Marinas are not easy to come by in Fiji. They are few and far between and the ones where all the cruisers like to hang out are often booked and have no availability. For this reason we suggest that if you want a dock or you need to do a haul out then you prepare and make advanced bookings as early as possible. Of course this is easier said than done because one of the marinas won’t make bookings for berths. We’ve only stayed in two marinas here but there is some information about the others we know of as well.
Port Denarau Marina
Catering mostly to the mega yachts, Port Denarau Marina is super convenient but difficult to get into as they only have a 38 14-20 meter slips for us “regular” sized vessels. That said they are super friendly and helpful in the marina office. We spent ten days there in May 2022 and are about to spend another week there as we prepare to check out of country at the end of September.
The do have 16 moorings here in the port area but we have not used them and don’t know much about it other than that they too are in high demand and are difficult to obtain. The moral to this story is if you want to stay here you need to book as early as possible.
The laundry and shower facilities are newly built and very nice. And, even if you are staying at the anchorage you can use the facilities for a charge of $10 FJD/day. That’s really cheap! To use the laundry you have to buy the tokens from the marina office the day you plan to use them.
There’s a dingy dock inside the locked marina gates so if you want to use it you’ll need to pay the daily fee to get an access card. And, there is a fuel dock right beside the marina too. Pretty much anything you need you will find here at Port Denarau.
We’ve also found that Mere and Ali in the office are incredibly helpful with information as to how to get around the area, how to arrange for checking in and out of the country and just about anything else we’ve asked.
You can check in and out of country here. We haven’t done so yet but will be doing so at the end of this month so we can update you on that experience in a few weeks.
The other highly sought after marina is Vuda Marina just a few miles from Port Denarau. This little gem is what we like to refer to as a “velvet prison” because it’s one of those places that seems to want to pull you in and never let you leave. I mean, when you check in or out of country here the staff sings to you in Fijian and they are all so amazing you’ll find you’ve become part of the family rather quickly.
Vuda Marina offers haul out services, marina berths and a whole myriad of marine services as well. On property they have the Boatshed Restaurant & Bar which we absolutely love. My personal favorite is the Mongolian Beef. It comes out on a sizzling platter and is absolutely amazing. And if you’re looking for out of this world sunset views with your cocktails or dinner…this is the place.
As for berthing they have two main berthing areas. In the original one that yachties sometimes refer to as “the pit” all boats are med tied in a circle. It’s cramped and there is not a lot of breeze in there but just the same yachties seem to flock to it so much so that it can be virtually impossible to get a slip.
In the past few years they have also built another circular basin that can accommodate much larger yachts. Here you still need to med tie but they do have some finger piers. The caveat here is that you either have to have a minimum of a 15 meter boat or you must pay the 15 meter price. We stayed here when we checked into country in 2022 and loved it. In this outside basin there’s lots of breeze and plenty of gorgeous sunsets to be had.
The facilities at Vuda are nice and kept clean and they even will provide you with a bag of ice each day at no additional cost. How can you beat that???
If you plan to keep your boat on the hard during cyclone season Vuda is where they have the famous pits where they dig a hole, fill it with old tires and then put your boat in it to prevent it from falling over in a big storm. While we haven’t utilized these pits we know many who have and they swear by them. Just be prepared to come back to roaches and other bugs. It’s unfortunate but roaches here are a problem even though they spray for them daily. Even if you are staying in the marina berths you need to be prepared to keep things closed up and/or use screens to keep the little creatures on the outside.
Just outside of the breakwater at Vuda there is an anchorage but beware. If the weather isn’t perfect it can get pretty nautical there. We typically enjoy the boat moving but sometimes it can be a bit over the top even for us. But, it does have really good holding in 10-15 meters of mud and coral sand.
All in all, Vuda is a wonderful place to spend a little time while you’re in the area.
Finding the right marine services in the area can be tricky but they are here. We highly suggest checking with the marinas to locate what you need as they are the most efficient at getting you to the right spot. Of course other cruisers always have suggestions as well so stay close to the Facebook groups and don’t be afraid to put of a post with your questions.
As for us, we really haven’t had a need for much in the way of marine services since in the couple of times we’ve been cruising these waters. We can recommend two great companies though.
Located right next to Denarau Marina, Ravi and his team work on all types of motors, generators and electrical components. They are well known in the super yacht circle if that tells you anything. For us he rebuilt the motor for our windlass. It was done quickly and the price was excellent. We highly recommend him.
When we needed watermaker parts for our Spectra Watermaker in 2019 we were certain we’d have to order them from out of country but then we learned about Oceania. They saved the day for us having exactly what we needed in stock so we didn’t waste valuable cruising time waiting on parts to be shipped.
Obviously in a place like this where cruisers come by the hundreds and boats are everywhere there are lots more places where you can find marine services of all kinds. We only recommend the ones that we’ve actually done business with though. When we put our Dazzler Approved label on it you know we’ve truly worked with them.
THIS INFORMATION IS CURRENT AS OF SEPTEMBER 2022