Food Activities in the Lomaiviti Islands
A foodie experience in the Lomaiviti Islands is more than just about sitting down to a Kokoda at your resort every evening. It’s about immersing in the local culture through food. For instance, learn how Fijians use the vegetation around them to eat and for medicinal purposes on a plantation tour, experience the excitement of catching your own dinner, or share a social night around the tanoa bowl (Kava bowl) with the locals. We’ll go through some of the gastronomical highlights with this list of things to do in the Lomaiviti Islands for foodies.
For more foodie inspiration, see The Foodie Guide to the Lomaiviti Islands.
1. Try a Fijian Lovo
A highlight of the week in any Lomaiviti resort or lodge is the Lovo night! “Lovo” is a traditional method of slow-cooking food wrapped in banana leaves (or aluminium foil nowadays) in an underground oven. The food is all cooked together for several hours then enjoyed as a buffet-style dinner. Experience the delicious smokey flavours of the Lovo for yourself at accommodations such as Kauwai Guesthouse, Caqalai Island Resort and Leleuvia Island Resort. See more foodie accommodation on the Lomaiviti Islands here.
2. Fish for Your Own Dinner on a Sports Fishing Trip
Fishing is a way of life in Fiji and you’ll notice that most of the Fijian dishes incorporate seafood, often marinated in coconut milk. An exciting part of preparing Fijian food is going out and catching your own fish. Make it an easy-going trip for small reef fish with Caqalai Island Resort, Bobo’s Farm and Kauwai Guesthouse. Alternatively, amp up the experience targeting the large game fish like Mahimahi, Giant Trevally, Yellow-fin Tuna and much more on a sports fishing charter available with Toberua Island Resort or Wakaya Club & Spa. For more activities like this, see 8 Luxury Activities in the Lomaiviti Islands.
3. Browse the Produce at the Levuka Municipal Market
If you’re lucky enough to be exploring Levuka on Ovalau island on a Saturday morning, don’t miss the Levuka Municipal Market. The array of fruit and vegetables is an amazing sight to see. It’s a great place to pick up some cheap local produce to spruce up something in your self-catering accommodation (see 10 Best Accommodation in the Lomaiviti Islands for Foodies). Stallholders are also usually keen to share recipe ideas too!
4. Do a Plantation Walk with Nox
While we’d recommend any foodie to stay at the Levuka Homestay simply for their magnificent breakfasts, it’s also worth staying to meet Nox. The local guide offers various walking tours around Ovalau, including a Plantation Walk. You’ll be introduced to local plants and learn about their medicinal uses, as well as how Fijians use them for food, drink and decorations. Even if you don’t get the chance to stay at the Levuka homestay, tours with Nox can still be organised with the homestay’s owners.
5. See a Coconut Demonstration
Ah, coconuts… They are a huge staple of the South Pacific and have many uses. Learn how to open a coconut with one swipe of a blade, how to scrape a coconut and make crafts from its husk and leaves. It will come in handy if you’re ever marooned on an island! Toberua Island Resort and Ovalau Holiday Resort both offer formal coconut demonstrations for their guests. Otherwise, most resort staff are eager to show you how to open a coconut if you just ask.
6. Drink Kava with the Locals
It’s likely that you will have heard about Fiji’s national drink “Kava”. This narcotic drink made with ground up yaqona roots is used during welcoming ceremonies when new visitors enter a village – known as Kava ceremonies. This is how most tourists will experience Kava in Fiji, but on the Lomaiviti Islands, you’ll get to experience the drink as the locals do – drinking casually while socialising around the tanoa. Leleuvia Island Resort does a weekly Lovo and Kava Night where Kava will be prepared for guests to enjoy throughout the night. At The Baystay on Ovalau, an accommodation run by the locals in Rukuruku Village, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to join the locals for Kava nights if you wish to.
7. Enjoy a Private Dining Experience
Fiji is a top destination for romance, so organising a private dining experience with the resorts in the Lomaiviti Islands isn’t too much of a task. The experience usually involves a private table set up in a secluded area of the beach with your own personal waiter and candles to set the mood. While the resorts on the Lomaivitis don’t explicitly advertise this experience, it is available if you ask at the reception of the Leleuvia Island Resort, Toberua Island Resort or the Wakaya Club & Spa. See more experiences like this in 7 Romantic Activities in the Lomaiviti Islands for Couples.
8. Check out the Restaurants in Levuka
If you’re staying in an island resort, then you won’t get much choice for food, but those staying on the Ovalau will have a small choice of restaurants in the town of Levuka. A long-standing favourite is Paak Kum Long on Beach Street. They offer a bit of everything at this well-priced restaurant, including Indian, Chinese, European and Fijian cuisine. The Whale’s Tale is legendary for its fish & chips, or excellent seafood can also be had at the New Horizon Restaurant (also called Koromakawa). For authentic-tasting Indo-Fijian food, try the Ovalau Holiday Resort. While it’s a little out of town, you can call ahead for a transfer if you want to eat at the restaurant.