Taveuni is the third largest island in Fiji. It has the distinction of being one of the few places (other than Northeastern Russia and Antarctica) where the 180th meridian crosses land. It rains here a lot, so be prepared and do not wait until it stops raining. Do not trust weather forecasts.
Taveuni is large enough to only support one significant settlement, the twin villages of Somosomo and Naqara. This is the location of the Meridian Cinema featured in the 2004 movie Reel Paradise.
Taveuni, also called the Garden island of Fiji is rugged, verdant and pristine. It lies about 7 kms of the south east coast of Vanua Levu and is 42 kms long and averages about 12 km wide.
Taveuni is an archetypically beautiful tropical island, thick with vegetation and resplendent with tropical flowers. Pristine rain forest covers much of the island and around 80% of this is protected by forest reserve and the Bouma National Heritage Park. Taveuni offers the visitor a rich natural history, in particular, a fine array of bird life. Fortunately, unlike the rest of Fiji, the mongoose was never released or introduced to Taveuni and consequently many birds that have disappeared on the Main Islands still thrive here on Taveuni.
Taveuni was once home to fierce warriors; Taveuni locals still exude pride and confidence in their personalities and are called one of the most friendly people in the islands of Fiji.
Taveuni has a population of about 12,000 inhabitants, and is sparsely populated. Virtually all of the local residents live in traditional villages. Once known for its coconut plantations, Taveuni’s attractions include world-class diving, dozens if not hundreds of waterfalls and an array of indigenous flora and fauna.
There is the big ferry (Goundar Shipping) going from Suva to Taveuni every Friday and Sunday/Monday, and then back from there Sunday and Tuesday. (https://www.fiji.travel/us/transport/goundar-shipping-services). You have to purchase your ticket in the office in Suva (closing 5pm). The ferry is supposed to leave around 6pm. It will arrive around 1pm the following day in Taveuni. The fare in economy is 67FJD (June 2019). You can purchase drinks and food on board. There are toilets as well. You can rent a mattress or blanket (5FJD), charge your phone (2FJD). The AC is cold and the action movies pretty loud. As off July 2019 the Goundar Shipping has stopped its service, because they couldn't obtain some government regulations. Another (really inconvenient) way to get back on Thursday: take a taxi on Taveuni to the little ferry. This ferry is going around 7:30 am just across to Vanua Levi island and you connect with a bus to Savusavu (15FJD for ferry and bus together). Arrive there around 11:30am. Then there you can get another bus-ferry-combination (40FJD). The bus will leave from the main bus stop anytime between 12:30-3:30pm and go to Nabouwalu. Make sure you're on the first bus to get a good place in the ferry. The ferry leaves around 6/7pm and arrives on the main island around midnight. From there another bus is going to Suva. You will arrive there around 2/3 am. From there you can take a minibus (24/7) to your destination. For further information ask locals.
Savusavu Helicopters Operates from Savusavu and has daily charter flights and transfers from Savusavu to Taveuni, Qamea, and Matagi
Beneath the surface of sea, in the coral reefs that fringe the island, is an extremely rich eco-system that rivals the bio-diversity found on the surface. Fed by rich nutrients that emerge from the depths of the Tongan trench,Taveuni is famous for its multitude of tropical fish and pelagics. However, if there is one trademark or signature species in the area, it is soft coral, which billows and undulates in the currents. Soft coral comes in dramatic, sometimes electric hues of orange, red, pink and white, which is fringed by purple.
While the diving Taveuni area is stunning and virtually unscathed by the 21st century, it is not generally a place to bring absolute novice divers. The currents can be strong and unwieldy for those unaccustomed to them and one should have some prior experience as a diver before venturing here. This is true when diving the Somosomo Strait, a relatively narrow waterway located between Taveuni and Vanua Levu. Along the southeast shore of Vanua Levu one will find a barrier reef continually fed by microorganisms washed by the currents driven by the narrowing of the fun eel-like strait.
Protruding into the strait from the Vanua Levu side to about 3 kilometers from the shores of Taveuni is a magnificent reef, called Rainbow Reef. Here one can find one of the most famous dive sites in the South Pacific, the Great White Wall. It is named because of the unusual soft coral that inhabit the area. Starting at a depth of about 15 meters and continuing to over 65 meters, this underwater escarpment is covered with an almost luminescent white coral tinged with lavender. There are a great number of other dive sites sprinkled throughout the area and new attractions are found all the time. It is estimated that only 5% of the entire reef system in the Taveuni area has been explored by divers and it's not unusual to see pelagics such as dolphins, turtles, eagle rays and a number of species of shark.
Pristine and abundant waters surround your home base of Taveuni Island, Fiji. All the various prime fishing habitats are here and begin five minutes after launching, opening up to a vastness of virtually virgin fishing grounds in every direction.
You can expect to find the Somosomo straits and outlying areas to be dotted with acres of birds and teeming baitfish, primarily skipjack, small Yellow Fin Tuna, big eyed scads, regular scaddies, flying fish, mackerel and ballyhoo. Within the day range, anglers can expect to find all types of pelagic and reef fish as the topography is varied with ribbon reefs, pinnacles, islands, channels, outer reefs, straits and sandy flats. Every direction is full of possibilities for an exciting, productive day of fishing of world class trophies. Depending on the anglers' preference they can fish for Black Marlin, Blue Marlin, Swordfish, Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi-mahi, Yellow fin, Big Eye Tuna and Albacore and depending on the fates they will catch them. For the reef fisherman who enjoys casting there is Giant Trevally, Blue fin Trevally, Barracuda, Walu, and Dogtooth Tuna.
YanuyanuART in Matei, where you can purchase or even hand print your own sulu with designs carved from wood. Carving, artworks, jewellery, commissions and good conversation also available.