Free or Cheap Activities on Vanua Levu
We get it, not every day can involve an expensive scuba dive, game fishing charter or helicopter flight… Luckily, Vanua Levu is extremely budget-friendly, from cheap transport around the island to free (or cheap) attractions along the way. The towns of Savusavu and Labasa each have their own set of inexpensive attractions, while many of the resorts have complimentary activities to keep you entertained in paradise. We’ll go through some examples with this list of free and cheap things to do on Vanua Levu!
1. Snorkel at Split Rock
If you know anything about Fiji, then this one will be no surprise to you, but it’s a fun and cheap thing to do nonetheless! Vanua Levu is blessed with a wealth of amazing snorkelling spots, from marine reserves to vast coral reefs. While many resorts offer snorkelling as a complimentary activity by providing masks and snorkels, if you have your own gear and are looking for your own snorkelling adventure then we recommend Split Rock. Split Rock offers some of the best snorkelling in Savusavu Bay. Colourful reef fish such as clownfish, sergeant fish, damsels, clams, grouper and parrotfish can all be seen here.
Location: Savusavu Bay, off the beach in front of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, opposite road market post No.63.
2. Get Out on the Water on a Kayak or Stand-Up Paddle Board
Glide peacefully across crystal clear waters and up close to coral reefs by hiring a kayak or a stand-up paddle board. Pretty much all of the mid-range and luxury resorts on Vanua Levu offer complimentary use of watersports equipment, while only a select few budget accommodation have kayaks and paddle boards available. Hire two kayaks for around FJ$10 a day at the Sigasiga Sands Resort or enjoy complimentary use of kayaks and paddle boards at the Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat to explore Dolphin Bay.
3. Visit the Vuadomo Village & Waterfall
Chasing waterfalls and cultural village visits come hand-in-hand in Fiji, as you can experience it in several locations on Viti Levu, Taveuni, and right here on Vanua Levu. One of the popular waterfall experiences on Vanua Levu is the Vuadomo Village and Waterfall. Located along the Cross Island Road, between Savusavu and Labasa, Vuadomo Village holds an amazing spot for swimming and taking stunning photos. Pick up some Kava from the market to gift as a “sevusevu” to the village chief, along with an FJ$10 donation for one of the villagers to take you on a tour to the impressive waterfall. Check out our advice on visiting a Fijian village here.
Location: Vuadomo Village, Cross Island Road, approximately 20 minutes drive from Savusavu
4. Check Out the Flora Tropica Garden
Just a short drive from Savusavu, see a gorgeous garden filled with more than 300 types of palms and countless tropical flowers. The Flora Tropica Gardens is located just off Lesiaceva Road on Daku Road, featuring gorgeous gardens along a mix of elevated boardwalks and stone paths. Guided tours are also available Monday to Friday at 10am for around FJ$20 – definitely, a cheap thing to do on Vanua Levu.
Location: Daku Road, 5km southwest of Savusavu
5. Enjoy a Nature Walk or Two
Vanua Levu has no lack of gorgeous places to stretch your legs. Popular walks include the Waisali Rainforest Reserve to see tropical birds. Budget resorts also offer walks straight from the resort, such as the magnificent jungle walk to a mountain peak from the Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat. Sigasiga Sands Resort also has several bush walks through 40ha (99 acres) of forest. Ask your accommodation provider for the best places to take a walk nearby!
6. Check Out a Giant Snakehead
Ok, so it literally isn’t a giant snake but a giant rock formation with the likeness of Naag Baba. The stone snake with a temple built around it is an attraction of religious devotees from all over the world. The rock formation in the Naag Mandir Temple is culturally significant to the local Indo-Fijian people decorated in colourful leis and other decorations. After paying a visit to Naag, there is the option to walk the 108 steps leading to the main Yagan Havan.
Location: 14km from Labasa along the Wainikoro Road
7. See the Island’s Hot Springs
Vanua Levu is a hotbed for hot spring activity, with the most famous hot springs being the Savusavu Hot Springs. While you may notice steam rising near the wharf at Savusavu Bay, it’s far too hot to bathe in it. Instead, head to the Savusavu Hot Springs, located just across the road from the Savusavu Hot Springs Hotel. There, the locals demonstrate how the use the hot springs for cooking and can even organise you a hot spring bath mixed with cold water. If you really are in search of finding every hot spring in Fiji, then hop on the Waiqele bus to the Waiqele Hot Springs 3km beyond Labasa Airport.
Location: Savusavu Hot Springs, Savusavu & Waiqele Hot Springs, 3km from Labasa Airport
8. Learn How to Husk a Coconut
You could try to do this yourself and spend ages trying to husk a coconut if you don’t know what you’re doing. With a bit of instruction, you’ll be able to survive if you’re ever marooned on an island! Many of Vanua Levu’s resorts are among coconut (copra) plantations where staff are often happy to show you how to husk a coconut (they get asked all the time – trust us). If you’re staying at the budget Sigasiga Sands, ask the staff how they make coconut milk, oil, chutney, brooms, snacks and mats from their coconut plantation.
9. Take Part in a Cooking Class
An inexpensive (and often free) cultural activity available at many of the resorts around Vanua Levu is a Fijian or an Indo-Fijian cooking class. Budget accommodation that offers these hands-on activities include Sigasiga Sands where the resident chef is happy to show you how to prepare Fijian or Hindi Cuisine. Over at the Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat, the team there offer complimentary instruction on how to prepare a traditional “lovo” – food cooked underground. Cooking classes are also sometimes available at the Hidden Paradise Guest House too. Needless to say, you’ll tick off plenty of the 10 Unique Foods in Fiji You Have to Try.
10. Indulge in the Local Cheap Eats
Speaking of food, Labasa, Savusavu and even some of the budget resorts have fantastic food and a fantastic price. One of the famed cheap eats in Savusavu is the Taste of Hidden Paradise Restaurant serving up Chinese stir-fries, Indian curries, burgers and Thai food priced between FJ$5-$10. The Captain’s Cafe in Savusavu is another fantastic option to watch the boats come into the marina as you indulge on curries, pasta dishes, pizzas, burgers, enchiladas and more for around FJ$7-$20. Over the hill in Labasa, The Banana Leaf Restaurant serves up a good choice of Indian curries with roti for around FJ$10 each. For more recommendations, see our Top Cheap Eats on Vanua Levu.