Nausori Highlands in Fiji, Not Your Average Island Holiday

Tell people you’re going to Fiji to see stunning mountain vistas over rustic farmlands and you might get an odd look or two but that’s exactly what you’re in for when you visit the Nausori Highlands. The roads are rough, the land is wild, but the local people are welcoming and the volcanic hot springs will soothe your just-climbed muscles. This is what you need to know about Fiji’s Nausori Highlands:

Nausori Highlands Overview

Nestled above Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, the Nausori Highlands present a striking contrast to the archipelago’s renowned beaches. As you travel into the highlands, the panorama unfolds into a tapestry of lush greenery and rugged mountains, offering breathtaking scenery that is markedly different from Fiji’s coastal landscapes.

In the heart of the highlands, mountaintops like Koromba and Koronayitu stand sentinel, providing a panoramic view that is among the best in Fiji. The scenery is not just visually arresting but also ripe with opportunities for adventure and discovery. The climate here is cooler compared to the coastal areas, adding to the unique experience of your visit.

  • Scenic Attractions: Majestic peaks, valley vistas, and the occasional glimpse of rare Fijian wildlife.
  • Activities: Trekking, 4WD tours, and immersion in local village culture.
  • Travel Tips: Dress in layers, and be prepared for cooler temperatures and the potential for rain.

When you visit the Nausori Highlands, you will encounter a scenic world where traditional Fijian culture thrives amidst the natural beauty. The villages dotting the highlands offer insights into a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for centuries. Whether you’re an avid trekker or simply love the serenity of mountains, the highlands of Fiji are a must-see on your travel itinerary, promising an experience far removed from the typical sun-and-sand setting.

Getting There

To reach the Nausori Highlands, you’ll embark on an adventurous journey through rugged terrains that necessitate specific vehicles and navigation know-how. This expansive region, located near Nadi, provides a stark contrast to Fiji’s quintessential beach scenes.

Navigating to the Highlands

When setting your sights on the Nausori Highlands, you must prepare for a journey through less trodden paths. Your adventure starts with a drive to the Sigatoka Valley Road, which is the gateway to the highlands. The majority of this route is unpaved, demanding a 4-wheel drive and competent navigation skills. It’s crucial you’re comfortable with off-roading as you’ll be driving over dirt tracks that are a far cry from the well-maintained roads of urban centres.

Tour Options

For those who prefer the guidance of experienced operators, numerous tour companies offer expeditions to the highlands. These tours can alleviate the stress of navigation and provide insightful commentary about the region’s history and ecosystem. Whether you choose a half-day jaunt or a full-day exploration, you’ll find that the tour typically starts from Nadi. It’s advised to select tours that include 4-wheel drives to handle the rugged terrain capably. Remember to book with reputable companies who prioritise your safety and enjoyment on these ventures.

Things to Do

If you’re heading to the magnificent Nausori Highlands in Fiji, prepare for an adventure that showcases the best of the islands’ natural beauty and cultural richness. Whether you’re trekking through rugged landscapes or exploring ancient villages, there’s an array of experiences waiting for you.

Hiking Adventures

Lace up your hiking boots and immerse yourself in the Nausori Highlands’ spectacular trails. The towering peaks of Koromba and Koronayitu offer challenging hikes with rewarding panoramic views. Remember to bring sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun during your expedition.

Discovering Waterfalls

Your journey won’t be complete without uncovering the hidden waterfalls scattered across the highlands. The sound of cascading water is a soothing soundtrack to the lush scenery, and these spots are perfect for a refreshing swim after a long hike.

Cultural Experience

Immerse yourself in the Fijian culture by visiting Navala, one of the few remaining traditional villages. Observe age-old architectural styles and participate in a kava ceremony, where you can interact with locals and learn about their way of life.

Exploring Local Villages

Stroll through the local villages for an authentic encounter with the heart of Fijian communal living. It’s a chance to witness villagers going about their day and to experience the hospitality that Fiji is renowned for. Keep an eye out for wild horses that can be occasionally spotted roaming the highlands.

