Abaca (uhm-ba-tha) located on the Viti Levu island, west of Fiji in the second largest city, Lautoka. Abaca, cultural and recreational park is filled with many local flora and fauna of Fiji. Abaca is an ideal place to go to, to get your mind off any troubles, relax, rejuvenate, if you're interested in recreational activities and the Fijian culture.
How to get there:
The only way to travel to Abaca is by car or hiring a van service. The roads to get there are dirt roads, it's a very hilly and bumpy ride, but it is definitely worth the trip. Its about an hour drive away from Nadi and half an hour if your leaving from Lautoka City. If you are interested in the Abaca Full Day Tour (link below) they provide you with pick up and drop off from your hotel (hotels from Nadi, Denarau and Lautoka).
What to do:
Once you get to Abaca, it is recommended for newcomers to hire a local guide from the nearing village to take you on a 5 hour hiking trek to Mount Batilamu (bah-tea-lah-moo) or a 2 hour circular trek, that passes by a beautiful waterfall. I personally recommend doing both of these as the views from the top of Mount Batilamu is breathtaking as well as everyone wants to go to a waterfall after a long hike. If hiking is not your thing, they also have natural rock pools. At Abaca accommodation is available which is mainly used by backpackers.
I went to Abaca as part of Duke of Edinburgh trip with my friends. We traveled there by car and once we arrived we settled into the villa styles rooms and headed off the to village seeking a tour guide. Once we met with our tour guide we began on what we thought would be a dreadful hike, wow were we wrong. First we had to cross a river, I'm not going to lie but this was a struggle, trying not to get too wet or slip from the algae on the rocks in the river,but we made it across. Then from that point onward everything was an uphill battle, literally, we made a lot of stops to take a step back and see how far we were from when we started (also there were many stops because we were tired). On the way to top, we would run out of water quickly, luckily there were many small waterfalls with fresh running water where we filled our bottles. We also learnt about Fiji's native plants used as medicine as well as spotted the well known yagona (yanh-goh-nah) plant also known as kava. The treacherous 5 hour hike felt like it took more than 5 hours to be honest, but as we got closer to the top of the mountain it all paid off with the view we saw. At the top of the mountain you get to see an endless coastline, and on a clear day you are can see a few islands from the Mamanuca and Yasawa Island group. When we got to the top we all sat down enjoyed the view and had lunch, because we were all extremely tired and needed food. Going back down the mountain was a lot easier and quicker than going up.
Very important note is to wear runners which you don't mind getting dirty or even breaking. By the end of my trek with the group I went with we came back with sole-less shoes.
On the trek you will hear so many different bird songs and if you're lucky you'll be able to spot of few of Fiji's native bird, the only bird I saw were parrots and, though this is not a bird we heard the snort of a wild pig or so we thought it was.
On our second day there we did the 2 hour hike, this hike was less of an uphill trek, we did this trek in the morning so it wasn't too hot. It wasn't too long till we reached the waterfall by the time we got there everyone was sweaty and hot and was in need to cool off, we spent about 20 – 30 minutes here till we were off again to finish the trek. On your way back to the start of the trek, there's a little hut on the top of a hill, on the ceiling of hut everyone who goes writes there name or the country they're from, there's also a few of Fiji's famous rugby players names there (this is a big deal for Fijians, as rugby is what we breath and live). Once we finished the 2 hour circular hike, we ate lunch rested for a bit and gone again but this time we went to the rock pools. The rock pools is a more relaxed environment, we brought pool tubes and jumped off rocks countless times, and getting pushed around the tiny current from the baby waterfall. All in all it is definitely an experience worth repeating.