October Newsletter – Surprises Abound in the South Pacific

A Look at our October Newsletter. To Subscribe, use the form in the right-hand column at the bottom.

On a particularly special and seemingly impossibly remote island in the glorious South Pacific unpredictable and often life changing cultural exchanges occur on a daily basis. We can never predict the catalyst, the format of the exchange, nor the beneficiary. We know implicitly that when world weary travelers arrive on Nukubati, an exquisite Fijian island, change will occur. We know that once embraced by the gentle nature and kindness of the Fijian staff, lovingly known as the Nukubati Family, hearts will fill, cultural barriers will disappear, laughter will reign, stories will be told and music will flow.

In March Barbara and David Osher arrived on Nukubati guitar in hand. During their twelve day stay they marveled at the luminescent tropical fish and coral as they snorkeled through Mitimitis Garden, a coral reef in the turquoise colored ocean; listened to the afternoon silence, watched the ever changing sunsets, laughed with the staff, played the odd game of tennis, and enjoyed sumptuous cuisine. They woke at dawn to the cacophony of birdsong followed by singing and laughter as many staff members sailed to work from the local village. They listened to angels singing at the local church, joined the traditional meke, an evening of feasting, laughter, singing, dancing and carva!!! And they met Johnnie, a young man who LOVES the guitar. A remarkable cultural exchange was seeded.

Each night after dinner had been served David and Johnnie would play guitar, David the teacher, Johnnie the student hungering for more. They sat and played, laughed and sang each enmeshed in the other’s passion for music…by the giving and the taking. We have been told that on one such evening Johnnie casually asked the cost of a rock guitar such as David’s. That sadness filled his eyes at the price and contemplation of the impossible task of amassing, what to him was a small fortune. His dreams of ownership and mastery of such a magical instrument evaporated.

No matter their next destination guests who visit Nukubati find the night prior to their departure one of enormous sadness. Sadness when contemplating saying goodbye to new found friends who have brought change to their lives. Melancholy when hearing the tender Nukubati song that had greeted them on arrival now being sung as a means of farewell. As guests we know the heart wrenching feelings when we contemplate leaving our newly discovered tropical paradise. Perhaps we rarely ponder the gift we have brought the charming people we’ve met. People who have joined us in laughter, cared for our safety as we have snorkeled and dived the private reefs, massaged our tired limbs, guided us through the rainforest to their village, served us wonderful meals and champagne at sunset, tended to our every need.

For Barbara and David their next stop was in Kauai where they reflected on the joy of Nukubati, on the beauty , the color, the laughter, the people……on the bond brought by music and particularly the guitar. They especially remembered Johnnie, their mutual joy and wondered how they might send him that guitar! Today the logistics of fulfilling what was to become a mammoth undertaking are of little consequence. Ah but the completion is another story…….

click to view full size

click to view full size

……as we said we can never predict the effect of any cultural exchange that occurs on that special island in the South Pacific.

~Karen

From the Blog

A special guitar isn’t the only surprise to be found in the South Pacific. Surprises abound there;

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from gourmet food tours, to unique tour guides, to award-winning cities, and heart-stopping races. Read all about them all on the blog.

As always, I thank you for supporting Australia 2000 Travel and look forward to sharing more of my recent adventures with you in the coming months.

Thank you so much for your support! It is referrals from clients like you that help us keep doing what we so love to do.

Karen Hardy Hodgson
Toll Free Phone within USA: 1 800 875 4530
Phone: ++1 248 647 4530
Email: karen@australia2000-travel.com
Personal service and attention to every travel detail!

Occasionally one hears of an unusual and unique business where the relationship is harmonious from the beginning. Where quality is the only measure of success. Where everyone emerges from the experience fully satisfied with the end result. Australia 2000 Travel Ltd., in Birmingham Michigan, is such a business.

The Ultimate 7 Day Fijian Vacation

Your own special island in the South Pacific.

Day 1 Arrive Nadi Airport. Fly to Nukubati Island via chartered seaplane
Days 2-6 At Leisure on Nukubati Island
Day 7 Fly to Nadi via chartered seaplane and depart Fiji

DAY 1: Arrive Nadi, Fiji. Fly to Nukubati B L D
You will arrive in Nadi Airport and clear customs. After you have completed the Fijian immigration formalities you will walk to the domestic terminal where you will check in at the Nukubati Island desk to fly to Nukubati Island via seaplane. During your flight you will fly low over the tropical wonderland and see Fijian villages, rainforests and the Pacific Ocean and find that you are completely absorbed by the wild, tropical beauty. When you land at the island all staff members will be waiting on the beach to welcome you to The Island and into the Fijian lifestyle.

Nukubati is a small luxury private island secluded with an untouched natural splendor, a remote have surrounded by white sand, lush rainforest and crystalline coral reefs. With just seven bures Nukubati preserves a unique sense of privacy. As you step off the seaplane you will feel the romance and adventure of the South Pacific.

Nukubati Island offers an all-inclusive package where all accommodation, all meals, juices some beverages and non-motorized sports are included. Diving on the Great Sea Reef & Game fishing safaris can be included at additional cost.

DAYS 2-5: At leisure on Nukubati Island B L D
On Nukubati Island the emphasis is on fine food, friendly service, and total relaxation. Each exhilarating day can include snorkeling or diving on the Great Sea Reef, hobie cat sailing, wind surfing, game fishing (game fishing and diving are at additional cost.)

Sit and relax with a glass of sparkling champagne and a plate of canapés as you watch the sun setting over the ocean each evening. We call sunset The Six O’clock News because no two sunsets are the same. A private picnic on a secluded sandbar is included as part of your stay on Nukubati Island.

