The Must-Dos on the Suncoast, inc. Rakiraki, Ba and Beyond
While most tourists flock to the south coast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island, few fail to discover the hidden gems of the Suncoast. In this list, we’ll show you a whopping 21 things to do on the Suncoast.
On the northern coast of Viti Levu, the Suncoast specifically encompasses the area between the villages of Vatutavui and Nalawa. The main towns and villages of the area are Ba, Korovu, Drauniivi, Vunitogoloa, Narewa, Volivoli and Ellington Wharf. Rakiraki is the main hub of the Suncoast area and the name you will hear the most when the area is described. It’s also wedged between the coral-filled Bligh Water and the towering mountains of Viti Levu’s rugged interior. Needless to say, there is a range of experiences to be enjoyed along the Suncoast of Fiji – best for those who would rather “do” on their Fiji vacation than spend all day sipping cocktails by the pool (although, there is the option for that too).
Find out some of the highlights of the Suncoast in this list of things to do on the Suncoast in Fiji! Plus, for more inspiration, see our Complete Guide to the Suncoast.
1. Kayak or Wander Around Nananu-I-Ra Island
An island paradise without the associated cost of getting to an island, Nananu-I-Ra is a hilly 3.5km2 (3.8ft2) island with white sand beaches and groves just a 5-10 minutes boat ride from the Suncoast. The island is good for trekking offering amazing views of the mainland and the Nakauvadra Ranges. Kayaking is also a popular activity here where accommodations like McDonald’s Nananu Beach Cottages, or the nearby Dolphin Island, offer complimentary use of their kayaks to guests. Snorkelling can also be enjoyed in the marine sanctuary just off the beach and jetty. Because of the budget accommodation on the island and free activities – it makes an awesome destination for backpackers. See more activities like this in 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do on the Suncoast.
Location: Boat transfers depart from Ellington Wharf, 11km (6.8 miles) east of Rakiraki. Organise transport with your chosen accommodation on Nananu, costing FJ$20-$60 return.
2. Scuba Dive Among the Complex Coral Structures of the Bligh Water and the Vatu-i-Ra Passage
One of Fiji’s best snorkelling and scuba diving spots is right on the doorstep of the Suncoast, the Bligh Water and the Vatu-i-Ra Passage. The dive sites in the Bligh Water between the Suncoast and the Yasawa Islands are relaxing enough for beginners to feel comfortable yet captivated by the coral and fish displays, while experienced divers will find a new and enthralling underwater world. The Vatu-i-Ra Passage between Fiji’s two largest islands boasts deep dives into soft yellow coral. You’ll also find an interesting seascape around Nananu-i-Ra Island with channels dubbed the “Amazing Maze”.
3. Play on a Waterfall Slide at the Narara Village
Combine culture and adventure with this waterfall tour available from Wananavu Beach Resort and Dolphin Island. Travel to Narara Village where you will be welcomed with a traditional Kava ceremony. Then, you will be guided by foot or horseback for 15 minutes to a cascading waterfall slide plunging into a freshwater pool. Once is never enough so you’ll get ample time to slide before drying off and browse local crafts at the village. This is a fantastic activity to do when travelling with children on the Suncoast. Find more suggestions in 10 Things to Do on the Suncoast with Kids.
Location: Depart from Wananavu Beach Resort or Dolphin Island, Volivoli.
4. Experience the Excitement of a Dolphin Cruise
Another amazing activity to do with kids and nature lovers alike, a dolphin cruise is a definite must-do on the Suncoast! Dolphins are regular visitors to the Bligh Water just off the Suncoast, so join Wananavu Beach Resort for a 2h30min boat trip to watch them in their natural habitat. The resort’s activities team will take you to a special location where it’s common to see pods of up to 40 dolphins! After watching the dolphins, who often interact with the boat, you’ll enjoy 30 minutes of snorkelling among the colourful outer reefs. Cruises to see the acrobatic spinner dolphins in the Moon Reef is also a signature tour of Takalana Bay Retreat, home to Dolphin Watch Fiji.
Location: Departs from Wananavu Beach Resort, Volivoli, or Takalana Bay Retreat, Tailevu, 35km (21.7 miles) northeast of Korovou.
