The Must-Dos on Taveuni
Immerse yourself in nature on the wonderful island of Taveuni. Known as the “Garden Island”, Taveuni contains a pre-historic jungle with palms, giant ferns and tropical flowers attracting colourful birdlife. Offshore, the gardens continue in the form of colourful coral gardens known as the Rainbow Reef. Out on the water or on land, you will find yourself connecting with nature when visiting Taveuni. So when you are planning your time in paradise, make sure to add some of our things to do in Taveuni to your bucket list!
1. Snorkel or Scuba Dive in the Waitabu Marine Park
After being extremely overfished, the Waitabu Marine Park was established as a marine park in 1998 by the local villages. Fishing here is now forbidden meaning that the underwater world in this area thrives once again making it a paradise for snorkellers. Explore the vibrant soft coral reefs and swim among a huge population of varied tropical fish. The local village here offers snorkelling and cultural experience tours. Find out more in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do on Taveuni.
Location: Waitabu, 17.5km south of Matei along the east coast road. Be sure to get in contact with the Waitabu visitor centre before you arrive (6798201999) so you don’t have to wait around for someone to find you.
2. Hike to Lake Tagimoucia
Taveuni is one of the Fiji islands where you’ll want to spend just as much time on land as in the water. One of those reasons is the beautiful Lake Tagimoucia. The old volcanic crater became a lake after the volcanoes of Somosomo became dormant. Today, the endemic Tagimoucia vine flower, Fiji’s national flower, can be found high up in the canopy in the forest surroundings. You’ll need to hire a guide to embark on this day-long hike. Check out more walks in the 9 Best Walks in Taveuni.
Location: Hire a guide at your resort or from Naqara Village.
3. Check Out the Views (and the Birds) at De Voeux Peak
The birdwatching and spectacular Bouma National Heritage Park are huge drawcards for the island of Taveuni, with a great combination of both being found on the De Voeux Peak trail. De Voeux Peak is Taveuni’s highest peak at 3,930ft/1,195m. From Wairiki on the west coast, the walk up the access road is not too difficult but takes approximately two hours to reach the summit. Those who arrive at the top will be rewarded with views of Vanua Levu and even as far as the islands of Koro and Gau in the south on a clear day. The best time for birdwatching is during the nesting season in August and September. See more activities like this in 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Taveuni.
Location: Take the access road turn-off in Wairiki, between the Catholic Mission and Wairiki Wharf.
4. Watch the Vuna Blowholes
On the southwest side of the island near the little village of Vuna, the tide rushing toward the island creates the impressive Vuna Blowholes which can reach up to 50m (160ft) high! As tide times tend to change you will have to ask around the village when would the best time of the day be to witness this amazing natural wonder.
Location: Near the village of Navakawau, 30 mins drive from Waiyevo one way.
5. Walk the Lavena Coastal Track
If you’re only going to do one walk in the Bouma National Heritage Park, make it the Lavena Coastal Walk. The walk starts on a pristine beach by the Lavena Lodge where you will need to pay a small fee to access the trail. The 3-hour return walk features a varied coastline of black sand beaches, volcanic cliffs, the village of Naba (don’t wander through, stick to the trail) and a suspension bridge. At the end of the walk is Wainibau Falls, beautifully framed by a passage that you can swim through for a better view. There is a rope to help navigate to the left side of the passage where you can then hold onto an underwater ridge to help get closer to the falls. Alternatively, this section of the walk can be accessed through a kayak tour organised through Lavena Lodge.
Location: Lavena Village, Bouma National Park at the end of the east coast road.
6. Have a Go on the Waitavala Sliding Rocks
If you’re feeling adventurous, have kids to entertain or just appreciate nature’s playground, check out the Waitavala Waterslide. This 200m/656ft-long natural waterslide chutes down an undulating set of rapids into a narrow stream at the bottom. Be prepared for a few bruises, but also make sure that the slide is safe before you try it yourself, as the currents at the bottom can be strong after heavy rain. Watch the locals slide down before giving it a go yourself. See more activities like this in 10 Things to Do in Taveuni with Kids.
Location: Just south of Vuniotu on the west coast. From the Garden Island Resort, walk five minutes north to a dirt road beside a bus shelter. Walk up this dirt road for about 20 minutes and turn left just past the sign for the prison. Look out for a worn trail on your right, which leads up to the waterfall.
