Forget the resorts – make your way into the less visited parts of Viti Levu for a deeper experience of the island. Discover spectacular views of the Coral Coast and take a guided walk to learn about the cultural significance of Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. Take the plunge (or several plunges) with a swim under one of Fiji’s most majestic waterfalls at Nabalesere. Get the pulse racing as you raft through the heart of Fiji’s highlands at Upper Navua Gorge
Venture to parts of Fiji’s highlands that many visitors never get to see. Beginning and ending in Nadi, traverse through jungle-clad terrain by 4WD travelling to Fiji’s most pristine waterfalls and remote villages to discover the Fijian way of living off the land. Hike over lush grasslands into a village; raft through Fiji’s volcanic rock interior; snorkel off remote beaches and wander through national parks brimming with birdlife. This 11-day expedition takes you into the provinces where you’ll stay at an eco-retreat and experience Fijian hospitality, trekking inland and breaking up the journey by hopping over to a smaller island for downtime at a beachside bungalow.
Breakfast Included: 10 Lunches Included: 6 Dinner Included: 3
Welcome (Bula!) to Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu. Settle into your accommodation in the town of Nadi, situated on the west coast of the main island. The adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm – ask the hotel reception for details.
After meeting your fellow group members, the evening is yours to enjoy, perhaps at a beachside restaurant or by heading into Nadi Town. Tomorrow we have an early start.
Arriving a day earlier? Check out the chaotic colours of the Hindu temple Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami or ‘Nadi temple’ as it’s locally known. Nearly 40 per cent of Fijians are of Indian decent and Fiji-Indian cultural influences can be seen throughout the islands. Try the island’s fresh fruits with the usual suspects (mangoes, pineapples and oranges) and some you might not recognise (pomelo, rose apple and soursop) at the Nadi Produce Market, open Monday to Sunday.
If you can't arrange a flight in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
Today we head one hour south of Nadi to Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. Here we take 4-kilometre ranger-guided walk through the incredible dunes, ranging in heights from 20 to 60 metres, the great mounds have formed over millions of years. The views from the sand dunes open out to spectacular scenes along the Coral Coast. Archaeologists have found relics of pottery in the national park dating back 2600 years and the area is home to an ancient burial site that gives clues to Fiji’s first inhabitants.
After the hike we make our way to tonight’s accommodation at Pacific Harbour, where the afternoon is dedicated to free time before tomorrow’s adventure activity.
Gear up for an incredible rafting experience in Fiji’s highlands at Upper Navua Gorge. Ride down rapids naturally carved through the island’s volcanic rock interior, surrounded by towering gorge walls, dense rainforest and dozens of waterfalls. The combination of the dipping parts of river and biological diversity make this Fiji’s best spot for rafting. After the exhilarating ride, we find a lunch spot to get a good feel for the rainforest terrain. Then we return to Pacific Harbour for an additional night at our beachside accommodation.
Travelling to Fiji’s mountainous region of Namosi Province (approximately 1.5 hours), this is where we’ll stay at an eco-retreat in Navunikabi village. Venturing to Fiji’s lush highlands allows you to get off the beaten track and stay nearby villages where many families carry out traditional farming practices, growing different types of fruits and root crops. That afternoon, we’ll be guided by women from the village (approximately 2 hours) to learn more about how to harvest ingredients to prepare a traditional Fijian dinner. Here you will get the opportunity to try the national drink, kava, long used by Pacific Islanders for its calming effects and as part of traditional ceremonies.
We thank our hosts and say farewell to Navunikabi as we make our way to Fiji’s capital, Suva (approximately 1.5 hours). Take an optional walk in the morning through Suva’s main market and wander through the Fiji Museum, holding exhibits that give insights to the early history of the island with artefacts dating 3,700 years.
This afternoon we head to Colo-i-Suva Forest Park for a short hike to palm-fringed freshwater pools where you can slip into the water. Look to the trees for birds with the park harbouring many of Fiji’s endemic species. Later that evening, continue listening to the sounds of the rainforest sitting next to the river at our Eco Lodge accommodation, situated on the outskirts of the park.
The trip to Nabalesere village (approximately 3 hours) reveals traditional Fijian life outside the main areas. The community is nestled into the north-east of the Greater Tomanivi forest reserve in the province of Ra. In this province, you’ll hear another form of greeting, instead of saying ‘Bula!’ as in other parts of the island, the word ‘Yadra!’ (pronounced Yandra) is used to say hello. Our local guide leads us on a hike (1.5 kilometres) to the breath-taking spot of the Savulelele waterfall, arguably Fiji’s most majestic waterfall, tumbling down from a height of 70 metres. While farming is the main source of income for many Fiji communities, partnering with the village helps to create an additional source of income. After the swim we return to Nabalesere village for lunch then travel to the coast (approximately 4 hours) where we will take a short boat transfer to Nananu-i-Ra island to spend the night at our beachside accommodation.
Waking to the sounds of the waves lapping against the beach, take your time and enjoy a free day to explore or relax. For those looking for something more active to do, there’s the option to hit the water and go snorkelling, kayaking or try your hand at windsurfing. Ask your guide about the ridge walk for stunning views across the beach or what other optional activities there are to do around the island.
Setting off early, we take a boat to a location where we are likely to see a pod of dolphins in the open ocean. Spotting the dolphins from the boat as they weave through the water and play is a sight to behold. After the trip we head to the beach to have lunch with some time for a swim and snorkel before making our way back to the main island. Heading inland to Naga village (approximately 3 hours) we’ll be welcomed and invited to stroll through the surrounding food gardens. Tonight our group joins a communal dinner in the village.
Prepare for today’s 11-kilometre hiking adventure (approximately 6 hours) across Fiji’s grasslands and into Nubutautau village. The trek follows the scenic Sigatoka River; the journey is broken up with lunch and a rewarding swim along the way. Arriving later that afternoon, tonight we stay in the village located in the heart of the island on a backdrop of small scale-farming, grassy hills and evergreen rainforest.
After breakfast, uncover the stories that shroud Nubutautau village as you listen to the unfortunate events that took place in 1867 involving the killing and cannibalism of missionary Reverend Thomas Baker. Today’s hospitality sees a big welcome from the community and for many locals, the past events are a solemn reminder of times gone by. There’s the option to continue exploring the village surrounds on an optional loop walk to the river. We will set off after lunch on a 4WD trip to the ridgeline between the major rivers of Sigatoka and Ba River. From here, we make our way back to the main town of Nadi.
Your Fiji Expedition comes to an end today after breakfast.