Fiji's third largest island is a haven for divers and fans of the relaxing and peaceful holiday.
Taveuni, off the coast of Vanua Levu, is Fiji's third largest island. It is just 42km long and 11km wide with around 12,000 indigenous Fijian residents. Somosomo is its largest village and the administration is chiefly Fijian. It is equally known by the names of Garden Island or Flower Island, well earned due to its lush tropical rainforest, volcanic mountain ridge, fertile soil, lakes and waterfalls. Fiji's two highest peaks are on Taveuni: Des Voeux Peak is 1195m, and Mt Uluigalau is 1241m.
Rainbow Reef and the Great White Wall are the best known of the reefs surrounding the island and are regarded as being among the world's great dives. Long popular with divers, tourism is now diversifying, catering to those who prefer to stay on top of the water, like birdwatchers, who are discovering its appeal in ever increasing numbers. Taveuni is home to over 100 species of bird, many exotic and colourful.
The island's main income is from agriculture copra (processed and dried coconut meat), taro and kava, with tourism hot on its tail.
An all-day adventure in Bouma National Heritage Park, which involves some fairly serious walking, allows you to see three marvellous waterfalls in this tropical park. The most spectacular is the first one you come across, just ten minutes from the road.
Lake Tagimoucia also the name of Fiji's national and sacred flower is a volcanic body of water close to the peak of Des Voeux. The tiny, red orchid-like flower grows only on its shores and blooms profusely from October to December. You can take a 4WD up the jungle trail to the mountain peak, or hike, which takes three to four hours. Views are wonderful, but high humidity can mean it gets foggy and misty.
In Taveuni's north, on a gently sloping hill, is Maravu Plantation Resort. "Maravu" is a Fijian word meaning "calm and tranquil" and the 22 hectare resort is certainly that. It has ten large bures built in just the right spot for full enjoyment of the superb island sunsets. All have a large tiled bathroom some with private outdoor shower and secluded verandah, ceiling fan and mini-bar.
Queen-size beds surrounded by a soft white canopy of netting and a hammock on the verandah give you plenty of scope to rest after enjoying the island activities … and there are plenty of those.
Among those on offer are riding, snorkelling, mountain biking, tennis, golf, kayaking, deep sea fishing, 4WD touring, nature walking and of course, diving. The Pacific goes from emerald to endless blue, and you are likely to share it with turtles and dolphins.
The meal plan consists of a full cooked breakfast with hot dishes of your choice, a three course gourmet or "packed for a picnic" lunch, afternoon tea and a three course gourmet dinner. For a refreshing drink, there is nothing better than icy cold coconut juice served in its own shell.
Dinner can be taken in the candle-lit Wananavu Restaurant, pool side, on the beach or in the garden, under the Southern Cross.
90 minute flight from Nadi in Fiji
The Maravu Plantation resort on Taveuni Island has bure accommodation starting at about $285 per person per night, based on twin-share.
Qantas flies daily to Nadi on codeshare services operated by Air Pacific. Return economy airfares to Nadi start at $713 from Brisbane, $726 from Sydney, $789 from Melbourne, $1134 from Adelaide (via Melbourne), $1351 from Perth (via Melbourne) and $1353 from Darwin (via Sydney) per person. Conditions and surcharges apply. Sale ends July 26, 2002. Seasonal surcharges and conditions apply.
Connections to Taveuni with Sun Air start at $421 per couple.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Maravu Plantation Resort
P.A. Matei, Taveuni, Fiji Islands
Ph: 0011 679 888 0555
Fax: 0011 679 888 firstname.lastname@example.org
Qantas: 13 13 13