Choose from 5 Fun Things to Do in Denarau Island
Tivua Island is a glorious Fijian hideaway surrounded by 500 acres (202 hectares) of spectacular coral reef. The reef is home to tropical fish, starfish, octopus and sea cucumber making for some of the finest snorkeling in Fiji. During the nesting season Tivua Island is a sanctuary for turtles.
Perfect white beaches ring Tivua Island and are fantastic for swimming; only a limited number of visitors are allowed on the island each day so it is never crowded. When you're done lying on the beach there are canoes to take out on the water and give your muscles a workout.
If you've fallen in love with Tivua Island then you can secure one of the two accommodation huts on the island. A romantic candle-lit dinner on the beach is a must if you're staying overnight.
The island is 3.5 hours from Nadi by boat. Close enough to get there and back in a day with some quality beach time.
Up until 1987 village life on the Yasawa Islands existed much as it had since the area’s original settlement. Handfuls of tourists began visiting the Yasawas in the 1950s, but it was forbidden to spend the night on shore and they were required to return to their ship. With the opening of the Yasawas to tourism, however, villagers opened up budget accommodations and entrepreneurs erected luxurious resorts. Despite the moderate growth, however, the Yasawas remain a secluded chain of 12 islands which are further from Nadi in both distance and mindset than the popular shores of the Mamanucas.
Reaching the Yasawa Islands is easy and straightforward for passengers on the Yasawa Flyer “yellow boat”, which departs from Denarau Marina daily at 8:30 a.m. Once on shore on the island of your choice, the two largest activities in the Yasawa Islands are hiking to the summit of jungle-strewn peaks and scouring the corals of the offshore reefs. At night, take part in a traditional kava ceremony or dance the night away with late night entertainment. For accommodations, unless you’re staying in an ultra-luxurious privately owned resort, many of the hotels in the Yasawa Islands are of the budget backpacker variety and feature mosquito nets, rain catchment systems, and the sound of waves lulling you to sleep each night. The Yasawas are developing quickly, however, and more moderately-priced accommodations are becoming available every year.
For many, the Yasawa Islands represent the white sand beaches of Fiji they had dreamt about, without the price tag their friends had warned them about. Despite only being two to four hours by boat from the Mamanucas, a visit to the Yasawas is a cruise back in time to when life was simpler and days were slow. It’s an oceanfront hammock, a blank to-do list, and a verdant mountain peak exploding from a lagoon where you start your day with a swim each morning. Even though the islands take a bit longer to get to, the hardest part isn’t arriving in the Yasawas, it’s getting up and trying to force yourself to leave.
- Most shops and attractions on Fiji are closed on Sundays.
- Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and your swimsuit—the Mamanuca Islands are perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
- A majority of the island’s restaurants are within the resorts, but most welcome non-guests and most tours include lunch.
Set 15 minutes north of the city, this lush valley at the foot of the highlands is a journey to rural Fiji. The Sabeto River winds its way down from the densely-forested interior, and along its route it has carved a valley which is peppered with traditional villages. One of the most popular sights in the Sabeto Valley is the Sabeto Valley mud bath. The locals believe that the mud in this pool has natural healing properties, and you immerse yourself in a pool of mud and let it cake your body. Somewhat of a natural spa experience in a rural Fijian pasture, it’s best to visit later in the day when the air is refreshing and cool.
Prior to visiting the Sabeto Valley mud bath, you can also make a stop at The Garden of the Sleeping Giant which is tucked in the depths of the valley. This 50-acre sanctuary features the largest orchid collection in Fiji, and over 2,000 species of the delicate flowers provide color to the valley of green.
While not exactly in Sabeto itself, many travelers combine Sabeto Valley with a visit to the Vuda Lookout. This lofty promontory offers a 360-degree panorama that is one of the best views on the west coast of the island. Looking east, you have the rugged topography of the forested Nausori Highlands. Looking north, you gaze on the buildings of Viseisei village which is the site of the first Fijian landing. To the south, Nadi airport and the outskirts of the city are a reminder of how much Fiji has grown. Finally, to the west, the Yasawa Islands float on the horizon like verdant pinnacles from the sea.
While it might not be located very far outside of Nadi, there are enough things to do in the Sabeto Valley to warrant a day of exploration.