7. Scuba Dive at the Great White Wall or Rainbow Reef
With the famed Rainbow Reef on Taveuni’s doorstep, scuba diving is a no-brainer! The reef boasts 30 vibrant dive sites, 390 species of coral and around 1,500 species of vibrant fish. It’s common to see large groupers, blue ribbon eels, sea turtles, sharks, lionfish and more. One of the most breathtaking features of the Rainbow Reef is the White Wall, a 150ft/46m-high 200ft/61m-long coral structure covered in soft white coral. While scuba diving is easy to organise from just about any accommodation in Taveuni and the islands of Qamea and Matangi, the specialised dive resorts, such as Taveuni Dive Resort, Nakia Resort and Taveuni Island Resort & Spa, are a good place to start. See more activities like this in 10 Luxury Activities in Taveuni.
Location: See recommended resorts.
8. Explore the Bouma National Heritage Park
Unsurprisingly, one of Fiji’s two national heritage parks is right here on the “Garden Island” of Taveuni! Covering more than 16,000ha (40,000 acres) of lush rainforest, this park is a safe haven for native wildlife and indigenous people. If you want to experience the true nature of the Fiji islands than the Bouma National Heritage Park is the place to immerse yourself in. There are several villages in the park each running its own attraction of the park. Korovou is the best place to start a spectacular waterfall walk (see below), while Vidawa offers a trip back in time to see ancient ruins nestled in the hills. Other villages, such as Lavena and Waitabu run water activities in the thriving marine parks just off the shore. Whatever adventure you decide, you’re bound to feel connected with nature after experiencing the Bouma National Park.
Location: Bouma Village, Bouma National Park on the east coast road (on the bus route – just ask).
9. See the Tavoro Falls (Bouma Falls)
If you’re not much of a walker but still want to see some of Taveuni’s stunning natural features, then Tavoro Falls, more commonly known as Bouma Falls, is an excellent choice. From the Tavoro visitor centre in Korovou Village (or Bouma Village) in the Bouma National Heritage Park, pay a small fee to enjoy a self-guided walk to three stunning waterfalls. The first waterfall is only a 10-minute walk away, then the next is 40 minutes from the start and the next is 1h10mins from the start. The last waterfall is a more demanding hike, but well worth it due to the 10m/33ft waterfall cascading into the best swimming hole of the three… Plus, most visitors don’t make it this far.
Location: Bouma Village, Bouma National Park on the east coast road (on the bus route – just ask the driver).
10. Play Some Island Golf
Taveuni really does have it all! Enjoy a round at the Soqulu Plantation Golf Club on their 1,182m (1,293 yards) par-30 course situated on the northern side of Taveuni. Pick up some golf clubs at the rental shop and have fun on this laid-back course. It might not be the most polished course you’ve seen, but you won’t care so much when you’re on “Fiji time“. There are a couple of tennis courts at the club too. Find out more about the golf course in The Complete Guide to Golf in Fiji.
11. Do Some Time-Travelling at the International Dateline
Travel between today and yesterday as you stand on the 180th Meridian where the world time zones reset. The International Dateline passes right through the middle of Tavenui which is marked by information panels and some sculpted pavements. Learn more about the dateline in our What is the Fiji Time Zone?
Location: Waiyevo, up the road leading to the police station.
12. Experience Snorkelling
We’ve already mentioned a few places where the snorkelling is exceptional around Taveuni, but it’s always worth putting some time aside for more snorkelling! From your resort of village stay’s beach, you’ll have access to some wonderful snorkelling locations, as well as the gear. Boat trips are also popular, especially taking keen snorkellers to the Somosomo Strait. This narrow passage between Vanua Levu and Taveuni is a rich feeding ground for all sorts of marine life. It’s also one of the places where you’re likely to see stunning reef sharks! Find out more in our 5 Epic Places to See Sharks in Fiji.
Location: All over Taveuni!
13. Go Fishing on the Somosomo Strait
For the reasons mentioned above, the Somosomo Strait‘s current creates an amazing fishing spot for any big game angler. Get ready to tackle blue marlin, giant trevally, dogtooth tuna and much more! Check out What Types of Fish Can You Fish For in Fiji. For those looking for a more laidback fishing experience, you will enjoy the magnificent coastal views and fishing for reef fish – something for the whole family.
Location: Fishing is available from many resorts in Taveuni. Tides Reach Resort is a particularly excellent base for fishing.
14. Explore the Coast Through Kayaking
Almost every resort in Taveuni has complimentary kayak hire (or at least affordable hire). It’s a relaxing way to get out on the water and explore the island’s coast and those hard-to-reach places. It’s also a good idea to use kayaks when snorkelling off the beach to keep each other safe from currents.
Location: Kayaks are available with most resorts on Taveuni.
15. Visit a Village
Matei, Somosomo, Waiyevo, Wairiki, Vuna, Lavena and Bouma are the largest villages scattered across Taveuni. Taking the time to visit the villages, meeting the friendly locals and learning from their customs is always an eye-opener and a great way to take something from your trip to Fiji. Check out our rules for visiting a village in Fiji in our Guide to Fiji Village Etiquette.
