Fiji-Taveuni Photo Gallery
 


In February 2000, we travelled to Fiji. Click HERE for a description of that trip. On that trip, Gary dove both from land based dive operations as well as from the Captain Cook Cruise boat. The diving was very good but we were told that the best diving was on the Fijian Island of Taveuni (upper right on the map). We looked at extending our trip by a week and travel to Taveuni. It was possible but our return flight would have been standby. Given that we were half way around the world, Gary wasn't comfortable with that so we didn't extend.

In 2015, we were surfing the web and saw an amazing resort called Taveuni Palms. We decided to correct this past omission and visit Taveuni in September 2015.

While in Taveuni, we heard a local Fijian folk singer called Jese Mucunabitu. We loved his songs and his voice sounds like a mixture of Elvis Presley and Engelbert Humperdinck. While we hate web sites that automatically play music in the background, we wanted to add his music to our site. Therefore, we have added the following music player. If you choose to listen to his music while your browse, click the "Play" button.

Click the buttons to set the volume of the audio player.



Taveuni Palms

Taveuni Palms consists of only three villas. Our villa sat on its own private acre of beautiful beachfront property with its own private pool, beach and personal staff of seven. The villa had 2 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and a huge open concept living room/dining room/kitchen. The refrigerator was fully stocked with wine, soft drinks, juices, coffee and cookies. We also had a flat screen TV (which we didn't use) and a high end sound system with an iPod fully loaded with a variety of music. The villas are totally private. We didn't see any of the other guests during our stay.

All meals were served in our villa in any of four different dining locations. Three meals a day and full room service were included. Breakfast and lunch are ordered from a menu but could be customized as we wanted. The chef makes a recommendation for dinner but we could change anything as long as it could be locally sourced.

As outstanding as the villa was, the staff was even better. One word that we never heard was "no". Every request that we had was quickly and happily accommodated.

This is the type of resort where you would expect the rich and famous to vacation. For us ordinary folk, it is a once in a lifetime experience. Well, it was so great that we may return!



The Island of Taveuni
It would be easy to assume that the island is somewhat primitive but this would be a mistake. The housing looks a little "third world" compared to western standards. However, all properties seem well groomed, clean and nicely landscaped. As of 2015, there is no commercial electricity available. All electricity is supplied by private generators. However, a hydro electric dam and power lines are under construction and will provide power to the most populous part of the island.

Taveuni receives significant rainfall due to the trade winds and it's mountainous terrain. Because of this, the island's vegetation is lush. It is often called "The Garden Island".

The most endearing feature of Taveuni is the people. They are very warm and friendly and readily welcome visitors. "Bula" is the Fijian term for hello. Strangers on the street will frequently greet you with a big smile and a warm "Bula".



Diving
Scuba diving was the main reason that we chose Taveuni for this trip. As you can see in the map at the top of this page, Taveuni sits just east of the larger island of Vanua Levu. The seven mile wide Somasoma Strait separates these two islands. Strong tidal currents in the strait bring a bountiful supply of plankton which feeds an abundance of soft coral. Taveuni is often called "the soft coral capital of the world."

If you aren't sure of the difference between soft and hard coral click HERE for an explanation.

Normally I look for the very small stuff to photograph. (nudibranch, small creatures, etc.) However in Taveuni, I was so mesmerized by the profusion and lush colour of the soft coral that I almost forgot about the small stuff.


Below are thumbnails of each of the photos.
Click on any image to enlarge it.
The enlarged image will open in a new window. From there, you can either close the window and choose another to enlarge or simply click the "Next" or "Previous" button to scan through all pictures.


Arrival in Taveuni
Travelling on normal sized jets is a standard and boring event. However, flying on smaller inter-island planes in the South Pacific can be an interesting experience!

Taveuni Palms
 

Island Excursions
Our villa at Taveuni Palms was outstanding so we planned to spend the majority of our time enjoying the villa. However, you can't travel as far as Taveuni and not sample the local sights. Accordingly, we arranged three excursions in addition to scuba diving. See the pictures below:

Scuba Diving
I (Gary) have been diving since the mid 1970s. As such, I have experienced many places all over the world and have seen a lot of great things. The question that I am always asked is "What is your favourite dive location?" There is no one right answer to this question since every location has something different to offer. However, I do have a few favourites. After this trip, Taveuni has become one of my top favourites. Prior to arriving, I was aware of its reputation as "the soft coral capital of the world". This, plus Blue Ribbon Eels and nudibranchs were my objectives in Taveuni. Happily, these objectives were all achieved. See the pictures below!


© copyright   Gary & Nancy