Take the path less travelled, get off the beaten track, and immerse yourself in the authentic Fijian way of life in Kadavu. A tiny town with very few roads, the communities in the surrounding area are relatively isolated, lead somewhat subsistence lifestyles, and preserve strong cultural values.
Exploring Kadavu can be challenging, but it has some astounding rewards. Trekking through the luxurious rainforest, joining a sea-kayaking tour, and birdwatching are among some of the most popular activities on the island.
However, perhaps the most impressive drawcard is the Great Astrolabe Reef. Reef systems here are healthy due to seclusion from the mainland and less pressure from people. Subsequently, this reef is home to a variety of stunning marine life living amongst the colourful coral gardens.
Kadavu has a tropical climate, with a distinct wet and dry season. The south-east trade winds bring sea-breezes and storms in between spells of splendid, warm weather throughout the year.
Wet Season: December to April
This is the warmer, humid season when daytime temperatures reach an average of 30ºC. This is also the season for the occasional tropical cyclone.
Dry Season: May to November
Average temperatures during this time of year are 25ºC and can reach upwards of 30ºC on hotter days.
The Great Astrolabe Reef runs along the south and east coasts of Kadavu Island, making this area one of Fiji’s premier dive locations. Rich ocean currents flowing through five passages spread through the reef feed the waters, resulting in extreme biodiversity of coral structures and marine life.
The southern reef area houses manta feeding and cleaning stations and is often frequented by reef sharks, rays, great grouper and schools of barracuda, sea snakes and ribbon eels. The reef boasts colourful banks of hard corals, steep drop-offs and submerged seamounts.
The dive sites on the east side contain fringing reefs with stunning soft coral bommies and impressive pinnacles presenting more relaxed diving.
Wet Season: The waters in this area hover at a comfortable 28°C and will only require boardies and a vest.
Dry Season: The water drops to 25°C during this time, and a 5mm wetsuit is suggested.
Diving at Kadavu happens throughout the year. August to October has the best temperatures and visibility, although there can be particularly choppy conditions along the south coast. November to April brings warmer water temperatures and northerly winds, which results in the drier and calmer conditions on the south side of the island.
The biggest attraction in this area is this impressive manta cleaning station which houses a resident population of giant manta rays, as well as often accommodating oceanic visitors. While diving along this beautiful reef, you can expect to see amazing hard and soft coral formations, made up of arches, tunnels and basins that you can swim through. Amongst these formations, you are likely to see enchanting marine life such as surgeonfish, snapper, cod, schooling fusiliers, turtles, reef sharks, the occasional Pacific Sunfish, and Hammerhead shark.
Between June and October, Humpback whales traverse the oceans from the cooling Antarctic to the warmer South Pacific, and a particular population of these whales heads for Fiji to breed and calf. The waters around Kadavu are calm, warm and isolated enough to encourage the whales to make their home here for a few months. Pilot whales and spinner dolphins are also frequently in attendance, and very rarely you might be able to snorkel with them. This area is also very well known for its incredible native birdlife, including four species endemic to the island.
Join a guided kayaking tour and discover the charm of aquamarine lagoons, rocky isles, and deep bays as you drift through the winding waterways that flow through the mangrove forest.
Take a leisurely stroll through lush rainforest, and hike up hills to take in the impressive views of The Great Astrolabe Reef. Once you've had your visual fill, make your way down to the gorgeous white sand beaches and coral lagoons. Along the way, stop off at one of the many cascading waterfalls and duck beneath its fresh, clear, invigorating waters.
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