By Telma and Thomas | 1 May 2016 | Fiji | Travel Guides

This travel guide will give you the best of Taveuni Island and things to do in Taveuni on a budget. A hidden gem in the South Pacific offering beautiful unspoilt beaches, bushwalks, waterfalls and historic sites, making Taveuni one of Fiji’s top islands  to visit. The island is a nature lover’s paradise and it’s full of activities.
Unfortunately, Taveuni is often forgotten from those who visit Fiji. So hopefully this post will leave you with some curiosity!

If like us, you love being outdoors then Taveuni is ideal. And let us tell you something, if you are looking to escape the crowded areas of Fiji’s mainland, you will be delighted to know that Taveuni isn’t touristic at all. We were there for 7 days, and only saw one backpacker.

Now, that’s what we call the perfect destination!

visiting taveuni and staying with the locals



Exploring Taveuni

Taveuni, Fiji’s third-largest Island is entirely the product of volcanic activity and it’s surrounded by tropical reefs with some of the world’s best dive sites. This coconut-covered island is also known by the “Garden Island” as around 60% of the land is tropical rainforest.

where is taveuni Photo Credit: Ezilon

How to get to get there – (From Suva only)

Ferry
You can buy the tickets a few days before or on-board, either way make sure you arrive 2 hours before departure so you can get a nice area inside the ferry.
Both the Ferry and Gounder Shipping ticket office are located in Narain Jetty. The office is a 5-minute walk from the bus stop.

From Suva you can catch the bus or get a taxi.
Bus – FJD$0.70/ USD$0.35/GBP£0.25
Taxi – FJD$3/ USD$1.40/GBP£1

Ferries to Taveuni are every Monday & Friday at 6pm
Cost: FJD$67/USD$30/GBP£22 per person, one-way
Duration: usually 16-18 hours, but expect delays.

Plane
Flights depart from Nausori Airport (Suva) to Matei Airport (Taveuni), four times a week. Morning flights only.
Cost: the cheapest you can get is FJD$195/USD$90/GBP£70 per person, one-way
Duration: 45 minutes

Things you need to know about the ferry to Taveuni

  • Journeys often do not operate on a regular basis, due to weather conditions
  • It’s not a cruise ship, do not expect luxury
  • Arrive early, minimum 2 hours before, so you can get a good seat inside the ferry
  • It will get rough through the night, so grab a “sick bag” from reception
  • It’s crowded, people are everywhere
  • Bring a jumper/hoodie/sleeping bag, if the air conditioning is on, it will be freezing
  • Bring wet wipes and toilet paper
  • Meals can be purchased inside the ferry: Breakfast FJD$3/USD$1.40/GBP£1, Lunch & Dinner FJD$10/ USD$5/GBP£4
  • Expect noise, smelly food and lots of smiles! Be polite and respectful.

taveuni island ferry

Getting Around Taveuni

Wairiki

  • Get the bus from the Wharf (Salia) – FJD$0.70/ USD$0.35/GBP£0.25
  • Visit Wairiki Catholic Church
  • Walk down to the First Shop to Open in the World & Shivam’s Curry House – Stop here for lunch
  • Get the bus back and ask the driver to stop at the Hospital Road for the 180 Meridian – stand between tomorrow and today and tick “time travel” off your bucket list!

around taveuni island

Waiyevo

The famous Waitavala Water Slide (the best of Taveuni Island!) it’s only a 15-minute walk from town. Ask the locals for Waitavala Water Slide, they will happily guide you and the kids will surely follow you and teach you some of their best tricks.
This narrow creek of cascading water is a ton of fun, but expect a few bruised bums and tailbones.

We had read about the water slide, so we really couldn’t wait. But we were a bit skeptical about it, because we knew for us novices could be dangerous. The boys went first, then waited for us at the bottom to stop us from continuing right down on the stream. We couldn’t believe how quickly the water swept us down along the rocks. Seriously, it’s scary!

Tips: Ease your way down, ask the locals for some guidance. Do not attempt to go by yourself, it can be very dangerous. The local children go down standing up, but it’s not that easy.
Curiosity: Some of the scenes of the romantic-adventure film The Blue Lagoon were shot at the waterslide.

playing at waitavala waterslide

Naqara

Here is where you will find shops, a market, a school and the only ATM machine.
“Wine + Dine Restaurant” is the best place to eat. They offer a mix of Indian/Fijian and Chinese food. A meal costs around FJD$8/ USD$4/GBP£3
Walk through Somosomo Village and join the kids at Somosomo River.

Please be aware of local customs: Ask permission before entering the village, women should cover their legs, do not wear hats or sunglasses.

staying at a village in taveuni

Tavoro Waterfalls – Bouma National Heritage Park 

fijians and us at the tavoro waterfall







How to get there

There is a bus leaving Naqara every day at different times – 9am – 1pm – 5pm
Cost: FJD$4.70/USD$2.50/GBP£1.70, one-way, per person
Allow 2 hours for the journey, is not that far, but the bus will stop constantly and the road is rough and bumpy.

At Tavoro Waterfalls
Cost: FJD$30/USD$214/GBP£10 per person

Important: The last bus leaves Bouma Village at 2pm (Tavoro), so the best way to explore this part of the island is hiring a private driver or a taxi. The price should be around FJD$80/USD$35/GBP£25 for the day.
There are three waterfalls, the first is called Lower Bouma Falls. It’s 24m tall and the most popular one.
Unfortunately, we didn’t know about the bus timetable, so we didn’t have time to explore the area and visit the other two waterfalls. Apparently is a tough hike, due to the humidity but the scenery is beautiful.

Taveuni Budget Accommodation
Well known for backpackers, Beverley Camping Site it’s 30-40 minutes from Tavoro Waterfalls.

Before Travelling to Taveuni

  • Get money out in Suva (there is only one cash machine in Taveuni, and it’s always busy)
  • Bring a torch, there are no street lights
  • Bring a pashmina or sarong to wear it at the villages
  • Buy a mosquito net & mosquito coil for the night
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent for the day
  • Always carry small change
  • You will mostly rely on taxis or hiring a driver because buses are not frequent

our friends in taveuni Myelean and Asenaca’s Family

Special Thanks:
We would like to thank Orelia  for making contact with Myelean over at Taveuni. Our stay would have not been possible if it wasn’t for the generosity of Mylelean & Asenaca’s family. And a huge thanks to Mere & Vara for their hospitality.
We are forever grateful and humbled to have met such inspirational people.

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Planning a trip to Taveuni? Let us know if you have any comments or suggestions?

where to go and places to see in taveuni

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We are Thomas and Telma – the writers, photographers, videographers and founders of Blank Canvas Voyage.

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