Kadavu is an island in the south of Fiji. Kadavu is located in the South Pacific ocean and is party of the many islands that make up Fiji.
Ono and Galoa are two other close destinations that are right off the coast of Kadavu and are easily accessible by boat.
Kadavu island is volcanic in origin and rises 3,000 meters from the ocean floor.
Surrounded by hundreds of miles of fringing coral, the island also has 50 miles of the Great Astrolabe barrier reef forming sheltered lagoons and steep outer reef drop-offs.
It has little for roads, but some cell phones/limited internet access and is a quiet and tranquil traditional island sitting in the trade winds of the original south Pacific-ideal!
Kadavu is the fourth largest island of Fiji and is made up of smaller islands like Ono and Galoa. Kadavu is 58km long and 14km wide and supports a population of 10,000 fijian people. The main city in Kadavu is Vunisea which hosts an air strip, hospital, post office and police station. Kadavu weather is tropical and has an authentic island feel. Some of the natural resources of Kadavu include the mountainous jungles and waterfalls, bays fringed by coral reefs and a mangrove forest that provide habitat to a host of wild life and birds, including the Kadavu musk parrot. Kadavu’s untouched and natural state make it ideal for a remote vacation destination. Kadavu is one of the leading places in the world that promote an image of environmental conservation and has been developed to support sustainability and sustainable tourism. The island is known for its wild life and rouged mountainous lands. The island of Kadavu is made up of volcanic mountains and luscious rain forests that cover the land. Kadavu is very underdeveloped and offers limited transportation and has little to no surface roads that go through the island. The current system of transportation includes a network of boat taxis and ferries. There are no dining out destinations and the island only supports the variety of resorts and the locals. Most resorts have a relationship with a neighboring village that will allow one to sample traditional Fijian food during village tours, hikes or Meke nights. Kadavu totally integrates the wild life, the locals, and the tourism industry, which allows all to experience the most authentic feel of Fiji.
In Fiji the islanders speak Fijian, an Austronesian language that was established by the 1997 constitution as the official language of Fiji. Some other languages spoken in Fiji and Kadavu are English and Hindustani. Standard Fijian is based on the language Bau which is associated with eastern Fiji. In Kadavu and other parts of Fiji different dialects have formed differentiating the areas of the island.
There are a variety of way to get to and travel in Fiji and Kadavu. The major ways of transportation are to travel by scheduled flight, ferry service, sea plane, yacht transfer or big game boat transfer. Scheduled flights require more planing because the flights only fly in to two air ports in Fiji, Suva the capital and Vunisea. The air lines that provide travel to Fiji are Pacific Sun owned by Fiji Airways. The Ferry services only offers transportation form island to island in Fiji. Most ferry services are used as water taxis taking guests and visitors from the air ports to their desired destination. The ferry service for Kadavu takes guests from Suva to Vunisea or from Vunisea to any other place on the island of Kadavu. These ferries do not only hold guest, live stock freight and goods are being carried aboard the ferries as well. The ferries are not constant and do not run all the time and other forms of transportation may need to be provided beyond the ferries. Sea Planes allow a more personal expereince of Fiji and Kadavu because of the flexibility it offers. Passengers of the Sea planes do not have to wait as long as others for a commercial flight and they are a more private form of travel. This also allows the tourist or guest to sight sea while traveling. The Yacht Transfer offers travelers to have a boat experience and explore the waters of Kadavu. This is seen as Kadavu's safari of the sea. Lastly the Game Boat transfer allows for a more interactive experience if the guest likes to fish and have a personal adventure.
Within the island most resorts offer guest with Tour Guides or Locals that can takes patrons to the major attractions of the island. Since the road systems are underdeveloped most will experience Kadavu by foot. Trekking excursions offer a one on one experience with nature and a way to experience Fiji like the Fijians. To move from area to are one will other take kayaking trips or use a ferry service.
Kadavu’s rich wild life and natural resources allow for a wide range of activities to partake in on the island. Kadavu is known for being the ultimate diving site. Popular diving sites are the Naigoro Passage which is a massive marine reserve. Also the Manta Reef which inhabits the Manta rays, the Soso Passage where it offers the largest underwater coral garden and lastly the Nacomoto Passage which is home to the eagle rays and cabbage coral. Other activities include: Visiting the waterfalls, bird watching, eco- experiences, sea kayaking, whale and dolphin watching, trekking, snorkeling and surfing.
This island is unspoiled, but probably on its way to tourism in the next decade. The Fijians are living in the traditional way so there is not a lot of amenities for the visitor. No roads, no vehicles except for a very limited amount around the airport. No internet, cell service or TV. Everyone walks on paths. The resorts provide scuba, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, hiking, bird watching, and visits to villages. In Fiji, all beaches are public. The land may be privately owned so do not venture inland without the permission of the village or owner. Also remember no alcohol is allowed in the villages. Women must cover shoulders & knees and not wear a hat or sunglasses on the head or eyes if visiting a village or church. Mostly the resorts on Kadavu are quiet. Bring a book and enjoy the serenity.
