The hidden paradise Taveuni
As previously written, there are three main islands on Fiji; Vite Levu, Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Viti Levu is the tourist paradise where you can go island hopping, and Vanua Levu is known for the very charming port of Savu Savu. The last of the main islands is Taveuni, also known as “the hidden paradise”, and it is a good name for the island because it is truly a paradise. Taveuni is not as touristy as the other two islands, and that in itself is a reason to visit it. In addition, it offers really great snorkeling, scuba diving, hikes and waterfalls, a natural waterslide, the timeline and a rare flower that only grows there.
The trip to Taveuni
You have two options to get to Taveuni, you can either fly or take a ferry. The flight may be a little expensive, but a good option if you do not have such a long time to experience the island or are not on third-class sailing. You can fly from Nadi or Suva. If you are flying from Nadi, choose a direct flight so you avoid landing in Suva. The trip then takes a maximum of two hours in a small plane that seats 10 people.
The other option is, as I said, sailing to Taveuni, which is an experience in itself. The ferry leaves from Suva and you can count on Fiji hour, which is equal to delays on the trip. When I took the ferry, the plan was for it to depart at 1 p.m. 16, but there was neither ferry nor information, so you couldn’t help but wait for the ferry to show up. After 8 hours it finally arrived and by midnight we were finally able to board.
“The first thing to do when boarding is to ask the weather gods for a leisurely ride”
The first thing to do when boarding is to ask the weather gods for a leisurely ride, because the ferry is, to put it mildly, an old hull. On the other hand, it is cheap compared to the length of the trip, as the locals must be able to afford to take it, but it also impacts on the comfort or lack of the same. In addition to the ferry being old, the custom is that people do not spend the night in cabins, but on the floor where the food is also brought, it is an art in itself to keep balance and maneuver to the toilet through crowded decks with people, carpets, kids and food all over it. The trip takes 18 hours and the weather gods had not quite heard my prayer, so the sea was quite uneasy, which did not lessen the nervousness. For the adventurous who would like to travel as a local, it is an experience to take the ferry and you get an insight into the local way to travel on.
The next day we finally arrived at Savusau on Vanua Levu, where we stayed for a few hours, after which the trip continued to Taveuni, which proved to be worth the whole ferry experience, and the next few days should be filled with exciting experiences.
Ever stayed at the Bamboo backpackers?
We stayed at Bamboo backpackers, which has a sister hostel in Nadi, a really nice hostel in lush surroundings. From here guided tours to the various attractions. The first day we were on a really nice hike to three different waterfalls. The tour took half a day and can be done by most. In all waterfalls, you can bathe and jump off cliffs, and the views from one of the highest points are phenomenal. After the hike, the tour went in the mini van to the famous timeline. Namely, Taveuni is one of the few points on earth that our everyone’s timeline goes through, which means that you can technically stand with one foot in the present and one in the present.
The timeline is marked with a picture and a sign with the story. However, Fiji has long since decided to be in the same time zone, so it does not apply as such. There are shared opinions that the place is an exaggerated tourist attraction, but with a good guide, it is now an interesting phenomenon that shows the evolution of the world’s time zones.
Natural waterslide, ever tried it?
The next day we were ready for the highlight of the week, which is a natural waterslide. I had only heard of this experience, so expectations were soaring – and fortunately, they were met. The guide took us in the morning to the Waitavala waterfall, which we had to slide down. The locals have good control over conditions and know when it is safe to take the trips and when it is too dangerous. We were fortunate that both the weather and the water conditions were perfect. The guide took the first couple of trips and always drove first so that he could act as a stop block so that we were not torn by the masses of water. Getting started is extremely simple, you just sit down on the rock, just like in a water slide, and push yourself a little, and then it will take off. The trips are okay long and the adrenaline pumps as you rush on the rocks with rushing water around you. However, you must follow the guide’s instructions regarding wear position, for you have no safety equipment on, so you may be unlucky to hit a knee or elbow against a cliff. However, I did not get any scratches and it turned into many trips through the water masses. The guide, who was a seasoned gentleman, should of course just make the showoff eventually and surf his bare feet. After a day of water slide, it was time for a day in the underworld where we snorkeled at the rainbow reef, which was incredibly beautiful and fascinating. My brother, who was also at Taveuni, dived at the rainbow reef, and according to him, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world to dive.
Flower day in Fiji
In addition to the above, Taveuni is also known for the very rare flower Tagimoucia, which is Fiji’s national flower and only grows there. The locals have a fascinating story about how the flower came into being, and it only helps to make the experience even more authentic. According to locals, there was once a princess who was deeply unhappy about marrying someone she did not love. The princess was so unhappy that she fled further and further up the mountains until she was totally exhausted. Although she was dying, she could not stop crying, and her tears flowed to the ground and the soil, laying the germ of the flower’s existence.
More travel insights from Fiji
Fiji islands, why I love these islands