Regarded as one of the most pristine and beautiful islands in Fiji, Taveuni is known as the Garden Island.
The primary feature of the island is its vast and diverse ecology that attracts a lot of nature lovers – volcanic peaks, acres of virgin rainforest, and lots of water sports.
A typical tropical island, Taveuni is filled with admiring nature, gorgeous flowers, and a great diversity of birdlife.
Fortunately for the island, the mongoose was not introduced here like the rest of the Fiji Islands (to control the rat population) which is one of the primary reasons that Taveuni is richer in fauna than Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
We spent six days exploring the island of Taveuni. Every day was truly magical and it’s adventures are limitless.
This guide is filled with insider tips from locals and tips from travelers. We hope our travel guide to Taveuni Island will help you plan your visit.
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Fiji (Travel Guide)
Top 8 Things to Do in Taveuni, Fiji
1. Lavena Coastal Walk
One of the most prominent attractions in Taveuni, Lavena Coastal Walk takes you through a 5 kilometers stretch of fine, white-sand of Lavena beach, breathtaking views of the jungle, remote local villages, black sand, and ends at Fiji’s most magnificent and iconic cascading waterfall.
It’s a great spot for swimming and snorkeling as well. The best way to see the spots around the Coastal Walk is to hire a local guide – not only do they have the best information, but it’s also a great way to support the local tourism.
Reserve half a day for the hike as it essentially takes about four to five hours to complete and then some more to enjoy the natural beauty you encounter on your way.
Bring your swimming suit (and a waterproof camera if you’d like) for you will have to swim about 100 meters to reach the main waterfall pit.
Note: Some tours offer a boat trip back from the waterfall. This can be great for those who can not hike much. However, keep in mind the waves can be bad at times and that can make for an unpleasant boat trip.
2. Bouma Waterfalls
Tavoro Waterfalls, also at times known as the Bouma Waterfalls, within the Bouma National Park in Taveuni, is the most prominent attraction on the island.
There are not one but three waterfalls to come across on your three-hour return hike around the vicinity. Each of the three waterfalls presents you with a natural volcanic pool, perfect for swimming and relaxing after the long hike.
As soon as you start hiking, within 10 minutes you come across the first waterfall, the most famous of the three. At 24-metres high, it’s a good place to have a picnic and BBQ with your group.
The other two waterfalls are a bit quieter and tougher to get to but the route offers you some stunning scenery of the surrounding forests. Bring your snorkeling gear to spot numerous shrimps swimming in the water.
3. Scuba Diving
The Somosomo Strait, stretching between Taveuni and Vanua Levu, is one of the finest known dive locations in the oceanic country of Fiji.
Fiji’s “soft coral capital of the world” title is well deserved and the Strait is served by several dive resorts, which are also considered the best way to dive into the waters.
An extremely rich marine eco-system filled with corals and fish and other underwater creatures thrives in the waters here making it an absolute haven for diving aficionados.
However, it’s not considered a perfect place for amateur divers, the Strait offers strong currents which only professional divers can fathom.
About 3 kilometers from Taveuni shores, you’ll come across one of the most famous and magnificent reefs known as the Rainbow Reef, a part of the popular Great White Wall.
Named after the unusual soft coral reefs inhabiting the area, this section of the diving site is swarming with magical almost-luminescent white corals.
One of the best scuba diving resorts is Paradise Taveuni. We spent three nights at this resort and enjoyed scuba diving with them.
For those who are less adventurous, Taveuni Island offers great snorkeling right off its shores. One of the best snorkeling spots on here is at Waitabu Marine Park.
It is spectacular and be prepared to spend the whole day swimming around looking at giant clams and bright colored corals.
4. Waitavala Waterslide
A complete natural slide in the middle of all that Fiji wilderness, Waitavala Waterslide is a real fun thing to do, whether you’re 10 or 40! The best way to enjoy the slide is to watch and learn how the local boys do it.
A 20-minutes walk from Waiyevo, the Waterslide is in a beautiful secluded spot where you can slide down a natural slipper rock and find yourself in a refreshing pool at the bottom.
Sit at the top of the pool and dam up the water, once the water is almost pushing you down the slide let it rip and head down.
This natural waterside on Taveuni Island has four runs that start with a pool and ending in a pool. It is best when it has been raining since the water will be flowing faster and will require less daming.
You are sliding on the natural stone so it is hard and ruff on your back. I would not plan on more than 30-40 minutes enjoying this natural wonder only found on Taveuni Island Fiji.
Note: Watch out while you are walking barefoot around the slides, there’s lots of glass and you could cut your foot. This is also a popular place for locals on the weekends.
5. Cannibal Cave Tour
Fiji has many great cave systems that are amazing to explore. Some are known as the best secret swimming spots in Fiji and others are known for darker reasons.
The ones on Taveuni Island are known for cannibalism. Yes, people eaters. The island of Taveuni was home to Fiji’s last cannibal tribe but don’t worry cannibalism ended on Taveuni in 1867.
Exploring the cannibal caves on Taveuni Island in Fiji is a great way to experience Fiji’s tribal past and hidden culture.
