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Dravuni Island, Fiji

We woke up in Fiji and were anchored off Dravuni Island.  By the time we arrived I was so tired and exhausted from a combination of self-inflicted issues including too many late nights, too much sun and too many cocktails (probably the biggest issue) that I thought about not leaving the ship and just lying on a day-bed and viewing Dravuni from a distance.

Waking up to Dravuni Island

Waking up to Dravuni Island

But that would be a very poor effort as you don’t come this far to just be an onlooker so after a rejuvenating buffet breakfast we climbed into a tender boat (one of the ship’s lifeboats) and went across to Dravuni.

Arriving on Dravuni Island

Arriving on Dravuni Island

Dravuni Island is south of Suva, the largest city in Fiji.  There is just one village on the island with 100 residents.  There are no roads and no cars so you have to walk everywhere.  But that’s not a hardship as it’s not a large island.

The meeting house

The meeting house


First we wandered through the village where we saw the houses the residents live in and the local primary school and the meeting house.  The locals had set up stalls where you could have your hair braided or have a massage or drink from a fresh coconut or buy a soft drink.  A cool drink in all that heat would have been very welcome but there wasn’t any cooling mechanism like refrigeration or ice and so the drinks were put in a container of water to try and keep them cold but that wasn’t working too well.

The primary school on the Island

The primary school on the Island

Local children

Local children

Singing in the meeting house

Singing in the meeting house

The currency is Fijian dollars and they were charging FJ$20.00 for a massage, FJ$5.00 for hair braiding, FJ$3.00 for a can of coke or FJ$2.00 to have a parrot put on your shoulder or head.  If you don’t have Fijian dollars they will take Australian currency but they prefer notes, not coins, and in terms of currency conversion, you won’t be given a discount from the Fijian prices advertised.

A beautiful parrot that loves people

A beautiful parrot that loves people

Alfie loves birds!

Alfie loves creatures of every kind

You will need plenty of sunscreen, drinks and reef shoes for this island, as it’s hot beyond belief and the sun is scorching.  With all the humidity you will perspire copiously where it just runs off your body and protecting your feet from the coral is very necessary as the reef runs all the way around the island.

So many choices of where to roll out my towel

So many choices of where to roll out my towel

The ship in the background

The ship in the background

Lying in water as warm as a bath

Lying in water as warm as a bath

We found a shady place to lay out our towels and then thought we’d go snorkelling.  However, the water is extremely shallow for a long way from the shore and the reef runs all the way to the beach so Carl thought his stomach would become hari-kari if he went snorkelling so he refrained and I took the little guy.  (Miss Arabella was sleeping off a VERY late night back on the ship – by now she had a close circle of friends!)

Very transparent water with coral

Very transparent water with coral

The snorkelling, (once you’ve managed to get passed the weed and the shallow water) is amazing.  The water is crystal clear and luke warm, the coral is there in every colour of the rainbow and the fish life is full of variety.  We saw too many species to count and there were so many schools of fish in colours of green, yellow, white, blue and orange or striped, multi-coloured, tiny or substantial.  It was a visual feast for the eyes to be sure.

Walking around the island

Beginning our walk to the summit

We came out of the water and heard you can walk to the top of the island where there is an incredible view so we left our things on the beach (there’s no problem with theft) and started to walk towards the summit.  It’s a walk that’s easy to do even if you’re wearing thongs (as we were) however it’s hot.  Have I mentioned that Fiji is hot?  It’s hot, especially in the summer which is when we were there.  As we struggled for breath on our way to the top we passed many people descending the hill who all, without fail said, ‘It’s worth it once you get up there’ and with that encouragement we kept going.

It's so beautiful

It’s so beautiful

So hot!

So hot!

It took about 20-minutes from where we were on the beach to walk to the highest point of the island.  I certainly would have regretted it if we hadn’t have made the effort as the view from the top of Dravuni Island is amazing and we stood in all the heat in awe of our surroundings.  All the photos were taken on my i-phone and none have had any post-production so the colours you see are exactly what we experienced.

It's a stunning island

It’s a stunning island

You absolutely must walk to the top of the island

You absolutely must walk to the top of the island

The colours are amazing

The colours are amazing

We made it!

We made it!

It’s an incredible island and Carl asked a local if we could move there!  ‘Of course’, he said, very welcomingly.

