Worth a Trip: The Sacred Islands
The gorgeousness of the Mamanucas has invoked many an 'Oh my god!' from gobsmacked visitors. But to their remote northwest lies an island group that truly is divine: the Sacred Islands. These four islands – Eori, Navadra, Kadomo and Vanua Levu (not to be confused with Fiji's second-largest island to the east) – are held holy in Fijian myth and legend: many consider them to be the birthplace of Fijian culture, and believe the first footstep on Fiji fell here more than 2500 years ago. Today, visitors can leave an offering to the gods of the islands at a shrine on Navadra. Villagers on the tiny island of Tavua consider themselves to be the group's guardians.
While no humans live on the Sacred Islands, they are home to wild goats and a wealth of bird species, including the rare White Kern, burrowing Shearwaters and large Pacific Harriers, birds of prey which hunt resident flying foxes.
There is fantastic snorkelling to be had at the islands, particularly at high tide. The nearby Dunk's Canyon is known for its high-visibility drop-off dives (30m).
Various cruisers – including Blue Lagoon Cruises and Captain Cook Cruises – drop into the Sacred Islands, and many resorts in the northern Mamanucas offer tours: ask at your accommodation if a trip can be arranged.