I’ve traveled to a a lot of places in the world and now: Taveuni in Fiji is one of my favorite destinations. It’s heaven on earth. When I research for a holiday it normally takes me a couple of weeks: going on the internet, finding chat lines, falling down internet-worm-holes, contacting my global crew of friends for tips… and this time the info I kept getting was: “Go to Fiji and if you go, make sure you get off the main island. Go to an outa island and see the real Fiji.” Taveuni, the garden Island kept flashing up again as the place to go.
So, I rented a cute house with a pool (that didn’t cost a fortune) Villa Sekoula, but you can find other accommodation here.
Here are some pictures from my holiday.
Bulla, our helper in the house will take you into town to buy food which she will then cook. This fresh fish was about $5. We found eating in restaurants in Fiji really expensive for a family of four, so Bulla cooked at home for us ( cooking included with the house rental).
Below was a market stall in town to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Everybody grows their own vegetables in Taveuni; it looked like people popped into town to sell their extras.
There was so much to do in Taveuni apart from sitting on a beach. There were so many magical waterfalls to visit and – no one was there! Below is a couple of pictures. The bottom picture is a natural rock-slide that falls into another waterfall filled with other happy little fish. (Make sure you get a guide that will show you how to navigate the slides and jump into the pools.) Cino helped us out and he was a good taxi driver too. TEL: 9846899.
Things to do:
1. Bouma Falls: Spend a morning here. Unless you’re geriatric – walk up to all three waterfalls. Take snacks and water as by the time you get to the third waterfall, you’ll need to munch on something to replenish your energy to get back down. Maria ( who works in the office where you buy a ticket to see the waterfalls) can prepare you a great lunch positioned by a river for your return. Here is her number : 78507113/78204709 (Maria has 8 boys and doesn’t earn a lot of money so if you have any spare second hand boys clothes, takes them with you and give them to her as a gift: she will be even happier to see you.)
2. Wairiki Mission: If you are on Taveuni on a Sunday – this is a must! I’m not religious but sitting crossed legged on the church floor listening to everyone singing stunning a cappella hymns, was a truly a religious moment. Near here is the International dateline marker. A dateline cuts right through Fiji. To make life easier though – they have put Fiji, all on one time. If you go, it is the only place in the world where you can place one foot in yesterday and one in today.
3. Lavena Coastal walk: You walk through a local village, along a stunning coast line and arrive at another magical waterfall. You have to swim up a shallow river to get to it. Take a guide, they will show you how to jump into the waterfall and maneuver your way onto another, natural, stone water-slide. Take a snack, get your guide to bring a fresh coconut to share. Another thing you can do from here is take a boat or canoe up the coast to view more waterfalls.
There are heaps of other things to do too and I wished we had spent two weeks there instead of 8 days. You can go horse riding, diving and pick a sacred flower: The Tagimoucia. They grows in only two places on the planet, Taveuni and a mountain top in Nepal. If you are taking small kids to Taveuni check out this website: Fiji magic. They have great stories about Fiji, personally I would print them out and use them as bed time tales.
Below pictures of:Wairiki Mission & the inside of Villa Sekoula and the view from the villa’s lounge.
Villa Sekoula is in Matei (north of the island). It’s a great village, super chilled. It has good snorkeling just off the coast and on the 2nd and 3rd Islands nearby. Our house came with kayaks so we would kayak and snorkel around the islands at leisure. If your looking for huge white sandy beaches, this isn’t the beach area for you. I met a tourist who raved about the Mananuca Islands as they had those kind of beaches.
And what made this place extra special? The people! Below is a policeman! Also pictures of: houses in the local village and Seppo who cleaned our pool at the house and then turned up on the last night to make us a Lovo ( special meal cooked in the ground). His friends then arrived and we drank kava sitting on a straw mat on the floor, whilst they all sung and played music till midnight.