Kadavu is an island in the south of Fiji. Kadavu is in the South Pacific Ocean and is part of the many islands that make up Fiji.
Kadavu island is volcanic in origin and rises 3,000 m from the ocean floor.
Surrounded by hundreds of miles of fringing coral, the island also has 50 miles of the Great Astrolabe barrier reef forming sheltered lagoons and steep outer reef drop-offs.
It has few roads, but some cell phones and limited internet access and is a quiet and tranquil traditional island sitting in the trade winds of the original South Pacific.
Kadavu is the fourth largest island of Fiji and is made up of smaller island like Ono an Galoa. Kadavu is 58-km long and 14-km wide and supports a population of 10,000 Fijian people. The main city in Kadavu is Vunisea, which hosts an air strip, hospital, post office and police station. Kadavu's weather is tropical and has an authentic island feel. Some of the natural resources of Kadavu include mountainous jungles and waterfalls, bays fringed by coral reefs and a mangrove forest that provides a habitat to a host of wildlife and birds, including the Kadavu musk parrot. Kadavu’s seemingly untouched and natural state makes it a good remote vacation destination.
Kadavu has undergone very little development; it offers limited transportation and there are few if any surface roads that go through the island. The current system of transportation includes a system of boat taxis and ferries. Neither are there any dining out destinations, only some resorts. Most resorts have a relationship with neighboring villages that will allow one to sample traditional Fijian food during village tours, hikes or Meke nights. Kadavu totally integrates the wildlife, the locals and the tourism industry and is one of the leading places in the world for the promotion of environmental conservation and sustainable tourism.
In Fiji the islanders speak Fijian, an Austronesian language that was established by the 1997 constitution as the official language of Fiji. Some other languages spoken in Fiji and Kadavu are English and Hindustani. Standard Fijian is based on the language Bau which is associated with eastern Fiji. In Kadavu and other parts of Fiji different dialects have formed differentiating the areas of the island.
There are a variety of way to get to and travel in Fiji and Kadavu. The major ways of transportation are to travel by scheduled flight, ferry service, sea plane, yacht transfer or big game boat transfer.
- 1 Vunisea Airport (Kadavu Airport KDV IATA). It is served by Fiji Airways under the banner Fiji Link. Scheduled flights require more planning because the flights only fly in from two airports in Fiji, Nadi and Suv.
Seaplanes allow a more personal experience of Fiji and Kadavu because of the flexibility it offers. Passengers of the seaplanes do not have to wait as long as others for a commercial flight and they are a more private form of travel. This also allows the tourist or guest to sightsee while traveling.
The Ferry services only offers transportation form island to island in Fiji. Most ferry services are used as water taxis taking guests and visitors from the airports to their desired destination. The ferry service for Kadavu takes guests from Suva to Vunisea or from Vunisea to any other place on the island of Kadavu. These ferries do not only hold guest, live stock freight and goods are being carried aboard the ferries as well. The ferries are not constant and do not run all the time and other forms of transportation may need to be provided beyond the ferries. The Yacht Transfer offers travelers to have a boat experience and explore the waters of Kadavu. This is seen as Kadavu's safari of the sea. Lastly the Game Boat transfer allows for a more interactive experience if the guest likes to fish and have a personal adventure.
Within the island most resorts offer guest with Tour Guides or Locals that can takes patrons to the major attractions of the island. Since the road systems are underdeveloped most will experience Kadavu by foot. Trekking excursions offer a one on one experience with nature and a way to experience Fiji like the Fijians. To move from area to are one will other take kayaking trips or use a ferry service. Most travel is done with Long Boats made from fibreglass, using Yamaha motors.
Kadavu’s rich wild life and natural resources allow for a wide range of activities to partake in on the island. Kadavu is known for being the ultimate diving site. Popular diving sites are the Naigoro Passage which is a massive marine reserve. Also the Manta Reef which inhabits the Manta rays, the Soso Passage where it offers the largest underwater coral garden and lastly the Nacomoto Passage which is home to the eagle rays and cabbage coral. Other activities include:
- Visiting the waterfalls, bird watching, eco-experiences, sea kayaking, whale and dolphin watching, trekking, snorkeling and surfing.
