Vanua Levu Fiji Top Attractions and Activities

Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-largest island, offers a mix of secluded beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant culture. This travel guide will help you discover the best things to do, places to stay, and how to make the most of your trip to this tropical paradise.

From snorkelling at Split Rock to exploring the Vuadomo Village and Waterfall, Vanua Levu is packed with unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, this island has something for everyone. Enjoy a nature walk in the Waisali Rainforest Reserve, visit the beautiful Flora Tropica Garden, or seek out the island’s hot springs for a unique experience.

Fiji High Vanua Levu Beach

Dive into the rich Fijian culture and meet the friendly locals who are always ready to share their traditions and stories. Discover the island’s best dining spots, accommodation options, and practical travel tips to ensure your trip is smooth and enjoyable. Vanua Levu is not just a destination; it’s an experience waiting to be explored.

Important Info

  • Vanua Levu offers a mix of beaches, rainforests, and cultural experiences.
  • Enjoy activities like snorkelling at Split Rock and exploring waterfalls.
  • Find practical tips on accommodation, dining, and travel essentials.

Understanding Fiji

Fiji is an island country located in the South Pacific. It is made up of over 300 islands, with the two largest islands being Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

Viti Levu is the most populous island and is home to the capital city, Suva. It is known for its bustling cities and the famous Coral Coast, which offers stunning beaches and rich marine life.

Vanua Levu, the second-largest island, is less developed and provides a more secluded experience. This island is known for its natural beauty, with lush rainforests, pristine waters, and vibrant coral reefs.

Fiji is famous for its friendly and welcoming people, known as Fijians. They have a rich culture that you will experience through music, dance, and traditional ceremonies.

The concept of Fiji Time reflects the laid-back and relaxed lifestyle of Fijians, where punctuality is less stressed.

Jean-Michel Cousteau, the son of the famous ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, has a resort on Vanua Levu. This highlights Fiji’s commitment to environmental preservation and marine exploration.

Visiting Fiji means immersing yourself in its unique culture, enjoying its beautiful landscapes, and engaging with its warm and hospitable people.

Exploring Vanua Levu

Vanua Levu offers a blend of charming towns, lush forests, waterfalls, and tranquil coastal areas. This section will guide you through the highlights of its key locations and natural splendours.

The Tale of Two Towns: Savusavu and Labasa

Savusavu, known as the “Hidden Paradise,” is famed for its beautiful harbour, Savusavu Bay. You’ll find geothermal hot springs here, perfect for a relaxing soak. The town also has several markets where you can buy local crafts and food.

On the other side of the island is Labasa, the largest town on Vanua Levu. It’s a bustling centre of activity, offering insights into the local culture and daily life. Visit the scenic Subrail Park, where you can enjoy a peaceful walk or a picnic.

Natural Splendour: Forests and Waterfalls

The forests of Vanua Levu are a must-visit for nature lovers. Waisali Rainforest Reserve showcases diverse flora and fauna. You can walk through the forest trails, spotting various bird species and unique plants.

Fiji High Vanua Levu Rainforest

Waterfalls are another highlight. Vuadomo Village & Waterfall offers a stunning view, and you can take a dip in the refreshing water. The journey to the waterfall itself is an adventure, passing through the lush greenery of Buca Bay.

Beaches and Bays: Secluded Coastal Charms

Vanua Levu’s coastline is dotted with beautiful beaches and bays. Natewa Bay is a large and serene bay, ideal for snorkelling and diving. The vibrant coral reefs here are teeming with marine life, providing an underwater spectacle.

Savusavu Bay, with its calm waters, is perfect for kayaking and boat tours. Secluded beaches along the bay offer quiet spots where you can relax and enjoy the sun. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, the coastal areas of Vanua Levu have something to offer.

