Dravuni Island, Fiji
A tiny volcanic island with less than 200 locals, Dravuni Island is the quintessential island for travellers who want to feel like a true castaway left to be marooned on deserted shores. With picturesque white sandy beaches and surrounded by the Great Astrolabe Reef, Dravuni is a slice of unspoiled paradise completely separate from the modern world.
With only one small village, visitors can free themselves from the trappings of duty free items and kitschy souvenirs, spending time lazing on beaches, snorkelling in the surrounding reef and soaking up the sun.
Forming part of the Fijian Kadavu Islands group, this beautifully rugged Pacific Island captures the attention of those looking to forgo phones and credit cards and get back to basics on their holiday. Cruising itineraries have only relatively recently made Dravuni a port of call, and there’s plenty to appreciate at one of the South Pacific’s most unspoiled destinations.
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Dravuni Island is the most northern of several inhabited islands forming part of the Kadavu Island group and surrounded by the Great Astrolabe reef, around 100 kilometres south of Suva. Cruise ships anchor offshore on the western side of Dravuni Island. Tenders will then ferry passengers to shore.
With such a small population, infrastructure on Dravuni Island is limited and port facilities are not available. Locals usually have a small market stall set up alongside the tender pier, where handmade souvenirs and basic food and drinks can be purchased. On days where cruise ships dock, there may be other makeshift stores set up along the shore including hair braiding and massage services.
How to Get Around
With no vehicles on Dravuni Island, the only way to get around is on foot. Fortunately, due to the island’s size, it’s at most a 15-minute trek from one side of the island to the other. Covering an area of just 0.8 kilometres, getting around is easy with clear pathways; however, many visitors may choose not to go too far from the beaches and village near the tender pier. Locals also offer boat tours around the island for approximately AUD$20 per person, with rides taking around 15 minutes.
Travel times from port:
- It is a 3 minute journey to Dravuni Village
- It is approximately a 20 minute journey from the beach to the hilltop peak, the highest point of the island
- It is a 10 minute journey to the ancestral gravesite, the old village site, and the Green Pool.
- Currency - The official currency of Fiji is the Fijian Dollar (FJD). Coins are available in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and FJD$1 and FJD$2 coins. Bank notes of FJD$5, FJD$10, FJD$20, FJD$50 and FJD$100 denominations are used. Australian dollars are also accepted; however, visitors are advised to bring small amounts of money as change may not be available.
- Time Zone - Dravuni Island operates on Fiji time, which is 12 hours ahead of Universal Coordinated Time (UTC.) From November to April, daylight savings time is observed (UTC +13:00).
- Weather - Weather on Dravuni Island is frequently hot and humid with average temperatures in January of 27 degrees Celsius and July of 23 degrees Celsius. It’s important for visitors to stay hydrated, wear lightweight clothing and bring sunscreen and water to shore.
- Hiking to Dravuni’s Highest Peak - For panoramic views, make the 20-minute trek along a well-worn coconut palm fringed path up to the highest point on the island. Enjoy sweeping views of the crystal blue waters of the Astrolabe reef and the grassy volcanic peaks of surrounding islands. Then explore some of the other sandy paths that connect the eastern and western side of the island. This includes the site where the old village was established, the Green Pool, and the rumoured grave site of Fijian warlord Ravuravu, who settled Dravuni and many other surrounding islands.
- Snorkel the Great Astrolabe Reef - Enjoy snorkelling right off the beach in shallow warm waters. See plenty of coral, colourful fish and other marine life, but remember to bring your own snorkelling equipment. After paddling until your heart is content, claim your very own plot of sand on the unspoiled beach, then sit back, relax and soak up the South Pacific sun.
- Explore Dravuni Village - Meet some of the friendly Dravuni locals and appreciate their lifestyle, humble village, handmade crafts and their love of volleyball. They’ll be more than happy to challenge you to a round, but expect the competition to be fierce. After you’ve tired yourself, enjoy a massage from the locals along the beach for $20.