We are often asked how many days should be spent on this glorious island. To this day the answer our only response is always that three is too few and twelve is definitely not too many.

DAY 6: Sunday on Nukubati Island B L D
Today is Sunday. It is likely that you will be invited to visit the local Fijian Village where many of the Nukubati Family live. On such a journey you will have the privilege of joining the villagers at their Sunday church service. While listening to the choir and congregation singing a cappella it is likely you will be reminded of angels. After the church service it is the village chief’s custom to invite visitors to join him in his home for a little conversation and a glass of cool water.

Rather than visit the village you might wish to include a game of tennis, swimming from the island beaches, or simply relaxing in the sun while reading a book from the resort’s well stocked library. If all of this seems too much effort you might just enjoy a deep, soothing massage in the massage bure overlooking the water.

A Fijian massage is included in your Ultimate Fijian Vacation.

DAY 7: Depart Fiji B
After six full days of peace and relaxation on beautiful Nukubati Island it is time to bid the staff farewell and transfer to Lambasa Airport and fly to Nadi. When you arrive in Nadi Airport our private guide, Johnny, will meet you to escort you on a brief city tour that will include the Sleeping Giant Gardens. The actor Raymond Burr created this exquisite botanical orchid garden and after his death the gardens were donated to the Fijian people. Your tour will conclude at an oceanfront hotel where you will check into a bure to relax and freshen up. Two and a half hours prior to departure of your international flight you will transfer to Nadi Airport. (You will pay Johnny direct)

You will return to your home after having experienced the kind hospitality of the gentle Fijian people, learned the blissful meaning of Fiji Time and delighted in watching the Six o’clock News!

Ultimate 7 day Fiji Vacation includes

  • Seaplane transfer from Nadi Airport to Nukubati Island Resort
  • 6 nights accommodation in beach front bure
  • Private picnic on a secluded sandbar
  • All meals, including snacks
  • All beverages including alcohol
  • Sunset cocktails nightly
  • Daily laundry & maid services
  • All non motorized activities
  • Seaplane transfer from Nukubati Island Resort to Nadi Airport
  • Use of dayroom in Nadi prior to international flight departure

Thank You from the Luginbills

Karen and Hillary,

Our second trip from Australia 2000 was as sensational as the first. In January, we visited Fiji and New Zealand; and as was the case for our trip to Australia in 2007, it was expertly planned and went off without a hitch. The diversity of the vacation was ideal. There were so many highlights that one cannot be singled out. Each day was an adventure.

On the island of Nukubati, the lap of luxury awaited us. We toasted sundown with campaign at sunset, viewed the undersea world snorkeling on the pristine reefs, ate gourmet food at every meal cooked from fresh island ingredients, and had every whim taken care of by an excellent staff.

After a totally relaxing week, New Zealand beckoned from top to bottom, north to south. We arrived to our own limo in Auckland and after a grand couple of day’s visit, we were off to Waitomo to do Black water rafting. Since hiking is our thing, Karen had us walk the Tongaririo Crossing, an amazing 7 hour trek across a volcano with some of the most amazing scenery to be seen.

The South island proved to be as dramatic and varied as the North island of New Zealand. A three day 28 mile hike along the Abel Tasman coastal trail was followed by sipping wine in Marlborough. Next we had a spectacular drive to Kaikoura where whale watching was no fluke. Christchurch was a bustling city between earthquakes (no big ones when we were there) and off to Queenstown, a must see vacation wonderland, where we just might have seen Gandalf and Frodo. Finally but definitely worth waiting for was a two day trip to Fiordland National Park where the scenery was so awe inspiring that it could have only been created by our Lord.

Every aspect of our trip was taken care of. All we had to do was follow the customized, fully complete itinerary and have FUN doing it.

Ron and Barb Luginbill

Traveled to Fiji and New Zealand January 2011

Thank You from the Kunzmans

Thank you so much for an awesome honeymoon! We dreamed of spending ten days in paradise, relaxing under the Fijian sun. What we found here was soooo much more! The relaxation and paradise was a given every day, and beyond that we found ourselves wanting to spend all of our time with each and every one of you. From a medicine walk with Salote, to octopus hunting and hand line fishing with Eta, Loata (his laughing scared the octopus to death) & Lara (we can’t wait to see your all natural day spa here soon!).

We reef walked, visited the pearl farm, enjoyed a Fiji BBQ and even our own island sand picnic lunch. The sunsets were to die for, and can only be described as (in Karen Hardy from Australia 2000 Travel’s words) “the nightly news”. Snorkeling, trolling for G.T. (catching a Spanish mackerel), and enjoying 2 dinners under the stars; sharing the Kara and enjoying the Meke, it was all surreal.

[Read more…]

Thank you from the Preethas

Hi Karen & Hillary,

We enjoyed Australia and Fiji very much. Your reps met us at Darwin/Australia and Jenny at Nukubati Island/Fiji was expecting us so she brought the whole staff to sing the welcoming song when we arrived on the seaplane. Jenny pampered us while we stayed at her resort. She is a wonderful lady and she made sure she had her staff take care of us very well. It was incredibly relaxing three days and we were the only guests at the island. We did snorkeling and trekking around the island as well as motor boating. Drank cold coconut water all the time. The sunset drink, watching sun go down by the beach are the best. Jenny joined us in watching the night sky and we learnt quite a bit on the constellations such as Scorpio from one of the charts she had. They prepared great vegetarian food for us and it was very difficult to say goodbye to them.

We owe a whole lot of thanks to you for having made our vacation a memorable one, as usual, and so soon after our Jan 2008 Antarctica trip.

Best wishes,

Srinath and Latha and Preetha

Traveled to Darwin, Australia and

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Nukubati, Fiji July 2008