In summary:

  • Savusavu Bay: Geothermal hot springs, local markets.
  • Labasa: Subrail Park, local culture.
  • Waisali Rainforest Reserve: Bird watching, forest trails.
  • Vuadomo Village & Waterfall: Scenic views, swimming.
  • Natewa Bay: Snorkelling, diving.
  • Savusavu Bay: Kayaking, secluded beaches.

Adventure and Activities

Vanua Levu offers a myriad of activities for adventurers, from exploring vibrant coral reefs to immersing yourself in local village traditions. With so much to experience, you’re sure to find an activity that delights your senses and enriches your holiday.

Underwater Exploration: Diving and Snorkelling

Vanua Levu is a diver’s paradise. The Rainbow Reef, located off Taveuni, is one of the most famous dive spots, offering colourful coral gardens and diverse marine life. The Namena Marine Reserve is another top site, renowned for its pristine underwater ecosystem.

For snorkellers, Savusavu and the nearby reefs are accessible and teeming with marine species. It’s an ideal way to witness Fiji’s underwater world without needing scuba gear. The clear waters and abundant sea life make snorkelling here an unforgettable experience.

Local Excursions and Adventure Tours

There are plenty of land-based adventures on Vanua Levu. You can hike through rainforests, visit waterfalls, and explore volcanic areas.

Popular tours include hiking to the Waisali Rainforest Reserve and taking boat trips to hidden caves. ATV tours and guided hikes provide a fun way to explore the island’s rugged terrain. For those seeking more relaxation, guided bird-watching tours and cruises along the coastline offer peaceful yet engaging excursions.

Cultural Insights: Villages and Traditions

To truly experience Vanua Levu, visiting local villages is a must. Places like Nukubati Island offer insights into Fijian culture and hospitality.

Participate in traditional ceremonies, learn about ancient customs, and enjoy local food. Village tours often include witnessing traditional Fijian dance and music, which provide a deeper appreciation of the island’s heritage. Engaging with the local community will enrich your understanding of Vanua Levu’s cultural landscape.

Accommodation Options

Vanua Levu offers a range of accommodation options, from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly hostels, and authentic Fijian homestays. These choices cater to different preferences and budgets, ensuring a comfortable stay for every traveller.

Luxury Resorts and Boutique Hotels

Vanua Levu is home to some stunning 5-star resorts and boutique hotels that promise a touch of luxury and a relaxing stay. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort stands out, offering a unique experience with its dive centre, educational marine programs, and award-winning kids’ club perfect for families.

For couples seeking a romantic escape, the private Namale Resort & Spa provides secluded beachfront villas and bungalows, complemented by high-end amenities and exceptional service.

Additionally, you can enjoy a serene oasis at the Savasi Island Resort, where luxury meets natural beauty, offering private pools, fine dining, and personalized experiences.

Budget Stays and Backpackers’ Hostels

Travellers on a budget have plenty of options in Vanua Levu. While the island is famous for high-end resorts, there are also affordable places to stay.

Daku Resort is a great option, offering both budget accommodation and more upscale rooms, all with access to shared facilities and beautiful views.

Fiji High Vanua Levu Backpackers

For backpackers, Savusavu Backpackers Lodge offers dormitories and private rooms at reasonable rates. This friendly spot is close to beaches and markets, making it convenient for exploring.

Another affordable option is the Naveria Heights Lodge, where guests can enjoy a welcoming atmosphere along with complimentary breakfast and access to hiking trails.

Authentic Fijian Homestays and Villages

Experiencing traditional Fijian life is possible through homestays and village visits. These stays provide a unique cultural experience and a chance to live like a local.

You can stay with Fijian families in villages around Vanua Levu, immersing yourself in daily routines, enjoying home-cooked meals, and participating in community activities.

Korovesi Sunshine Villas offers a homestay vibe with privacy, set in lush surroundings and giving insights into Fijian culture.

Connecting with local communities, staying in authentic Fijian homes, or small village guesthouses enriches your travel experience, providing a deeper understanding of Fiji’s traditions and lifestyle.

