The third largest island in Fiji, Taveuni has held the floral crown of being the country’s garden island thanks to its lush forests. Braided vines, gargantuan leaves, and bright red flowers make this island a place you’ll visit and won’t want to leave.
While settling into a hammock and watching the tide come and go is an acceptable way to spend your time on Taveuni, here are TK awesome things to do when you’re ready to explore.
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How to get to Taveuni: Taveuni map
If you are coming to Taveuni from overseas, your flight will land in Suva International Airport or Nadi International Airport. Most flights will land in Nadi International Airport. From Nadi, you will need to catch another 1.5 hour flight that lands in Matei Airport–on the northern point of Taveuni.
There is also a ferry service that connects Viti Levu to Taveuni.
13 awesome things to do in Taveuni, Fiji
Discover twin waterfalls on the Lavena Coastal Walk
This is by far one of the most memorable things to do on Taveuni. You can walk along the coastline in one direction and get a boat ride back–or simply walk the whole thing. This easy walk takes you through Bouma National Heritage Park to a watering hole with twin waterfalls to swim under. Plan at least half a day for this excursion, and remember to pack your swimsuit.
Explore the Tavoro Waterfall Trails in Bouma Heritage National Park
It seems like there are cascades everywhere in Taveuni to water this garden island. The Tavoro Waterfall Trail leads to three waterfalls–with the first and tallest one being a quick stroll from the main trailhead. The trail then leads through streams to a second waterfall tucked inside a valley. There are views of the coastline and groves of palm groves as you weave up the trail. Those who want a more rugged experience can traipse to the third waterfall as well.
Taveuni is famous among scuba divers for its vibrant soft and hard corals. The Somosomo Strait separates the islands of Taveuni and Viti Levu. If you’re lucky, you might see coral blooms, hundreds of reef fish, and even pelagic creatures like barracudas, sharks, and manta rays.
There is also a dive site famous for hammerhead sightings–for shark lovers with a penchant for swimming with these toothy creatures. The Great White Wall is perhaps the island’s most famous dive site, an impressive wall of white coral.
The calm waters of Taveuni make for prime paddling. Many accommodations in Taveuni offer kayaks and SUPs included in your stay, or will rent them for a small fee. I recommend waking up at sunrise, when the sky is pink and the ocean is calm, to paddle along the coastline and feel the magic of Taveuni.
Slide down the Waitavala Rock Slide
Perhaps one of the most adventurous things to do in Taveuni, the Waitavala Rock Slide is a natural rock slide where you slip down a narrow chute. While it can be a challenge to find without a guide, it’s worth doing a side trip on a bigger adventure or as a way to cool off from the tropical heat.
If you see locals sliding down, simply ask them for help! Fijians tend to be happy to share their tips and tricks for having fun at waterfalls and rock slides.
When the International Date Line was first created, it ran straight through the middle of Taveuni. New Year’s parties were next level, with people gathering at the International Date Line to celebrate the coming of the new year twice. While the line has been adjusted to include all of Fiji in one date, it’s still worth visiting for the novelty. Shops on the future side of Taveuni took pride in being the first in the world to open!
Island life moves at a slow pace, especially on Taveuni. Take a leisurely stroll through Taveuni’s towns like Matei or Waiyevo. Here, you can shop at the local produce markets, pick up snacks, and chat with locals. Don’t expect big city life–but isn’t that what you came to Taveuni to escape, anyways?
Feel the mist of the Vuna Blowholes
If you’re one who loves geological wonders, the Vuna Blowholes are a must. Found on Taveuni’s southern end, sprays of whitewash spin into the sky with each wave. It’s a mesmerizing place and if you’re lucky, you might spot mantas or dolphins in the distance.
Pay a visit to the Wairiki Catholic Mission Church
Intricate stained glass windows welcome visitors at Wairiki Catholic Mission Church. Built in 1898 by the French, who hoped to nudge the Brits off the island, this Catholic church is still in near-pristine condition today. Come Sunday, you’ll hear enchanting hymns radiating from its narrow doors. Visitors are welcome any time, a donation is expected.
Trek to the top of Des Voeux peak
Des Voeux Peak is Taveuni’s second hightest mountain (3920ft/1195m). You’ll want to venture here on a bluebird day to catch a glimpse of Taveuni’s outer islands and the calm waters of Lake Tagimaucia. The trail is 7.5mi (12km) long and very hilly, so budget more time than you may think to complete it.
Participate in a kava ceremony
You can’t leave Fiji without imbibing in a bit of kava, a relaxing drink made from ground pepper roots. It looks (and tastes) like mud, but the drink itself conveniently has a numbing effect on your mouth. Most accommodations will host or arrange a kava ceremony for guests. For these ceremonies, the kava tends to be weaker and guests are given their own cup rather than sharing one between the group. If you want the real deal, ask a local staff at your accommodation if you can join in on a local drinking session. Note that you will be expected to bring a bundle of kava yourself if you’re joining a local ceremony as an outsider.
Snorkel or freedive around the Waitabu Marine Park
The waters of Taveuni aren’t just for scuba divers. Snorkellers and freedivers will have a great time as well exploring the ocean at Waitabu Marine Park. This sanctuary zone bans fishing and you’re likely to see an array of reef sharks, sea turtles, giant clams, eels, parrotfish, and much more. The visitor center is found in Waitabu Village.
Walk along the shores of Lake Tagimoucia
The stunning red and white tagimoucia flower is endemic to the island of Taveuni. Legend states that the flower was formed from the tears of a young woman who escaped from her village after being forced into an arranged marriage despite loving another man. The word itself means “to weep while sleeping.” This flower thrives along the shores of Lake Tagimoucia.
The trek to Lake Tagimoucia is arduous, taking at least 2.5 hours to reach its shoreline. When you’re there, you’ll find the tagimoucia flower that only blooms from October to September. To complete the trek, you’ll need a guide–best arranged through your accommodation or at the Naqara village.
Taveuni travel essentials
Know before you go
Opt for a full-coverage travel insurance like World Nomads that includes adventure activities like hiking and scuba diving. For a complete list of things to bring to Taveuni, check out my complete Fiji packing list.
Where to stay in Taveuni
Choose your accommodation based on the you plan to do. But note that most hotels and resorts can arrange just about every item on this list of things to do in Taveuni.
Best budget: Maravu Taveuni Lodge hosts idyllic villas in a jungle setting. Many rooms have ocean views and are set apart from one another. Meals (and naps) take place in a large communal patio that overlooks a lagoon-style pool. Maravu can also help arrange surf trips. >Book your stay
Best mid-range: Aroha Taveuni has cute seaside bures set among manicured gardens. It has an authentic Fijian ambiance thanks to its decor and communal vibe. Bures come with a kitchen and indoor/outdoor shower. >Book your stay
Best luxury: Tides Reach Resort is one of my favorite resorts in Fiji. Intimate, the resort hosts just four rooms (2x single and 2x double), a pool, and a quaint dining area that serves incredible food. It is one of the few resorts in Taveuni set on a beach. Activities are included during the stay–with kayaks, snorkeling gear, and SUPs for use at any time. >Book your stay
When to visit Taveuni
Taveuni is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is outside of cyclone season that usually hits from November to April. However, with the rainfall comes the beautiful foliage that Taveuni is famous for.
For your chance at sunshine (Fiji is a destination where it can rain one minute and host blue skies the next), visit during April to October.
Even in the high tourist season (June-August), Taveuni is relatively uncrowded as most visitors tend to venture around the Viti Levu and the Mamamanuca/Yasawa island chain.
What else would you like to know about Taveuni?
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