© Captain Cook Cruises
© Captain Cook Cruises

Escape the Crowd: Guide to the Lesser Travelled Islands of Fiji

© Captain Cook Cruises

Explore an Alternative Side of Fiji

Did you know that around three-quarters of tourists stay on the main island of Fiji? That’s right, only around 24% of visitors to Fiji branch out from Viti Levu to discover Fiji’s other islands – what many would argue at the “real Fiji”. If you’re more of an intrepid traveller who would rather escape the tourist crowds, then this guide to the lesser travelled islands of Fiji is for you. Check out the guide below to see which islands in Fiji are less explored for a more authentic Fiji experience.

Stats About Fiji’s Lesser Visited Islands

According to the 2017 International Visitor Survey of Fiji, 76% of travellers stayed on the main island of Fiji (Viti Levu), while 10% visited the Yasawa Islands and 9% visited the Mamanuca Islands. With 333 islands in Fiji, that’s a lot more islands to explore. Some of the lesser-visited islands that this guide will cover include the following:

Lomaiviti Islands

Islands: 7
Population: 16,500
Distance from Viti Levu: 20km (12 miles)
Visitor percentage: 0.1%

Vanua Levu

Islands: 31
Population: 136,00
Distance from Viti Levu: 160km (99 miles)
Visitor percentage: 2%


Islands: 5
Population: 15,000
Distance from Viti Levu: 240km (149 miles)
Visitor percentage: 0.1%


Islands: 17
Population: 10,900
Distance from Viti Levu: 123km (76 miles)
Visitor percentage: 3%

Lau Islands

Islands: 60
Population: 10,700
Distance from Viti Levu: 300km (186 miles)
Visitor percentage: 0.1%

Escape the Crowd: Guide to the Lesser Travelled Islands of Fiji© FijiPocketGuide.com

Lomaiviti Islands

Just off the coast of Suva, yet feeling like a world away from anywhere, the Lomaiviti Islands might be less-travelled but there is no lack of adventures to be had. Whether you’re looking for a luxury private island escape or a stay with locals in a historic town, the Lomaiviti Islands provides a unique array of getaways.

Home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Lomaiviti Islands are steeped in history being home to the first capital of Fiji. The town of Levuka is like stepping back in time with its beautifully preserved colonial architecture. That’s not to say that the Fijian culture isn’t extremely accessible, with one of the activity offerings including island hikes to a village set in a volcanic caldera. For wildlife-enthusiasts, there’s also excellent snorkelling and diving in marine reserves, as well as sipping cocktails by the pool for that obligatory “Fiji time“.

For more information on this less-visited island group, check out The Complete Guide to the Lomaiviti Islands.

Escape the Crowd: Guide to the Lesser Travelled Islands of Fiji© Fiji Tourism

Vanua Levu

Fiji’s second-largest island has so much to offer despite being much less travelled than its other large-island sibling. Vanua Levu and its small surrounding islands are the final frontiers for adventurous backpackers, a place for romantics seeking luxury and adult-only resorts, and a fun and educational experience for families.

From scuba diving at some of the top dive sites in Fiji to bird-watching in the island’s interior of forest and plantations, there are adventures both on land and in the Pacific Ocean. The culture is also interesting to discover, from traditional Fijian villages to Indo-Fijian towns to even the Tuvaluans of Kioa Island.

Learn more about organising a trip to the Friendly North with The Complete Guide to Vanua Levu.

Escape the Crowd: Guide to the Lesser Travelled Islands of Fiji© Arnie Papp on Flickr


Welcome to the Garden Island, Taveuni and its surrounding islands of Qamea, Matangi and Laucala. One of Fiji’s youngest volcanic islands, Taveuni offers an exciting variety of inland adventures from mountain, waterfall and forest hikes in the Bouma National Park to authentic Fijian towns and villages. What’s more, the island is only around 42km (26 miles) long, making it easy to explore a range of attractions in a short time.

From backpacker stays in Taveuni’s towns to luxurious private island resorts on the off-shore islands, there’s a holiday for a variety of nature-lover’s in Taveuni. Check out The Complete Guide to Taveuni to start planning your trip.

Escape the Crowd: Guide to the Lesser Travelled Islands of Fiji© Captain Cook Cruises


In the southern reaches of Fiji, Kadavu (pronounced Kan-davu) is Fiji’s fourth-largest island and another spectacular option for nature-lovers. Kadavu’s main drawcard is scuba diving in the Great Astrolabe Reef, the world’s fourth-largest barrier reef. Alternatively, you might want to come here for the advanced surf breaks, glorious jungle hikes, waterfalls or bird-watching on the relatively untouched volcanic island.

The island of Kadavu is home to around 75 villages on the coast, a handful of budget homestays, as well as eco-resorts and luxury resorts. All in all, there’s a getaway in Kadavu for just about anyone, so start planning your escape in The Complete Guide to Kadavu.

Escape the Crowd: Guide to the Lesser Travelled Islands of Fiji© Captain Cook Cruises

Lau Islands

Finally, if you make it to the Lau Islands then you really do deserve the intrepid explorer medal. Sparsely scattering the eastern boundaries of Fiji, the Lau Islands is only home to around three official tourist accommodations. With many islands closer to Tonga than they are to Viti Levu, the culture is a unique hybrid of Fijian and Tongan, where locals wear the traditional woven waist mats of the Tongans, for instance.

You can experience the Lau Islands in one of two ways: extreme luxury on a private island or extreme budget island-hopping on a cargo ship and befriending the locals.

Learn more about planning a trip to the Lau Islands in The Complete Guide to the Lau Islands.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Fiji Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Fiji. She knows the islands inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Fiji’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

Was this article useful?