Taveuni is known for its rich diversity of animal and plant life and, because of its thriving ecosystem, is one of the most significant islands in the South Pacific for biology and conservation. Taveuni's beautiful mountainous terrain and spectacular waterfalls provide endless opportunities for the eco-minded adventurer. As host to nearly all the bird species found in Fiji, the island is also a paradise for the avid bird watcher. The island is equally rich in culture and history and you can observe how a traditional village operates or visit a hill fort site that was used by the ancient Fijians as a secret enemy lookout.
WATERFALL HIKES AND VILLAGE VISITS
Bouma Falls is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. Located in Tavoro National Park, it is a perfect destination for a half- or full-day trip. Bouma Falls actually consists of three waterfalls: the first is an easy ten-minute walk from the main road. The waterfall is approximately 100 feet (30 meters) in height and falls into a large pool where one can go swimming and dive off the rocks. A wonderful trail has been built up to a second waterfall which is a worthwhile trip for the more adventurous. About 60 feet high and perhaps more dramatic, this second waterfall takes about thirty minutes to reach from the first along a well-manicured trail which has steps, handrails and benches for rest stops. The walk to the third and final waterfall - which is only about 25 feet high (8 meters) - takes about thirty minutes on a more rugged path. However, the beauty of this waterfall is in the remoteness of the area and the perfect stillness - a wonderful place to meditate!
Lavena Village and Tobu Vei Tui Falls
Travel to the far northeast end of Taveuni to Lavena, one of the most picturesque villages on the island. At Lavena village you can see how a traditional village operates, meet some of the villagers and perhaps the Village Chief. Lavena also features one of the most beautiful beaches on Taveuni. This beach, with its spectacular white sand and crystal clear water, was featured in the movie 'Return of the Blue Lagoon'. It is an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and picnicking. From there take a 3-mile (5 kilometers) graded walking path to the Tobu Vei Tui falls. The walk takes about one and a half hours of which the last thirty minutes is up a creek bed. The falls are spectacular and, if you're lucky, your Fijian guide will show you how to jump off the face of the cliff into the pool below! It is also possible to take a boat trip to other spectacular falls further down the coast.
Lake Tagimoucia is located in an old crater 2,699-foot (823 meters) high in the mountains. The lake, which is filled with floating masses of vegetation, is just below Des Voeux peak which is the second highest spot on Taveuni at 3,920 feet (1,195 meters). The highest peak on the island is Mt Uluigalau which is 4,072 feet (1,241 meters) high. These are among the highest mountains in Fiji. The hike to the lake is very strenuous and should only be attempted by the serious hiker. It takes about 3 to 4 hours each way. The highlands are also home to Fiji's most famous flower, the tagimoucia (tahng-ee-mow-thia), a red and white flowered creeper which is linked to a local romantic legend about love lost and love regained. It only grows above 2,000 feet, and usually blooms from end of September to end of December. Any attempt to transplant the flower at a lower altitude has failed.
Vuna Village, Blow Hole and Navakawau
Village of Vuna, located at the southern end of the island, played an important role in the settlement of the first Europeans on Taveuni. The original plantations and homes of these white people were within the jurisdiction of Vuna and thus the land was either purchased or bartered from the Tui Vuna, the chief of the area. Some of this land is still owned by the descendants of the original settlers. Beyond Vuna at the very end of the coastal road is a village called Navakawau, which literally means 'end of the road. It is a beautiful - though bouncy! - drive along rugged coastline down to Navakawau. One of the highlights is a tidal 'blow hole' which is quite impressive to see if the tide is right.
Vuniuto is a beautiful village just a quick ten minute taxi ride from the resort. The grounds have many lovely large green leafed breadfruit trees, a local staple favorite food and quite delicious when ripe. Vuniuto is Fijian and means breadfruit tree. This special guided trip allows you to visit a local homestead, where the villagers will welcome you in experiencing their lifestyle. There will be demonstrations of Fijian crafts - basket making, mat-weaving, coconut husking and uses, fire-making, earth oven (lovo) demonstration, preparation of the traditional drink 'yaqona' - more widely known as 'kava'. Enjoy an afternoon tea session with cakes and a Fijian 'meke' or song and dance performance.
Korolevu is a small island just off the resort offering excellent snorkeling and beautiful white sand beaches perfect for sunbathing. Dolphins are sometimes seen just offshore. Romantic and picturesque, this is the ideal spot for a private picnic lunch.
Snorkeling Rainbow Reef
Rainbow Reef's spectacular underwater gardens are just 20-minute boat ride away. This excellent snorkeling location is quite different from Korolevu Island. In addition to the beautiful coral, there are often multitudes of fish, and even an occasional reef shark.
Discover the beautiful beaches of Korolevu, or follow the coastline past Fijian villages, river inlets and occasional mangroves. Take a packed lunch, perhaps, and have a picnic. Don't forget to take your snorkeling gear to enjoy the nearby reefs.
No visit to Taveuni is complete without visiting the 180th meridian, the International Dateline. Taveuni is one of the very few land masses in the world that the meridian crosses and you are just a few minutes away.
This natural waterslide is a 20 minute walk north of Waiyevo. Surrounded by rainforest, it is a secluded and picturesque spot and is sometimes filled with the laughter of the local children.
The lovely old Catholic mission at Wairiki is 25-minute walk away. The mission is set into the hillside and overlooks the site where Taveuni warriors turned back thousands of Tongans in a battle which was fought in canoes just off the beach. This battle was of historical significance in the history of Fiji, for Tonga was gaining control of the rest of the country through a series of undefeated battles. The Taveuni warriors therefore saved Fiji from the Tongans ... they then celebrated by cooking the Tongans in a lovo and eating them with breadfruit! The French Missionary priest who advised the Taveuni warriors on fighting strategy was rewarded for his help by the grateful people of Taveuni by the building of the large mission. If you visit the Mission on a Sunday morning you will hear the wonderful singing of the Fijian villagers.
Birdwatching at Des Voeux Peak
It has been claimed that the island of Taveuni is host to nearly all the bird species to be found in Fiji. In particular, Des Voeux Peak at dawn is the place to be if you are a keen birdwatcher. Professor Allen Keast and Mr. David Bishop, both respected in the field of birdwatching, describe the experience here as one of their most memorable. In particular, you may catch sight of the orange dove and the silktail, to be found nowhere else in the world.
Birdwatching at Qeleni
Qeleni also provides excellent birdwatching opportunities, although it takes a very early start to get there for the dawn chorus -- the best bird-watching time of the day! Here birds are quite easy to spot, and a local guide can take you to the specific areas for each type of bird. A good time of year is August to September when the birds are nesting. Parrots, orange doves, silktails and fantails inhabit this area.
GOLF, TENNIS AND HORSEBACK RIDING
Taveuni Estates Golf and Tennis
Taveuni Estates is a large privately owned freehold development is situated about 25 minutes south of the hotel. The Estates maintains a beautiful 9-hole golf course, tennis courts (both asphalt and grass) and a lawn bowling green. These areas are open to the public and equipment is available for hire at the recently renovated Club House. It is possible to drive through the Estates and enjoy the spectacular vista from the high elevation. At dusk, you can often hear a variety of bird calls at the top of the road.
Enjoy trail riding through the beautiful Taveuni plantations and rainforests with a journey which starts at Vatuwiri Resort at the southern end of Taveuni. A guide will lead you on a breathtaking ride enabling you to view this wonderful island from a different perspective. This fun experience is suitable for beginners as well as experienced riders.