The beautiful islands that make up Fiji are a traveler’s dream. However, with the popularity of a destination, the crowds of visitors increase. But GoNOMAD’s Opinionated Traveler finds the northern islands of Fiji, Vanua Levu and Taveuni offer the same flora, fauna, beaches and weather without the hustle of an international tourist scene. The article Vanau Levu and Taveuni:Fiji’s Forgotten North gives insight into what each island has to offer.
“But here, in a country whose population is increasingly dividing into “urban” and “rural” Fijians, is where you’ll experience what many will proudly tell you is the real Fiji. Here, the friction between Indian and Fijian that the ill-tempered Paul Theroux mistakenly claims has “destroyed” Fiji is nowhere evident.
At 5,500 square km., Vanua Levu is the second-largest island in the Fiji chain, but despite a couple of luxurious resorts it has none of the international hustle and “sophistication” of Viti Levu. Visitors are still rare enough to be welcomed as guests, and quickly become friends.
Even further off the beaten South Pacific tourist track is Taveuni, just east of Vanua Levu. About 42 km. long and 15 km. wide, dominated by a central spine of volcanic cones, Taveuni is a lushly verdant island rich in indigenous birdlife and exotic flora, deemed one of the most important of all the South Pacific islands in terms of biology and conservation. But what draws many visitors is the scuba diving and its proximity to what many claim are some of the world’s finest dive sites.
Attractions for visitors emphasize the outdoors though you shouldn’t miss the stained glass windows at the old Catholic mission at the village of Wairiki.”