Dining and Cuisine

From traditional Fijian delight to delectable international dishes, Vanua Levu offers a variety of dining experiences. Whether you are sampling local delicacies or finding the perfect spot for a sundowner, this guide will help you discover the best bites and sips on the island.

Local Delicacies and Exotic Flavours

Vanua Levu has a rich blend of Fijian and Indo-Fijian cuisine. Traditional Fijian dishes like lovo, a feast cooked in an earth oven, and fresh seafood are must-tries. You can also find delicious kokoda, a raw fish marinated in coconut milk, lime, and spices.

Local markets in towns like Savusavu and Labasa are perfect for exploring fresh fruits, vegetables, and homemade snacks. Here, you can try tropical fruits and find roti, curry, and fijian pudding.

Cooking classes are available to learn how to make these traditional dishes. This hands-on approach gives you a chance to experience Fijian hospitality and understand local ingredients.

Restaurants and Bars: Sustenance and Sundowners

Vanua Levu’s restaurants cater to different tastes and budgets. Taste of Hidden Paradise Restaurant in Savusavu offers affordable Chinese, Indian, and Thai dishes, making it an excellent choice for a budget-friendly meal.

For seafood, try restaurants that focus on Asian-Fusion cuisine, incorporating fresh catches from the local waters. These dining spots provide a unique mix of flavours and high-quality ingredients.

When the sun sets, head to bars in Savusavu for a relaxing evening. Enjoy a tropical cocktail or local Fijian beer while taking in the island’s serene atmosphere. These bars often have stunning views, making them ideal for unwinding after a day of exploring.

Nature and Wildlife

Explore Vanua Levu’s lush rainforests and vibrant reefs teeming with marine life. Here are the top spots and activities to consider for an unforgettable nature adventure.

On Land: Rainforests and Plantations

Vanua Levu boasts rich, dense rainforests that are home to a wide variety of plant and animal species. The Waisali Rainforest Reserve is a must-visit. This protected area features walking trails where you can spot colourful birds and the native Fiji ground frog. Look out for the elusive Ground Dove (pictured)!

Flora Tropica Gardens offers a stunning display of tropical plants. Spend some time strolling through the gardens to see the diverse flora up close. Many types of orchids and palms can be found, making it a plant lover’s paradise.

Vanua Levu also has expansive plantations. Sugarcane, coconut, and other crops are cultivated here. These plantations give you a glimpse into the island’s agricultural practices and offer scenic views ideal for photography.

Fiji High Vanua Levu Ground Dove

The Marine Environment: Reefs and Marine Life

The marine life around Vanua Levu is spectacular. The Great Sea Reef, one of the world’s largest barrier reefs, is located just off the island’s shores. It’s perfect for snorkelling and diving, offering encounters with colourful coral and fish.

Sites like Split Rock and Rainbow Reef are famous for underwater visibility and vibrant marine life. Diverse fish species, sea turtles, and even dolphins can be seen in these waters.

If you’re an avid diver or snorkeller, don’t miss the chance to explore these underwater landscapes. The reefs are not only stunning but also important ecosystems that support a wide variety of marine species.

Events and Festivities

Events and festivities in Vanua Levu offer a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of Fiji. From the colourful Festival of Lights to the unique New Year’s traditions, there’s much to experience.

Festival of Lights: Diwali in Fiji

Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Vanua Levu. During this Hindu festival, you will find homes and streets adorned with candles, oil lamps, and colourful rangoli (decorative patterns). The celebration usually includes feasting on traditional sweets and savouries, exchange of gifts, and spectacular firework displays.

Fiji High Vanua Levu Diwali

In Vanua Levu, Diwali holds special significance due to the large Indo-Fijian community. You can join in the festivities by attending temple ceremonies and participating in community events. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, reflecting the Fijian spirit of hospitality and joy.