Be transported back into tribal times where cannibals ruled this small Island. Climb among the remains of warriors where tribal rituals were performed and yes where they were eaten.
Many of the large bones have been removed after the caves were discovered, however, there are still a small number of bones that have been left that add a creepy cannibal chill as you explore.
6. Southern Blowhole (Vuna Blowhole)
The coastline of Taveuni is filled with black sand beaches and jagged volcanic rocks. Located on Taveuni’s Southern tip is a dramatic spectacle of spouting water with rainbow filled mist against the black volcanic rocks.
This unique geological site is known as the Southern blowhole, or Vuna blowhole is located next to the village of Vuna.
It has rows of blowholes scatted across the coastline where water for Vuna reef crashes onto the jagged shore making a natural spectacle that can reach up to 50 meters high.
At low tide, you can climb up over the rocks to get a close look at the blowhole, however, this is not recommended.
The blowhole is most active at high tides, this is when it will be at its tallest. This is also a great spot for you to go snorkeling or enjoy a quiet beach.
7. Site of the International Dateline
The International Dateline in Taveuni is the site where you can stand with one foot in the present and another in yesterday.
A huge map, split into two halves, indicate that the Garden Island of Fiji is intersected by the 180° or in other words, the International Date Line.
The site is located within the Millennium Park. For explorers, it’s a delight to finally stand on the first landmass that experiences and celebrates New Year anywhere in the world.
8. Wairiki Mission
In an island full of wilderness, coral reefs, and intriguing flora and fauna, the Wairiki Mission, also known as the Taveuni Catholic Church, is the most architecturally fascinating structure in Taveuni.
A brilliant specimen of British colonial Romanesque architecture, the Church is situated on the edge of a picturesque coconut plantation.
Constructed in 1907, the Taveuni Catholic Church is dedicated to a French missionary who successfully helped the local warriors to defeat an army of thousands of Tongans during a major battle.
Come on a Sunday to experience a beautiful service hosted by locals where you can join in on the wonderful singing.
Visitors are invited to attend mass on Sundays from 7 A.M. to 9 A.M. Dress well and be prepared to sit on the floor since there are no pews or seats.
15 More Things to Do on Taveuni
Looking for more great things to do in Taveuni?
- Hike Des Veaux Peak
- Visit an authentic Taveuni, Fijian village
- Drink a Fiji beer
- Try some Kava
- Go hiking
- Learn to speak Fijian
- Doze off in a hammock
- Take in a cultural show
- Go kayaking around paradise
- Have a fresh coconut
- Take in an epic Taveuni sunset
- Try frond weaving with the locals
- Take a dip in an amazing pool
- Enjoy a Fijian massage
- Get to much sun
- Do nothing and just relax in Taveuni’s paradise.
Taveuni, Fiji Planning Tips
Location of Taveuni Island
Taveuni, the third-largest island in the country of Fiji, is situated in the northern tip of the Koro Sea. It is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Taveuni coordinates: 16°47’37” S 180°00’00’E
As you can see from the above map, the island is situated much farther north from where you arrive in Nadi or Suva on Viti Levu.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to Taveuni is from the islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. To get to the island, you can either choose to fly or you can take a ferry from the other islands.
Below we have listed out how to get to Taveuni Island.
Routes are often heavily booked and are canceled all of the time with the smallest hint of bad weather.
Try to plan for a grace period between Taveuni and your international flight in case you get stuck a day or two. It is also best to book your flights in advance since seats are limited due to the small plane size.
Note: The Nausori Airport is small and only operates right before flights arrive. There is a place to buy a soda and little snacks but otherwise, that is it.
At present, there are only a couple of ferry services (MV Lomaiviti Princess) between Taveuni and Suva via Vanua Levu and one (Grace Ferry) from Buca Bay in Vanua Levu to Taveuni.
We took the local Grace Ferry over from Vanua Levu to Taveuni and it took around two hours. It was basic with wood seats and lots of locals. That day we were the only travelers on the local ferry.
Combine your visit to Taveuni with a stay on Vanua Levu at the Koro Sun Resort.
Note: The ferry port has little to nothing there, so buy your snacks or water before showing up.
Getting Around the Island of Taveuni
Getting around the Island of Taveuni can be difficult at times and it does require a bit of planning. This was something we were not prepared for.
It may be a small island but it still takes around 2 hours to drive from the southside to the north side of the island simply due to road conditions.
Take this into consideration when booking your hotel. There is one main road that follows the coastline, stretching from north to south.
From Matei to Wairiki is paved, otherwise, it is slow-moving dirt roads. Many islanders have 4×4’s and most hotels will pick you up from the airport or at the ferry port upon request.
There are taxi’s around and everyone is pretty friendly to negotiate with tourists. There are main buses that run three times a day, Mondays through Saturday, and once a day on Sunday.
It is best to double-check times, buses are known to show up early and be hours late.
It is best to hire a car and driver for the day, your hotel or hostel will have all of that information. All hotels and hostels use local guides that they have solid relationships with and can be trusted.
It’s better to use these guides than the ones found on the street. You can also rent a car on the island, however, cars are limited so book early.
