Vanua Levu and Taveuni, respectively Fiji’s second and third largest islands, along with dozens of smaller outer islands are another world from the bustle of Viti Levu and the more-touristic islands.
Here discover a hidden paradise of verdant rainforests with hidden lakes, spectacular coral reefs, waterfalls and tall mountain ranges that are an adventurers’ playground.
Vanua Levu is located 64 kilometres to the north of the larger Viti Levu and is accessible by air with regular flights to Labasa and Savusavu. The dry north coast is scattered with sugarcane farms, while the hillier south is dominated by tropical rainforest and huge coastal coconut plantations. Labasa is the island’s largest city, and is predominantly occupied by Indo-Fijians. To the south, Savusavu is a quaint coastal town backdropped by verdant emerald hills. Its large protected harbour is a stop for yachts cruising the Pacific. There is a growing number of restaurants and cafés on the idyllic waterfront and a number of luxurious hotels nearby.
The Waisali Rainforest Reserve is a spectacular 300-acre stretch of rainforest that blankets Vanua Levu’s hills and valleys and is home to a diverse range of exotic flora and fauna as well as picturesque waterfalls and natural pools. Spectacular reefs can be found minutes from the mainland. Discover pristine dive sites at Namena Marine Reserve, or head to the island’s northern coast for one of it’s best kept secrets, the Great Sea Reef. Nearly 200 kilometres long, it’s one of the largest reefs in the world.
Taveuni, the Garden Island, is Fiji’s third largest island just eight kilometres across the Somosomo Strait from Natewa Peninsula, Vanua Levu’s southeast tip. This long, lush, coconut palm-covered has, in recent years been rediscovered by those who want a more ‘natural’ vacation.
The Bouma National Heritage Park protects approximately 80% of Taveuni’s land, sheltering scenic waterfalls, rivers, creeks, and canyons, which offer numerous opportunities to swim, climb, and hike. The Lavena Coastal Walk commences on a secluded beachfront sprinkled with rock-pools and small lagoons, its serene pathways navigate an unusual black-sanded volcanic beach, lush rainforest and passes through a charming Fijian settlement, finishing at the spectacular Wainibau Waterfalls where you can cool off. High in the interior mountains is beautiful Lake Tagimaucia, a 900-metre–high crater lake. A beautiful wild flowering plant named tagimaucia grows only on the shores of the lake from which it takes its name. Taveuni is a mecca for deep-sea fishing enthusiasts and experienced divers have access to some of the world’s best dive sites on Rainbow Reef that stretches for 31 kilometres.
Somosomo is the port for inter-island ships and there is an airport in the north, making Taveuni easily accessible by air from the main island, Viti Levu.
The small islets just off the east coast of Taveuni are home to some of the worlds most luxurious resorts. Among them, Qamea boasts wide bays lined with gorgeous white sand, palm-fringed beache backdropped by emerald-green peaks.