Yasawa Islands

Head North to Get Away from it All

 

The Yasawa Islands are a cluster of sun-kissed inlets made up of dramatic rock formations and unspoilt lagoons, each more postcard-perfect than the next.

Travellers fell in love with the Yasawa Islands after the area played a starring role in classic Hollywood flick, The Blue Lagoon and it’s not hard to see why. With minimal signs of modern trappings and commercialisation, the 20 ancient volcanic Yasawa Islands feels like the real Fiji. Forget TVs, phones, cars or the internet. Relish natural beauty and tranquillity on the Yasawa Islands and enjoy the natural wonders of the South Pacific like a local. Snorkelling, diving and lazy days at the beach are high on the agenda for any holidaymaker. You’re in island paradise after all.

Posh Pioneer

Island tourism in the Yasawas was not allowed until 1987. Pioneer owner of Turtle Island, Richard Evanson, was one of the early entrepreneurs to set up a resort on his island after Hollywood shot the 1980 Brooke Shields movie The Blue Lagoon here. Once filming finished, he missed the buzz so he created the first luxury resort on the island, Turtle Island Resort.

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Highlights of Yasawa Islands

Without the lure of commercial shops or distractions, the Yasawas are the perfect place for serene or romantic seclusion and ideal for nature lovers. All levels of adventure on land and sea will keep visitors busy any time of year. The Yasawas are also a bit drier than other Fiji Islands, with less chance of tropical showers to interrupt activities.
 

Sawa-I-Lau Caves

According to Fijian lore, this is where Ulutini ‘the ten-headed God of the Yasawas’ lived. You’ll see why with all the magical, mystical shafts of light and pools running through these grand limestone caves. For those brave enough to explore underwater, a tunnel leads you to a secluded grotto. Enjoy a scenic boat trip up to the caves with local tours guided by friendly Fijians - it’s a magical experience that’s bound to take your breath away.

 

Dive with Manta Rays

These magnificent creatures regularly pass through the Yasawa Island channels between Nanuya Balavu and Drawaqa Islands from May to October feeding on plankton. Shy and graceful, Manta Rays have grown accustomed to swimming with people, and studies are underway with the Manta Trust to estimate the overall manta population of Fiji. If you don’t want to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with these gentle giants, check out diving tours and activity packages from Awesome Fiji.

 

Island Hop on the Yasawa Flyer

You can’t miss the Yasawa Flyer, a bright yellow, high speed catamaran that operates daily to transfer guests from Denarau to island resorts or to pick up day-trippers who are keen to island hop between the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands. Boasting a licensed bar, café and outdoor viewing decks, enjoy the scenic cruise as you move from one slice of paradise to the next.


More Things to Do in the Yasawa Islands

 

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking is a popular way to explore the channels and reefs around the islands with low impact paddling across the peaceful, pristine waters. Resorts and tour operators in the Yasawa Islands provide the gear and an itinerary if you choose.

 

Mountain Hiking

The Yasawa Islands boast some of the highest peaks in Fiji, with Waya Island at 579m (1,900ft). The summit walk on Waya Lailai Island gives you a great mountain top view overlooking all the Yasawa Islands. Hiking is quite easy and can be done solo or via guide trips.

 

Dive with Sharks

Nothing says adventure or adrenaline rush like an underwater encounter with sharks – no glass or cages involved! Guided tours are available from South Sea Cruises and Awesome Adventures where you’ll board a boat and travel to the shark reef sites. It’ll be one of your most memorable snorkelling experiences to date!


