A Travel Guide to Kadavu, Fiji
A 57km/35mile island meandering in the southern reaches of Fiji, Kadavu (pronounced “Kan-davu”) is Fiji’s fourth-largest island. While Kadavu is a top destination for scuba diving in the world’s fourth-largest barrier reef, the Great Astrolabe Reef, and surfing on advanced reef breaks, the island also offers something for families, couples and backpackers looking to get off the beaten track. Much of the volcanic island is untouched, promising glorious jungle hikes to the rhythm of birds only found on this island, the Kadavu fantail, musk parrot and velvet dove. The 75 coastal villages have distinct traditions, such as turtle calling, and can only be accessed by boat or hiking trail. There’s everything from humble homestays to luxurious private island resorts, so start planning your Kadavu getaway with this complete travel guide to Kadavu.
Fast Facts About Kadavu
Location: South Fiji (see map below)
Climate: Daily average temperature – 25°C/77°F, yearly average rainfall – 2,170mm/85″
Find out more in What is the Weather Like in Fiji?
Time Zone: FJT / GMT+12/+13
Find out more in What is the Fiji Time Zone?
How to get to Kadavu: Direct international flights from the South Pacific islands, Australia, New Zealand and Korea land at Nadi International Airport on Viti Levu (Fiji’s main island). Kadavu can be accessed from Viti Levu, across the Kadavu Passage, by flights, ferries or cruises. See 5 Ways to Get to Kadavu for more information.
Budget Holidays in Kadavu
Kadavu doesn’t seem like a budget destination in Fiji at first glance. But with the cheap passage on the ferry from Suva and resorts offering all meals and plenty of activities at their accommodation rates, things quickly seem more affordable… We give you ways on how to save money on a trip to Kadavu in The Guide to Kadavu on a Budget.
Things to Do in Kadavu on a Budget
- Snorkel off the beach of the Great Astrolabe Reef
- Witness a turtle calling ceremony or walk to a waterfall from Namuana Village
- Spend some time watching Kadavu’s unique birds
- Drink kava and watch a meke
- Go kayaking or paddleboarding.
For more inspiration, check out our 10 Free & Cheap Things To Do in Kadavu.
Where to Stay in Kadavu on a Budget
Kadavu’s backpacker accommodation is limited to the town of Vunisea. Homestays also make an affordable option. While resorts appear to be a little more expensive than elsewhere in Fiji at first sight, remember that Kadavu’s resorts are all-inclusive resorts. See our recommendations in 6 Best Budget Accommodation on Kadavu.
Luxury Holidays in Kadavu
Kadavu is one of those rare destinations in Fiji where the luxury accommodation options are limited, with most resorts providing a more “rustic” accommodation experience. That’s with the one exception of Kokomo Private Island, Kadavu’s exclusive luxury resort. The resort offers five-star villas and bures with private pools, as well as a wealth of services, from a kids’ club to wellness retreats. Take a look through our other guides for Kadavu where Kokomo Island and its experiences are mentioned extensively.
Family Holidays in Kadavu
If you’re the adventurous type of family who wants to see beyond the typical Nadi/Denarau Fiji family holiday then Kadavu is an excellent choice. The culture here is authentic, the land and seascape preserved, and the activities on offer are plentiful for the whole family. Kadavu strikes the right balance of adventuring together while giving parents time to relax with babysitting services available in almost all resorts. Get more advice in The Guide to Kadavu for Families.
5 Family Activities in Kadavu
- Discover the island culture through Fijian arts and crafts
- Blast across the waters in a banana boat or biscuit
- Introduce the little ones to scuba diving
- Walk to one of Kadavu’s exciting waterfalls
- Make use of one of the babysitting services or kids’ club.
And the list goes on! Check it out in 10 Things To Do on Kadavu with Kids.
Where to Stay in Kadavu with Kids
All of Kadavu’s resorts are child-friendly, offering family rooms and activities for the whole family. See 8 Best Family Resorts on Kadavu for more information.
Adult-Only Holidays in Kadavu
While adult-only resorts are becoming ever more popular in Fiji, unfortunately, this trend is yet to reach the less-developed Kadavu. Nevertheless, the dread of being surrounded by noisy children can be easily remedied by following these simple tips:
- Plan your visit to Kadavu during Fiji’s low seasons – preferably between January and March where resorts are much quieter
- Avoid school holidays – the month of July is best avoided altogether
- Matava Resort is a good option for a more “adult-only” vibe thanks to their Kids Policy where children are not permitted in the restaurant and bar after 7pm
- Ask about the quietest rooms in the resorts, such as the Honeymoon Bures at Matava Resort, the Beachfront Villas on Kokomo Island and the Deluxe Oceanfront Bure at the Papageno Resort, for example.
If you have your heart set on adult-only resorts, then think about changing your destination. There are adult-only island resorts in the island groups of the Mamanucas, the Yasawas and Taveuni. See 7 Best Adult-Only Resorts in the Mamanuca Islands, 5 Best Adult-Only Resorts in the Yasawa Islands and 5 Best Adult-Only Resorts on Taveuni.
Foodie Holidays in Kadavu
With rich volcanic soils and waters teeming with life, Kadavu is very much an island where the locals sustain themselves. That also means that the food here is a farm-to-table or sea-to-table affair with the freshest tasting cuisine you’re ever likely to try. You can take your foodie experience a step further on Kadavu thanks to a wealth of food-related activities available, from spearfishing to private island picnics. Find out more in The Foodie Guide to Kadavu.
5 Things to Do in Kadavu for Foodies
- Catch your own dinner on a fishing trip
- Try a traditional Fijian lovo
- Tour an organic farm
- Try wellness cuisine on a private island retreat
- Indulge in a private gourmet beach picnic.
And if that hasn’t made your mouth water enough, then check out 8 Things to Do on Kadavu for Foodies.
Where to Stay in Kadavu for Foodies
Dining on Kadavu is made easy thanks to all the resort including all meals in their nightly rates. That leaves for very limited accommodation for self-catering in Vunisea. Find out more in 7 Best Accommodation on Kadavu for Foodies.
Weddings and Honeymoons on Kadavu
Finally, Kadavu certainly does not neglect romance with many of the resorts offering wedding venues, romantic experiences and secluded honeymoon suites. If you’re looking for romance in the pristine island nature, the heartwarming culture or the exclusivity of a less-visited Fiji destination then Kadavu is well worth considering for a romantic getaway, honeymoon or wedding. Start planning with The Wedding & Honeymoon Guide to Kadavu.
5 Things to Do in Kadavu for Couples
- Run away together to your own secluded beach getaway
- Get out on the water on a romantic sunset cruise
- Indulge in a couples massage or wellness class
- Learn to scuba dive at the Great Astrolabe Reef
- Perfect the art of doing nothing at all…
Where to Stay in Kadavu for Couples
Whether you’re seeking a base for a romantic getaway, renewing your vows or starting the rest of your lives together, we list your best options in 5 Best Wedding & Honeymoon Resorts on Kadavu.