This pocket-sized island is on the itinerary for most travellers to northern Viti Levu. The 3.5-sq-km island is beautifully hilly, and is surrounded by scalloped bays, white-sand beaches and mangroves. There are, however, neither roads nor villages, and accommodation is simple. Former cattle grazing cleared much of the dense vegetation and today rolling hills of grass inhabit the interior. It’s only 3km north of Ellington Wharf, but the atypical landscape and small enclave of wealthy holiday homes exaggerate the distance. Nananu-i-Ra’s original inhabitants were wiped out by disease and tribal war, and their land was sold by their surviving heirs, mostly to Fijians of European descent.
Nananu-i-Ra is renowned for its offshore reefs and for windsurfing and kiteboarding. It can get very windy on the east side of the island from May through to July and again from late October to December during the cyclone season. The narrow strip of land that separates the west (Front Beach) from the east (Back Beach) is only 200m wide and no matter which way the wind blows, it’s only a short walk to the calmer side. Walking tracks across the inland hills offer a good chance to stretch your legs.