Taveuni is renowned as Fiji’s Garden Island, though its tangled, steamy interior is more reminiscent of a prehistoric jungle than anything that might yield to a hedgetrimmer and set of pruning shears. Hot and often wet, this impossibly green volcanic bump is covered by a riotous quilt of palms, monster ferns and tropical wildflowers, one of which – the tagimaucia – is found nowhere else on earth. Its dense rainforest is a magnet for colourful bird life.
Much of Taveuni’s coastline is rugged: Des Voeux Peak reaches up to 1195m and the cloud-shrouded Mt Uluigalau, at 1241m, is Fiji’s highest summit. A massive swath of the island’s east is protected national park: here, you can get sweaty on hillside hikes, cool off under waterfalls, tramp along a coastal walk beside impossibly beautiful beach or glide through clear waters on a traditional bilibili (bamboo raft).
Taveuni’s beauty doesn’t fade at the water’s edge: the dazzling corals and diverse marine life of the Somosomo Strait, Waitabu Marine Park and Vuna Reef draw divers and snorkellers from around the world.