Maqai Eco Surf Resort are proud Winners at 2016 ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards
Directors Shaw & Angela Mead and David Phillips say they are delighted that their Qamea Island Resort was announced the Winner in the Tourism Sustainability category at the FETA awards – held on Saturday evening in Denarau.
Director, Shaw Mead said “We congratulate the Maqai Matuvuvale/family for their dedication and passion in embracing sustainable eco practices. It is wonderful to see a resort from the north of Fiji leading the way in Eco Tourism. Being up against international/global resort entries, the competition was stiff, and we are humbled to have been named the winner in what is Fiji’s biggest tourism awards.This award is dedicated to all the Maqai team, our Matuvuvale, their efforts to implement sustainability got us to this point.”
Phillips continued, “We are all “cogs in the wheel of change”, we all need to work together to create positive impacts on our environment and for our Fijian people. The tourism industry is Fiji’s leading earner, its vital we look after the future of our planet.”
Maqai Directors urge all to embrace and support the Government’s National Green Growth Framework which was set up last year.
Mead says, “We are all proud of the sustainability initiatives we have achieved to date as a team.
Maqai now operates 99% on solar power, collects rain water and pipes spring water, has a bio-tech wastewater system, recycles and reuses 95% of our waste, has an organic vegetable garden and purchases organic local produce, and employs from the neighbouring villagers including management level, grants equal employment opportunities and training, offers above award wages, and has set a self-imposed ban on fishing or collecting from the reef out in front of the resort.
Congratulations to our Matuvavale:
• Mataqali and villagers who we share our lease with Vinaka for your dedication and for sharing your land and culture with us and our guests. We promise to look after it for your future generations.
• Kitchen Chefs and helpers for their dedication in providing healthy, organic, delicious meals, and recycling all food waste, and food-packaging.
• Activities guides for teaching safe practices on the water and land and for being great advocates of our coral reef protection.
• Entertainers and all staff for sharing stories of village life, traditions, songs and laughter.
• Housekeepers for maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness throughout the resort, hand-washing and line drying clothing and switching off lights when not in use and taking care of our guests needs.
• Maintenance Team for maintaining our grounds beautifully, planting trees and shrubs, growing vegetables and taking care of recyclables – for sending to Suva, repair items and making sure our water pipes are 100%.
• General Manager Jeff Gush and Assistant Manager Melita Kobuanicagi for making it all happen. Your passion is what drives Maqai.
• Local contractors for assisting and supporting us in all the ways that you do and always there to lend a helping hand even on Sundays!
• Local suppliers for supplying goods to Maqai and taking great care of us.
• Our guests past future and return – thank you for supporting Maqai and loving the “Magic of Maqai”.
• Our agents thank you for recommending Maqai.
We have lots of future plans in the pipeline and we look forward to the future and tourism in the beautiful north of Fiji.
Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort
Luke’s Report – Maqai, Fiji
January 19, 2017 By Tim Baxter
It is no secret that Fiji is home to some of the world’s best waves. Cloudbreak and Restaurants, Fiji Pipe and Frigates are names that are synonymous with surfers from around the world, and these locations have become a Shangri La for surfers since the early 1980’s.
However, the Fijian archipelago consists of 300+ islands scattered through the South Pacific Ocean and a large majority of these islands are mostly unexplored by surfers.
In the age of Google Earth and swell forecasting websites, it’s extremely rare a surfer would ever feel like they are exploring uncharted waters or have discovered a new treasure. My last surf trip to Fiji I felt like I was the only surfer for 100kms and maybe I nearly was.
I first heard about Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort 12 months ago. A small surf camp set up by an intrepid bunch of surfers looking to escape the crowds and find their own slice of surfing paradise. Consistent quality waves; uncrowded; affordable; relatively easy access…..I found it hard to believe that such a place could still exist these days!
I scoured maps, studied swells and discovered the prime wind/swell window November to April coincidently aligned with my annual leave, I had to check it out.
