Nature and gardens

Hikers walk through the Waisali rainforest in Savusavu, Fiji.

Waisali Rainforest Reserve

The reserve is a glorious pocket of 120 hectares of unexploited forest some 20km west of Savusavu, easily accessible by road. A two-hour nature trail takes you down a well-maintained (but steep) path to a natural rock pool at the bottom, and then back up the other side to the top.

It is engulfed by majestic trees, training epiphytes and Fiji’s graceful endemic palms.  There are about 30 species of orchids found in the area. Birds found in the reserve include the Orange Dove, the Red Shining Parrot, the Coloured Lory and the Orange Breasted Myzomela among others. So far, 21 species of birds have been found in the reserve, which represents about 40% of the breeding land bird species found in Fiji.

Hours: Monday – Friday 8.00am to 2.00pm. Call ahead to Ranuka on 934 – 5790. He is willing to take you in early to find the bird life if you make arrangements.

The Waisali Reserve is owned and managed by the National Trust of Fiji Islands.

A boardwalk leads through the botanical gardens in Savusavu, Fiji.

Flora Tropica Botanical Gardens

The Flora Tropica botanical gardens of Savusavu occupy a unique niche in Fiji, with their collection of over 250 palm species from across the world, many of them on the critical or endangered lists and some that are already extinct in their natural habitat.

The gardens are five kilometres outside Savusavu and receive approximately 500 visitors a year, although Jim reports that in the last year numbers have increased significantly. A visit starts at the tranquil lily pond at the bottom of the hill, and winds up the hill to glorious views across Savusavu Bay. The palms are magnificent, and there is also an abundance of other flora: various flowering trees, many varieties of variegated and flowering shrubs, orchids, heliconia, water lilies and more than 40 types of tropical fruit trees.

The rest areas along the walkway provide respite from the climb, and a place to stop and enjoy the serenity and beauty of the venue. During their lifetime, the gardens have hosted events, weddings and even yoga group meditation sessions.

Call ahead (or email) to book a visit: [email protected]

Tel: Manager – Enoch: +679 9304697

Savusavu hot springs

The hot springs, right in the centre of town, are an extraordinary natural phenomenon that you shouldn’t miss. Savusavu is in a geologically active area, and this manifests as steaming hot springs, easily visible where they enter the sea close to the Copra Shed. If you go inland a short way, behind the MaxValu supermarket, across the car park and beside Khamendra school, you will see the bubbling springs and hot stones, where locals often cook their food.

The water is extremely hot so be careful!

There are thermal baths at the medical centre nearby, charged by the hot springs – visit if you would like to bathe in the reputedly therapeutic waters.

A Goshawk watching the forest in Savusavu, Fiji.

Bird watching

We have some amazing endemic bird species: the silktail, the orange dove, the Fiji goshawk, the orange breasted myzomela, the Fiji parrot finch. The Natewa silktail has recently (June 2019) been re-classified as a separate species on its own, separate from the Taveuni silktail.

Bird tours are run by Daku Resort.

Hikers in the forest in Nadamole, Fiji.

Nature trails and hikes

There are a couple of local companies doing hikes: contact Naveria Heights or Daku Resort to enquire.

There’s a fantastic hike behind Nadamole village, taking you up the steep hill behind and down a narrow pathway to a rushing stream in a narrow rocky fold in the hillside. It is a demanding hike and definitely not for anyone with knee or hip problems. $25 per person, 2 people minimum. Contact Inoke 997 6365.


A group of tourists bathe in the local thermal mud pools

Thermal mud pools

The thermal mud pool is on the other side of Savusavu Bay, about a half hour’s drive from town. You’ll take a dirt road off the main road for about five minutes, and come to stop deep in the bush. From there it’s a short walk to the river, which you cross on foot. You stop to greet the land owner, and then walk on to the pool.

The  pool is shallow and you can scoop up the gritty dark mud and rub it over your arms and legs and face – a rejuvenating treatment that would cost a whole lot back home!

Once you’ve rinsed off in the pool, walk down to the cool river and take a refreshing swim in the river below.

Contact your accomodation provider.


A native and rare Silktail spotted on a birdwatching tour in Savusavu
Botanical gardens boardwalk at the Flora Tropica Gardens in Savusavu