In many ways Port Denarau marina in Fiji is the best marina we have ever visited. Denarau is a tour ship wharf with an upscale mall co-located with a marina. There are a half dozen restaurants, a grocery, drug store, and a full set of marine services, including a 20 tonne travel lift. These services are nicer and more convient than any other marina where we have been. In particular, Yacht Help Fiji will hold mail and parcels for visiting boats who are not (yet) in the marina.
Denarau is thirteen miles south of the anchorage at Lautoka. It appears that the direct line from Vuda point marina clears the hazards, but we passed west of Alacrity Cays. We started our approach at 17˚ 44.8S by 177˚ 21.6E from which we proceeded 1.5 miles bearing 116˚ true to the outer channel marks at 17˚ 45.5S by 177˚ 23.0E. The channel is well buoyed with about 4m at low water. The marina is surrounded by land and is quite comfortable when the tour boats remember the 5 knot, no wake sign. Moorings are F$15 per night, which is the going rate in this part of Fiji. Dock space is by the foot, and us mostly Med-moor so we were not interested.
Unfortunately there are a few downsides as well. The laundry and showers are far more decrepit than the facility at large. There is only one washer and one dryer, which makes for a long queue and inevitably some bad behaviour. The better marine services are tucked away down the dirt, or sometimes mud, road behind the boat yard. The moorings are placed in such a way that they can’t all be used simulateneously. The mooring between Scream and the Norwegian raft-up to our east was hitting either us or them. Three twelve foot dighies could not have been reliably attached to these three moorings without colliding. And the marina office will happly book three twelve, or sixteen, meter boats on them, or on some of the other moorings that are too close together.
Overall Denarau is a study in contrasts, just like Fiji. To the villagers we are unimaginably weathy, in Denarau we are the poor ones. The mall is definately worth the visit, the rest of Denarau could use some work.