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Vanua Levu & Taveuni Holidays

beach on taveuni island

In this Article by South Pacific travel expert Ian Osborn:
Taveuni Island  —  Rainbow Reef —  Qamea & Matangi  —  Vanua Levu  —  Savusavu  — Labasa & The North

Vanua Levu is Fiji's second largest island. The main commercial hub is around Labasa Town on the north coast of the island and this region is home to Fiji's largest tracts of sugar cane fields. As far as tourism is concerned though, the hub is sleepy Savusavu Town on the south coast, tucked into a beautiful deep water bay making it a popular anchorage for yachts visiting from overseas. The south coast has great fishing and scuba diving offshore although lacking decent beaches it plays second fiddle to its neighbouring island, Taveuni, which is the main tourist centre of the north.

Reasons to Visit Taveuni & Vanua
    Scuba Diving Holidays
  • Waterfalls of Bouma National Park
  • Secluded Beach Wedding or Honeymoon
  • Sleepy Savusavu Town
  • Hiking in the Rainforest & Birding
Best North Fiji Resorts

Taveuni Island

bouma waterfall taveuni

Taveuni is referred to as the Garden Island of Fiji. Its rainforest is breathtaking with lots of waterfalls and walking trails. Taveuni Island is undoubtedly the most popular island for eco-travellers. The most scenic area is Bouma National Heritage Park which encompasses over a third of the island. There is no accomodation within the park with the closest accommodation being at Matei, 20-minutes drive to its entrance and where Taveuni Airport is located. Settlement. The main attraction of the park is the Tavoro Falls (three lovely waterfalls between 10 minutes and an hour walk through virgin rainforest from the main road). At the end of the road is the attractive village of Lavena departure point for the 3 mile Lavena Coastal Walk along the forest edge, passing cove beaches and waterfalls. This coast can also be explored by kayak.

... more about Taveuni Island

The Rainbow Reef

The closest resort to the Rainbow Reef is Garden Island Resort or Paradise Taveuni (15 minutes by boat ). Other resorts on Taveuni also offer dive trips the reef which range from 30-minutes to 1-hour by boat. However, the north coast of Taveuni, which has a cluster of accommodation, has its own fantastic diving reefs to explore. The Rainbow Reef itself is 32km long with over 16 excellent dive sites ranging from intermediate to advanced. Highlights include the Great White Wall (soft corals) and Annies Bommie.

Paradise Taveuni, Taveuni
F$ 925 - 1,395 per couple
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picture of Paradise Taveuni  beach
Paradise Taveuni is a secluded boutique retreat on the picturesque tropical outer island of Taveuni in Fiji's north. Paradise Taveuni sits on a rocky outcrop with excellent snorkelling and is the closest resort to the world famous Rainbow Reef (fifteen minutes by boat) and is naturally popular amongst scuba divers.
Bibi Hideaway, Taveuni
F$ 80 - 110 per couple
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picture of Bibi Hideawaybeach
Bibi's Hideaway is a family run plantation with six budget self contained cottages on the gentle slopes of Taveuni's north west coast, five minutes from the airport. This spacious property has lovely ocean views which lead down to the coastal road across which is a beautiful white sand beach with excellent snorkelling.

Offshore Islands - Qamea & Matangi

Off the north coast of Taveuni are three lovely islands all within 20 minutes boat ride. Qamea is the largest of these and is the twelfth largest in Fiji. It has lovely bays, lush rainforest and excellent bird life. Across from Qamea is the spectacular horseshoe shaped collapsed volcanic crater of Matangi Island. There's a beautiful beach in the horseshoe, and on the other side of the island is Matangi Island Resort which specialises in intimate weddings and has excellent diving around the reefs as well as great fishing.

Qamea Resort & Spa,
F$ 845 - 1,595 per couple
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picture of Qamea Resort & Spa beach
Located on a white sandy beach in a secluded tropical bay facing Taveuni, Qamea is an upmarket boutique resort aimed at honeymooners looking to wind down in a truly tropical and hidden environment. Qamea offers just fourteen finely crafted thatch bure to ensure a private and intimate atmosphere.
Matangi Island Resort
F$ 1,400 - 2,000 per couple
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picture of Matangi Island Resort beach
Matangi Island Resort is a family owned private island resort with several beautiful white sand beaches and just fourteen traditional hand crafted bungalows. Renowned for its down-to-earth atmosphere Matangi offers the perfect tropical holiday atmosphere for honeymoons, nature lovers and diving enthusiasts.

