Fiji: Adventurous types

Fiji Insider
Feet of raft tour guide (Photo: Lonely Planet Images / Holger Leue)
Feet of raft tour guide.
If you're an adrenaline junky, you'll love the adventurous options to be had in Fiji. Our Insider shares the best thrills on offer.

Scuba diving and snorkelling

Fiji is a magnet for divers with some of the finest soft-coral diving in the world. Commuting times to the reefs are generally short and underwater visibility is excellent. The dive shops of Pacific Harbour on Viti Levu specialize in shark diving in the Beqa Lagoon. The Rainbow Reef across the Somosomo Strait from Taveuni features numerous dive sites, including the famous Great White Wall. The Great Astrolabe Reef off Kadavu Island is almost unexplored. Aside from resort-based diving, live-aboard dive boats offer almost unlimited diving on remote reefs. Unlike scuba diving, snorkelling is free. The snorkelling off Fiji's two largest islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, is usually poor but most of the smaller outer islands offer excellent beach snorkelling.

Surfing

The area for surfing is more focused on scuba diving. Fiji's most famous wave is Cloudbreak, a hollow left-hander on the south side of the Mamanuca Islands. Nearby are the Namotu Left and the right barrels in Wilkes Passage. The King Kong Lefts off the west side of Kadavu Island and the left-hander in Frigate Passage on the Beqa Barrier Reef south of Viti Levu are less known but equally spectacular. Until recently, surfing these world class waves was restricted to guests at a few top resorts which had purchased exclusive rights from Fijian clans which claimed traditional ownership. In July 2010 the Fiji Government cancelled these agreements and the backpacker resorts can now compete on equal terms. Aside from the reef breaks, beach break surfing is possible at the mouth of the Sigatoka River.

Ocean kayaking

The Yasawa Islands and Kadavu Island are often visited by organised ocean kayaking expeditions. Both areas offer reef-sheltered lagoons and the inter-island distances are small. Natewa Bay off Vanua Levu and Taveuni Island are other favorite sea-kayaking venues. For those who only want to play around, most of the Mamanuca resorts loan kayaks to guests.

Whitewater rafting

Rivers Fiji at Pacific Harbour offers rubber raft trips through the Upper Navua Gorge on Viti Levu daily, except Sunday. These trips are through Class III rapids, so children under eight are not accepted. From Nadi, there are raft trips through the Ba River Gorge below Navala, although, these are dependent on water levels.

Hiking

Tour operators offer guided hikes in the Nausori Highlands above Nadi. Some of Fiji's finest hiking is in Koroyanitu National Heritage Park above Lautoka. Trails lead from Abaca village to several waterfalls and Mount Batiluva where a sweeping view of western Viti Levu is obtained. It's possible to climb Fiji's highest mountain, Mount Victoria, or Tomaniivi (1323m), in one day from Navai in central Viti Levu. The open grassy ridges and hilltops of the Yasawa Islands make for outstanding hiking. On the Coral Coast, there's a coastal walk along the narrow gauge railway line from Shangri-La's Fijian Resort to Natadola Beach.

Have you tried any of these sports in Fiji? Tell us about it using the comments form below.

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