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Information on Taveuni Island


Taveuni is known throughout Fiji as the "Garden Island of Fiji".  It has a beautiful blend of tropical rainforest, reefs, beaches, highlands, coconut plantations and mangroves in a paradise setting.   It is a volcanic island with plenty of fertile volcanic soil and is the third largest island in the Fijian group of 332 islands. 

It is one of few places in the world (along with Rabe Island and Siberia) that lie on the 180 degree meridian, the point at which one day turns into the next.  (However, for convenience, the international time zone has been conveniently "modified" so that it passes around the Fijian island group, instead of through Taveuni).

Length of the island is around 42 kms and is about 15kms wide, at its widest point.  Taveuni is a unique island in the Fijian group.  Approximately a third of the island has been declared a World Heritage National Park (Bouma National Park).

  A population of about 15,000 people of mainly indigenous Fijians with minority communities of Indian Fijians, which run the majority of commerce on the island.

The island has:   

Eight public and private schools, 1 modern hospital and 3 nursing stations.

  A dozen villages and about 30 settlements throughout the island.   

A ferry wharf (Wairiki) and an airport (Matei).

 The business centre of Taveuni is located in Naqara, adjacent to the village of Somosomo.  Other places to stock up on goods include: Waiyevo and Wairiki and Matei.

Due to its fertile soil and high rainfall, The "Garden Island" provides a considerable amount of Fiji's staple crops such as coconuts, taro, tapioca, kava, pineapples, banana, vegetables and tropical fruits.


Map of Taveuni

Map of Taveuni

Click on Image to enlarge

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Geographical History

Taveuni is one of Fiji's newest islands in the Fijian group, believed to have been created about 2, 000 years ago arising from the seabed during a volcanic eruption.

Evidence of its volcanic origins, can be found everywhere from the soil which contains volcanic pebbles and pumice, to the solidified lava outcrops found along some of the beaches throughout the island including Wei Wei and Vuna (Blowholes) to the "black sand" volcanic beaches of Navakacoa and Paqai, (near Qeleni village) and Wairiki.


Volcanic lava formations throughout island


Black volcanic sands at Navakacoa

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Cultural History

Cultural history for the island dates back centuries.  Many fierce wars have taken place between the Tongans and the Taveuni Islanders, who were known as one of the fiercest warriors and cannibals.  There is even remnants of an old fort and burial ground on the island near Bouma.  The fort was established to guard against the invading Tongans.

Near Wairiki some two hundred years ago, Taveuni warriors turned back thousands of invading Tongans, (Polynesian origins) in a battle that was fought in canoes just off the beach.  It was this particular battle that turned the tide in a war that had seen the Tongans take over much of Fiji.  The locals celebrated by cooking their enemies and eating them with breadfruit.

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Climate

Taveuni's weather can be described as humid and tropical.  Due to prevailing easterly Trade Winds, it is a few degrees cooler, on average all year round, than Suva and Nadi.  Even though Taveuni is a relatively small island, it has a varied climate, and can be wet on the eastern side and relatively dry in the southwest (around Vuna), with very little rainfall, especially during the dry season.

Like most tropical places around the world, Fiji has two distinct seasons, dry and wet.  The dry season runs from April through to October and the wet season starts in the other months.

Rainfall
The Trade Winds also make Taveuni one of the wettest parts of Fiji and it receives an average of 2600mm of rainfall per annum around Matei through to 4500mm in the highlands.

Taveuni has abundant rainfall ranging from 2,500mm per annum through to 4,500mm per annum in the highlands.  Taveuni's high rainfall, combined with its' fertile volcanic soil, lack of the mongoose, provides a high biodiversity of endemic flora and fauna.

Temperature
The weather is tropical all year round, with only two seasons, wet and dry [dry from May- Nov].  The temperature is relatively stable throughout the year.  The maximum temperature ranges from an average of 27-30 deg.C and an average minimum temperature range is 22-24 deg.C.

Humidity
Due to equatorial location of Fiji and the high rainfall, Taveuni has a humid climate.  The relative humidity ranges from 76-86% throughout the year.

Table (below) showing 12 year averages for weather on Taveuni Island.

Temp max (Deg C)

Temp min (Deg C)

Relative Humidity

Rainfall
(mm)

Jan
30
24
83%
422
Feb
30
24
82%
265
Mar
30
24
82%
360
Apr
30
24
75%
242
May
29
23
80%
207
Jun
28
22
79%
125
Jul
27
22
80%
99
Aug
27
22
79%
116
Sep
28
22
79%
128
Oct
28
22
79%
172
Nov
29
23
80%
202
Dec
30
24
81%
294

Location: Matei Airport- [Source: Fijian Meteorological Bureau-Nadi Fiji].

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Exclusive Getaways on Taveuni
(click on image)

Makaira

Coconut Grove

Paradise Taveuni


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