Wildlife and Environment

Exploring the Nausori Highlands, you’ll discover a rich tapestry of biodiversity and extensive natural landscapes. From dense forests to intricate vegetation patterns, prepare to be captivated by the natural beauty and rural practices that are characteristic of this Fijian treasure.

Flora and Fauna

As you venture through the forests and verdant spaces of the Nausori Highlands, it becomes apparent that orchids are a highlight amongst the diverse flora, offering bursts of colour throughout the greenery. A wealth of fauna also finds refuge here, with wild horses being a notable and somewhat unexpected sighting amidst the rugged terrain. In these off the beaten track locales, the ecological variety reminds you of the delicate balance between life and the environment.

Local Agriculture

Agriculture dominates in parts of the highlands, with sugar cane fields epitomising the region’s rural economy. As you observe the expansive fields, you witness the importance of this crop, not just as an agricultural product but also as a key element in the local way of life. This is the fabric of the Nausori Highlands, as much a part of the landscape as the natural bushland that surrounds it.

Culinary Traditions

When you venture into the Nausori Highlands, you’ll quickly discover that the culinary traditions here offer an authentic taste of Fijian culture. Local foods are steeped in rich flavours, prepared using traditional methods that have been passed down through generations.

One iconic dish you must try is lovo, where food is wrapped in banana leaves and slow-cooked in an earth oven. This method imparts a unique smoky flavour to root vegetables and meats. If you’re visiting a Fijian village, participating in a lovo feast is a must-do experience.

Here’s a brief look at traditional foods you’ll likely encounter:

  • Taro (Dalo): A starchy root vegetable, often served alongside main meals.
  • Cassava (Tavioka): Another staple root which can be boiled, fried, or made into sweets.
  • Coconut (Lolo): Used in both savoury and sweet dishes, adding a rich, creamy texture.

Remember to visit the local markets, where stalls brim with fresh tropical fruits like pineapples, mangos, and pawpaw (papaya), showcasing the bounty of the islands.

Your cultural immersion isn’t complete without joining a kava ceremony. This traditional drink, made from the root of the kava plant, is an essential part of Fijian hospitality. It’s also known for its relaxing properties. When offered kava, accept it graciously to show respect for local customs.

To truly understand the highland’s food scene, take the opportunity to engage with villagers. They share stories and techniques that reflect the region’s heritage and lifestyle, enriching your appreciation for their culinary traditions.

Accommodation and Facilities

When planning your visit to the Nausori Highlands on Viti Levu, you should be aware of the accommodation options and facilities available. These range from rustic lodges to more comfortable, hospitable stays that capture the essence of Fijian warmth and charm.

Staying in the Highlands

Accommodation Choices: You’ll find a variety of places to stay in the Nausori Highlands, from luxury resorts to affordable guesthouses. Many accommodations offer stunning views of the rugged terrain and a peaceful retreat from the busier tourist areas. Ensure to book in advance, as the best places can fill up quickly, especially during the peak season. Check out some top-rated Highlands accommodation for a comfortable stay.


Travel and Connectivity: While the highlands are remote, basic infrastructure such as roads and communication networks are in place. You may find the internet to be slower here, but this is balanced by the immersive experience in nature. The main roads are maintained, though some parts can be tricky, especially after rainfall, making a 4WD vehicle advantageous for navigating the terrain.

Health and Safety

Medical Facilities: It’s important to note that comprehensive medical facilities in the highlands are limited. The closest hospitals and clinics are in Nadi, which can be some distance away depending on your location. Always travel with a basic first-aid kit, and for those with young children, be aware that services like kindergarten and childcare may not be available in this region.

Safety Tips: As with any travel, your safety is paramount. When trekking or exploring, ensure you have a guide familiar with the terrain and weather conditions. Stay hydrated and protected from the sun, and always inform someone of your itinerary before heading out into the highlands.

