On August 2, 2022 the town of Savusavu reopened our bubbling hot thermal springs, a national treasure that until recently didn’t get much attention.
Thermal hot springs
A national treasure brought back to prominence
The Nakama Hot Springs
The Nakama Hot Springs are located in the center of Savusavu, and have been gushing piping hot water and steam for centuries.
Local villagers have used this geologic wonder for years as a sort of natural cauldron to cook dalo, fish and even cakes. With its new makeover, Nakama Hot Springs has become the town’s major tourist attraction.
Walking along the foreshore, visitors can see many vapors rising from roadside, creating a misty fairy landscape. The hot springs, springing from deep under the earth’s crust, were never more than a sideshow but deserved to be a main attraction.
And now they are.
A long deserved makeover for a Savusavu attraction
Thanks to a grant from the Commonwealth Local Government Fund the area occupied by the springs (near the Hot Springs Hotel) has been greatly smartened up with landscaping, stone walls, signage, steps and drains around the springs. Three open-sided bures afford shade and seating for visitors, and a series of signs explains the geology behind it.
Locals have cooked in the hot springs for time immemorial. Legend has it that if the springs are used for commercial purposes, their heat will be lost. During upgrade of the area, some speculated that the springs were not bubbling as vigorously as before. However these concerns were allayed as the new construction provided easier, safer access to the cooking areas.
The Origin of the Nakama Hot Springs
Geologists tell us that at a mere 10,000 years of age, Vanua Levu, is geologically very young. Magnificent Savusavu Bay was formed from the caldera of a volcano and the town of Savusavu which sits on the bay’s shore, is at the very epicenter of the most active geothermal activity in Fiji.
There are three major fault lines close to Savusavu which allow water to soak to depths where it’s geothermally heated by magma bodies (of varying depths) and rises to the surface to emerge as a hot spring. The water emerging from the Nakama hot springs has a comparatively very high temperatures – close to the boiling point of pure water (100 0 Celsius) — which suggests that the heat source is a magma body at great depth. Geologists believe but that the springs are recharged with sea water which seeps through a major fault line that runs off the coast on the eastern side of Savusavu Bay from the north east to the south west.
The Nakama hot springs also have high levels of sodium and chlorine. Other locations on Vanua Levu are fed through the ground and have waters high in sulphur.