Taveuni is the fourth largest island in Fiji. The island is covered in tropical rainforest, and surrounded by tropical reefs with some of the world’s best dive sites. While calm now, it was the site of a famous battle where Taveuni warriors fighting from their canoes, turned back a large Tongan invasion force. Advised by a French Missionary, the Taveuni people repaid him by building the Catholic Mission at Wairiki, which you can still visit today.
Tavenui has some resorts, and while backpacker options are limited, there are both campsites and cottages/holiday homes available for the cost-conscious traveller.
One hour's drive from the Taveuni airport, Vatuwiri Plantation is also a farm, a wildlife preserve, and an ocean and eco activity wonderland. There are a huge array of activities to choose from, with horse treks through the spectacular landscape, hikes to the top of a dormant volcano, or a visit to a 200 year old fortified village.
The village, Baudua, was led by the great Tui Vuna. Considered by some to be Fiji's greatest warrior chief, he commanded a vast army who built the fortifications with only the most basic of tools. With multiple layers of wide moats (15 feet wide and 10 feet deep) the village was never conquered, but ultimately fell to treachery as Tui Vuna’s son was kidnapped by a close relative who sided with the enemy, and he surrendered to save his son’s life.
With 1500 acres, an active copra production process that employs 80 local workers and houses their families on the estate, a cattle farm, vanilla and cocoa production, Vatuwiri is a world class resort with a difference.
Pacific Transport buses service Taveuni Mondays to Saturdays. Buses are sporadic and taxi fares are expensive, while Taveuni’s minibus taxis don’t run along set routes but operate on an individual charter basis.
Getting to Taveuni is accessible by boat or plane. Matei Airstrip is serviced by Sun Air from Nadi and Savusavu daily and also services Labasa three times a week. Lomaiviti Princess operates four times a week from Taveuni to Suva, via Koro, and Savusavu while Beachcomber Cruises car ferry AdiSavusavu departs Taveuni for Savusavu and Suva Wednesdays, Friday and Sundays around 12 noon.