The Family Guide to Taveuni
The Garden Island of Taveuni and its surrounding off-shore islands, such as Qamea, are natural playgrounds. Rich in culture, marine and birdlife, waterfalls, forests and coral reefs, Taveuni is the perfect place in Fiji for families who want to adventure together. After discovering a natural waterslide, kayaking over azure waters, snorkelling among an array of colourful reef fish, and enjoying some time to relax by the pool, you’ll be glad you made that trip a little bit further to the islands of Taveuni.
10 Things to Do on Taveuni with Kids
- Snorkel the Rainbow Reef or Waitabu Marine Reserve
- See what a Fijian school is like on a village tour
- Catch dinner on a Fijian fishing trip
- Walk and play in the Bouma Falls
- Go horse riding along the beach or a volcanic crater
- Explore the bays by kayak
- Get a photo with one foot in today and yesterday
- Have a go on the Waitavala Sliding Rocks
- Enjoy an educational visit to Na Bogi Ono Farms
- Leave your kids in the capable hands of the resort nanny.
For more information on each activity, see our 10 Things to Do on Taveuni for Kids. We also describe a few activities in the guide below.
How to Get to Taveuni
Taveuni is Fiji’s third-largest island, located in the northeast region of Fiji off the southeast coast of Vanua Levu. Because most families arrive in Fiji via Nadi International Airport on Viti Levu (Fiji’s main island), they will require air or boat transport in order to make their way between Viti Levu and Taveuni.
Taveuni via Flight
The quickest and often the most convenient way to get to Taveuni is via a domestic flight from Nadi International Airport, Nausori Airport, Suva or Savusavu Airport, Vanua Levu. Flights arrive at Matei Airport on Taveuni taking approximately 1h15mins from Nadi and 50 minutes from Suva. Once you arrive at Matei, connecting transport includes a cheap-but-infrequent bus service and minivans/carrier vans. However, the most appropriate for families wanting to get to their accommodation quickly is a transfer service organised with your chosen resort.
Taveuni via Boat/Ferry
The most affordable way to get to Taveuni is via a ferry service. An overnight ferry service from Suva to Wairiki Wharf, between Wairiki and Waiyevo, taking approximately 16 hours. A ferry also runs from Buca Bay on Vanua Levu (including a bus service from Savusavu) to Korean Wharf in Lovonivonu taking around 1h30mins. Connecting transport is available through bus services, car rental (in Naqara) or through your chosen accommodation’s transfer service.
For more information on getting to Taveuni, as well as the ferry and flight operators used, see our 7 Ways to Get to Taveuni (& Around Taveuni).
Family Water Activities
With waters teeming in marine life and lively coral cities, such as the famous Rainbow Reef, Vuna Lagoon and Waitabu Marine Reserve, Taveuni is simply an astonishing place to take part in water activities. There are plenty of water activities that are safe and suitable for families.
Snorkelling on Tavenui
While scuba diving is a popular sport on Taveuni, often the better and cheaper option for families is snorkelling, offering just-as-captivating views of Fiji’s underwater world. As long as your children can swim, snorkelling is a family must-do on Taveuni. Snorkelling above the vibrant corals of the Rainbow Reef can be organised with Taveuni Dive through Aroha Taveuni. There’s also fantastic snorkelling spots off Qamea Island, which can be organised through Maqai Eco Resort, including their Around the Islands Snorkel Tour & Picnic getting you to several snorkelling spots on a 5-6-hour trip. The Boat Snorkel Tours with Makaira Beach Resort only need a minimum of four tour-goers for the tour to run, making it ideal for a family trip! Otherwise, they offer free guided snorkelling tours from the beach. For those visiting the Bouma National Heritage Park, affordable guided snorkelling can be organised at the Waitabu Marine Park visitor centre.
Fishing on Taveuni
Fishing might be the most cliche family activity ever, but there’s a reason: it’s an amazing bonding experience. Amp up the excitement of fishing with a trip on the waters surrounding Taveuni harbouring an array of intriguing marine life – including 1,200 species of reef fish. At Waruka Bay Resort, the team organises half-day fishing trips to hotspots around Qamea Island where your family can catch dinner. Experience a traditional and family-friendly method of fishing in handline fishing at Tides Reach Resort. Or if mum and dad want a bit of a challenge, try trawling for wahoo, dogfish tuna, mahimahi and more with Maqai Eco Resort on Qamea Island.
