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Kadavu Island

Kadavu (pronounced Kan-dav-oo) lies across Kadavu Passage south of Viti Levu. Fiji’s fourth largest island, it’s approximately 60km long from west to east. Though that detail becomes rather irrelevant given there’s few roads apart from a couple in the centre of the island linking the north and south coasts with Vunisea in the centre. Make sure you’ve got your sea legs as getting around by boat is the main form of transport. Less than one hour by air from Nadi or Suva, Kadavu is a world away from the rest of Fiji. A sort of ‘unknown’ Fijian treasure, given its location and distance from much of Fiji’s main infrastructure, Kadavu offers a naturally adventurous Fiji holiday.  Indeed the island’s location is one of her main attractions, ensuring land and sea biodiversity is preserved and protected.

The word ‘unspoilt’ gets tossed around a lot; though in Kadavu’s case it really is quite appropriate. Certainly Kadavu is unspoilt for the locals who live a subsistence lifestyle on a richly fertile mountainous island. And definitely unspoilt for travellers looking for a naturally beautiful paradise where they can literally kick back and smell the roses. Or the ubiquitous frangipani to be more precise. Dense rainforest clad peaks tumble onto white sand beaches, craggy volcanic headlands or into mangrove forests. Birdlife is prolific. Some like fantails, fruit doves and honeyeater species are only found on Kadavu. Waterfalls cascade down forest- clad volcanic cliffs into tiered rock pools, providing a life source for vegetation and wildlife. Walking trails penetrate deep into the hills rewarding hikers with panoramic views at every turn. For hikers, Kadavu offers some of the best off the beaten track hiking you’re likely to find anywhere in the South Pacific.

Water babies are rather spoilt too. One of the largest barrier reefs in the world, and certainly one of the healthiest, the Great Astrolabe Reef skirts Kadavu Island and the smaller Ono Island to the north. Snorkelers and scuba divers are lured here by spectacular kaleidoscopic coral gardens as well as colourful wall and drift dives. Healthy reef means healthy corals which in turn attract other marine life and Kaduva is no exception. The Naigoro Passage Marine Reserve is a habitat for larger species such as manta rays, turtles and reef sharks. The Astrolabe Reef also beckons fishermen as it’s a breeding ground for pelagic fish. Sports fishermen come to tag and release marlin, mahi mahi and giant trevally and tuna.

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