5. Visit the Local Markets in Rakiraki and Lautoka
Visiting a Fijian produce market is a must for anyone visiting Fiji for the first time. Not only will you discover vibrant displays of colourful tropical fruit and vegetables, which make for excellent photos, but you’ll experience the friendliness of the locals who grow them. Sellers are eager to talk to you (but not pushy to sell) telling you more about the food they sell and giving tips on how to prepare them. Produce markets in Lautoka and in Rakiraki can be visited independently, as well as on resort tours. For more activities like this, see 10 Things to Do on the Suncoast for Foodies.
Location: Lautoka Market, Loma Lane or Rakiraki Market, Vaileka town centre.
6. Discover the Real Fiji on a Self-Drive Tour of the Suncoast
A road trip in Fiji provides the ultimate freedom and independence. By being on the largest island of Fiji, which is well-connected by roads, the Suncoast is a must-hit Fiji road trip destination. Pick up a rental car from Nadi International Airport where a 2WD will be comfortable if just sticking to the coastal Kings Road. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to take a 4WD vehicle to explore the stunning interior and villages of the Suncoast – it’ll be worth it. Plan your road trip itinerary with our Trip Ideas category and pick your car rental with our The Best Car Rentals in Fiji. Accommodations like Bularangi Villa can also organise car rentals from their villa in Rakiraki.
Location: Car rentals at Nadi International Airport.
7. Set the Scene with a Romantic Sunset Cruise
For honeymooning couples or perhaps those on a romantic getaway looking for something special to do together, consider a Suncoast sunset cruise. After all, this part of Fiji is argued to have some of the most dazzling sunsets. Set out on the waters for golden hour with Volivoli Beach Resort or Wananavu Beach Resort where you’ll indulge in canapes and sip on Champagne or beer. Meanwhile, the cruise will take you around picturesque islands to watch the golden hues in the skies glisten on the water before the sun seemingly dips into the ocean. See more like this in 10 Romantic Activities on the Suncoast for Couples
Location: Departs from Volivoli and Wananavu resorts, Volivoli.
8. Learn How to Make Fijian or Indo-Fijian Cuisine in a Cooking Class
Celebrate Fijian culture and cuisine through an interactive cooking class. Join the chefs at the beachfront kitchen of the Volivoli Beach Resort where you’ll learn how to make kokoda – fresh fish marinated in coconut cream, as well as an Indo-Fijian side dish known as roti. There’s also the option to pay a visit to the local farmer who grows the ingredients used. Similar experiences can also be enjoyed at Bularangi Villa – an Indo-Fijian cooking class in your own private kitchen, and at Dolphin Island.
Location: Volivoli Beach Resort, Bularangi Villa and Dolphin Island, Volivoli.
9. Go Snorkelling
Sticking to a similar theme, we can’t help but mention snorkelling on the Suncoast too! All the gear will be supplied at your resort or be sure to bring your own if you have it. Some of the best snorkelling spots can be organised with your resort just a short boat ride away. Alternatively, there will still be plenty to see at the beach.
10. Try Kitesurfing
Steady winds on the Suncoast make it the premier spot for kitesurfing in Fiji. Beginner lessons are available to those who want to try out this fun alternative sport, otherwise, seasoned kiteboarders just need to go and enjoy. In fact, there is a place literally called Kite Point at Nananu-i-Ra Island, so if that’s not enough of an invitation… Find out more about the sport in The Best Places for Kitesurfing in Fiji.
11. Relax at the Volivoli Beach Resort
Volivoli is not too far from Rakiraki but will feel like another world. The resort is fully equipped with a restaurant, spa, cultural shows, scuba diving trips, wedding facility and more, so if the fact that it has a beach isn’t enough, then there’s surely enough reasons to kick back at this awesome resort, whether you’re a guest or popping in as a casual visitor.