Nearby Attractions

When you visit Nausori Highlands in Fiji, you’ll be spoilt for choice with a wealth of attractions nearby—from culturally significant historical sites to a range of exhilarating outdoor activities.

Historical Sites

The Sleeping Giant Mountain, located nearby, is an iconic landmark steeped in legend. It’s said to look like a giant resting, and at its feet lies the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, home to one of the largest and most varied orchid collections in Fiji. An easy drive from the highlands, this garden also provides insight into Fiji’s vibrant horticulture.

Additionally, the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool, not far from the Nausori Highlands, offer a unique experience of volcanic mud — believed to have therapeutic properties. Enjoy covering yourself in mud, drying off in the sun before rinsing in a series of hot springs for a natural spa experience.

Outdoor Activities

For those seeking action, kayaking opportunities abound, with pristine waters providing the perfect backdrop for your paddling adventure. Kayak through the calm waters and take in the view of the majestic mountains meeting the sea.

If you prefer to cast a line, the surrounding oceanside areas near Nausori Highlands are ideal for fishing. From the excitement of deep-sea fishing to the serenity of casting a line from the shore, there’s something here for every angler.

When you choose Nausori Highlands as your holiday destination, you’re not just exploring a location, you’re embarking on a diverse journey that caters to both your sense of adventure and your desire to connect with the history of Fiji. Whether up in the mountains or down by the sea, your time here is sure to be unforgettable.

Conservation and Community

As you explore the Nausori Highlands, you’ll notice the efforts towards conservation that help maintain the natural beauty of this Fijian treasure. The dryzone mountain rainforest is of national significance, providing a haven for native flora and fauna. Your presence in the highlands carries a responsibility to respect and contribute to these conservation efforts.

Fijian culture is deeply entwined with nature and the land, and as such, traditional practices in the highlands aim to preserve the ecosystem. The local community, including those in traditional villages, is often involved in projects designed to protect their environment.

Embrace the Local Culture

  • Learn from village elders about sustainable practices.
  • Participate in cultural activities that support conservation.
  • Engage with community-led initiatives that fund conservation efforts.

Visiting Traditional Villages

  • Respect the way of life and traditions.
  • Support local artisans by purchasing locally made items.
  • Understand the role of villages in preserving Fijian heritage.

By integrating with the local community and supporting their efforts, you play a part in the conservation of the Nausori Highlands. Remember, your actions make a difference in safeguarding this unique region for future generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions about Nausori Highlands, providing you with the insights needed to plan your visit effectively.

What are the top attractions to visit in Nausori Highlands?

The Nausori Highlands offer a stunning landscape for visitors with attractions like the picturesque valley views and traditional Fijian villages. The Highlands are known for their trekking trails, which give you the chance to immerse yourself in Fiji’s natural beauty.

Can you describe the significance of the Nausori Highlands murders?

The Nausori Highlands murders refer to a tragic and complex criminal case that shocked Fiji. Due to the respect for those affected, specifics on this incident are not detailed here, but rather found in news archives for those seeking information.

What are the best tours available in the Nausori Highlands?

There are a variety of tours available that cater to different interests, including 4WD tours and guided cultural experiences that let you explore the depths of the Highlands and learn about the local Fijian way of life.

How can I access the Nausori Highlands Waterfall?

Access to the Nausori Highlands Waterfall typically involves either a guided Highland Waterfall Tour from Nadi or a hiking adventure, both providing a great way to experience the scenic waterfalls up close.

What activities are recommended for a day trip to Fiji?

For a day trip to Fiji, consider water activities such as snorkelling or diving in the clear blue waters, exploring local villages, and enjoying the sun on one of Fiji’s many pristine beaches. The Nausori Highlands themselves are ideal for hiking and experiencing breathtaking views.

How far are the Fiji Islands from Nadi, and which are the nearest to visit?

The Fiji Islands are a diverse group with many located close to Nadi. The nearest include the Mamanuca and Yasawa island groups, both renowned for their stunning beaches and easily accessible for day trips or longer stays.