But that is not to be and we had to leave the island to the one hundred fortunate souls who can call this special place ‘home’.

I’m not sure if you would ever visit Dravuni unless you are on a cruise ship and it’s so good that the cruise ships do visit as they provide income for the village that calls Dravuni home.

Taken on the way back down

Taken on the way back down

And then the walk back down.

And then the walk back down.

Walking back down to the beach

Walking back down to the beach

Once we descended the summit we had another swim in the beautiful water then had a warm soft drink while floating in the water and then all too soon it was time to be back on the ship.  We caught the very last tender and had we missed that one, perhaps as Carl wished, we’d still be there now!

It's a place you don't want to leave.

It’s a place you don’t want to leave.

I loved visiting Dravuni Island as it gave us a true experience of how the beautiful Fijian people live.  We were able to see how their village operates, see how welcoming they are to visitors, and of course, listen to their harmonious voices singing to us as we toured their island home.

Very transparent water with coral

Very transparent water with coral

I would be ever so grateful if I had the opportunity to visit Dravuni Island and its people again.

Taken on the way back down

The colours of Dravuni

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Comments

  1. Another lovely island. I wonder how often the cruise ships come there and if the tourist dollars are the main income for the island or if there is any other source. I hope you all used a lot of sunscreen in that blazing hot sun. Cute parrot, worth the FJ$2 walking fee. 🙂

  2. The walk to the summit was definitely worth it, the views of the reef are stunning! Thank you Charlie for cheering up us Northern hemisphere folk with your wonderful posts from these beautiful islands.

  3. I don’t think I can bear very much of this anymore… you are killing me. Oh, I am so jealous!

  4. Stunningly beautiful. Those two words written as I watch yet more snow fall upon the frozen landscape of Minnesota.

    This ability to escape to a warm (ok, not) and lovely place through your posts has been wonderful. Thank you.

  5. Those colors are absolutely spectacular!! So glad you roused yourself to go to Dravuni. Loving all of the pictures and recaps of your visits.

  6. Another lovely stop on this wonderful vacation. Thank you for sharing!

  7. I don’t know. A place as gorgeous as that practically screams “one more cocktail!”

  8. I do know a bit about cruise ships and cocktails! I mean you simply have to partake in the evening activities 🙂 The next day, well, you splash water on your face and head out to start all over again! This was definitely worth stepping out and seeing. Gorgeous views!

  9. Oh so beautiful Charlie! I’m sure you would have been a great addition to the island community if you stayed- but we’d miss you so it’s just as well you made it back 🙂 xox

  10. You can never have enough cocktails 🙂 Hahaha you were simply having too much fun hehe but that’s great because you should enjoy your holidays! Awww love that picture of Alfie an the little birdie hehe

  11. Wow! Those are some awesome photos! Fuji looks amazing! If I ever go, I will have to go in the fall or winter! 😉 I hate hot weather! xo

  12. It looks like you were very taken with the island which is understandable as it looks stunning! 🙂

  13. What a beautiful looking island, that water I just want to dive in. It sounds like you had such a wonderful family trip away.

  14. Such gorgeous scenery and the blue takes me back 😀
    Wonderful holiday!

    Cheers
    CCU

  15. What a gloriously beautiful place! I’ve been to Fiji numerous times but never to this island. I hope very much to visit it one day thanks to your post. 🙂

  16. Another wonderful day was had by all, have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  17. I know I said this a couple of posts back BUT seeing your beautiful photos REALLY makes me want to move back to Mauritius and put up with the heat you speak of.
    Have a super weekend Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  18. Another fantastic island. I’m to the point of envy now. 🙂

  19. This really looks like the trip and cruise of a lifetime, and clearly you all had so much fun. But I am getting tired just seeing all the amazing things to see and do. No wonder you wanted to stay on the boat for a day..but look what you would have missed!

  20. Dave Herrinton says:

    Hi, Does anyone know the name of the school teacher on Dravuni Island or their email address as we visited earlier this year and would like to send some gifts for Christmas.
    Thanks

    • Hi Dave, what a lovely idea. I’m sorry but I don’t know the name of the school teacher. We were there during the school holidays so the school wasn’t operating. I do hope you’re able to find out as I’m sure the school would very much appreciate your thoughtfulness.

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