Lau Group Islands

Fiji’s Hidden Sanctuary

 

The Lau Group of islands truly brings its visitors back to the heart of Fiji’s rich history and cultural values. 

‘Off the beaten track’ takes on a new meaning in this eastern archipelago of Fiji, a hidden sanctuary where you won’t spot a single restaurant, shopping centre or hotel. In return, the Lau Group offers an unspoilt view of lush, rainforest landscapes and rainbow-coloured coral reefs, accompanied by that generous, comforting hospitality that only Fijian villagers can provide. If you manage to make your way here, you will be enriched by one of the most authentic holidays in your life along with some more unique experiences. Try the isolated lagoon habitat that’s home to stingrays and fruit bats on Vanua Balavu or check out Cicia, an island made entirely of raised coral. Either way, you can guarantee that the Lau Group will open your eyes to a world you never could’ve imagined.

Untouched Wilderness

The Lau Group islands are truly an untapped paradise beckoning travellers who crave a taste of authentic Fiji. With its close proximity to South Pacific neighbor Tonga, you’ll find Tongan influences throughout the Lau Group, from the language to the food and architecture. 

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Highlights of the Lau Group Islands

Whether you’re craving a dive in the remote coral reefs or endless sun-soaking days on board a cruise ship, rest assured that the Lau Group of islands will feed your desire for a glimpse into the heart and soul of the real Fiji.
 

Snorkel the Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands in Vanua Balavu is home to the protected reef area of the Qilaqila Marine Reserve, which is one of the most isolated areas in the world. As such, the coral displays are second to none and the marine life is simply breathtaking. Visiting this remote region of the world, located near the International Date Line, also comes with its own bragging rights. How many other people can claim to have visited it? Add this to your itinerary and prepare for some of the best snorkelling you’ll ever do.

 

Discover Lau Cruise

Discover the magic of Lau and Kadavu with a memorable 11-night cruise via Captain Cook Cruises Fiji. Enjoy everything that this all-inclusive cruise has to offer which include learning to dive with a PADI 5-star dive crew, visiting the amazing Bay of Islands and snorkelling with the abundant fish life on Wailagilala, the most northern island of Lau. You’ll even get to explore the uninhabited sacred island of Vuaqava, home to turtles, snakes and amazing bird life. Ideal for travellers who want a hassle-free holiday that’s void of logistics planning, this is the perfect cruise journey to embark on for sun-soaked days in Fiji’s most isolated archipelago. 

 

Shark Calling at Nasaqalau

You might think it’s crazy, but the village of Nasaqalau in Lakeba is renowned for their unique affinity with these predators of the deep. Every year around October or November, the shark-calling ceremony is performed and is certainly a sight to behold. The caller’s chants attract a white shark at the head of a school of other sharks. The sharks are then hunted, after being led into the shallow waters by the caller and prepared for the evening’s feast - except for the white shark that is allowed to go free.


More Things to Do in the Lau Group Islands

 

Surfing at Matuku Island

It might be difficult to get to, but trust us when we say Matuku Island has an incredible swell. Famed among surfers in the know, the breaks here are legendary for surfing enthusiasts ready to test their skills. Due to the secluded location, the best way to reach Matuku is via a guided surfing tour with Fiji Surf Co.

 

Local Village Visits

The Lau Group Villagers’ culture is an intriguing blend of Fijian and Tongan influences. Bringing a gift is customary to these villages who are entrenched in the traditional way of life. In return, you will be shown the art of wood carving and masi paintings which has been passed down over the generations of Lau residents. Keep a keen eye out for the Tongan influence that is seamlessly incorporated into the names, language and food of the Lau Group people.

 

Adventure Hiking

The main island of Vanua Balavu has some stunning scenery for hikers or merely travellers who don’t fancy the water for the seventh day in a row. The island itself is constructed from coral and volcanic materials, which make for a unique backdrop for any adventurers. The southern part of the island in particular is a sight to behold with sea caves and hot springs due to Vanua Balavu’s volcanic activity. Hike Lakeba Island as well to catch a glimpse of its renowned limestone caves and cliffs.


Where to Stay in the Lau Group Islands

For travellers visiting this secluded part of Fiji, there are two guesthouse options available – one on chief island Vanua Balavu and the other on Lakeba Island. The accommodation is fairly modest but you’ll feel like you’re in a time warp by staying in a traditional bure hut. Alternatively, you can splurge on absolute luxury at Vatuvura Private Islands Resort, an all-inclusive hideaway offering unrivalled privacy.
Budget (Cheap)

Food & Drink in the Lau Group Islands

Like the accommodation, dining options are extremely limited on the Lau Group Islands. Both guesthouses include meals in their price package.

Barring that, you’re in luck. Since Fijians are arguably the friendliest people on the planet, the local villagers will only be too happy to share food with you and swap life stories. The fare might be simple, consisting of fresh produce and seafood, but it’s delicious and the experience of sharing a meal while enjoying that quintessential Fijian hospitality is one you will not forget anytime soon.


How to Get to & Around Lau Group Islands

From Nadi - For international travellers arriving in Nadi, the easiest way to get to the Lau Group of islands is via Suva. Fiji Link is the official domestic carrier of Fiji, offering cheap domestic flights to 12 exciting destinations including Suva.

 
From Suva - Upon arrival in Suva, catch another direct Fiji Link flight to one of the Lau Group islands, such as Cicia, Lakeba or Vanuabalavu. 
 
The only way to travel between islands is via boat. Note that each island has no public transport so be prepared for plenty of walking.
 
Alternatively, book in for a 11 Night Lau & Kadavu Discovery Cruise with Captain Cook Cruises Fiji to cruise this beautiful region without the hassle of organising travel logistics.

Practical Travel Tips for Lau Group Islands

Stores and Supplies

Like most islands that aren't Viti Levu, the Lau 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.

Cash only

There are no banks on the Lau Group islands. Bring Fijian currency for both general stores and accommodation since they only accept cash and you won’t be able to pay for items with credit card nor exchange currency on the islands.

Footwear and Clothing

Many of the activities in the Lau Group are located in rainforest areas so be sure to wear appropriate footwear and clothing. Don’t forget to read all signs and take appropriate precautions to protect yourself and the local flora and fauna. Remember to wear plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent especially since the Lau Group has a reputation for mosquitoes.



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