Kadavu Diving Holidays
Kadavu Island Travel Information
Few places offer an experience of the real Fiji in the way Kadavu does. The remote island boasts rugged natural beauty, with wooded hillsides, valleys and grassy meadows, stunning bays and reefs and none of the excessive tourist development that can detract from nature's charm.
Kadavu (pronounced "Kandarvu") is Fiji's 4th largest island and this narrow strip of land snakes along in roughly a south west to north east direction for 60 km. It's popular with surfers, divers, nature lovers and those who are looking for something a little more Fijian than the sometimes bland international resorts.
Although the island's simplicity is its charm, you will not want for comfort as there are some very good value-for-money resorts here, where quality accommodation and dining complement the superb diving and topside island scenery.
Home to the Great Astrolabe Reef along the south coast and around Ono Island in the east, the diving in Kadavu is excellent - easily the best in southern Fiji - and made all the more special by the very limited number of divers. Words such as "wild" and "untamed" are often used to describe the reefs that fringe this island.
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How to Get There
Kadavu lies 100 km directly south of Viti Levu. There are return flights to Kadavu - 5 per week from Nadi (50 minutes) and 1 per week from Suva (40 minutes). The flight can be fantastic, particularly on the way there, as you soar over the spectacular reefs. Fiji Airways flies this route.
There is an unreliable and incredibly long, uncomfortable ferry from Suva which you will choose to go on only if you cannot physically fly (in which case, how did you get to Fiji?) or if you are excessively tight-fisted.
The coastline of Kadavu seems to have been drawn by an unsteady hand as there are more little bays and inlets than an island this size should have. It is possible to find small, secluded and empty spots for a days bathing if you are prepared to look around. As most travel is by boat this is often a case of checking out one bay after the next. The most popular beach is Long Beach which, like many others, has snorkelling equipment available for rent.
Sightseeing and Things to do in Kadavu
If you have time to do anything other than dive on these fabulous reefs, then hiking, mountain biking and bird-watching are among the most rewarding pastimes. There are trails galore winding up into the rain forested peaks where all manner of shrill and colourful birds flit through the trees. The amazing bird life includes the 3 indigenous species - the Kadavu honeyeater, fantail and fabulous musk parrot, as well as velvet fruit doves. There are also several picture-postcard waterfalls waiting to be discovered and plunged into with zeal.
Back in the sea, there is some 'totally wicked' surf around Cape Washington pretty much all year round. This is at the far west of the island where the extinct volcano Nabukulevu rises high from the waters edge. For the more sedate, sea kayaking here is what sea kayaking should be. The coastline is varied and beautiful with plenty to see and explore and a day sea-kayaking around this lovely slice of Fiji coast will stay with you for a long time.
Checking out the villages here is surely the feather in the cap of Kadavu. Here you won't find villagers too jaded of troops of tourists poking around and buying their mass-produced tourist tat. Here a visit to a village is a genuine experience. In Kadavu it is probably more important to observe the accepted customs: don't wear a hat, shades or jewellery and ask to speak to the Turaga-ni Koro when you arrive so that you can establish that your purpose isn't to rape and pillage.
Entertainment, Dining Out & Nightlife
No bright lights or big city on this island, so disco shoes are non-essential items. A few drinks in your resort or maybe a night of kava drinking with the locals will be the extent of your partying - although, depending on the company, that could prove more than enough.
There is no real strip of restaurants either as there has been very little development on Kadavu, so most of your dining will be at your resort. If this is not enough to sate your appetite, there are several little stores throughout the island where you can stock up on additional munchies.
Incidentally, shark and octopus will not feature on too many menus here since local legend has it that an Octopus God once brokered a deal with the Shark God to protect the good folk of Kadavu from shark attack, a protection they continue to believe they enjoy.
Apart from the few little shops selling snacks, drinks and the like, there is little in the way of shopping here. Leave your memento purchases until passing through Nadi or Suva on the way home. In the meantime concentrate on relaxing and enjoying the natural wonders of this island; retail therapy can not possibly compete.
The Local People
A mere 12,000 people call Kadavu Island their home and they are split into about 70 villages. There is little industry here as most inhabitants make a living from subsistence agriculture or fishing.
Vunisea, the main town, boasts a few basic roads but apart from these, land transport is restricted to walking trails. Boats are therefore the chief mode of transport. Resort boats will pick you up from the airport and take you to your accommodations. Many guests don't get back into a transport boat until the sad time comes to leave.
Are you interested?
If you're keen to discover the attractive Astrolabe Reef of Kadavu, then click below to check your options now for:
Be sure to book up in plenty of time to avoid limited choice! The best Kadavu dive opportunities are booked by repeat customers who book well in advance to ensure their reservation!
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