Family holidays based around surf trips are nothing new for my wife and 3 year old son and the promise of a secluded beach surrounded by tropical rainforest with 24C+ degrees crystal clear water meant they were easily persuaded.
From Australia we flew overnight from Melbourne to Nadi (flights leave most Australian cities daily); once at Nadi Airport cleared customs, collected luggage and walked over to the domestic terminal.
At the domestic terminal a 20 seat Twin Otter plane was waiting for a one hour flight over to Taveuni Island where we were met at Matei Airport by the Maqai Beach Resort representative. Luggage loaded into the 4×4 van and a short scenic drive along the coast brought us to a small cove where we jumped on a boat for the 30 minute trip over to the resort.
On the trip over to Maqai we passed all the main surf breaks and got an idea of how the setups looked; I was getting pretty amped by this stage.
My first trip out to the Maqai Right reef it was easy to see why this is one of Fiji’s best kept secrets.
It felt surreal surfing in mirror conditions with perfect waves barreling down the reef with not another surfer in sight. I can’t even remember the last time I got to pick and choose waves.
I was the only guy surfing for six out of the eight days of my stay at Maqai.
You quickly familiarise yourself with how the wave works.
There is a defined easy entry point mid-way up the reef giving you a long wall to work with, however the further you move up the reef the hollower and longer the wave becomes.
From right up the reef you can get a great barrel and as the wave bends down the reef you can open up and lay down some turns.
Bigger waves have a long easy going wall, the mid size waves run down the reef a bit quicker giving the wave a “better” shape for faster barrels and sharper surfing through your turns – I enjoyed these conditions the most.
Apart from Chad the surf guide and young Uli; Maqai Beach Resort’s Fijian boat guy; I only surfed with one other surfer being an intermediate level surfer who rode down the end of the reef taking off on the wide rollers and riding them until they faded out into the deeper water.
Maqai Right is one of those rare waves that is perfect for every level of surfer; barreling from out the back but gently rolling way down the reef at the end.
There are a few other breaks in the area that I checked out but Maqai Right is the pick of the bunch and it was firing for my whole stay so just racked up a massive wave count on my own out there.
Resort Accommodation & Facilities.
Maqai Beach Resort advertises their bures as “glamping” (glamour camping) however we were pleasantly surprised with how good these simple bungalow style beachfront bures were.
Spacious: Our bure had a queen bed and a single bed, a bathroom with shower and toilet, and plenty of space to store our luggage.
Stylish: Louvre windows let the breeze through and bure tastefully decorated.
Practical: Mosquito proof as all the louvre windows had fly wire and the beds covered with mosquito nets.
Comfortable: A large deck area with sun lounges right on the water’s edge so you could jump straight into the lagoon. Also new comfy beds – I could even check the surf lying in bed.
Fortunately I didn’t need to check the surf because Jeff, the resort manager assured me it was going to be good for the duration of my stay.
Sandbar Restaurant: Hearty meals were served up each day and the beer was ice cold which was perfect for the evenings; or gin & tonics and cocktails were also favourites.
There was plenty of the usual tropical island activities; snorkelling, kayaks, fishing, village tours, rainforest and waterfall walks.
I’ve travelled in many countries and surfed some of the world’s best locations in Europe; Indonesia and the Maldives but our trip to Maqai Beach Resort was one of the best surprise gems of my travels; beautiful tropical beachfront location, an awesome break and no hordes in the lineup!
For Surf bookings with flights from Australia to Taveuni and info contact :
Surf Travel Consultant
Bula!! Air NZ has Fiji on Sale.
Time to come and stay with us at Maqai Eco Surf Resort. It will be just what you need!
Don’t wait too long we are starting to fill up with bookings.
From Air NZ: Get ready to pack your suitcase and escape the routine – the Islands are on sale now!
Go surfing and to relax at Maqai, snorkelling with turtles, kayak through crystal clear lagoons, or just laze in the warm Pacific sun.
The Islands are the perfect playground for the whole family. And with these great deals, there isn”t a better time to book.
But get in quick, sale ends midnight 23 February 2015.
