Choosing the Right Fijian Island

March 20, 2019

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Captain Cook Cruises Fiji | Blog

Choosing a holiday in the magnificent Fijian islands can be a hard choice, but only because there are so many islands to choose from! Fiji is the perfect holiday destination, blessed with 333 tropical islands that cater to every kind of traveller and budget. It’s home to affordable hostel-style bunks, exclusive five-star bures, soft coral diving, white sand beaches, and pristine natural environment. Whatever it is you want from your holiday, you’ll find it in Fiji, but where exactly? How do you know you’re choosing the right island to suit your needs?

To help you out, here’s a guide to Fiji’s most popular islands.


The international gateway to the Fijian islands, Viti Levu boasts a taste of everything the country has to offer. It’s the largest of the Fijian islands and is the pivotal point about which politics, commerce, and industry revolve. It’s also where roughly three-quarters of the Fijian population reside.

Nadi is a culturally diverse city of 30,000 people, and Nadi Beach is a wide strand that’s perfect for lazing in the sun and admiring the beautiful sunsets. Places of interest in Nadi include Sri Siva Subramaniya, the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere, and the Sleeping Giant orchid gardens. From Nadi and Port Denarau there is easy access to the Mamanuca Islands and Tivua Island Day cruise and Sunset Dinner cruise.

The Coral Coast is popular with families, with many great resorts and plenty of opportunities for diving, fishing, golf and surfing. Suva is worth a visit to see modern Melanesian life at its liveliest and Pacific Harbour is Fiji’s adventure capital.


The Mamanuca islands are the typical “postcard perfect” islands, with white sands, waiters wielding cocktails, sparkling waters and swaying coconut palms. The Mamanucas is where Tom Hanks spent months filming the movie “Castaway” and where several reality shows including “Survivor” have set up camp.

The Mamanucas are made up of 25 tropical atolls, with some islands uninhibited while others feature well-known resorts. Just 20-minutes boat ride from Nadi, they’re some of Fiji’s most accessible islands and popular with all types of travellers.

Tadrai Island is perfect for honeymooners, created exclusively for couples wanting their own private paradise. Vomo Island is historically favoured by Fijian Royal Chiefs, and Likuliku Lagoon Resort wow’s visitors with Fiji’s only overwater bungalows.

Families can find pure relaxation and fun-filled adventure on Treasure Island, Castaway Island and Plantation Island and those looking to party will love Beachcomber Island. Bounty Island offers excellent value for money for the budget-conscious.

Whether you’re looking for water sports, island hopping trips, romantic beach picnics or kids clubs, the Mamanuca Islands have it all. A great way to experience many of the islands in the Mamanuca group is aboard Reef Endeavour for 3 or 7 nights.


A high-speed catamaran ride from either Viti Levu or the Mamanucas will find you in the Yasawas, a group of sparsely populated islands rich in intense natural beauty. You won’t find shops, banks and medical services here, but you will find gorgeous beaches, abundant sunshine and a range of affordable backpacker resorts.

As well as snorkeling and kayaking, the Yasawas are great for sailing and chartering a sailboat is a must. Swimming, fishing and village visits are common activities and dining is usually a group affair.

If it sounds like the Yasawas might be for you, check out our 3, 4 and 7 night Yasawa Island cruises.


Levuka on Ovalau was once the capital of Fiji and is today one of the only towns in the South Pacific to boast Wild West-style colonial buildings. Outside of the town you’ll find jungle-clad mountains, undeveloped coasts and traditional villages.

The islands of Leleuvia, Naigani and Koro offer low-key resorts and the chance to watch native birds fly overhead from the comfort of your hammock. Wakaya Island offers one of the country’s most exclusive and beautiful resorts and unparalleled scuba diving and snorkelling. Why not plan to experience these beautiful islands by ship aboard Reef Endeavour departing 6 times a year from Port Denarau on 7-night colonial discovery cruises.


Vanua Levu is Fiji’s second largest island and is ideal for the adventurous traveller looking to river tube, bathe in a hot mud pool or snorkel off a bilibili bamboo raft.

Savusavu town is picturesque and houses a protected bay that is a popular mooring for yachts. As more yachts arrive, tourism in the town grows. Wasali Nature Reserve is an untouched rainforest with hiking trails galore. You can get up-close-and-personal with dolphins at Natewa Bay, dive the soft corals and explore the Hibiscus highway.

Visit Vanua Levu on our 4 Cultures Discovery Cruise.


Easily accessed via plane or ship from Viti Levu & included on the Reef Endeavour’s Lau and Kadavu Discovery Cruise departing November and March, Kadavu is an eco-adventurer’s paradise. Many of the resorts grow their own organic produce and work closely with the local villages. If it’s true Fijian culture you’re after, you’ll find it here.

Kadavu is also home to the world-famous Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world left largely unspoiled.


Taveuni is Fiji’s “Garden Island”, being rich in lush tropical rainforest, flowers, and waterfalls. Most of the forests are protected and there are peaks to ascend and coastlines to meander. Explore Lavena Coastal Walk and discover black sand beaches, traditional villages, and a picture-perfect waterfall.

Taveuni offers a range of accommodation, with average prices ranging from $20 a night to $2,000 a night.

If you’d like to visit the north coast of Tavenui and the Bouma National Park, check out Captain Cook Fiji’s Colonial Discovery Cruise or the Lau & Kadavu Discovery Cruise to visit Lavena.


The Lau and Moala Groups lay virtually untouched by tourism, and flights and boats to the islands are few and far between, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be explored. If you have the patience to work out how to get there, you’re in for a treat with turquoise waters, hardly touched jungle and the most traditional of Fijian villages. Or simply board the Reef Endeavour for an 11 night Lau & Kadavu Discovery cruise in November or March.


Selecting the perfect island can be difficult, especially if you have never been before! We hope this guide has simplified the selection process in any way, shape, or form. Once you do select the islands you wish to visit, check out our small ship cruises and book in fast. Enjoy!

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