July 15, 2024
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Bau Island Fiji – Modern History Tours

Estimated times Bau Island 4 hours | Naililili Church 2 & half hours

Bau Temple, Fiji

A small island with a big name! Bau is the centre of Fiji’s Modern History.

Location of BAU Island

Historical Footage of BAU Island


1953 ROYAL VISIT – at the Chiefily Island of Bau her majesty Queen Elizabeth opened the ceremony of the Fiji Great Council of Chiefs meeting. Lakalaka performed.

1982 ROYAL VISIT – Facing the sea is the Delalasakau. Built in 1982 to accommodate Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Bau Island. Entry into this stunning building is not permitted although guests may walk onto its wide flagstone veranda.

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Tour Details
OVERVIEW – VIP Small-Group

Off the east coast of the main island of Viti Levu. Bau rose to prominence in the mid-1800s and became Fiji’s dominant power; until its cession to Britain. it has maintained its influence in politics and leadership right through to modern Fiji.

Bau a small island 22 acres with a big name!

Tourism, whether on land or from the sea, Fiji law applies to locals and visitors alike. You must have permission from someone who lives on Bau Island or from the Ministry of Fijain Affairs to venture anywhere near Bau! Fiji’s political vortex in the 1850s, nexus of power was around Bau and Rewa. Fiji never conquered, ceded to Great Britain on 10th October 1874. Chief of Bau came to be known as the King of Fiji.


Jetty of Bau
Sevusevu. Significant and ancient in Fiji, the “sevusevu” also marks the time and place for visitors (you) to seek acceptance into a Fijian village. Bau’s Mata ni Tikina o Bau invites you to tour.There will be a formal greeting sevusevu followed by — exclusive guided day tour, followed by hearty Lunch. This day tour will take approximately 4 hours (8:30am to 1pm) includes village donation for preserving Bau Island.
Temple Vatanitawake at Bau is the bure kalou (spirithouse) of the Bauan chiefs, including Ratu Seru Cakobau. A remnant of Pre-Christian community gathering places. A place of much power, religious and secular, and played an important role in the religion and cannibalism in the years before Ratu Cakobau converted to Christianity.
The Rara. Vatanitawake temple and the Ulu ni Vuaka meeting house situated around the village green or rara
Methodist Church on Bau built from the remains of the other 25 Burekalou established in the days before 1870. The stone walls of the church built from historic relics of Fiji’s pre-Christian past. The stone at the altar of her church, the original killing stone (Vatunibokola) now only holding holy water. This is the oldest Methodist Church in the country stands proudly on one end of the Rara and Vatnitawake (traditional meeting house) on the other end of the Rara.
Vunivalu. Paramount Chief of the Kubuna Confederacy. Loosely translated the title means Warlord of Bau Warlord of Bau. or Root of War. The succession to the title does not follow primogeniture, but the candidate must be a high-ranking member of the Tui Kaba clan. The chiefly title has been vacant since 1989. The last Vunivalu of Bau was Ratu Sir George Kadavulevu Cakobau. He held the title for 30 years until his passing in 1989
Sau Tabu, a mausoleum beside the Vunivalu. The Mausoleum built for the home of Cakobau and his descendant’s children. Laid to rest Ratu Seru Cakobau, Governor General Ratu George Kadavulevu Cakobau, the turaga mai Naisogolaca, Ratu Edward Cakobau, his father Ratu Doviverata, and now Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi
Roko Tui Bau House home of former vice-president Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi (the end of an era). The Roko Tui Bau is technically a subordinate chief, the selection process is completely independent of the Vunivalu and his Tui Kaba clan. On November 1st 2017 the newly installed Roko Tui Bau Ratu Timoci Taniela Tavanavanua  carries out traditional duties, installs the Turaga Na Vunivalu of Bau and chief of the Kubuna Confederacy. Ratu Timoci waits for the Tui Kaba clan to nominate and unanimously agree on the new Vunivalu.
Delalasakau, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II first Royal Visit in 1953, the opening ceremony of the Fiji Great Council of Chiefs meeting. Facing the sea is the GCC-Great Council of Chiefs Hall, Built in 1982 to accommodate Queen Elizabeth II during her 1982 ROYAL VISIT to Bau Island. Entry into this stunning building is not usually permitted although guests may walk onto its wide flagstone veranda.
Soso, Natural spring on Bau Island. The main village on the island is Bau. Once integral to the power and economy of the chiefly village, the villages of Lasakau (traditional fishermen) and Soso (traditional carpenters) are also located on the twenty-two acre island which became the centre of traditional power throughout the Fiji Islands in the nineteenth century.

After your Bau Island day tour, you may wish to expand your day tour to nearby historic Naililili Cathedral (details below). You may also enjoy a cool swim in nearby natural tropical waterfall pool located in Coli-i-suva rainforest. All your belongs safe & secure with your personal Driver whose village is under Bau Tikina, and choosen by Mata ni Tikina o Bau to be your Driver.
Your Bau Driver picks you up in the morning from your accommodation, drives you to Bau Landing where your boat captain takes you on your voyage to Bau Island & return voyage to Bau Landing delivers you into the safe secure hands of your Bau Driver
After your refreshing swim in tropical natural waterfall pool, your Bau Driver will also offer to take you to nearby Coli-i-suva Rainforest Eco Lodge for refreshments before your return to your accommodation.


Visit close by historic NAILILILI CATHEDRAL.

Built by French missionaries at the turn of the 20th century, an active church in a deteriorating condition your day tour helps Restore! The Catholics decided acceptance in Rewa as a rival religious group gives them a foot hold in the most politically active powerful area of Fiji.

NAILILILI CATHEDRAL TOUR GUIDE – LEBA has 26 years in the Teaching Field, still an active member of the church today, and in 2009 introduced the Tourism Program. Eight of those years your Tour Guide the President of the Catholic Woman’s League at Naililili Church.



with Fiji expert birder Vilikesa Masibalavu author IMPORTANT BIRD AREAS IN FIJI.



Turtle Calling on Koro Island Fiji

Legendary TURTLE CALLING on Koro Island! Fiji’s domestic airport is near Bau. A 10am flight leaving on Mondays arrives Koro 11am. Your Koro guide born on the Island transports you to his village for sevusevu with hearty lunch, followed by your choice of ..


Waterfalls, horseback on the beach, snorkel, river pool OR relax at one of two Koro Island resorts on Monday OR be the guest of your guide overnighting in his village’s vacant home has nearby river pool includes hearty dinner and meke.

Wake up TUESDAY morning to hearty breakfast followed by transport to TURTLE CALLING presented in nearby village includes sevusevu.
Still time after TURTLE CALLING to enjoy highlights (above) till your guide transports you to Koro Islands Boat Voyage leaves Koro on Tuesdays 6pm arriving Suva 6am Wednesday morning.

Rob Kay

Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award winner Rob Kay wrote the original Lonely Planet Fiji Travel Guide, and is Founder of Fijiguide.com.

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