On Taveuni, Fiji’s “Garden Island,” you’ll find a lush land made of verdant jungles, coral reefs, and rugged coastlines. The Lavena Coastal Walk is one of my favorite things to do in Taveuni. After you build up a sweat on a long (yet leisurely) walk, you’re rewarded with epic waterfalls at the end.
Table of Contents
The Lavena Coastal Walk: Overview
Length: 10km round-trip Type: Out-and-back Trailhead: Lavena Village Entrance Fee: $30 FJD paid at the trail entrance Difficulty: Easy to moderate (slippery during rainy season) Good to Know: There is a creek crossing during this trip, where you hold onto the rope and cross in waist-deep water that can be quite powerful in rainy season. You can switch into water shoes for this section or take off your shoes, tie the laces, and sling them around your neck. There are no proper bathrooms once you leave the trailhead and no private areas to change at the waterfalls–so it’s best to wear your bathing suit under your clothes.
This is a great hike for families and novice hikers who don’t want to trek anywhere too technical, but are still up for a fun adventure. There are plenty of beaches to stop and rest at, tide permitting. No food is sold along the way so bring a packed lunch or feast for breakfast to hold you over. Trail condition: Well maintained
Map of the Lavena Coastal Walk
The Lavena Coastal Walk
The Lavena Coastal Walk is part of the Bouma National Heritage Park, a conservation area rife with waterfalls, jungle treks, wildlife, and those who live on Taveuni.
The trail begins at Lavena, a local village that handles the trail’s upkeep. Here is where you’ll pay a $30 FJD entrance fee and sign the trail ledger. This is the only place along the trail with bathroom access–so use it before you start your walk. You can hire a guide for your walk. This is highly recommended if you love learning about the plant life and history of Taveuni. We recommend staying at Tides Reach Resort, where a friendly guide is included in your stay.
After the entrance building, you’ll walk along a dirt road until you see Parrotfish Primary School, painted in blue. Here, turn right to begin your walk along Taveuni’s stunning coastline.
The trail weaves along the beach where you’ll have the ocean on one side and dense jungle on the other. Taro, papaya, cassava, banana, kava, and captivating flowers can be seen along the way. The incline is moderate and the trail itself is well-kept. If you look closely near the coastline, you’ll find hermit crabs fighting among themselves for a stake inside of a new shell. The Lavena Coastal Walk is well-defined and easy to follow along. Since it’s an out-and-back trail, you don’t have to worry about getting lost.
A few kilometers into the hike, you’ll come across a small creek where water flows from the mountains out into the sea. This creek has a rope that runs along the length of it to hold onto for balance as you make your way across.
Just before the end, the trail turns inland and runs along the side of a valley of palm trees–an ideal stretch to stop and admire the view.
The trail eventually whittles to a cobblestone path that borders the edge of a freshwater creek. Keep following it, and you’ll see an incredible cascade, the lower Wainibau Waterfalls, gushing between a rocky corridor.
Though at looks as though there is only one waterfall at the end of the trail, if you swim into the grotto, you’ll discover a secret secondary waterfall. Warm water from natural hot springs runs along the walls of the waterfalls, so if you need to warm up–head there.
The water inside the waterfall area is tumultuous and best for strong swimmers. If you prefer to wade without worry, stick to the calm, spacious pools downstream.
Plan your trek back during low tide to have a picnic on the beach. You can also forgo the trail and instead walk back to Lavena along the sand.
Accessing the Lavena Coastal Walk
By boat: Some travelers prefer to only walk one length of the Lavena Coastal Walk, starting near a portion of the trail that has a waterfall only accessible by boat. Then, you are shuttled by boat to the twin falls (accessible by foot) and walk back to the town of Lavena along the main trial.
By bus: A public bus runs along the Taveuni coastal road regularly, stopping at Lavena.
By taxi/private driver: You can take a taxi or private driver to the village and park near the entrance building.