Fiji – Vanua Levu

We spent 2 wonderful weeks enjoying a family reunion on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second biggest island. Our idyllic base was at Siga Siga Sands, a fantastic place to call home! Located near Savusavu and sandwiched between the petite airport and Koro Sun Resort, Siga Siga was perfect for us since we wanted to self cater and the kitchen met mom’s needs. The friendly manager (Gene) along with his superb caretakers (Sunita and Subas) spoiled us rotten, ensuring that our every need was taken care of. Plus the snorkeling at Siga Siga Sands was not too shabby, considering the devastation that Cyclone Winston had on Fiji about 14 months ago. Two weeks was the right amount of time for a bit of snorkeling, a lot of relaxing, SCUBA at the phenomenal Namena Marine Park (don’t miss The Chimneys dive spot…two thumbs up!), a visit to Vuadomo’s village and waterfall, a fishing expedition in Savusavu Bay, a traditional Fijian song/dance (meke) at Koro Sun Resort, getting invited to a delicious local dinner with Pastor David and wife Lea, attending Sunday church, witnessing a Hindu festival as VIP attendees, visiting Labasa (the island’s biggest city), and off roading Vanua Levu’s interior and breaking down in the middle of remote Tabia Village with zero cell phone coverage (we’d skip that last adventure if we had the choice!). Overall, it was an unforgettable two weeks and we feel blessed to have shared all these new experiences with family. Lots of new memories were created along with some laughter and tears…Fiji is living up to its high expectations. Savusavu has the reputation of being a “hidden paradise” but we hope more people get to experience this lovely corner of the world. Vinaka vaka levu to all our new found friends in Vanua Levu – we can’t wait to return one day.

