Vanau Levu Island in Fiji
Ultimate Travel Adventure in Fiji
Imagine this. It’s 12 noon and the sun is at its mightiest at the peak of summer. You are walking barefoot. Each step you take creates a crisp sound as you crush freshly fallen leaves soaked in rainforest moist. Your shadow peeks through the small spaces between trees so big, five people hand in hand won’t be able to embrace it.
The leaves slightly sway as if dancing to the melody of the birds’ chirping. Breathe and feel the cold clean air slide down your lungs. It’s the smell of fresh leaves melding with rain water.
You hear the gushing sound of waterfalls. The deep blue sea has coral reefs and fish that not even the best painters could have imagined waiting for you.
Trekking the Rainforest
It’s an untouched rainforest, one of the very few in the world that managed to allow nothing but earth’s natural process to alter the plants and trees that grow on it, animals that live in it, and natural resources that thrive on it.
The Vanau Levu is the second largest island in Fiji. Like the more popular and bigger island, Viti Levu, Vanau Levu offers a complete adventure and exploration vacation experience. You can trek its rainforest to look for six varieties of fruit bats, rare breed of Iguanas like the Crested Iguana, geckos, and 55 kinds of birds. There are more than 2,600 types of plants including orchids with impossibly bright colours. The best part is, because of Mongooses, you will not find poisonous animals like rats and snakes.
Local Village Interaction
Unlike other tourist destinations that promise immersion to local culture but only give you dance shows and quick run through local villages, Vanau Levu local culture immersion actually allows you to interact with local villagers. You get to stop and talk with Fijians in local restaurants, bars, and inns. You get to participate in local events and daily routines.
However, you may simply drive/walk/bike through the local communities.
Snorkelling here gives you an unprecedented close encounter with sea creatures. You can feed different species of fish and actually feel their mouths biting from the bread you are holding for them to eat. It’s ticklish. It will make you giddy especially when it dawns on you that the creatures that are feeding from your hand are some of the most beautiful ones on Earth.
However, it will also tease you to want more. If snorkelling already gives you this kind of beauty, imagine what awaits you when you go diving.
You may also opt for more traditional water adventure like kayaking and swimming. There are also more passive activities like Dophin watching.
Resorts and Hotels
The island is less explored compared to Viti Levu. There are fewer resorts but enough for you to have enough options in terms of budget, amenities, and level of exclusivity. There are resorts that take pride in offering eco-friendly and high end service such as J.M. Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort and Moody’s Namena. There’s Moody’s Namena, Lomalagi Resort, and Koro Sun who have a handful of accommodations to ensure privacy and premium service. There is also Daku Resort who is reputed for being family-friendly.
Trekking the rainforest could take you days. Although there are one-day trekking tours, you will barely scrape the outer beauty of the forest. I suggest you give the rainforest at least two days. This will allow you to stop anytime to take photos and videos, ask the guide some details about the plants and animals you are seeing, and even to rest for a bit just to take in the beauty.
Go diving if you can but if you can’t, snorkel for several days. There are a lot of spots in the island that have stunning coral reefs. For you to see several spots, you might have to snorkel on different days because the high tide and low tide will limit your time snorkelling.
Don’t miss out on local interaction. Walking might increase your travel time. Biking is the best option. You can easily get off to talk with locals and get on when you want to move on to your next destination.
Lastly, don’t forget your sunblock and insect repellent. It’s great to “get lost” in your adventures but it shouldn’t be an excuse to not take care of your body.