The Lomaiviti Islands for Foodies
Sitting down to an authentic Fijian meal with fresh fish that you caught in the morning marinated in coconut milk is all part of everyday life in the Lomaiviti Islands. Take your foodie experience a step further by taking part in some awesome food-related activities, from Lovo feasts to plantation tours. Stay in a resort where the food is an event or save a little by staying in one of the many self-catering accommodations and cooking with local produce. We’ll guide you through it all with this guide to the Lomaiviti Islands for foodies.
8 Things to Do in the Lomaiviti Islands for Foodies
- Try a Fijian Lovo
- Fish for your own dinner on a sports fishing trip
- Browse the produce at the Levuka Municipal Market
- Do a plantation walk with Nox
- See a coconut demonstration
- Drink kava with the locals
- Enjoy a private dining experience
- Check out the restaurants in Levuka.
Find out more about each activity in 8 Things to Do in the Lomaiviti Islands for Foodies.
How to Get to the Lomaiviti Islands
The Lomaiviti island group is located just off the eastern shores of Viti Levu, best accessed from Suva (see how to get to Suva from Nadi in 6 Ways to Get to Suva). Here’s a quick guide on the different ways to get to the islands. For more information and options, see 5 Ways to Get to the Lomaiviti Islands.
Flights to the Lomaiviti Islands
Ovalau – Northern Air operates regular flights between Nausori (Suva) and Ovalau taking approximately 12 minutes. Ovalau’s airstrip is in Bureta on the southwest side of the island, where a shuttle connects passengers to Levuka.
Koro – Fiji Airways operates flights between Nausori and Koro every Monday at 10.25am, taking approximately 45 minutes and returning the same day.
Gau – Northern Air also operates flights between Nausori and Gau six times a week.
Ferries to the Lomaiviti Islands
Ovalau – Ferry services with the Patterson Brothers depart daily (but not every Sunday) from Natovi Landing at around 3.30pm taking approximately four hours to reach Buresala on Ovalau.
Koro – The ferry with Goundar Shipping from Walu Bay in Suva to Koro departs at 6pm on a Monday. The journey takes approximately 12 hours, arriving at Koro at 6am on Tuesday morning.
Caqalai and Leleuvia – Leleuvia Island Resort offers boat transfers between Bau Landing and Leleuvia. Caqalai Island Resort runs a similar boat service between Waidalice Landing (north of Nausori) and Caqalia Island. Both resorts also run boats to and from Levuka.
Toberua and Wakaya – Toberua Island Resort and Wakaya Club & Spa offer personal 24-hour transfers between Viti Levu and their island resorts.
Cruises to the Lomaiviti Islands
The all-inclusive 7-Night Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise with Captain Cook Cruises stops by Levuka and Makogai Island. The cruise departs from Port Denarau on Viti Levu (near Nadi International Airport).
Foodie Activities in the Lomaiviti Islands
Experience the real island life through the flavours of the Lomaiviti Islands. Learn to gather food like the Fijians do, immerse in their traditional feasts and talk with real locals on how to prepare your own tropical dishes with the food-related activities available in the Lomaivitis.
A highlight of the week in any resort or lodge is the Lovo night! “Lovo” is a traditional method of slow-cooking food wrapped in banana leaves (or more like aluminium foil nowadays) in an earth oven. The food is all cooked together then enjoyed as a buffet-style dinner. Experience the delicious smokey flavours of the Lovo for yourself at Kauwai Guesthouse, Caqalai Island Resort and Leleuvia Island Resort.
Coconuts are an interesting nut that has many uses in the South Pacific. Learn how to open a coconut with one swipe of a blade to drink its milk, how to scrape a coconut and make crafts from its leaves and husk. Toberua Island Resort and Ovalau Holiday Resort both offer regular coconut demonstrations for their guests.
Fish for Your Own Dinner
Fishing is a way of life in the islands of Fiji and you’ll notice that most of the Fijian dishes incorporate seafood one way or another. An exciting part of preparing Fijian food is going out and catching your own dinner. Make it an easy-going trip on reef fishing trips with Caqalai Island Resort, Bobo’s Farm and Kauwai Guesthouse. Or amp up the experience targeting the large game fish like Mahimahi, Giant Trevally, Yellow-fin Tuna and more on a sports fishing charter with Toberua Island Resort or Wakaya Club & Spa.
Browse the Levuka Municipal Market
If you’re lucky enough to be wandering around Levuka on the island of Ovalau on a Saturday, don’t miss the Levuka Municipal Market. The array of fruit and vegetables, along with the friendly growers, are available to experience every Saturday morning. It’s a great place to pick up some cheap local produce to spruce up something in your self-catering accommodation (see the recommendations beside this guide) and ask for recipe ideas from the stallholders.
Enjoy a Plantation Walk with Nox
Any foodie should stay at the Levuka Homestay simply for their magnificent breakfasts, but also to meet Nox. He is a local guide who offers various walking tours around Ovalau, including a Plantation Walk. This walk is ideal for foodies where you’ll be introduced to local plants and learn about their medicinal uses, as well as how they are used for food, drink and decorations. Whether you’re staying at the Levuka Homestay or not, tours with Nox can be organised with the homestay’s owners.
Best Restaurants in the Lomaiviti Islands
The Lomaiviti Islands’ restaurant scene is reduced to the small selection of eateries in the town of Levuka. Here, you’ll find plenty of variety for a short stay. Alternatively, Fijian food is easily found in the guesthouses and homestay accommodations, especially The Baystay and Bobo’s Farm, where authentic meals are served to guests (with the welcome addition of being extremely affordable compared to resorts).
Those staying on island resorts will only have the choice of the resort’s restaurant where meal plans are often compulsory. At budget resorts such as Leleuvia and Caqalia, meals are presented in a buffet style, while Toberua Island Resort offers multi-course meals and some a la carte options. On the luxury Wakaya Club & Spa, meals are individually made one at a time to meet the guest’s moods and tastes.
Restaurants in Levuka
A long-standing favourite in Levuka is Paak Kum Long on Beach Street. Sample a bit of everything at this well-priced restaurant with a colonial facade – there are Indian, Chinese, European and Fijian dishes. For authentic Indo-Fijian food, try the Ovalau Holiday Resort. While a little out of town you can call ahead for a transfer if you want to eat at the restaurant. The Whale’s Tale is legendary for its fish & chips, or excellent seafood can also be had at the New Horizon Restaurant, also known as Koromakawa. Indian curries are also a staple here.