About 100km south of Viti Levu, this untamed group of islands forms a hilly and verdant backdrop against the empty sea. The absence of roads and infrastructure helps to maintain a prehistoric façade, and Kadavu's 72 villages still rely largely on subsistence agriculture. Tourism is expanding at a slow creep, enough to beckon travellers without impacting too greatly on the existing culture.
The magnificent and sizeable Astrolabe Reef is Kadavu's main lure. Cutting a vivid swathe around the group's base, it rewards visitors with some of the finest diving in the Pacific. But the interior is just as colourful and the lush rainforests, especially on the eastern side, are home to a wide variety of birdlife, including the celebrated Kadavu musk parrot.