Where to Stay in the Yasawa Islands

The Yasawa Islands are home to a wide array of relaxed accommodation options, including hostel-style resorts that offer incredible value. Whether you want a shoestring stay or a show-stopper experience, the Yasawas have it all.
Budget (Cheap)
Nabua Lodge

Nacula Island

Mantaray Island Resort

Nanuya Balavu Island

Nanuya Island Resort

Nanuya Lailai Island

Octopus Resort

Waya Island

Mid-Range

Food & Drink in Yasawa Islands

There are few stand-alone restaurants and bars on the Yasawa Islands, with most resorts offering Meal Plans for guests, covering breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
 

Hot Spots for Popular Dining

Black Rock - Paradise Cove Resort

For exquisite Pacific Island fare in an elegant setting, Black Rock won’t disappoint. Famed for its use of the freshest, local ingredients, speciality dishes and must-orders include sashimi, baked lobster, wasabi beef and coconut sorbet.

Turtle Island Dining

Travelling with your significant other? You’ll want to book into Turtle Island just so you can indulge in the wide array of intimate dining experiences the resort offers. Whether it’s dinner for two on a floating pontoon surrounded by glowing lanterns or a culinary feast near the scenic lagoons, there’s a romantic setting to suit every couple.

Navutu Stars Restaurant – Navutu Stars Resort Fiji

Navutu has firmly established a reputation for world-glass gourmet cuisine at the resort’s resident restaurant. Blending seasonal, local ingredients with traditional Italian delicacies, the ever-evolving menu features the bounty of the island including freshly caught lobster, crab and tuna. Al fresco and private dining is also available for guests looking to splurge on the ultimate dining experience.

Lagoon Bar & Restaurant – Blue Lagoon Beach Resort

If you love merging food with social, Lagoon Bar & Restaurant is the place to be. With an open plan restaurant, long communal tables, band boys and friendly staff, guests can expect something different each night. Take your pick from South Pacific seafood fanfares, traditional Fijian lovo, summer BBQs or European dishes. There’s something for every taste palette.


How to Get to & Around Yasawa Islands

From Nadi - Port Denarau Marina (20 minutes’ drive from Nadi International Airport) is the main gateway to the Yasawa Islands. Upon arrival at Nadi, head to the marina via airport shuttles, taxis or by bus. Then take your pick from a wide variety of third party transfers including water taxis, boat charters and seaplanes.

Some resorts in the Yasawa Islands may also offer complimentary resort transfers and connection services, so be sure to check when booking.
Airport Shuttles

Airport Shuttle Fiji operate a 24-hour transfer service between Nadi International Airport to Denarau Island. Airport transfer rates start at FJ$ 28 for one way and FJ$ 56 for return trips. From there, take a water taxi or boat charter to your accommodation in the Yasawas.

Taxi

Yellow Taxis are the official airport taxi fleet and can be found outside the arrivals terminal. The starting rate for any journey out of the Nadi International Airport is FJ $5 and a ride to Port Denarau will fare around FJ $30. From there, take a water taxi or boat charter to your accommodation in the Yasawas.

Local bus

Local bus services operate outside the Airport International Arrivals terminal into Nadi and Denarau Island - simply flag one down. From there, take a water taxi or boat charter to your accommodation in the Yasawas.

Water Taxis & Charters 

A number of companies offer water connections and transfers from Nadi and Port Denarau Marina to Yasawa Island resorts, including Yasawa Flyer and Sea Fiji. Rates will vary depending on drop off location with average prices starting from FJ$ 56 for children and FJ$ 113 for adults.

Seaplanes

Turtle Airways offers seaplane transfers from Nadi to resorts in the Yasawa Islands. Rates start from FJ$ 330 per person for one way trips.

Cruise Lines 

Captain Cook Fiji Cruises offer short or longer holidays around the Yasawa Islands, all from the comfort of your well-appointed cruise ship.


Practical Travel Tips for Yasawa Islands

Essentials

Bring a good supply of sunscreen, insect repellent and personal items required. Resorts are happy to provide essentials, but with no shops on the islands, it’s wise to plan well.

Hotel Terms and Conditions

When selecting resorts, check to see if packages include food and understand all the extra fees associated with Meal Plans. Different islands and resorts will vary on terms and conditions.

Fiji Time

When in Fiji, prepare for ‘Fiji time’. Boat charters and transfers may not always be reliable and stick to timetables. Prepare for disruptions and take snacks!



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