Unmissable Things to Do in the Lau Group
What are the unmissable activities on the islands that everyone misses? Even just reaching this remote part of Fiji where very few tourists visit should be enough to satisfy the travel bug, but there’s oh-so-much to discover once you get to the Lau Islands. Untouched reefs with an abundance of marine life, remote villages with a unique Fijian and Tongan culture, uninhabited islands, limestone cathedral caves… Need we go on? Check out some of the experiences the Lau Group has to offer in this list of must-dos in the Lau Islands.
Plus, don’t miss The Complete Guide to the Lau Islands.
1. Cruise the Islands by Cruise Ship, Yacht or Cargo Boat
With around sixty islands spread across 487km2/188miles2 and so much breathtaking scenery to capture, the best way to experience the Lau Islands is by island-hopping. There’s a reason why they say the Lau Group is the best sailing grounds in Fiji, and you can see for yourself by either a cruise, private yacht tour or cargo boat. Captain Cook Cruises departs on their 11-Night Lau & Kadavu Cruise from Port Denarau three times a year, taking you to many of the must-do attractions we mention on this list. Sailing Fiji offers private charters on their catamaran yacht, Looping, departing from Taveuni. (Check Looping out on Airbnb and don’t forget to get your FREE $50 Airbnb credit on us!) And for those on a budget, cargo boats leave at least once a week from Suva stopping by up to eight islands for several hours each across six to seven days. Find out more about transport to the Lau Islands in 5 Ways to Get to the Lau Islands.
2. Snorkel and Explore Limestone Caves in the Bay of Islands
The Lau Islands’ unmissable attraction, the Bay of Islands, is a bay dotted with islands, islets and beautiful limestone cave. It’s located on the northern tip of Vanua Balavu and holds a cathedral cave towering 40m/131ft high with a ceiling full of stalactites. The snorkelling here is sensational, being in a Qilaqila Marine Reserve. While a popular anchorage for yachties (contact the government station in Lomaloma on VHF channel 16 for permission to anchor), the Bay of Islands is also included on the itinerary with Captain Cook Cruises, Sailing Fiji and guided hikes and boat trips are available from Lomaloma, easily organised from Moana’s Guesthouse – see 5 Best Accommodation in the Lau Islands. Day trips from Nadi can also be organised with Pacific Island Air with transport via seaplane.
3. Scuba Dive in Fiji’s Most Pristine Reefs
Not many people can say they have dived in the untouched reefs of the Lau Islands… Vatuvara Private Islands, the Lau Group’s only resort, has fringing reefs to explore awash with soft and hard coral. They offer PADI instruction so you can gain your Open Water certification during your stay or simply enjoy one of the beginner dives with your guide. There’s also a choice of up to seven dives on the 11-Night Lau Islands Cruise with Captain Cook Cruises, including a wreck dive in the Yasawas, among coral gardens near Taveuni, and in the famous Bay of Islands in the Lau Group. PADI dive courses are also available during the cruise.
4. Kayak Among the Mushroom Rocks of Fulaga
Located in the distant southern reaches of the Lau Islands, Fulaga is home to some spectacular diving and unusual rock formations. The island with a flooded basin is peppered with mushroom-shaped islands, making is a fun area to explore by kayak. As there is no accommodation on Fulaga, the island is only accessible by cargo ship and is included on the itinerary of the 11-Night Lau & Kadavu Cruise with Captain Cook Cruises where the use of kayaks is free.
5. Do Some Deep-sea Fishing
There sure is some exciting fishing on offer in the Lau Islands, especially off Vatuvara Island. Vatuvara Private Islands takes guests out in their 11m/36ft Naiad boat for trolling, popping, jigging and/or deep-sea game fishing, catching some of the world’s most targeted game fish. We’re talking Mahimahi, Yellow-fin Tuna, Giant Trevally, Sailfish and much more (see What Types of Fish Can You Fish For in Fiji?) The resort promotes sustainable fishing so operates on a catch and release policy.
6. Experience True Serenity with a Private Beach Picnic
Imagine being in your own private corner of the South Pacific for the day… With Vatuvara Private Islands, you and your loved one have the opportunity to be transported to an uninhabited island along with an umbrella, pillows, beach towels, water toys, snorkelling gear and a gourmet picnic. As for the days sailing on the catamaran yacht with Sailing Fiji, almost every day on the charter involves discovering secluded beaches and indulging on divine meals prepared by your onboard chef.
7. Explore Lakeba’s Caves, Hillforts and Fijian-Tongan Villages
Apart from Vanua Balavu, Lakeba is the Lau Islands’ most accessible island. Plus, with a weekly flight to the island, a guesthouse and the possibility of homestays, it’s an island worth staying on for a while. The main village, Tobou, is a fascinating place to see with a strong Tongan influence from the rounded thatched bures to the woven mats called ta’avala that the locals wear around their waists. Exploring the island on foot is easy thanks to a dirt road following the coastline. Local guides can show you some of the island’s caves with impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations, as well as the largest hillfort in Fiji located on Ketekete Peak (360m). The east coast of Lakeba also holds a collection of small islands that are interesting to explore by boat, if you hire a boatman for the day.
8. Work on Your Wellness
The breathtaking beauty and tranquillity of the Lau Group make the perfect setting to work on your mind, body and soul. Spa treatments and private yoga tuition on your villa’s deck are all included with your stay on the luxurious Vatuvara Private Islands. Alternatively, indulge in a spa treatment or make use of the gym onboard the M.V. Reef Endeavour with Captain Cook Cruises.
9. Play Golf on Votuvara Island
Probably one of the last places you would think you could play golf is the Lau Islands, but it’s just one of the offerings at Vatuvara Private Islands. The resort boasts a four-hole golf course with a practice green and a club pavilion for true golfing in paradise. For more scenic golf courses in Fiji, see The Most Luxurious Golf Courses in Fiji.
10. Surf Fiji’s Least-Crowded Breaks
Finally, if you’re a keen surfer then don’t miss the awesome breaks off Matuku Island. This island located in the Moala Group, south of Lomaiviti and east of Kadavu, experiences incredible swell that surfers in the know die to get to. Of course, the surf breaks are hard to reach and are only available to tourists through Surf Lau Fiji who offer surf charters organised from Nadi. Find out more about surfing The Complete Guide to Surfing in Fiji.