12. Visit the Tomb of Udre Udre
One of the most intriguing sites in the Suncoast area is the Tomb of Udre Udre. Once one of the most feared cannibals in Fiji, Udre Udre now lies tucked away on the side of the road just before turning off to Rakiraki. The chief was famous for terrorising his opponents and eating his victims. Yes, cannibalism was a thing in Fiji before its British colonisation, and perhaps no one was as famous as Udre Udre. His tomb is surrounded by 870 stones to represent each of his victims. See more attractions like this in the 10 Fascinating Historical Sites in Fiji.
13. Check Out Navatu Rock
Located near Vitawa Village, Navatu Rock is one of the oldest known human settlements in Fiji. The rock used to hold a fortified village where artefacts from the village were found to date back to 1,000BC. Aside from that, Navatu Rock is a very picturesque place to stop for photos.
14. Go Fishing
Thanks to the warm currents pushing through Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji, and Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-largest island lying to the north of Viti Levu, there’s plenty of big game fishing to be had! Hop on a fishing charter, of which there are many organised through your accommodation, and get ready to tackle the likes of yellowfin tuna, dogtooth tuna, giant trevally, sailfish, marlin, mahimahi and more! Just check out What Types of Fish Can You Fish For in Fiji to get you excited. Otherwise, there’s plenty of reef fishing to be had which is ideal for family fishing trips.
15. Relax With a Spa Treatment
Take a break from travelling and unwind with a sensational spa treatment. The larger resorts in the area offer an array of treatments on their spa menu, but the one we recommend is the “bobo” treatment where skilled therapists use their feet in a traditional Fijian massage that’s been used for hundreds of years.
16. Have a Cultural Experience at Fiji’s Most Picturesque Village, Navala Village
Located inland from Ba, Navala Village is a traditional 200-year-old village still using thatched-roof bures. It feels like stepping back in time where old traditions are alive today, seen on any village visit. Tours run regularly to meet the villages and see their way of life where you will partake in the kava ceremony, which is drinking a traditional earthy drink with the villagers, as well as visiting the school and mingling with the villagers who are sure to raise your spirits with their friendliness. After that, you can cool off in the river running alongside the village. Either join a tour like Fiji Eco Tours to visit the village (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Otherwise, the village can be accessed with a 4WD and you must bring a bundle of kava roots (yaqona) for the kava ceremony – see Fiji Village Etiquette: What to Do When Visiting a Fijian Village – and pay a fee of around FJ$30 each to enter the village and hire a village guide.
17. Stop by the Tavua Hotel
This quaint colonial hotel is a great vantage point for views over Vatia Bay and Tavua town. Its 1930s flair makes a great photo opportunity and is one of the only places to stay in Tavua. Find the hotel and Tavua behind Ba and Rakiraki. Plus, book your room in the Tavua Hotel on Trip.com to stay the night.
18. Go on a Multi-Day Guided Excursion to Villages, Waterfalls and the Highest Peak in Fiji
For a real inland adventure, join a guided trek through Viti Levu’s rugged interior with Talanoa Treks. This is where many say the true Fiji lies, among authentic Fijian villages, verdant rainforest scattered with waterfalls, golden grasslands and the highest peak of Fiji, Mt Tomanivi. Rakiraki and the Suncoast is one of the best places to set off on a multi-day island trek. Because trails are unmarked, it’s best to go with a guiding company such as Talanoa Treks, who stay at exclusive accommodation in Fijian villages and help discover what’s around you, from medicinal plants to old battlefields.
19. Visit the St Francis of Xavier Church
Fiji is dotted with beautiful buildings of worship and the Suncoast is no different! The historic St Francis of Xavier Church is southeast of Rakiraki overlooking Viti Levu Bay. The church, built in 1917, is famous for its mural of black Christ painted by Jean Charlot in 1962. Bookings to the church must be made before visiting, which can be organised with your accommodation.
20. Take a Trip to Malake Island
Yes, there are more island excursions from the Suncoast! One of the most popular is to Malake Island with a population of 200. Meet the villagers and discover another stunning island in paradise. Organise this trip with your accommodation. Boats depart from the Volivoli Beach Resort taking you to the island in around five minutes.
21. Relax on the Beach
Don’t lie: this is the real reason you came to Fiji. So enjoy it! Relax on the beach alongside beautiful turquoise waters and watch the sunset. You’ll see exactly why they call this the Suncoast.