Bula!! Banner at the Wellington, New Zealand Sevens rugby we think says it all for us here at Maqai Beach, our Fiji surf resort on Qamea Island, and we hope you do too!!
Fiji playing England in a quarter final, after beating our friends from Australia. Go Fiji!!
Maqai Magic Reef (the right in front of Maqai Resort) celebrating Xmas by going off all by its magic lonesome self with no surfers.
“Bula Bowls” the barreling left at Maqai, as well as “Kavas” the other carvable left have also been pumping ready for surfing. Bula Vinaka Maqai resort and waves, you are truly are Paradise (Paradisi).
We are so proud of this Review on Trip Advisor. Dave (Director)
“Untouched paradise – perfect honeymoon destination”. Maqai Resort, Qamea Island, Fiji.
My husband and I travelled to Fiji for our honeymoon for two weeks in Dec 2014. We stayed at the Coral Coast (the Warwick), Denarau (Sheraton) and at Maqai. Maqai was the most memorable by far!
Waking up to the sound of the ocean just metres away from the buree was spectacular. The island is an untouched piece of secret paradise and Maqai was the perfect place to force us to enjoy the simple things in life – good food, good company and good books!
The modest buree` was very comfortable and clean. It was thoroughly swept daily, which was awesome because nobody likes sand in the bed! The toilet was also cleaned daily. The ocean was pretty loud at night but we got used to it quite quickly.
A couple of cups of kava and listening to the awesome staff (Tex and John) sing and play guitar before bed also helped us sleep solidly.
Part of the place’s appeal is the way activities just organically happen. There are set activities, but most of the beauty is in the ability to just enjoy ‘Fiji time’ and go snorkelling, bushwalking, swimming at your own leisure.
The food was delicious, healthy and plentiful. Lucy and Fabi made a variety of dishes and accommodated for dietary requirements (I have coeliac disease). They would always make a special dessert if I couldn’t eat what everyone else was having.
There were countless situations, such as this, were staff added a personal touch to customer service, which made our stay so special.
Maqai honestly did feel like a humble home away from home and we were truly sad to leave. I would highly recommend checking out Maqai for anyone looking for an easy-going and authentic paradise.
Taveuni and Qamea Islands – Secret Fiji Surf Spots
The island of Taveuni, Fiji’s third largest island offering beauty wherever you look. With some of the worlds best diving, fishing and high land walks Taveuni is a place to be not over looked, especially when planning your next surfing holiday.
Offering Fiji surf spots with world class waves and un-crowded conditions (often only just you and your boat load) the island of Qamea, only a 30 minute boat ride off the mainland of Taveuni, is surrounded by a beautiful natural reef system that has the ability to break on either a SE or a SW swell. There are a number of left and right handed breaks that surround the island paradise of Qamea and the surf resort on the island is able to offer experienced surf guides to take you out to the breaks which will be firing on any swell.
Maqai Beach Resort offers an eco living holiday but in style. The resort placing itself within a 10 minute boat ride across the Nadilo Bay passage out to Maqai Reef where you will find a world class right hander which runs for up to 250 meter which the surfers can opt to stall and go for the quick long hollow barrel or race ahead and hack out the vertical face, all in all a wave not to be overlooked.
Whilst you are out on Qamea you also have the options to just have a relaxing day in a hammock and read a book, walk down to the local village and sit around the traditional Kava bowl or head up to the mountains for a scenic highland walk.
You have a couple of options on how to get to Taveuni. The quick and easy but often more expensive option is to jump onto a flight straight into Matei airport, Taveuni islands main airport with flights leaving from both Nadi and Suva daily then head out to Qamea via a quick 30 minute boat ride. Fiji Link fly’s into Taveuni daily from Nadi and Suva and Northern Air flying a couple of times a week.
Your second option is to catch the “Spirit of Fiji Island” ferry departing from the Port of Suva and arriving in Taveuni around 24hrs later. There are a number of different class options aboard the ferry ranging from economy through to your own private cabin.
Based on contributing writer Andy Eames article, Surfing a Secret.
Fiji Surfing Association. Oct 2014.