit every country!

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