Kadavu

The first weekend in December J took the Friday off work to give us a four day weekend (as Monday was a public holiday for Mohammed Day) to go to Kadavu and explore the fourth biggest island in Fiji.

Kadavu is renowned for its amazing reef that encircles most of the main island and continues on up around some of the smaller islands of the group. As soon as we found out we would be leaving Fiji at the start of next year J booked for us both to go to Kadavu as neither of have spent much/if any time there. We’ve really tried to see as much of Fiji that we possibly can (keeping in mind that it’s not always possible to go out to a different island every weekend) and this was going to potentially be our last hoorah.

We flew out on the 6am flight Suva to Nadi on Friday morning. Flights to Kadavu only operate from Suva directly on Mondays so we had a four hour wait in Nadi. Thankfully the renovations at the international terminal are now complete so we were able to have a late breakfast at the cafe. We didn’t have any issues checking in for the flight because we were only going for three nights, but as we were travelling on the Twin Otter some other people did have issues with the weight of their total baggage. The total flight time was approximately 40 minutes and thankfully we had a fairly clear day so got some beautiful views departing Viti Levu and coming into Kadavu.

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The runway on Kadavu is located near the middle of the island on what seems to be the narrowest point. Because the Twin Otter is such a small plane there’s no door on the cockpit so it was quite an incredible view to see the view through the cockpit of the water, runway and then more water at the far end of the runway!

We were staying at the Matava Eco Resort and they collected us and another three people from the airport, had a ute transfer down to a little waterway before wading out to the boat for the hour transfer to the resort.

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The small harbour area for the boat transfer
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Not sure this restaurant provide any refreshments

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We were provided lunch as soon as we arrived and then had the afternoon free to explore the resort. We unpacked and while the weather was still reasonable decided to try and go out and snorkel the reef out the front. This was not quite as easy as we first anticipated as the reef was quite a distance and the weather took a turn for the worse when we were (unknowingly) two thirds of the way out there. So we turned back and opted to try another day.

One thing to note about where we stayed was because its an Eco Resort it had some differences to what you’d expect staying at a five star resort. The resort grew all their own food in the organic garden and raised chickens etc and all meals were prepared from this garden. As with the rest of Fiji they run on generators, but to be more environmentally friendly they only use the generators for certain hours (which means fans and device charges are only available at certain times in the bures. All the lights ran on solar power, the dining area in the main bure is lit by candles during dinner and then solar torches are provided to find your way back up the hill to your bure. Thankfully we had nice cool nights and didn’t have to worry about fans or getting too hot at night.

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Our bure halfway up the hill
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The view from our balcony (you can see the water but it’s hard to tell with the cloud cover)
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The main bure from the water

The second day we were there the weather it was rainy and very windy so we opted out of snorkelling as the conditions were expected to be quite rough. We did go out for a kayak mid-morning but due to a hole in the kayak (that meant we slowly sank) and low tide we turned around as soon as we could (not before getting caught in an absolutel downpour). I played around with photographing bits and pieces around the resort.

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The weather did clear up a bit in the afternoon so we made a second attempt at snorkelling the reef and this time we actually made it! For being within a couple of hundred metres of the resort it was absolutely beautiful. We stayed out for about an hour before coming back in time for dinner again.

Thankfully on Sunday we had really good weather in the morning which meant we were able to go out on the dive boat and snorkel along the Great Astrolabe Reef. On a bright sunny day the colour would be amazing, but despite it being a little overcast this was still some of the best snorkelling we’ve done together. I’d say on par with the snorkelling we did out at Namena (off Savusavu) but it was cheaper and quicker to get to. The whole trip was about 4 hours from leaving the resort to getting back just in time for lunch.

We spent the afternoon drying out, reading and napping. As it was so overcast and we never got any real sun it made it difficult for things to dry out, so we resorted to blasting the fan when the generator was on with all of swimwear hung out on the beams in the bure. It probably not the best thing environmentally wise, but it meant we were able to pack our clothes up for heading back on Monday.

Monday morning we thought we’d have a couple of hours to wander the resort (as it was finally sunny) but as soon as breakfast was over we were practically straight onto the boat heading back to the airport.

We got to the airport around two hours before our flight was due to depart, so we wandered to the local store down the road and bought some snack for lunch and strolled along the beach on our way back to the airport.

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The beach beside the airport

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We saw the aircraft arrive early and within a couple of minutes we were in the air heading back to Suva. We arrived into Suva at the same time that we were scheduled to depart Kadavu from.

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