Fiji's Untouched Paradise

 

It's time to get away from life as you know it and dive deep into the serenity of one of the world's last unspoiled paradises.

The Kadavu Group is a spectacular volcanic archipelago south of Viti Levu that’s surrounded by the incomparable Great Astrolabe Reef. Kadavu is the main island in the group and also the fourth largest island in Fiji. Whether you prefer to submerge yourself in the warm waters of one of the largest barrier reefs on the planet, and come face to face with a breathtaking array of marine life, or lie back on a banana chair, coconut in hand, the Kadavu Group islands has something to offer every island lover. Look a little harder and you will find shimmering waterfalls hidden within lush rainforests, teeming with wildlife that call the tropical haven their home.

A True Paradise

The Kadavu Group of islands are left mostly untouched by development and as a result has few roads or vehicles, and no banks! With a local economy that still relies heavily on subsistence farming of crops such as kava, you are sure to have a more authentic experience of life off the grid.

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Highlights of the Kadavu Group

From beautiful treks deep into the rainforest to premier snorkelling sites, finding something to do amongst Kadavu’s many islands is no challenge. The natural beauty of the islands alone will have you never wanting to leave.
 

Dive the Great Astrolabe Reef

Diving is excellent in Kadavu and a must-do for any visitor. Take advantage of the rare opportunity to dive in waters that are teeming with native fish species in every imaginable colour. Float through coral reefs, nature's own secret garden, and swim among century old wrecks. Since the area is so untouched, visibility is crystal clear, meaning you get an uninterrupted view of the Great Astrolabe Reef in all its glory. Most resorts in Kadavu can arrange scuba diving trips including Mai Dive Astrolabe Reef Resort and Waisalima Beach Resort & Dive Centre.

 

Snorkel with Manta Rays

If you are feeling brave, snorkel with the resident Manta Rays via a day trip with Papageno Resort. These majestic creatures are the embodiment of elegance as they glide graciously up and down the shallow waters. Watch for a while to spot them displaying their somersaulting prowess and take in the brilliant undersea life. One thing is certain – this is a natural phenomenon you surely do not want to miss out on!

 

Hike Through the Lush Rainforest

You don't have to get in the water to experience the untouched beauty of the Kadavu Group islands. With such few roads, you can be sure that you won't be disturbed as you hike along one of the many tropical wilderness trails. Local favourites include the Kavala Bay waterfall trail and the Vatalutu trails. Keep an eye out for the vibrantly coloured birds that call this habitat their home. Remember to stock up on essentials, especially water, before you set out from your resort.


More Things to Do in the Kadavu Group

 

Sea Kayaking

The best way to see everything the Kadavu Islands have to offer is via boat. But don't race by in a speedboat. Instead, take the more leisurely option with a sea-kayaking multi-day tour from Tamarillo Active Travel. Not only will you enjoy the reef's natural beauty, but these tours also have a hidden ace up their sleeve. You have the option of staying overnight in a customary Fijian village which is an excellent way to learn more about the local way of life. As an island where the inhabitants continue to live a traditional lifestyle, this is as close as it comes to experiencing history in real-time.

 

Game Fishing

When you are surrounded by so much water, it's only natural that you would be tempted to go fishing. For the best in game fishing, the folks at Bite Me Gamefishing Charters know how to do it in style. Accompanied by a friendly, jocular crew who put all their effort into ensuring you catch at least a couple of fish, guests are guaranteed an entertaining day out on the water no matter what. With the reef waters teeming with Blue Marlin, Dogtooth Tuna, Wahoo, Pacific Sailfish and Mahimahi, you never know what you might catch.

 

Traditional Kava Ceremony

Kava is a popular local beverage and traditional ceremonial drink that’s said to produce a numbing effect in the mouth, resulting in muscle relaxation and drowsiness. Many of the Kadavu resorts have an excellent relationship with the local villagers which means you may be lucky enough to participate in a kava ceremony. Characterised by the sharing of the kava drink, these ceremonies are a highlight of many tourists' visit to the Kadavu Islands. Remember to be respectful of the local culture by dressing conservatively and not wearing a hat. If in doubt, ask your resort of the local customs specific to the region.