Location: See the villages listed above.
16. Sample Real Fijian Food in a Village Visit or Homestay
Another reason to stay or visit a village in Taveuni is for the food. Fiji’s “Garden Island” is unsurprisingly full of foodie experiences – just see 10 Things to Do in Taveuni for Foodies – but if you want to discover what Fijians really eat and how they eat it, then the best thing to do is a village homestay. Stay with a Fijian family where meals are offered to guests at a very reasonable cost and consist of simple yet delicious fresh seafood, root crops like taro and tropical fruit like breadfruit. Meals are usually eaten while with your hands sat on the floor – the real deal!
Location: Pick your homestay with our 5 Best Homestays in Taveuni.
17. See the Catholic Church of Wairiki
Built in 1895, the Catholic Church of Wairiki is an impressive historical site to see in its own right. But attending a Sunday service is the best time to see the Fijian spirit come to life with beautiful singing in this grand building. You’ll see that people are extremely religious in Fiji sitting on the floor during the sermons. When visiting any church in Fiji, respect people and don’t take pictures during the mass. Taking photos of this 125-year-old church from the outside is acceptable (and recommended)!
18. Relax on the Beach
Don’t tell us that you didn’t come to Fiji for some beach time! There’s plenty of beaches around Taveuni to soak up the sun, go for a swim or a romantic stroll. More than likely, there will be a beach just a short stroll from your resort, as resorts are always ideally located!
Location: All over Taveuni and the surrounding islands!
19. Walk the Vunitarawau Mangrove Trek
This is best organised when on Taveuni as it is kind of a local’s secret. Near Qeleni lies Vunitarawau which is home to a rare mangrove forest trek that is best done with a guide. This rather unique sight and experience in Fiji is well worth seeking out if you happen to have some spare time on Taveuni and want a real adventure to remember.
20. Enjoy Some Birdwatching
Taveuni is one of the best islands for birdwatching in the whole of Fiji. In the highlands, you will often see silktails and orange doves, especially in the nesting season which occurs in August and September. Other than that, you’ll be amazed by the array of bird species, as well as the wealth of the marine birds especially on the north side of the island facing the Somosomo Strait.
Location: See Taveuni locations in the 10 Best Places to See Birds in Fiji.
21. Indulge in a Spa Treatment in the Midst of the Jungle
Don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to relax in Taveuni, especially with it being home to some of Fiji’s most unique and award-winning spas. The Jungle Spa on Qamea Resort & Spa is perched deep in the jungle of Qamea Island, offering a fusion of Fijian and French spa treatments. Experience complete comfort and privacy by having an in-villa massage overlooking the ocean at Raiwasa Grand Villa or Vacala Bay Resort.
Location: See recommendations in the 7 Best Spas in Taveuni.
22. Surf the Epic Reef Breaks at Qamea Island
From November to April, the waves off the coast of Qamea and Matangi islands are pumping, making Taveuni the perfect base for a surf holiday. Needless to say, the reef breaks, best left to the intermediate to experienced surfers, are blissfully uncrowded. Check out some of Taveuni’s best in 5 Surf Spots in Taveuni. Resorts that specialise in surf trips in Taveuni include Matangi Private Island Resort, Qamea Resort & Spa, Tides Reach Resort and Maqai Beach Eco Resort. See more activities like this in 10 Adult-Only Activities in Taveuni.
Location: See recommended resorts
23. Sail to Honeymoon Island for a Beach Picnic
Looking for something utterly romantic to do in Taveuni? Discover one of Fiji’s most pristine cruising grounds on a sailing trip with Vacala Bay Resort. The five-star villa takes guests to Honeymoon Island for snorkelling, kayaking and paddleboarding in paradise. During the cruise, lounge with your loved one on the yacht’s expansive nets, sipping wine and taking in the mesmerising views. Alternatively, Taveuni Island Resort & Spa offers Honeymoon Island cruises for couples accompanied by a gourmet picnic hamper. See more like this in 10 Romantic Activities in Taveuni for Couples.
Location: See recommended resorts
24. Explore the Island, Beaches and Villages on Horseback
Taveuni is one of the rare places in Fiji where horse riding is readily available to explore the beaches, jungles and mountains. At Taveuni Palms Resort, join a local guide in Wiwi Village where your horse trek will take you some 1,000ft/300m up a mountain with expansive views and the option to canter across the beach on the way back. The private island resort of Laucala Island has eight majestic Fijian horses for guests to explore the private island on. Horseback riding is also available at Tides Reach Resort, Vacala Bay Resort, Beverly’s Campground and so much more!
Location: See recommended resorts