Postcards / Travel

Bula! Double Rainbouu’s Mikey Nolan sends postcards from balmy Fiji

For its first trip outside Australian borders, Double Rainbouu creative director Mikey Nolan sought a slice of island life. What better place to start than Fiji? With a helping hand from Virgin Australia and Tourism Fiji, Nolan explored the country flitting between Suva, the Coral Coast and Yasawa Islands. Island hopping, yoga, snorkelling and many piña coladas later, Mikey Nolan shares his trip highlights, breaking down the inspiration behind Double Rainbouu's Bula! collection along the way.

Can you tell us a little bit about your time in Fiji?

We spent a fair bit of time travelling around the main island, Viti Levu, exploring Suva which we loved, going to the markets, meeting locals, trying out the nightlife. It was our first time out of the country since the borders reopened and it was so nice to be somewhere hot, foreign and crowded!
We also checked out some spots along the Coral Coast on the way back. Matanivusi is a little eco resort about half way along the coast with, I think, about 12 villas dotted along the beach. It’s close to surfing and snorkelling spots on the reef, they do daily yoga classes, nightly Kava rituals, the staff are super lovely and all feel like a little family. It was really nice. They also make a really good piña colada.

Where did you stay? Do you have a favourite hotel or property?

We stayed at lots of places. We spent the most time at Paradise Cove (Naukacuvu Island) which is in the Yasawa Islands West of Nadi. The resort and island were beautiful. The Yasawa Islands are volcanic and quite spectacular. I recommend a beach front villa with plunge pool (even though I never got in it). The snorkelling right off the main beach is amazing. Sunset boat trip and lying around in an inflatable tube with a can of Fiji Gold or some bubbly in hand was a nice moment. They do a boat trip from there, where you can swim with manta rays in a nearby channel between two islands. We missed out on that but now I have a reason to go back!

What was your favourite moment from the trip?

We did a sunrise trek across Naviti Island which was a short boat ride away at 4:30am. Climbing up the mountain as the sun rose and seeing the light change and the South Pacific reveal itself was really special. Coming from the pacific coast of Australia, there is something foreign yet familiar about being there. And there is a real beauty to being out there in the middle of it. Feeling in some ways exposed but also cradled by that vast ocean. It was a walk and a view I will never forget.
There’s also a village visit you can do on the same island which was really special, meeting the local school kids who sang us a song was a highlight.

What sights were on your must-do list?

I really wanted to see Suva rather than fly into Nadi and straight out to an Island resort. It was nice to see real Fiji. My parents lived in Suva in the mid 70s before I was born. My dad taught at the University of the South Pacific, so I had heard stories and got to drive past where they lived. So that was a nice personal bucket list tick. But I would recommend Suva to anyone visiting. It’s a buzzing port town with a great energy and it’s really beautiful.

What are your favourite things to do on holiday?

Swim and lie around, shop the markets and local shops for handicrafts and often random things like pool slides and beach mats. Long walks and good views. Local food.


What’s your perfect travel outfit?

For island hopping, Hoka One One Hopara sandals (basically aqua trainers you can wear anywhere wet or dry), swim shorts, a fun shirt (obviously) and a mesh tank. For plane travel keep it EZ in a tracksuit, hoodie essential.

How is the Bula! Collection influenced by Fiji?

A lot of the textiles of Fiji are two colour prints in vivid colours, traditionally wood block. Our print is a Sharpie illustration that references the patterns we saw and the elements of nature. The repetition of curved lines is a nod to the rhythm of the ocean and a wink to Keith Haring.

What three things will you always have in your bag when you travel?

Circadian melatonin, an old camera, eye drops.

What is your favourite travel read?

I’m more of a news junkie but at the moment I’m reading The Courage to be Disliked which would be a good holiday read if you wanted to do some soul searching.

What are your travel beauty bag essentials?

Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF for face and biodegradable face wipes.

Is there anything you'll miss from your time away?

New friends we met, Fuzz and Ilai from local brand Zuber, Pate from The Distillery Co. Fiji, Tintin, his cousin, who modelled in our campaign, Koroi the surf instructor from Fiji Beach House and Manu at Matanivusi who both modelled for us. Pate one of our guides on our Sunrise trek and Ili from Tourism Fiji who really made both our trips and was the best tour guide I can ever imagine. Basically all the beautiful people we met and hope to meet again. Fijians are the best thing about Fiji, in my opinion. 

Shop the Bula! Double Rainbouu collaboration with Virgin Australian and Tourism Fiji online and in-store now.

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