Vanua Levu

Vanua Levu is Fiji's second largest island and takes around an hour to fly to from Nadi Airport. The main centre for tourism is Savusavu with tropical rainforest, old European influenced coconut plantations and exceptional scuba diving. The main business centre is Labasa Town in the north coast of Vanua Levu, surrounded by sugar cane fields and with good off the beaten track exploring opportunities.

bouma waterfall taveuni

Savusavu Town, The Hibiscus Coast & Natewa Bay

The main tourist region is along the tropical southern coast around Savusavu Town which is very scenic with beautiful hills for walking and several nice beaches along the point, a few kilometres south of the town. Savusavu Town has a picturesque harbour setting and several excellent waterfront bars and restaurants. It is a favourite destination for sailors, game fishing enthusiasts and scuba diving with excellent coral reefs all along the coast with day cruises and charter boats available for fishing and diving excursions. The rainforest around Savusavu is very accessible with several frequented trails to some excellent waterfalls and lookouts.

Savusavu Town is a popular base for long-stay holidays and here you can find holiday cottages with self-catering as well as several exclusive resorts offering stay / pay all inclusive deals.

There are some fantastic scuba diving and snorkelling reefs along the Hibiscus Coast, with Namena Island being a particular favourite for dive entusiasts. Unfortunately the beaches along the coast are very mediocre which is why tourism hasn't really thrived here. Natewa Bay is a beautiful deep water bay, the largest in the South Pacific, and a great spot for kayaking - dolphin pods are commonly spotted here.

Koro Sun Resort, Hibiscus Coast
F$ 920 - 1,600 per couple
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picture of Koro Sun Resort beach
Koro Sun is a luxury tropical escape hidden amongst tropical rainforest on the southern coast of Vanua Levu. Facing a bountiful coral reef with exceptional scuba diving and snorkelling, and backed by rainforest with waterfalls and hiking, Koro Sun is a popular destination for adventurous holiday-makers.
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picture of Hotsprings Hotel beach
Set overlooking picturesque Savusavu Bay, Hotsprings Hotel is the ideal location for those looking to explore the vibrant rainforest and friendly villages of Vanua Levu. Excellent dining in Savusavu Town, yacht club and water activities including world renowned game fishing and scuba diving.

Labasa & North Vanua Levu

An hour north of Savusavu the countryside becomes more arid and sugar cane farms take over the scenery. Labasa Town is the main town of the "Friendly North" and surrounded by picturesque hills which are great for exploring and meeting the locals cane farmers and exploring authentic Fijian villages.

Grand Eastern Hotel, Labasa Town
F$ 126 - 194 per couple
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picture of Grand Eastern Hotel beach
The Grand Eastern Hotel is the preferred accommodation in Labasa Town located just a minute walk from the bustling bus stand and market making it a great place for exploring the countryside. Set in an ambient courtyard off the main street, Grand Eastern has simple, clean rooms overlooking the swimming pool and river.

Labasa Town is the administrative centre of Vanua Levu with a purposeful bustle to its daytime affairs. The dusty main street of Nasekula Road is lined by colourful Indian trader stores and between May and December you’ll see trucks and tractors overloaded with sugar-cane filing through the town centre making a beeline for the sugar mill, four kilometres east of the river.

The finest scenery around Labasa is east of the Labasa Sugar Mill where the countryside opens up to a sharp ridge like mountain range to the north with sweeping views southwards towards the cluster peak of the three sisters. Along the scenic Wainikoro-Dama Road is the Hindu shrine of Naag Mandir, better known as the snake temple. Seventy years ago, the cobra shaped rock which devotees pray to apparently was only a metre high. Over time the rock has grown, the roof covering it has been raised three times, and at almost four metres high the shrine is quite an impressive formation, garlanded in fantastically colourful plastic flowers and showered in turmeric powder.

The Wainikoro-Dama Road continues ten kilometres inland hugging the Bucaisau River Valley where it turns to dirt and meanders through endless remote cane fields eventually climbing up through dense rainforest emerging at Natewa Bay at Wainigadru Village. There’s no access road north to the long thin Udu Point, renowned for its fishing, but the uninspiring dirt road continues south along Natewa Bay all the way to the south coast of Vanua Levu and on to Savusavu. It’s a long rather featureless haul, best accomplished on the daily Waiqele Bus from Labasa departing at 9am and arriving in Savusavu 7hrs 30mins later at around 4.30pm. The 2hr 30min direct run between the two towns over the mountains is a better option.



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