What to Do in the Lau Group
Those really looking to get off the beaten track can’t get any further from it than the Lau Islands of Fiji! This large group of very tiny islands is home to some of Fiji’s most remote islands where getting there is all part of the adventure. Fiji Airways operates flights to the islands from Suva once a week landing on a grassy hill. Alternatively, seaplanes and helicopters are the most popular way to get to the Lau Islands. By boat, you will need to take the ferry from the island of Taveuni just south of Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island. The trip almost takes a whopping 24-hours stopping at various islands along the way. So once you get to paradise, what is there to do? We’ll go through some of the highlights in this list of things to do in the Lau Islands!
Remember, the Lau Islands are certainly not touristy. You won’t find any restaurants or shops and only three of the islands have tourist accommodation. Nevertheless, we’ll list those in our 5 Hotels in the Lau Islands so you know all your options. Plus, check out our Guide to the Lau Islands for more advice.
1. Sail Around the Islands
To get to such an isolated part of Fiji, your best option is to charter a sailing vessel and start your adventure from there. That way, everything will be organised for you on stopping off at the Lau Islands. Otherwise, if you have your own boat, make sure to head to the port of entry, Suva on Viti Levu (main island) before making your way back to the Lau Islands. You will need to seek permission before mooring on the Lau Islands.
2. Cruise to the Lau Islands
Your alternative option to visit the Lau Islands is on an 11-day cruise with Captain Cook Cruises that runs a whopping two times per year! Sure, it might be hard to match that with your travel dates, but those who do a bit of organising will benefit from a magical experience to these remote islands, stopping regularly to snorkel, kayak, enjoy cultural experiences, see the underwater world through a glass-bottom boat and enjoy Fijian cuisine.
3. Go Scuba Diving
As you might have guessed, your scuba diving options in the Lau Group are not exactly plentiful. The only way to go with a commercial operator is with the tour mentioned above (at an extra cost of course). With untouched coral reefs, it’s a trip that promises to take you where very few divers have gone before. Needless to say, you will need diving experience. This is not an option for beginner divers. However, snorkelling makes a great alternative – more on that below!
4. Snorkel at Coral Reefs
With islands surrounded by beautiful and lively coral reefs, snorkelling is an amazing way to spend your time in the Lau Islands. Unless you are taking the cruise mentioned above, it’s best to bring your own snorkelling gear, as they will not be readily available on the islands.
5. Stay With the Locals
Unless you have FJ$10,000 to spare for a night on the Vatuvara Private Island, your best affordable option is to make some connections and stay with the locals through a homestay. Check out our advice in our How to Pick the Best Village Stay for You in Fiji. If you can, however, afford a night of absolute luxury on Vatuvara Private Island, it would sure make for the most memorable experience in Fiji and support the island’s foundation protecting valuable marine life in the Lau Islands.
6. Embrace a Simpler Life
Escape modern day hassles and enjoy the simpler life on the Lau Islands. The inhabitants live on simpler things, gather their own food and live on Fiji time. Experiencing this way of life might just make you discover another meaning to the word “rich”.
7. Experience a Sunday Church Service
Almost all the Lau Island villages have a church which comes alive with heartwarming singing every Sunday. Wear your Sunday-best and join in on this cultural experience. Learn more about church services in our Guide to the Religions in Fiji.
8. Relax on the Beach
One of the most stunning features of the Lau Islands are the pristine sandy white beaches. There’s no way you’re not going to spend some time soaking in the sun, go for a swim or taking a stroll to feel the sand between your toes. Spot the black-tip shark fins swimming by and enjoy the serenity of being on an island in paradise.
9. Do an Island Excursion
Accommodations and villages all have their own boats and are often more than happy to take you island hopping to the very closest neighbouring islands. You’ll visit other villages, where you’ll need to bring kava, a local root crop used for crushing and making into an earthy traditional drink, so they can perform a kava ceremony for the island visitors. (Find out more about visiting villages in our Guide to Fijian Village Etiquette).
10. Catch Some Fish
Locals live off what the ocean provides so there’s no lack of fishing equipment around. Join the locals for their regular fishing trips and try spearfishing for a real test and rewarding experience. It’s best to do this in groups for your own safety.