The Island only has a handful of resorts to choose from Matava Resort, Tiliva Resort, Papageno Resort, Waisalima Beach Resort and Dive Center, Mai Dive Astrolabe Reef Resort and Nagigia Island Resort. The Matava Resort is located in the southern island group which is totally devoted to sustainable tourism. The Tiliva Resort is located near the Astrolabe and Solo Reefs which allow tourist to be closer to the beaches and water activities. Papageno Resort has 350 acres of land for their Resort and remote feel for guest, on Papageno guest are able to see the volcanic mountains and beaches. Waisalima Beach Resort and Dive Center offer a more aquatic experience and caters to the needs and wants of the guest. The Waisalima Beach Resort is remote, isolated and tranquil. Mai Dive Astrolabe Reef Resort is located beach front and is a colonial style living rather than traditional Fijian bures. The Mai offers a more modern feel to Kadavu than other Resorts. Lastly the Nagigia Island Resort (pronounced “Na-Neen-Ya”), Nagigia Island is named after the Senagigia flower that is unique to Nagigia Island. Nagigia offers 10 separate ’bures’ (Fijian style cottages) poised over the waters edge with great sea views. Each of the resorts promoto the same attraction and have similar activities. The accommodations for Kadavu are solely based on how the guest would like to experience the island and what of feel they would like to have in the Resort they are staying at.
On the remote and magnificent island of Kadavu, Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort boasts secluded splendor which also satisfying ones craving for adventure and exploration. Bordered by the Great Astrolabe Reef Matava is a small and intimate getaway. Matava is designed to blend with the natural environment of Fiji and all it has to offer. Traditional Fijian bures are located in the Kadavu rainforest and are set around lush tropical surroundings. Matava accommodates up to 22 guests at one time and offer privacy, comfort and superb ocean views. Each guest will experience and amazing Kadavu experience which will be true to Fijian culture and customs. PADI Certified, Matava offers a unique diving experience and is located only a few minutes away from the Great Astrolabe Reef, Matava offers the perfect environment to scuba dive in Fiji, snorkel, surf, fish, kayak with opportunities to trek, visit villages, bird watch or simply relax and unwind.
Matava is an eco-hideaway designed to cause minimal impact on the environment and to promote conservation awareness within the local community. Matava is the genuine eco-adventure lodge, beautifully set off the beaten track which allows for privacy and isolation. The intimate resort has beautiful, comfortable rooms, outstanding cuisine and offers a full range of adventure and cultural activities that makes it the premiere resort on Kadavu.
Matava will cost you about the same as a five-star hotel. Your level of comfort will be similar to the middle ages. You will experience the absence of many basic services and necessities as part of the eco experience. Many basic comforts such as fan in your room, insect proofing bures, night lights, electricity after 5PM are missing at this resort. You are expected to be happy with cold showers, mud beaches and spiders in your room. After staying at Matava, I have developed a fear of the term "eco". It means poor service and having to put up with third world standards while paying exorbitant prices. If you ask for basic needs and comforts to be accommodated, you will probably be told that "NO, we are an eco resort! We do not provide that." (e.g., powerpoints in your room, cold water to drink, proper coffee).
The diving here is good. However, the locals live off the reefs and hunt them regularly. The large fish have been speared and the remaining fish are wary of divers.
On a positive note, the food is very good, the Fijian staff are excellent, the views are great, the diving operation is well run.
Safety while on the island is totally provided by the resorts. Each bures has informational packet about safety tips for the island and ways to stay away from danger. These information session also preserves the fragile environment of Kadavu and gives visitors advice on how guest can avoid damaging the wildlife. Each of these programs are put in place for the safety of the visitor and to preserve the island. All safety regulations go along with the islands Responsible Tourism Code of Conduct
Ono and Galoa are two other close destinations that are right off the coast of Kadavu and are easily accessible by boat.