Vanua Levu & Taveuni Holidays
In this Article by South Pacific travel expert Ian Osborn:
— 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 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$ 900 - 1,380 per couple - inc. meals
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.
Garden Island Resort, Taveuni
F$ 619 - 763 per couple - inc. breakfast
Garden Island Resort is primarily a dive resort with close access to the world renowned Rainbow Reef and an on-site scuba diving operator with full service PADI courses. Also makes a convenient base for exploring Taveuni, notably the sliding rocks, blowholes and Lake Tagimaucia all accessible from the west coast.
Bibi Hideaway, Taveuni
F$ 86 - 97 per couple
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$ 980 per couple - inc. meals
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 - inc. meals
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 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.
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.
Lomalagi Resort, Natewa Bay
F$ 950 - 1,020 per couple - inc. meals
Lomalagi Resort is a romantic getaway with just six large and very private villas aimed at couples only, with either self-catering or private dining options. This is a therapeutic retreat with dreamy views, great dolphin spotting opportunities, peaceful forest walks and tracks and some good snorkelling in the bay.
Koro Sun Resort, Hibiscus Coast
F$ 920 - 1,600 per couple - inc. meals
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.
Naveria Heights, Savusavu Town
F$ 240 - 410 per couple - inc. breakfast
This friendly yet intimate bed and breakfast is located in a quiet residential area in the hills overlooking Savusavu Bay, about a fifteen minute walk into the town. With classically styled rooms, a small swimming pool and breathtaking tranquil views, Naveria is a beautiful base for exploring the friendly north.
Savusavu Hotsprings Hotel, Vanua Levu
F$ 135 - 215 per couple
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
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.