Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-biggest island after Viti Levu, offers the chance to stay in Fiji at its most authentic, away from the more tourist-heavy areas of the country. Find a place to stay in the town of Savusavu in the south of the island. This laid-back beach town has everything from luxury all-inclusive resorts to budget hostels, many of which offer rooms with ocean-facing balconies.
Outside of Savusavu, there are more places to stay on Vanua Levu. Book a hotel in the relaxed town of Labasa, which is bursting with Fijian culture, or stay in a resort on the Loa Peninsula, a scenic outcrop of the island only accessible by boat.
Vanua Levu is one of the best places to go for a taste of everyday Fijian life. Here, fields full of sugar cane support one of the island’s major industries, while the towns are relaxing, quiet and filled with locals rather than tourists. Learn about the island’s trading past in the Copra Shed in Savusavu, which today hosts the marina and yacht club. For further insight into local tradition and culture, visit the scared Naag Mandir, also known as Snake Temple, where a sacred rock is shaped like a pouncing cobra.
Vanua Levu’s coastline is blessed with beautiful beaches that come without the crowds of the Fiji’s more famous resorts. Try out water sports in the sheltered bay around Savusavu, where you can dive among the coral or swim with hammerhead sharks. Hop on a boat and head out to visit a pearl farm to see how oysters are kept. If you want something a little more relaxing, simply pick a beach of your choice and sunbathe on golden sand.
While the beaches hog the limelight, Vanua Levu’s lush inland landscapes are well worth exploring. Put on a pair of hiking boots and head out into the hills to look for waterfalls hidden in the forests. In the evenings, chat with locals over drinks back in one of the towns before heading back to your hotel.