New Year’s Celebrations: Unique Fijian Traditions

New Year’s Eve in Vanua Levu is marked by unique Fijian traditions that mix modern celebrations with cultural practices. Music and dance play a big role, with people gathering at community halls and beachside resorts to welcome the new year. Traditional Fijian meke dancing and drumming often feature in the festivities.

Families and friends come together for lavish feasts, often featuring local dishes such as lovo (an earth oven-cooked meal) and fresh seafood. It’s common for communities to organise large parties, complete with fireworks displays at midnight. This blend of traditional and contemporary celebrations makes New Year’s in Vanua Levu an event to remember.

Practical Information

When planning your trip to Vanua Levu, Fiji, you’ll find essential tips for travel, health, safety, and accessibility. This guide includes advice on what to pack, when to go, and how to stay safe and healthy during your visit.

Travel Essentials and Tips

Before you travel to Vanua Levu, it’s important to prepare accordingly. Pack light, breathable clothing suitable for the warm, tropical climate. Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are a must to protect against the strong sun. It’s advisable to bring insect repellent as well, especially if you plan to explore the natural areas.

Currency: The local currency is the Fijian Dollar (FJD). It’s a good idea to carry some cash, as ATMs might not be readily available in remote areas.

Weather: The best time to visit is during the dry season from May to October. The weather is more predictable and less humid, making outdoor activities more enjoyable.

Transport: Although buses and taxis are available, renting a car or hiring a local guide can provide more flexibility and convenience, especially for exploring less touristy spots.

Fiji High Vanua Levu Vaccination

Health, Safety, and Accessibility

Health and safety are crucial for a worry-free trip. Vaccinations: Ensure that your routine vaccines are up to date, and consider the typhoid and hepatitis A vaccines.

Medical Facilities: While Vanua Levu has basic medical facilities, more advanced care is accessible in the mainland, thus travel insurance is recommended.

Safety: The crime rate in Vanua Levu is low, but it’s always smart to follow standard safety precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas at night and keeping valuables secure.

Accessibility: Vanua Levu is generally accessible to travellers. While public transport could be less frequent, you’ll find that most tourist destinations and accommodations are reasonably accessible. Contacting a local travel agent can help arrange any specific requirements you might have.

By following these practical tips, you’re set for a safe, enjoyable, and memorable trip to Vanua Levu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Vanua Levu in Fiji is known for its luxurious resorts, vibrant activities in Savusavu, and various transportation options. You can explore its many sights and attractions at your own pace.

What are the top resorts to stay at in Vanua Levu?

Some of the top resorts in Vanua Levu include the all-inclusive Namale Resort & Spa, Koro Sun Resort, and Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. These resorts offer luxurious accommodations, stunning views, and a range of amenities to make your stay memorable.

What kind of activities can travellers enjoy in Savusavu?

Travellers in Savusavu can enjoy scuba diving at Rainbow Reef, relaxing in the hot springs, and taking part in village tours. The hidden paradise of Savusavu is also perfect for snorkeling, sailing, and exploring local markets.

What transportation options are available for travelling to Vanua Levu?

You can reach Vanua Levu by domestic airline flights or private charter flights. Alternative transportation options include ferries from Viti Levu. Once on the island, you can rent a car or use local buses and taxis to get around.

What notable sights and attractions are must-sees in Vanua Levu?

Must-see attractions include the Namena Marine Reserve, the White Wall for scuba diving, and traditional Fijian villages. The lush rainforests and sugarcane plantations also offer scenic views and a serene experience.

How long would it typically take to explore the island of Vanua Levu by car?

It typically takes around one to two days to explore Vanua Levu by car. The island has various routes that allow you to visit key attractions and enjoy the scenic countryside without feeling rushed.

Could you recommend the most picturesque locations in Fiji for a traveller?

Vanua Levu itself boasts numerous picturesque locations, including the pristine waters of Savusavu and the lush landscapes around the island. Other beautiful spots include the Yasawa Islands and Taveuni, often referred to as the Garden Island of Fiji.