Best Time to Visit Taveuni
The best time to visit Taveuni is year-round, that’s what makes Fiji a great place to visit. Keep in mind though that Taveuni is named the Garden Island for a reason.
What makes everything grow? Rain. So while you can visit year-round, be prepared for rain throughout the year.
The rainiest months on the island of Taveuni are from November to April. On our visit, it would be raining on the south side of the Island but be nice and sunny on the north side. This is normal.
Temperatures stay pretty constant throughout the year while ranging from highs in the ’80s to lows in the 60’s (Fahrenheit).
Where to Stay in Taveuni
The island, although not brimming with hotels, has quite a few accommodation options to suit every type of traveler.
For budget travelers, Beverly’s Campground offers a huge variety of accommodation options and facilities. You could pitch your own tent here for around $20 or stay in one of theirs for $25. You can also book a bunk in their dorm or stay in a private room.
Alternatively, you can also book with Maravu Taveuni Lodge. Not as cheap as Beverley’s, Maravu offers dorm room accommodation with AC for $17 a night and a private room with AC, private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, and a seating area for $99.
If you’re traveling in a group of 3 to 4, you can also book their lovely villa for around $150.
If you’re willing to spend a slightly higher price, Paradise Taveuni in Waiyevo can offer you a splendid bungalow with a pleasant view of the ocean, a huge double bed, AC, patio, and full board for around $230.
We spent 3 nights here and it was great. It’s a popular place for scuba divers and be prepared for some amazing sunsets.
Qamea Island Resort & Spa in Qamea, on the other hand, provides you with a beachfront bungalow, one extra-large double bed and an extra single bed, AC, minibar, and breakfast for approximately $470. We also spent 3 nights with Qamea on their luxury island and it truly was hands down luxury.
For those of you who like living in luxury and don’t care too much about the price tag, or for those on your honeymoon, Matangi Private Island Resort on Matangi Island presents you with a beautiful ocean view bungalow, full board, and ensuite bathroom for approximately $800 a night.
Alternatively, Taveuni Palms Resort in Matei provides you with a 3-bedroom private villa with bathtub, flat-screen TV, private pool, gaming console, and a lot more for up to 6 people at approximately $3,000 per night.
Read reviews and check prices with our Hotel Search Engine, that gives you the best hotel deals found on the web. Our search engine pulls results from all of the major booking places, including Expedia, Hotels, Booking and more. All the options, all the deals, all in one place and just for you.
The Main Town on Taveuni Island
The main town on Taveuni is the little village of Somosomo and Naqara. They are little and not very touristy.
You won’t find many gift shops selling tourist items here instead it is local housing, housing for Taveuni’s high chief, government buildings, and a graveyard.
This was surprising to us since we expected tourist shops, bars and all of that good stuff that comes with beachside towns. But that is not the case here. It seems most travelers stick to their resorts.
This little village does operate on island time, so keep that in mind. That means late openings and Sundays off.
Sundays off in Fiji are typical so don’t plan on going out shopping or even booking tours on Sundays since most places do not operate.
ATM’s on Taveuni Island
ATM’s are limited and it is best to plan on not needing one while you are visiting. Get cash out at the Nadi airport before visiting, but if you are in need of an ATM there is one located at the Bank of South Pacific in the main town.
Most places like hotels and dive shops on the island will take credit cards, however, their fees are crazy. It is safe to use your credit card but be prepared to pay up to 10% in fees.
Cellphone Service and WIFI
Just like most islands in Fiji, you will have ok cellphone service around villages but once you get away from those villages you will have none. The same can be said for Taveuni.
We had no service while exploring Bouma National Heritage Park and while hiking the Lavena Coastal Walk.
It is best to buy a sim card with data at the Nadi Airport otherwise your options are small convenience stores or roadside shops.
The best cell service in Fiji is Vodafone and it worked well for our three weeks in Fiji.
WIFI is limited but available at most hotels and hostels. It is island WIFI so it’s going to be overpriced and slow. Don’t expect free WIFI anywhere on Taveuni including top luxury resorts.
Recommended Taveuni Tours
These tours are run by some of the best tour operators and the best guides from reputable companies like Viator and TourRadar.
- Spice of Life Tour: Immerse yourself in the flavors of Fiji on this half-day tour of Gaiatree Sanctuary with a small group.
- Lei Low Tour: This 6-day tour package takes you through 7 destinations in Fiji including accommodation in a hostel, a guide, meals and transport.
- Wonderlands Fiji: This 8-day tour package taking you through 3 destinations in Fiji on a small group tour that includes accommodation, a guide, transport and more.
- Fiji Viti Levu Island Experience: This 6-day tour package takes you through 4 destinations in Fiji including accommodation, transport and more.
Our Thoughts on Taveuni
Taveuni is one of the best islands to visit in Fiji and it was easily one of our favorite islands.
It was also surprising talking to other travelers who did not know about the island or felt it was not worth visiting. The number of wide-eyed looks we got when we shared photos was priceless.
We can tell you it is worth visiting and you will not be disappointed by the Garden Island. It’s epic, don’t be that person that misses it. It’s not like the other islands in Fiji, it is in a class of its own.
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