Skip to content
Subscriber Only

How I Went to Fiji, Got High on Kava, and Learned to Love Bottled Water

How a drug-fueled journey changed my mind about Fiji’s most famous export
Every bottle of Fiji Water is like a 3D travel brochure
Every bottle of Fiji Water is like a 3D travel brochurePhotograph by Adam Kremer

The Naroko Fijian School, a single-story, concrete-block longhouse, sits on a hillside above the village of Raiwasa, in a remote province of Fiji. Raiwasa is a poor place, but it has one advantage: It’s not far from the Fiji Water bottling plant.

The head of Fiji Water’s in-country operations, a jovial man named Rokoseru Nabalarua, pulls up to the school, trailed by a caravan of corporate SUVs. The entire village has gathered to greet us. The company is donating a new well that will tap into the same aquifer that supplies Nicole Kidman and Scarlett Johansson, among others. In other words, free Fiji Water for everyone. A fantasy for the citizens of Hollywood Hills is becoming a reality here.