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‘Being on cloud nine’ is akin to ‘reaching a state of perfect happiness’ according to the dictionary. Our visit to Cloud 9 in Fiji, a floating platform located at Ro Ro Reef in the Mamanucas, didn’t quite start out that way. However, it didn’t take long for us to find our bliss.

Cloud 9 looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere but in reality it’s close to the famous Cloud 9 surf break and only a 5 minute speed boat trip from Castaway Island. Spending a morning or afternoon here is an ideal excursion when you’re staying at the resort.

We ended up loving Cloud 9 but our visit didn’t start out particularly well for two reasons: the weather wasn’t great and Cloud 9 was absolutely packed.

Unfortunately the weather wasn't on our side at first
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side at first

We were envisaging lying back on the comfy day beds and chilling out to some cool tunes but it was pretty much standing room only aside from a couple of wooden chairs.

It was pretty busy when we arrived. This was the 'empty' part of Cloud 9
It was pretty busy when we arrived. This was the ’empty’ part of Cloud 9

However, we weren’t going to let a few too many people spoil the fun. We grabbed our snorkel gear and went to check out the colourful fish hiding under the pontoon instead.

There are also patches of reef nearby but beware of the currents. I wouldn’t attempt heading out to these unless you’re an experienced snorkeler.

We decided to check out the fish under the pontoon
We decided to check out the fish under the pontoon
Underwater adventures on Cloud 9
Underwater adventures on Cloud 9

By the time we had finished checking out the fish, the weather was beginning to clear and so were the crowds. Cloud Nine is popular with day trippers but those staying at Denarau and some of the other resorts have a lot further to travel. 

If you are staying at Castaway, time your trip for early in the morning or after 2.30pm and beat the crowds.

Ah, that's more like it!
Ah, that’s more like it!

On our visit a large group left at around 3pm which completely changed the feel of the pontoon, making it more laid back with a much cooler vibe.

There are two levels to chill out on with the top one being the most popular option for catching some rays. It’s also fun to jump off if you’re feeling adventurous.

The top deck was deserted after 3pm
The top deck was deserted after 3pm

After our swim we grabbed a colourful cocktail and sat back to chill out. We enjoyed a few relaxing hours at Cloud 9 although you easily spend longer.

My drink matched the ocean
My drink matched the ocean

Day trips from Castaway include a wood fired pizza of your choice and a drink. The pizzas are tasty but can’t compete with the ones at on offer at Castaway. However, Cloud 9 has some of the best views you’ll find at any pizza restaurant.

Disclosure: The writer visited Cloud 9 as a guest of Castaway Island and Cloud 9.

If you’re heading to Fiji on holiday, check out our tips for choosing the perfect Fiji holiday, our suggestions for getting around Fiji, and our reviews of Castaway Island Resort, Cloud 9, Outrigger on the Lagoon, the Sheraton Fiji at Denarau, and the ultra luxe Likuliku Lagoon Resort.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.