If you’re planning a trip to Fiji, there’s an experience you should add to your bucket list: an afternoon sipping cocktails on Cloud 9.
Cloud 9 is a fabulous bar and pizzeria that floats off the coast of Malolo Island – on a crystal-clear lagoon that looks out at Fiji’s famous Cloudbreak swell in the Mamanuca archipelago.
Cloudbreak is home to some of the best waves in the world and boasts a fast, barrelling break over a shallow reef. It’s fascinating to watch the waves crashing so far out to sea after being accustomed to Australia’s shore breaks.
Cloud 9 is a two-storey, solar-powered bar that sits on top of two pontoons. It’s the brainchild of Australian DJ and surfer Bar’el Wachtel, who opened it in 2013 because he “wanted to have the raddest lounge bar in the world – a meeting place in the middle of the ocean”.
The only way to get to Cloud 9 is via boat transfer for one of the two daily sessions – 10am-2pm or 2pm-6pm. There are shady tables and bar seating, as well as sunbeds and deck chairs. To cool off between drinks, visitors jump from the top deck and swim around the reef. They can also rent snorkelling gear to explore the colourful coral.
Cloud 9 serves delicious wood-fired pizzas, which are hand made and cooked to order by the Fijian chef. Prices start at around $16 for a margarita.
The bar is framed by carved poles made from local wood by a Fijian artist, John, and tell the story of Cloud 9’s birth on Roro Reef. It serves a range of beers, mixed drinks, delicious cocktails, mocktails, soft drinks and bottled water for purchase. It’s well stocked with local brands including Fiji Gold, Fiji Bitter and Ratu Rum, plus all your international favourites. Many Australian brands are available too, ranging from De Bortoli to Tempus Two and Four Pillars Gin.
It’s truly an unforgettable experience to gaze out at the turquoise waters surrounding the bar, watching your fellow passengers leap and spiral from the upper deck.
It’s also a great opportunity to clink glasses with travellers from all over the world and make new friends while soaking up the sun and listening to great music. If you’re lucky there might even be a DJ spinning tunes during your visit.
We spent a fabulous four hours on Cloud 9, sampling pizzas and drinking Tempus Two sparkling with some fellow Aussie travellers we met on board. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
Cloud 9, Roro Reef (off Malolo Island), Mamanuca Islands, Fiji; +679 8697947