Get Off the Tourist Trail in Fiji
With 333 islands and a whopping 76% of visitors staying on the main island in Fiji, it’s extremely easy to get off the beaten track… All you have to do is pretty much leave the main island! But which islands and island groups should you visit? We give you some ideas in this list of places that are off the beaten track in Fiji.
1. The Suncoast
If you’re looking to get off the beaten track without the expense and time of overwater travel, then look to the Suncoast. The northern region of Viti Levu is far less travelled than its main island counterparts, despite its idyllic off-shore islands, scuba diving in the Bligh Water, Fijian villages with traditionally thatched bures, waterfall hikes, spas, private island resorts and budget hotels. Learn more about visiting the Suncoast in The Complete Guide to the Suncoast.
2. Vanua Levu
Fiji’s second-largest island stands out like a sore thumb on the map of Fiji but is well off the beaten track for most visitors. Only around 2% of tourists make it to Vanua Levu, despite it offering some of the best scuba diving in Fiji among its most prestigious boutique resorts. That’s not to say that there’s nothing for the budget traveller, who can stay in the budget guesthouses and self-contained units around the main town, Savusavu. Learn more about visiting this island in The Complete Guide to Vanua Levu.
Neighbouring Vanua Levu, Taveuni is renowned for the Bouma National Park, which takes up about 80% of the island. Waterfall hikes are a must, while those feeling more fit can venture up to Des Voeux Peak for panoramic views and spot Fiji’s rare birdlife. Scuba diving at the Rainbow Reef between Taveuni and Vanua Levu is also a highlight, among many which you can discover in The Complete Guide to Taveuni.
4. Beqa Island
While the Pacific Harbour of Viti Levu is becoming more and more of a hotspot, those looking to get off the beaten track in this area should take a look at Beqa Island. The island has four resorts to choose from, from the lavish four-star Beqa Lagoon Resort to the cheap and cheerful Lawaki Beach House. Activities on the island include island hikes to waterfalls, stunning beaches to relax on, kayaking, spa treatments and more. The main appeal, however, is the Beqa Lagoon which is 306km (190 miles) of stunning coral reef – one of the world’s largest. Learn more about visiting the area in The Complete Guide to Pacific Harbour & Beqa.
5. Wayasewa (Wayalailai)
The Mamanuca and the Yasawa Islands have become more and more of a tourist hotspot in Fiji thanks to their easy accessibility from Nadi and Denarau. However, if you wanted a more off-the-beaten-track experience in these islands, then consider Wayasewa (Wayalailai). The island in the southern end of the Yasawas is a place to integrate with the locals in Fijian villages, where the boutique budget resorts and homestays are just a small part of this island, which lives and breathes the Fijian culture. Learn more about this island and more in The Complete Guide to the Yasawa Islands.
Just off the coast of Suva, Ovalau is home to the first capital of Fiji which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll the well-preserved colonial buildings to get a sense of time standing still or visit some of the island’s unique villages, such as Lovoni which is set on the side of a volcano’s caldera. The island has a few lodges, budget hotels and homestays, but if you’re looking for more of a resort experience, check out some of the surrounding islands in the Lomaiviti Group. See The Complete Guide to the Lomaiviti Islands for more advice.
Sitting on the southern borders of Fiji, Kadavu is definitely a destination of adventure. It’s home to the world’s fourth-largest barrier reef, a variety of advanced surf breaks, traditional Fijian villages and too many breathtaking waterfalls to count. It’s a place where time seems to stand still, so if you want to escape from the stresses of the modern world, Kadavu isn’t a bad place to come to. Learn more in The Complete Guide to Kadavu.
Despite being the second-most populated town in Fiji, Lautoka is still only visited by around 3% of tourists. If you’re wanting an urban-style stay in Fiji that’s also off the beaten track, try Lautoka. Often described as a “better Nadi”, Lautoka has an interesting Indian flair thanks to its lively Indo-Fijian population. It’s a great place for shopping and dining, accessing the Koroyanitu National Park, while the surrounding area has a good selection of resorts, luxury and budget hotels and more.
And for the truly intrepid, set your sights on the Lau Islands and particularly the island of Lakeba. Stay in one of the homestays in the village of Tubou and enjoy guided excursions to impressive limestone caves. Surrounding islands can be explored by boat with one of the local villagers. It’s a place of real adventure, where you’ll need to interact with locals to explore these rarely visited islands. Learn more in The Complete Guide to the Lau Islands.
10. Vanua Balavu
Alternatively in the Lau Islands, Vanua Balavu is the hub of the northern part of the island group, which receives flights once a week. Stay in one of the islands homestays or guest house where you may have the opportunity to enjoy a guided 5km (3.1 miles) from Lomaloma to the southern tip of the island, see hot springs and burial caves at Namaka Village and enjoy boat trips in the Bay of Islands.