World Class Diving
The majority of visitors come to Kadavu for one reason-world class diving. All the Kadavu resorts have dive operations and all resorts offer easy access to the Great Astrolabe reef system. Because of the remote nature of the Kadavu Group, many of the dive operators visit areas where there are few boats or divers for miles around. Another plus is that the Astrolabe, rich with pelagic and reef fish, is close to shore. This makes it accessible for both divers and snorkelers. There are such a variety of sites that divers of any experience will be happy.
The Great Astrolabe Reef has both colorful hard corals and with soft corals. Pelagics abound. There’s a chance you’ll see humpback whales, pilot whales, giant trevally, mahi-mahi, Maori wrasse, spinner dolphins, tiera bat-fish and groupers as big as the Queensland grouper. There are a plethora of rays, such as eagle- and manta-rays, as well as sharks, including zebra- and ray-sharks.
Other Kadavu Activities
Day Treks are also available to waterfalls and other points of interest.
Overnight village stays can be organized through the resorts. (No doubt you’ll also be offered kava, which is exceptionally strong on Kadavu).
Surfing is excellent but inconsistent compared to the swells available off of Viti Levu. Visits to breaks can be arranged through your resort.
Birding is excellent and the island is famous for its indigenous Kadavu Parrot.
Kayaking and Outrigger canoeing are very popular on Kadavu.
Outrigger-canoeing and Kayaking
Both Outrigger-canoeing and Kayaking are popular on Kadavu. Over the past five years a Kadavu company called Astrolabe Reef Outrigger Adventures has introduced one- and two-person outrigger-canoes. They offer overnight excursions as well as 6, 8 and 10-day tours to outlying islands or stays at resorts. They will also tailor tours for your specific schedule.
All tours include pick up at the Kadavu airport with a scenic boat ride to your first resort. Tours usually move you to a different resort every couple of days so you get to know a good stretch of the island and, the Great Astrolabe Reef.
Tours include several hours of paddling in the morning after which guests are treated to a specially prepared lunch on one of Kadavu’s many isolated beaches or reefs. After eating, guests can choose from more paddling, snorkeling, or hiking. All paddling is downwind as they monitor sea, wind and tidal conditions. If it’s the right time of the year you may even be able to swim with mantas. Guides are part of the equation along with a support boat.
Village visits are also integrated into trips so that guests will be able to experience Fijian life. Astrolabe Reef Outrigger Adventures founders Tom & Carrie Bashaw said that diving or fishing can be easily incorporated into tours for those that wish to expand their Kadavu adventure. (Resort charges vary for diving and fishing, but all are reasonably priced).
Visit their website at paddlefiji.com or check Trip Advisor for testimonials from previous paddlers. If you are an avid paddler, this is an opportunity to experience the only OC1 paddling tour in the world.
On my last visit to Taveuni I attached myself to a leg of one of their tours and (for the first time) took out a one-man outrigger. It was a bit tricky, there are foot pedals to steer the thing and if you lean to the opposite side of the outrigger you flip over (as I found out). My paddling partner, a retired petroleum engineer from Kailua, Hawaii had the canoe mastered. I was pleased just to keep up with her. Fortunately Tom Bashaw was patient and watchful.
Tamarillo Active Travel, is a Fiji-based company that has been guiding multi-day, resort-to-resort sea-kayaking tours around Kadavu Island since 1998. They have a year-round schedule, with the minimum group size just 2 people, and the maximum 14. All departures are private. Each group travel with their own local guides (from Kadavu) and a motorized support-boat. Most tours run for 5 or 7 days, with shorter and longer options also available. As well as sea-kayaking Tamarillo Active Travel’s trips include guided snorkeling to the island’s nicest reefs, hiking along quiet rainforest trails, and authentic experiences of Fijian culture. Perhaps the main difference between the two tour companies is the equipment. Astrolabe Reef Outrigger Adventures uses canoes with outriggers whereas Tamarillo utilizes sea-kayaks where are also quite stable.
In addition to their resort-to-resort sea-kayak tours Tamarillo has a separate Fiji Study Program for International student groups who can combine learning, adventure and cultural immersion. The participants are accommodated by local families in traditional village communities. Each Fiji Study Program is led by indigenous Fijian guides and international outdoor educators. This combination offers visiting groups international-standard risk management and program facilitation skills together with an immense depth of local environmental and cultural knowledge. Contact details: