The second and third largest islands in Fiji can be found in the Northern Islands. Vanua Levu, Taveuni and a number of smaller islands provide fantastic diving, fishing and relaxing opportunities for guests in a small resort atmosphere.
Due to their intimate size, resorts in this area focus on relaxing, spa treatments and their number one attraction – SCUBA diving and snorkeling, especially along the Rainbow Reef. Taveuni’s white beaches are near excellent diving spots.
Savusavu, on Vanua Levu, is a launching point for the Northern Islands touring cruises and has a breathtaking bay, with plentiful dining and active-vacation options, including a hot spring. The island itself is approximately half the size of Viti Levu, and subsists mainly on sugar plantations and tourism.
Location of the Northern Islands
The Northern Islands actually sit to the northeast of Nadi and Viti Levu. Taveuni is five miles to the southeast of Vanua Levu.
How to Travel to the Northern Islands
Sun Air flies from Nadi to Tavenuni and both Nadi and Suva to Vanua Levu. Air Fiji flies from Suva to both of those places. The flight lasts around an hour and fifteen minutes, and there are three or four to each destination a day. Almost daily ferries depart Suva for Vanua Levu and Taveuni, but take approximately 12 hours.
Typically, couples will fly into Nadi and then catch another flight to Vanua Levu or Tavenui, with a quick catamaran ride or land resort transfer to their final destination. For more on travel through Fiji, check out the Fiji inter-island travel article.
Why Visit the Northern Islands
Due to the size of Vanua Levu and Tavenui and the abundance of scattered resorts, it is easy to reach the Northern Islands from Nadi and elsewhere in Fiji.
The diving in the Northern Islands is known throughout world as some of the best in the South Pacific. It is the area of choice for those interested in the reefs that have earned the country the nickname of ‘soft coral capital of the world’.
The Great White Wall is the most famous spot on the nearby Rainbow Reef. Along the reef, divers can spot butterfly fish, barracudas, hawkfish, white tip sharks, stone fish, manta rays, barracudas and other fish and shark varieties.
Beginning divers should avoid Taveuni, as it has strong currents. The Mamanucas are an excellent alternative. This eco-friendly area is also home to the nation’s largest national park, Bouma, on Taveuni. There are numerous hiking trails, more than two dozen waterfalls and a marine park. The island can be reached via airplane, or a laborous 7-hour ferry from Savusavu.
The Northern Islands are also known for their coconut plantations.
If active nightlife, partying or constant buzz and activity are what you’re looking for, you’ll probably be disappointed in the Northern Islands. Interested visitors should enjoy either SCUBA diving, hiking and/or other self-amusing pursuits… you know, like, reading.