Flying out of Suva airport to Savusavu Scenic flight to Vanua Levu Getting ready to touch down in Savusavu's tiny airport Bottoming out in our lowrider rental car; Savusavu Moth resting on a branch near our guesthouse Crammed into our tiny Suzuki Jimny Main street; Savusavu Beach scene near Daku Resort; Savusavu Savusavu Wok - our favorite Chinese restaurant in town. Excellent prices and delicious food! Jerusalemi Village Spectacular Savusavu Bay Driving down to Vuadomo Waterfall Pretty flower near Vuadomo village Bob enjoying his off roading experience A storm on the horizon, near Vuadomo Village Watching Savusavu Secondary School students wildly cheer on their teams Despite the rain, the field is crowded with excited students cheering their friends on Racing around the track bare footed! Waiting for the school bus Our Coco Bure - the perfect base for exploring Savusavu; Siga Siga Sands Hot springs in Savusavu Bay Taro for sale; Savusavu Market Ann shopping for produce at the main market in Savusavu Edible ferns for sale Robby and Bob showcase a woven basket - the perfect way to transport produce Interior of Savusavu's market - Saturday morning has the biggest selection Sea grapes Smoked reef fish - we bought some but the taste left a lot to be desired Savusavu Bay Getting some Tuktuk love; Siga Siga Sands Giant clam; Siga Siga Sands Carved coconut stumps; Gecko Lodge Savusavu's tiny airport A Fijian child points out where his house is on this Savusavu map at the airport Fiji Airways puddle hopper Low tide; Vanua Levu Sea cucumber Christmas tree coral Magic coral - if you touch it, the coral changes color from brown to white! Banded coral shrimp Robby enjoying our daily snorkel sessions at Siga Siga Sands; Savusavu Sea Grapes Freckled hawkfish resting in the coral Welcome leis for Aunt Nancy, Luke and Frances; Siga Siga Sands Juvenile eel Robby accompanied by Tuktuk to our favorite snorkel site at Siga Siga Sands Luke and Tuktuk Pretty coral at Siga Siga Sands Giant clam Our family villa at Siga Siga Sands Black spiny starfish Blue fish hiding in the coral Lionfish Puffer fish Tiny clam embedded in coral Crab retreating into its hole Pretty beach at Siga Siga Sands Panoramic view of our home for 2 weeks on Savusavu Lionfish near Split Rock; Savusavu Porcupinefish Swinging with Emma and Gracie near Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Cold beer shack Town Council in Savusavu Colorful market stalls Fresh fruit for sale on main street; Savusavu Emma striking a pose Koro Sun Resort reception pool Bike shack; Koro Sun Resort Infinity pool at Koro Sun Resort Floating bures; Koro Sun Resort "Kids beyond this point will be eaten" sign at Koro Sun Resort Gorgeous flowers at Koro Sun Resort Luke and Robby cheering after checking out one of the waterfront bures at Koro Sun Resort Low tide near Wavi Island The beach near Wavi Island was full of colorful crabs with one massive claw Bridge leading to the exclusive Wavi Island Savasi Island Resort Boat being renovated into accommodations at Savasi Island Resort Diving license plate at Koro Sun Divers - we loved meeting and chatting with Colin and Janine! Centipede hiding in Becky's towel! Happy hour cocktails at Koro Sun Resort A brilliant sunset; Koro Sun Resort Evening entertainment; Koro Sun Resort Meke time (combination of dance and story telling) at Koro Sun Resort The women only portion of the meke (traditional Fijian dance) Boys take center stage at the meke Vuadomo village Filling water containers at Vuadomo Village Our friendly village guide takes us on a tour through Vuadomo Vuadomo village's lali drum (a wooden slit gong used to beckon the villagers to church on Sunday) Poling a bilibili (traditional bamboo raft) Less than 100 people live at Vuadomo village in simple dwellings such as this one Meeting a friendly villager wearing a sulu After getting the village chief's approval, we hike out towards Vuadomo waterfall Panorama of pretty Vuadomo waterfall Luke attempting to climb up a rock under the powerful waterfall Family photo at the waterfall (Emma, Frances, Ann, Luke, Nancy, Grace, Bob, Becky, Robby) Luke and Robby demonstrate how to carry taro Vanua Levu is a pretty island with views like this as we drove around Pigs foraging for food at dusk; Siga Siga Sands Richard and Rose smiling by the wonderful dinner they invited us to eat with their family - the food was divine! Our Siga Siga family (Emma, Luke, Nancy, Frances, Grace, Bob, Ann, Becky, Robby and our awesome host Gene with his dog Tuktuk) Getting ready for church service at Nasavusavu Gospel Chapel in Savusavu Inside church - the 90 minute service was interesting and flew by! Smiling after church - Nancy, Emma, Frances, Gracie and Becky Another gorgeous sunset at Siga Siga Sands Luke buying souvenirs from a jovial vendor in Savusavu We loved the view driving into Savusavu - gorgeous glimpses of the bay below teased us on the drive into town Fish shack in Savusavu Advertisements on this storefront Grog pounding done here - only in Fiji can you find a store to pound your kava! Robby and Luke rowing us out to the fishing boat, Savusavu Harbor Richard smiles as he confesses he left the GPS device back at home as we set out on our fishing trip Savusavu harbor is one of the Pacific's quaintest with a picturesque waterfront Becky and Franny soaking up the sun on our fishing trip Sunset at sea - we had zero luck fishing but Richard was 4 for 4, hooking a fish the instant his line hit the water! Namena Island Dive Resort - some of the best diving in the world can be found near here! Fat starfish Franny strikes a pose before swimming through a natural arch Pennant bannerfish Moray eel Diving through a tunnel at the Chimneys dive spot; Namena Marine Reserve Garden eels Nudibranch (sea slug) Clown triggerfish Luke enjoying the Chimneys dive site Goundar Shipping vessel linking Vanua Levu to the rest of Fiji Spotting a white tip reef shark while snorkeling near Koro Sun Resort Admiring a pretty sea snail at Siga Siga - the rule of thumb is to never take an inhabited shell! The Goundar Shipping office where we bought our tickets from Savusavu to Taveuni at a bargain 10 FJD each (including 90 minute bus ride to Buca Bay) Map of Fiji's various islands which are linked by pricey flights or budget ferries Panoramic view of Savusavu Harbor Selfie shot in Savusavu The "Hot Bread Kitchen" where the best selection of bread can be found; Savusavu Siga Siga Sands picturesque grounds Emma strikes a pose in the garden; Siga Siga Family volleyball session; Siga Siga Grace and Emma feed Tuktuk a flower; Siga Siga Did we mention the gorgeous sunsets at Siga Siga? Getting invited to a Hindu festival at our caretaker's house - vinaka to Subas & Sunita! It was an honor to partake in the Hindu festival at Subas and Sunita's house Bob dancing with the ladies to their amusement and delight An exhausted Grace falls asleep mid ceremony at the Hindu festival celebration No festival is complete without kava - here the guys mix up a grog of kava for everyone to enjoy Subas hands out bowls of kava for the family to try Pretty village on our drive around Vanua Levu Vanua Levu is an easy island to navigate with few cars on the road Taro for sale by the roadside Almost every village we drove past had its own church; Vanua Levu Lots of road construction going on with "Stop" and "Go" signs to direct traffic Wooden bridge - a common sight on Vanua Levu Nice vista as we drive to the north part of Vanua Levu Walking through Labasa, the largest city in Vanua Levu Pulling off to admire the view in the northern section of Vanua Levu Alas our Suzuki Jimny was not built for off roading! The gear box shattered on this dirt road in the remote mountainside Robby and Frances smiling with Manasa. He graciously helped us for hours in our resuce mission from the remote mountain village of Tabia Posing with the lovely ladies of Tabia Village - the women prepared dinner for us once it became obvious that a quick rescue was not going to happen Robby showing the village chief and his wife their photo whle Manasa smiles in amusement; Tabia Village Our tour of Tabia Village - no electricity or phone service here! A simple outhouse; Tabia Village Being offered coconut while we wait for rescue; Tabia Village Becky and Tuktuk - our favorite Fijian dog; Siga Siga Robby and Luke by the signpost of our awesome home for 2 weeks - Siga Siga Sands Enjoying our nature hike through Siga Siga's massive property The hiking loop is about 1 mile and was well worth it for the views; Siga Siga Hiking down towards the river Becky soaking up the scenery Luke having a Tarzan moment Becky swinging across the river Robby and Luke posing au natural with Tuktuk looking on in curiosity Panoramic view of Siga Siga's lush garden Green ferns galore A bit sweaty after our garden excursion The grand finale - what a view from the lookout point! Hibiscus flower; Siga Siga We travel light! Waiting for the bus to take us to Buca Bay as we get ready to leave Vanua Levu and hop over to Taveuni Island (Lea arrives early to bid us farewell) The crowded bus as we make our way from Savusavu to Buca Bay Goodbye beautiful Savusavu! The view as we cruise onward to Taveuni foto gallery lightboxby v6.1

2 thoughts on “Fiji – Vanua Levu

  1. So glad to have been a part of your adventures. Love the way you did this for us to share. Miss you.Love, Aunt Nancy

    1. Thrilled you were able to join us on this crazy adventure…the trip wouldn’t have been the same without you! Love you too and we’ll have to plan another trip soon. xoxo

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