Jul 29, 2009

Waterfall and adventure in Kadavu, Fiji

Cool vid by Dja!

Matava - Getting away from it all - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Matava - Getting away from it all - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Our trip consisted of 5 nights at the Matava Eco Resort on Kadavu, three nights at the Pearl South Pacific, Pacific Harbour, Nadi and six nights at Paradise Tavenui on Tavenui.

The three islands each offered a different experience, which combined to make a wonderful trip.

On arrival in Kadavu, we were met by a member of the Matava staff and driven to a small harbour for the start of a 45 minute boat trip to the resort. We were warned that that the trip would be a wet one, so duly donned the wet weather gear provided. Whilst it did prove to be a wet journey, we enjoyed every minute as we anticipated our arrival at Matava. We weren’t disappointed. We were met by Maggie with the offer of a hot or cold drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and lunch. After a few formalities, Maggie escorted us to our Bure. With its wooden deck overlooking the ocean, it was the perfect setting.

The Bure was simply furnished. The dominant feature being the queen sized bed. It was clean and well-maintained.

In the evening (using Oil Lamps to light the way) we met the other guests and began to get to know them and the staff over a few drinks and our excellent dinner.

The following morning, after a simple, but more than adequate breakfast, we went out on our first dive trip.

The boat was suited to around 6-8 divers. It had an awning to provide shade and protection from the rain (which we experienced quite a bit of throughout our stay in Fiji), but no facilities for cameras. That said this didn’t prove a problem.

We undertook 10 dives in total. The only site which we dived twice was Manta Point, which was on our final day’s diving. On our first dive of the morning we were privileged to witness a solitary Manta, which spent around 20 minutes in the area. The dive site, with or without mantas, was the best we experienced on this bit of our trip. The corals were in excellent condition and the fish life was abundant. We’ve never seen so many anemone fish together in a single area. It was very special. This sentence really describes Matava for us. We loved the fact that it was out of the way, that you had to make an effort to get there. We liked the simplicity. The staff were great. They were helpful, courteous, friendly and fun to be with. They genuinely wanted their guests to have the best possible time that they could.

It is certainly on our list of places to go back to.

Matava - Getting away from it all - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

Jul 21, 2009

Major first for resorts - Fiji Times Online

DIVE students of Matava Resort will not only learn how to dive but given an opportunity to participate in conservation projects.

This is after the Kadavu-based resort became the first in the Asia Pacific region to sign up for Project AWARE C-Card scheme.

Project AWARE Foun-dation works in partnership with divers and water enthusiasts to combat challenges facing underwater environments.

The project inspires conservation by incorporating its messages in dive training materials as well as creating awareness and education campaigns.

The AWARE certification card scheme ensures that all of the resort's PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) students, whose cards are processed online, automatically receive one of the three new Project AWARE versions of their PADI certification card.

"The donation will be paid for out of Matava's profits, and not be charged to the student.

"The student will be given the chance to further donate to Project AWARE at the end of their course, as is normally offered on every PADI course worldwide.

"This effort shows Matava's support for underwater conservation by issuing Project AWARE's limited edition c-card as every PADI certification or replacement card." Matava director Richard Akhtar said.

The donations will support underwater and shoreline clean-ups and marine debris prevention, coral reef monitoring and conservation, shark protection, research and education improved resource management, environmental education for divers and children.

"This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Project AWARE and they depend on support from divers and dive centres such as us to enable them to continue with ongoing projects that are essential for the long term protection of the underwater environment." said Mr Akhtar.

Major first for resorts - Fiji Times Online

Jul 17, 2009

You May Already be a Nature Nerd

By Betsy Franz

When I was growing up, there were two distinct types of people: the cool people and the nerds. The cool people were the football players, the cheerleaders, and anyone in a rock band. The nerds were the ones who got good grades, wore black rimmed glasses and were much more likely to have a microscope or a telescope at home than they were to have a date on Friday night.

Generally speaking, the birdwatchers and the backyard botanists fell into the nerd category. Cool kids didn’t even know what a chrysalis was much less have one in a jar in their bedroom.

But times have changed. Protecting the planet and all of its creepy crawly inhabitants is not only sociably responsible AND socially acceptable but it is also suddenly cool.

Sure, there are many different shades of ‘green’, and environmental responsibility takes many forms. Every day citizens and celebrities alike are proud to proclaim their passion for solar energy and hybrid automobiles. But how many of them are ready to come out of the closet when it comes to the more nerdish pastimes such as bird watching and butterfly gardening? How many of them are ready to admit that they not only hug trees, but they also fondle flowers and even caress critters from time to time?

Certainly we can imagine animal activist celebs such as Mary Tyler Moore and Ellen DeGeneres getting eye-to-eye with the bunnies and squirrels in their yard. And Martha Stewart must surely appreciate the serenade of songbirds in her flower filled gardens.

But what about other well-known environmental celebrities? Do nature lover Darryl Hannah and inner-city gardener Bette Midler welcome the wonders of wildlife to their backyard landscapes? Has Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Bacon or Ed Begley Jr. ever marveled at the metamorphous of a butterfly? Do Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pierce Brosnan hang nectar feeders to attract hovering hummingbirds? Has Ted Danson, Willie Nelson or Robert Kennedy, Jr. ever pulled out a magnifying glass to help identify an unknown insect?

If they haven’t, then perhaps they should. It’s a wonderful cause to want to save the planet but it isn’t a planet of asphalt and steel and carbon spewing monolithic factories that we are trying to save. It’s the miniscule miracles. The sights that, in the past, only the nerds have taken the time to notice. And it is there, perhaps, when one gets eye-to-eye with the birds and the butterflies and the creatures that visit our gardens and wander through our yards, that we realize what it is we are working so hard to protect.

So whether you are a star studded celebrity, a prima ballerina or a single parent , it’s time to admit your nerdiness to the world. Go ahead and get excited about the tadpoles in your garden pond and the butterflies eating your herb garden! Grab the magnifying glass and a good nature guide and share the great outdoors with the ones you love.

And if you still aren’t sure whether you want to admit that you are a nerd or not, here are a few questions to help you decide:

You may be a nature nerd if: See here: The GenGreen Blog » You May Already be a Nature Nerd