Kayaking on Taveuni
For something to enjoy independently as a family, try kayaking on the crystal clear waters of Taveuni. Free kayak hire is a staple of most resorts on Taveuni and its off-shore islands, particularly at Paradise Taveuni, great for visiting the regular pods of dolphins.
Family Land Activities
While the coral-filled waters often take the limelight in Fiji, there’s much to discover on land on the islands of Taveuni and Qamea. 80% of Taveuni is made up of the Bouma National Heritage Park laced with waterfalls, hiking trails, birds and Fijian villages. Your family can also discover the International Date Line or go horseback riding.
Tavoro Waterfall Trail (Bouma Falls)
While there are plenty of hiking opportunities on Taveuni, one of the best options for families is the Tavoro Waterfall Trail (otherwise known as Bouma Falls) in the Bouma National Park. This self-guided trail with a small entry fee paid to the Tavoro Visitor Centre in Korovou Village takes you to three different sections of waterfalls, with the first one only being 10 minutes away. The second waterfall is another 30 minutes, then the third is a slightly more demanding 30-minute hike and slippery after rainfall. While it’s possible to visit the falls by bus or car independently, trips are also organised to the falls at Tides Reach, Taveuni Palms, Waruka Bay, Maqai, Karin’s Garden, Maravu Lodge and Paradise Taveuni.
The 180 Degree Meridian Date Line
For a quick activity on a relaxing day, check out Taveuni’s quirkiest attraction, The 180 Degree Meridian, otherwise known as the International Date Line. The line of longitude passes right here on the island of Taveuni which marks the beginning and end of each day. Of course, for convenience, Fiji shares the same time zone as Taveuni. An interpretation panel and a line on the floor makes a fun photo opportunity where you can have one foot in today and the other in yesterday. The Meridian Date Line is located on a road from Waiyevo leading to the police station. Tours are also available from Aroha Tavenui and Taveuni Palms.
Horse Riding on Taveuni
Taveuni is one of the rare places in Fiji where horse riding is readily available. It’s great for kids who love animals, as well as giving the opportunity to explore further on Taveuni. Tides Reach Resort organises horse riding on the beaches and around Taveuni with off-site operators, while half- or full-day treks are available with Aroha Taveuni to ride to volcanic craters or along the shores. Be sure to inquire whether there are horses suitable for children before booking.
Fijian Culture and Village Visits
Often one of the most memorable aspects of a Taveuni holiday for the kids is discovering the Fijian culture. (Trust us, they will be saying “Bula!” for months!) The culture is extremely accessible from any accommodation on Taveuni, whether it’s a village tour with a resort or even a resort run by local villagers! From Waruka Bay Resort, join a tour to Kocoma Village where you’ll see traditional buildings, take part in Fijian crafting and weaving, eat lunch with the villagers, and enjoy village music. At Maqai Resort, the staff will show you their village, either Naivivi or Nadillo, where kids can meet other kids at a Fijian kindergarten or enjoy a game of volleyball with older kids – a really authentic and down-to-earth experience. You’ll also get to live and breathe the culture at Fijian budget accommodations like Vuna Lagoon Lodge and Beverley’s Campground.
Resort Activities for Kids
For families looking for a holiday to put the little ones into the kids’ club, Taveuni is not the place. Taveuni is definitely a place for families who prefer to adventure together. However, some resorts offer a nanny service should you need your own version of “Fiji time“. Plus, there’s often plenty of on-site resort activities for your kids to enjoy, in addition to the family activities discussed above.
Nanny and Babysitting Services on Taveuni
For those seeking a bit of alone time during your stay on Taveuni, resorts such as Paradise Taveuni, Tides Reach and Taveuni Palms Resort offer nanny/babysitting services. Children stay and eat for free at Paradise Taveuni, while parents can also take advantage of the free nanny service available should you want to take that scuba diving trip or spa treatment you’ve always dreamed of. At the five-star Taveuni Palms Resort, free nanny services (aged under 5 years) and children’s guides (5-12 years) are available. Finally, Tides Reach Resort and Aroha Taveuni also offer a nanny service.
Resort Activities for Kids
At the mid-range to high-end resorts, kids can enjoy swimming in the outdoor swimming pools or beach. At resorts like Maqai Eco Resort, there are around 5 acres (2 ha) or gardens and walking trails around the resort to explore. Kids can be entertained at Karin’s Garden through coconut husking demonstrations or learn how to plant coral at Beverly’s Campground.