No visit to Taveuni, Fiji’s third largest island, is complete without a trip to the magnificent Tavoro Waterfalls.
Situated within the Bouma National Heritage Park, which covers over 80% of Taveuni’s total area, accounting for some 150 sq km of rainforest and coastal forest, the Tavoro Waterfalls are actually three separate waterfalls.
The volcanic origin of Taveuni has led to the formation of many waterfalls, but Tavoro Waterfalls are the most spectacular and easily accessible falls on Taveuni.
You can take a taxi, bus or a combination of the two to the Bouma National Heritage Park.
I took the bus for Lavena from Waiyevo, which provided a scenic two-hour ride along coastal road, passing by villages, copra plantations, farms and lush forest along the way. The best part was it cost under $4 one-way.
The downside to taking the bus however is that you don’t have a lot of time at the park and if you’re travelling in a group, it may be best to take a carrier taxi.
Enquire about rates at your hotel’s front desk as rates will vary from place to place.
Once at Bouma, the walk to the Tavoro Waterfalls starts opposite the Tavoro Visitor Centre, just beyond the village of Korovou.
You’ll need to register and pay your park entry fee before starting the walk.
The lower Tavoro Waterfall is an easy 10 minute walk from the road. A wide path leads through village garden areas sited on the banks of Tavoro stream.
Here you will see small cultivated gardens of dalo (taro), cassava and yaqona (kava).
Other local food such as papaya, mango and breadfruit is used in a deliciously fresh lunch which you can arrange, before your walk, at the Visitor Centre.
The lower Tavoro Waterfall is a great place for swimming, snorkelling and picnicking.
At over 30 metres high, the waterfall owes its existence to Taveuni’s recent volcanic activity and subsequent stream erosion.
To see the Middle and Upper Waterfalls, take the track over the footbridge by the falls and climb the well-formed track.
A 30-minute ‘moderate’ walk will take you to the Middle Waterfall.
Lookouts on the track provide views both of the coast and of the interior forest of the park.
Toads and lizards are all over the place because the mongoose, which has devastated ground dwelling wildlife elsewhere in Fiji, is not found on Taveuni.
A river crossing is required about half way between the Lower and Middle Falls - a safety rope will help to keep your balance.
From the crossing to the falls the environment becomes increasingly natural with a wide variety of species creating a tropical rainforest canopy.