Mount Tomanivi in Fiji is special for a number of reasons. For a start, it's one of the best places in the islands to fully immerse yourself in Fiji's terrain and admire the beautiful landscape from the top of the country's highest peak.
But that's just the start when it comes to why you should absolutely visit Mount Tomanivi on your next trip to Fiji! From beautiful hiking paths to local villages, a visit here is one of the best ways to relax, recharge and get a sense for the real Fiji - one that the beach-hugging visitors simply never get to see.
The mountain with three names
Originally known as Mount Victoria - and referred to by locals as Mount Lomalagi, which means 'sky' or 'heaven' in Fijian - Mount Tomanivi was once a fiery volcano but has been dormant for years. It's located on the north coast of Viti Levu - Fiji's largest island - and stands at a height of 1,232 metres or 4,341 feet.
The volcanic landscape lends the mountain a prehistoric air, and it towers above the surrounding region as a stunning example of how awe-inspiring nature can be at its best. The view from the top is another reminder of this, particularly on clear days when you'll be able to see all the way to Yasawa Island.
Of course, first you'll have to get to the top! The climb may not be for everyone, but as long as you're up for the challenge, we highly recommend heading up to the summit.
Getting to Mount Tomanivi
Before you can start your journey, you'll need to get to the mountain. The closest village is Navai, roughly 8 kilometres southeast of Nadarivatu - the forestry settlement where Mount Tomanivi is located. The easiest way to get to Navai is by car, with the drive from the nearest town, Tavua, taking about 90 minutes. If you're coming from Nadi, the journey will be roughly three hours. There are shuttles available that you can take, but a more exciting option may be to hire a car for the day. Just make sure it's a four-wheel drive to handle the roads!
Once you arrive in Navai, you can start preparing for the climb. It's customary to meet with the village's chief and offer a small gift or donation before taking on Mount Tomanivi. If you'd like a bit of assistance on your climb, it is also possible to hire a guide once you arrive. The most important step at this stage, however, is to make sure you have everything that you'll need, namely hiking gear and comfortable shoes - as well as plenty of snacks!
Climbing Mount Tomanivi
Those who have conquered the mountain say that it can be tough, particularly when you get toward the peak and the incline becomes very steep, but everyone agrees that Mount Tomanivi is an incredibly rewarding climb.
It's best to embark as early as possible. The trek takes between three and six hours - depending on your pace - and you'll want to reach the peak while there's still plenty of light so you can really enjoy the view! As an added bonus, if you start nice and early, you'll be able to get up and down the mountain with plenty of time to explore the surrounding region.
The distance is 4.5 kilometres all up, and has been classed as a difficult climb by The Culture Trip. This is largely due to the last half of the journey, which is over rocks and can be both slippery and steep. This means that the climb isn't suitable for little ones, although energetic teenagers should have no problem and the trek is great way to bond as a family. You'll just have to try and keep up with them!
On the journey, you will see native trees and plants, as well as some of the island's local wildlife. You'll feel like you've stepped back in time to a more rugged and authentic Fiji, with ferns, trees and singing birds on every side. Once you've reached the peak, you'll be treated to one of the most incredible views in all of the Pacific, with Viti Levu stretching away in front of you.
Visiting the rest of the region
Once you've ascended to Mount Tomanivi's summit, and returned to Navai safely, you should still have a few hours before you'll need to return to your resort. Some climbers jump right back in their rented cars or on a shuttle and go directly back to the pool, but they're missing out on everything else that this beautiful region has to offer.
Start your explorations in the village of Navai itself. If you were in a hurry to get up the mountain earlier in the day, now is the ideal time to relax with the locals, learn more about their way of life and get a sense for what it might be like to live in the shadow of such an imposing natural creation. From here, you've got the rest of the area to explore. The local beauty of Navai and Nadarivatu extends far beyond Mount Tomanivi, so grab your camera and head out to explore the banks of the Wainibuka and Wainimala Rivers.
You may exert a little more energy than you were expecting on your holiday to Fiji, but climbing Mount Tomanivi is a part of your trip that will always stay with you. For more information on all things Fiji, contact Hoot Holidays today.