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Discovering Fiji: Journey off the beaten path in Vanua Levu

Discovering Fiji: Journey off the beaten path in Vanua Levu

Vanua Levu is the second largest island of Fiji, though it has a very different character to the larger, more tourist orientated Viti Levu. Not only does it see far fewer travellers, it’s also less densely populated than the larger island to the south. While Viti Levu is often considered the centralised hub of Fiji, Vanua Levu offers a very different experience to tourists with its wild rainforest and rugged coast. Those looking to step away from the crowds and get back to nature absolutely must book some time in Vanua Levu.

What is there to do in Vanua Levu?

Satisfy your sense of adventure on Vanua Levu and explore the island’s untouched rainforests with hiking trails to spectacular views, kayak the coastline or scuba dive some of the world’s best dive sites. Or simply sit back and relax on one of many white sand beaches or take a dip in the hot springs and thermal mud pools. Vanua Levu may be less travelled than that Fiji’s more popular tourist hubs of Viti Levu and the Mamanucas but it has no shortage of activities for all types of travellers.

Visit Savusavu

We are very much in two minds about whether to let the secret out, but the town of Savusavu is known as the hidden paradise of Fiji. Popular for mooring yachts, this harbour town is nestled in a deep bay, bordered by rolling hills and a picturesque waterfront. This peaceful little town has big community spirit, and it’s worth a visit even if merely for the growing number of restaurants and cafes on the seaside. Get a glimpse of Fijian life and visit the Savusavu markets, open Monday to Saturday.

Check out Labasa

Labasa (pronounced ‘Lam-basa’) is Vanua Levu’s administrative centre. Occupied mostly by Indo-Fijians, a trip to Labasa is a great opportunity to learn more about this unique culture – many of the locals are descendants from the grimitiyas (indentured labourers brought from India to work the plantations) sharing an interesting mix of Fijian and Indian traditions. The main street is lined with some absolutely fantastic restaurants that can’t be missed by those seeking a culinary thrill, you will find good curries, and colourful shops playing Bollywood hits.

Rainforest Reserve

Covering 300 acres of hills and valleys to the north of Vanua Levu, the Waisali Rainforest Reserve is home to innumerable species of creatures and plants. A guided tour will allow travellers to witness some of Fiji’s most endangered as well as explore the colourful flora of Fiji’s lush, blissful rainforest. If you are looking for some adventure, hike the trails and your efforts will be rewarded with spectacular views. The Snake Temple near Labasa can’t be missed.

These lush rainforests are just waiting for you to come and explore.

Savusavu hot springs

The hot springs are perhaps the most intriguing outward sign of the volcanic nature of the islands. The geothermal activity here means that boiling subterranean water is coming to the surface. Many of the hot springs located around the shores of Savusavu were traditionally used for cooking, and the unique geography and historical significance make these hot springs are a sight to behold.

Rainbow Reef

Diving enthusiasts will need no introduction to Rainbow Reef. Consistently ranked among the best diving spots in the world, if you can only do one thing on your trip to Fiji, diving the rainbow reef would be a wise decision. Situated between Vanua Levu and the nearby Taveuni, the rainbow reef is home to over 2000 species of tropical fish and 200 corals including the mesmerising Great White Wall.

Stay at the greatest luxury resort in Fiji

The Jean Michel Costeau Resort is one of the most popular luxury resorts in Fiji, and the numerous awards this resort has won make a very strong case for staying here. Situated on 17 acres of coconut plantation and known for a commitment to eco-friendly hospitality, this resort offers the ultimate escape for those exploring Fiji. With traditional bures and elegant villas, a huge range of activities and a resident marine biologist, this seaside resort is truly one of a kind.

Entry requirements and tourist seasons for Venua Levu

Australian citizens only need a valid passport to enter Fiji. Your passport will of course need to be valid for the entirety of your stay, which can be up to four months. July to September typically represent the warmest and driest months and see the highest concentration of tourists. The shoulder months of May, June and October offer slightly milder weather and fewer tourists, while November to April is wet season. The wet season is a little unpredictable in terms of weather, but still offers plenty of sun for those keen to explore during the “off” season.

To find out more about visiting Venua Levu on your Fiji holiday, contact Hoot today.