Anywhere on Kadavu you will no doubt be offered Kava. It is a traditional drink of gathering, welcome or permission in Fiji. Alcohol is not allowed in any of the villages, this is their social drink. It doesn't have an unpleasant taste, but not particularly a good one either. Some people experience a little "numbness" on the lips or tongue. I did not. I only had one cup. You clap once to receive the drink, drink it all at once, then clap three times in appreciation.
The staples on the island are: Casava (a potatoe like root plant, very starchy and plain) Pineapple (small, sweeter and more fibrous that of Hawaii) Coconut and coconut milk Banana and Plantain Kumquats Chicken and eggs Fish (some of the best sushi/sashimi you will ever have) Papaya
There are 3 bakeries that bake bread daily.
The local stores carry minimal necessaties, at the airport store they have ice cream, a rarity.
The Island only has a handful of resorts to choose from Matava Resort, Tiliva Resort, Papageno Resort, Waisalima Beach Resort and Dive Center, Mai Dive Astrolabe Reef Resort and Nagigia Island Resort. The Matava Resort is located in the southern island group which is totally devoted to sustainable tourism. The Tiliva Resort is located near the Astrolabe and Solo Reefs which allow tourist to be closer to the beaches and water activities. Papageno Resort has 350 acres of land for their Resort and remote feel for guest, on Papageno guest are able to see the volcanic mountains and beaches. Waisalima Beach Resort and Dive Center offer a more aquatic experience and caters to the needs and wants of the guest. The Waisalima Beach Resort is remote, isolated and tranquil. Mai Dive Astrolabe Reef Resort is located beach front and is a colonial style living rather than traditional Fijian bures. The Mai offers a more modern feel to Kadavu than other Resorts. Lastly the Nagigia Island Resort (pronounced “Na-Neen-Ya”), Nagigia Island is named after the Senagigia flower that is unique to Nagigia Island. Nagigia offers 10 separate ’bures’ (Fijian style cottages) poised over the waters edge with great sea views. Each of the resorts promoto the same attraction and have similar activities. The accommodations for Kadavu are solely based on how the guest would like to experience the island and what of feel they would like to have in the Resort they are staying at.
On the remote and magnificent island of Kadavu, Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort boasts secluded splendor which also satisfying ones craving for adventure and exploration. Bordered by the Great Astrolabe Reef Matava is a small and intimate getaway. Matava is designed to blend with the natural environment of Fiji and all it has to offer. Traditional Fijian bures are located in the Kadavu rainforest and are set around lush tropical surroundings. Matava accommodates up to 22 guests at one time and offer privacy, comfort and superb ocean views. Each guest will have an amazing Kadavu experience which will be true to Fijian culture and customs. PADI Certified, Matava offers a unique diving and is located only a few minutes away from the Great Astrolabe Reef. Matava offers the perfect environment to scuba dive, snorkel, surf, fish, and kayak with opportunities to trek, visit villages, bird watch or simply relax and unwind. Matava is an ideal eco-hideaway designed to cause minimal impact on the environment and to promote conservation awareness within the local community. Matava is the genuine eco-adventure lodge, beautifully set off the beaten track which allows for privacy and isolation. The intimate resort has beautiful, comfortable rooms, outstanding cuisine and offers a full range of adventure and cultural activities that makes it the premiere resort on Kadavu Be warned. Matava will cost you about the same as a five star hotel. Your level of comfort will be similar to the middle ages. You will experience the absence of many basic services and necessities as part of the eco experience. Many basic comforts such as fan in your room, insect proofed bures, night lights, electricity after 5 p.m. are missing at this resort. You are expected to be happy with occassional cold showers, mud beaches, mosquitoes and spiders in your room. The service here is sweet and friendly, they go out of their way to be sure you have what you need. If you have to have anything special, bring it with you when you come. (Starbucks coffee, cocoa or the like) There are no electrical outlets in your room, but I didn't realize it until we came home. There is a charging station during the day in the main lodge, from the solar cells. Plenty good enough.
The diving here is good. The manta diving is great. However, the locals live off the reefs and hunt them regularly. The large fish have been speared and the remianing fish are wary of divers. There are many reef fish and colorful corals. It depends on where you go. The weather in early November (We were there November 1-10, 2012) is changable....it could be warm or cold, sunny or rainy....about 50% of each. This time of year, bring a light jacket. The food is excellent and abundant, the Fijian staff is wonderful, the views are great, the diving operation is well run. This is not a place for children, they would have a hard time keeping busy. However on another note, they might get on well with the Fijian children, but I don't think children are recommended at this particular resort.
Safety while on the island is totally provided by the resorts. Each bures has informational packet about safety tips for the island and ways to stay away from danger. These information session also preserves the fragile environment of Kadavu and gives visitors advice on how guest can avoid damaging the wild life. Each of these programs are put in place for the safety of the visitor and to preserve the island. All safety regulations go along with the islands Responsible Tourism Code of Conduct