Taveuni Island
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taveuni pictures map
Maravu Plantation Resort
Bibi's Hideaway.
Garden Island Dive Resort
Matangi Island Resort

Taveuni, the Garden Island as it is known by locals, boasts both beauty and serenity, on land and in the water and provides in abundance - fish from the lagoons, dalo from the plantations and spring water from the hills. For the traveller, Taveuni is an intriguing mix of old world charm and natural beauty, much like Hawaii was fifty years ago. There’s even a thriving American population living on island, drawn by its yesteryear atmosphere and tourism opportunities. Despite its beauty, and thanks mostly to its limited and rather costly access from Nadi, tourism on Taveuni remains low key. Those that do arrive, mostly by small plane, come with either scuba diving gear, wedding dress or hiking boots.

Matei and around
MATEI, on the northern most point of Taveuni, is the tourist hub of Taveuni with Matei Airport and lying mid- way between the National Park and Rainbow Reef makes an ideal base for exploring. The modern settlement of around 500 people is a mix of old colonial families, Indian entrepreneurs and a new wave of foreigners living the dream on the luxury of oceanfront freehold land. The settlement stretches along a single road beside the airstrip and around a small bluff known as Naselesele Point down to lovely Beverley Beach on the west coast.


The Offshore Islands
Heading towards the east coast from Matei leads you back into the old world. Once past Naselesele Village , the road turns to dust and large plantations take over filled with coconuts, cattle and pineapple. The black sand beach at Navakacoa is the departure point for Matangi and Qamea islands.

Just over two kilometres from shore, Qamea Island is the closest and largest of these offshore islands with a meandering and rugged coastline and hilly peaks thick with tropical forest. Matangi Island , protected from the tradewinds by Qamea, is a little gem. Its collapsed volcanic shield has left a horseshoe shaped island with a nice beach and great snorkelling in its protected bay and serene walks along its half- spine volcanic rim with sweeping views overlooking the hilly outlines of Qamea and Laucala and a good likelihood of spotting orange doves, silktails and parrots. The island is privately owned with the delightful  Matangi Island Resort on a lovely tropical beach and with stunning views across the water to Qamea and Taveuni.


East Coast
The tropical rugged east coast of Taveuni is engulfed by the Bouma National Heritage Park and is inaccessible except from a meandering dirt road from Matei passing Navakacoa to the park Headquarters at Bouma and beyond to Lavena Village.


West Coast
The West Coast of Taveuni, protected from the tradewinds, overlooks the Somosomo Straits towards Buca Bay on Vanua Levu . Most of the coastline is rocky with few beaches and no fringing reef, and the land was cleared of its hardwood trees by colonial farmers and planted instead with neat rows of coconut palms. Today, the fifteen kilometre stretch of road between the chiefly coastal village of Somosomo and the Catholic mission at Wairiki is the population centre of the island and home to the only town, Naqara. The inter island ferries call in along this stretch of coastline at Waiyevo the government centre with hospital, police headquarters, natural waterslide and the 180 meridian dateline where each new day begins. The main reason to stay here though is for its easy access for scuba diving the Rainbow Reef and to enjoy good snorkelling off the Vuna coast. There are several excellent dive operators based here.

The most visited attraction along the West Coast is the Waitavala Sliding Rocks, close to the Garden Island Resort, where you can chute the rapids over a series of small falls and bends on your backside. However, most people stay here for easy access to the Rainbow Reef which sits off its shores. The two accommodation options include Garden Island Resort, a budget hotel with swimming pool or the more upmarket Paradise Taveuni, an hour and a half drive south of Matei Airport .


De Voeux Peak
South of the Garden Island Resort is the road to De Voeux Peak, a towering point at 1,195m, just fifty metres smaller than adjacent Uluigalau which is Taveuni’s highest peak and Fiji’s third tallest mountain. The road goes right to the top of De Voeux Peak. If you feel fit, it’s not difficult to walk but will take a couple of hours. Once at the top, the view overlooking Taveuni, Vanua Levu and south to Gau and Koro is incredible on a fine day. The bird watching up here is reputed to be excellent with regular sightings endemic silktails and orange doves, especially in the nesting season during August and September. With a guide, you could continue another two hours up and down through bush to Lake Tagimaucia, a brackish crater lake where the endemic Tagimaucia flower blooms in profusion with red and white tumbling bells between November and January.


Vuna District
The vast coconut plantations of Vuna District take over the entire southern end of Taveuni, with rows upon rows of coconut palms with their bright orange- tinted fungal sides facing south. There’s fantastic snorkelling with an abundance of reef fish, caves to explore and the possibility of a chance encounter with sharks. There’s a small guesthouse on the coast beside the village which is a great place for interaction with the locals. Vuna Lagoon Lodge is a family run home stay with three guest rooms








Qamea, Matangi & Laucala (off taveuni)


qamea point


qamea island


view to taveuni


plantation



matangi island


matangi island


matangi island


sunset



moonrise


laucala island


laucala beach


laucala beach



Getting There & Around

Taveuni is easy to get to with several daily flights from Nadi, although its distance makes it a very expensive to visit for a short stay. A popular route for those with at least a week to spare is to take the ferry from Suva to Taveuni. It is also possible to take a ferry from Taveuni to Savusavu or a smaller boat across Buca Bay to the east tip of Vanua Levu.


Flights to Taveuni
Air Fiji and Pacific Sun (Air Pacific) from Nadi / Suva to:
Taveuni - 4 flights a day - (Nadi 1 hour 30 mins)
Flights connect via Savusavu.
Local Flights

Passenger and Car Ferry to Northern Islands
Departs almost daily from Suva to Taveuni via Savusavu. Takes about 12 hours.
Local Cruises / Ferries

Buses in Taveuni
Infrequent service around the island. Best to rely on carrier vans which are cheap if there are 2 or more people.



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