Where to Stay in the Kadavu Group

Since tourism is relatively small to the islands, accommodation options in the Kadavu Group tend to be limited to the high-end resorts that cater to honeymooners and diving enthusiasts. Nevertheless, there are a couple of guest houses for the more budget-conscious traveller.
Mid-Range
Matava

Kadavu Island

Papageno Resort

Kadavu Island


Food & Drink in the Kadavu Group

There are few stand-alone restaurants and bars in Kadavu, with most resorts offering Meal Plans for guests, covering breakfast, lunch and dinner. The resort meals are also restricted to their guests as they have been pre-planned prior to the guests' arrival. There are a few spots for basic foods but the key is preparation – you are, after all, in one of the last untouched wilderness areas on the planet.
 

Hot Spots for Popular Dining

Koromakawa Resort Dining, Ono Island

For those who believe in the mantra that dining is a pleasure, not a task, look no further than Koromakawa Resort. Menus at this resort are tailored for each customer based on food preferences submitted prior to arrival. The menus are different each day and are only repeated if requested. Fresh seafood, pancakes, lasagna, lamb cutlets, macadamia nut pie and Swedish coffee cake are just some of the mouth-watering options that await you.

Oneta Resort Dining, Ono Island

Specialising in seafood fusion dishes of Fijian, French and Italian influences, you know you're in for a culinary experience at Oneta Resort. Utilising its own organic produce grown on site, you'll be craving their dishes months after you leave Kadavu. Take full advantage of the offering by indulging in freshly caught crab and tropical fruits like bananas and pineapples.

Mai Dive Astrolabe Reef Resort Dining, Ono Island

The culinary masterchefs at Mai Dive are able to take the simplest of ingredients and turn them into dishes that will leave you salivating. Expect meals that combine Fijian and international tastes, all created using locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables grown from the resort’s eco-friendly garden such as bananas, papaya and pineapple, along with some more unique options like cassava and taro. Everything is natural and organic, and no dish is short of spectacular.

Waisalima Beach Resort Dining, Kadavu Island

Dining at this resort is likely to leave you so full that the only activity you'll want to do is lie down on the beach and sunbathe. Serving up buffet-style seafood in gigantic portions, you can be sure that you'll get to experience the true delicacies of Fijian cooking. Those with a sweet tooth won’t miss out either – with fresh bread, pastries and cake baked daily, Waisalima is on a mission to tantalise every palate.


How to Get to & Around Kadavu Group Islands

From Nadi - The easiest way to get to Kadavu Island (the main island in the group) is via a 45-minute direct flight from Nadi International Airport to Kadavu’s Vunisea Airport. Other options include charter flights, helicopter and seaplane transfers.
Domestic Flights 

Fiji Link is the official domestic carrier of Fiji, offering cheap domestic flights to 12 exciting destinations including Kadavu.

Plane Transfers 

Daily charter flights from Nadi to Kadavu are available via Island Hoppers, ideal for travellers who want to minimise transfer time. These flights have large cargo pods for surfboards, fishing rods and dive gear.  

Helicopter/Seaplane Transfers 

If you want to arrive with a little more flair, try a helicopter/seaplane transfer from Nadi Airport with Pacific Island Seaplanes to step out directly onto the soft, golden sand in front of your designated resort at Kadavu.

 

From Kadavu Island - Upon arrival, the best way to get to other islands in the Kadavu Group, such as Ono Island, is via speedboat transfers. Most resorts offer complimentary resort transfers and connection services, so be sure to check when booking. There is an airport shuttle bus from Vunisea Airport, available to take you to wherever your boat is leaving from.

Practical Travel Tips

Cash Only

There are no banks on the Kadavu Group Islands and while most amenities can be charged to your resort hotel room, it is a good idea to have some Fijian Dollars for incidentals. The few stores that are located on the island sell drinks, snacks and basic cooking supplies but only accept cash.

Stores & Supplies

Like most islands that aren't Viti Levu, the Kadavu Group Islands have few stores and the stores they do have are considerably more expensive. Before leaving Nadi, be sure to stock up on essentials such as snacks, sunscreen and insect repellent to ensure you are not left wanting.



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