Leleuvia Island off the eastern coast of the main Island Viti Levu near Suva, is a must visit. It’s much like going to Singapore and skipping Sentosa Island or Thailand and skipping Koh Samui, you’d miss a quintessential experience. Leleuvia is much more of a Robinson Crusoe experience than a 5 star resort and if you are willing to experience the feel of being in real life Fiji, then this is probably for you . The clear emerald green waters, white sand and palm trees will ensure it is love at first sight.
You get the idea. If you are adventurous and just can’t sit still at a resort or just maybe you are picking up a cruise out to the Islands from Suva and have a spare day or two then, a visit here is a must.
A small speed boat will take you out to the tiny island about 35 minutes from Bau landing, a little jetty 45 minutes drive from downtown Suva on the road north. You can catch a taxi or a bus, either will deposit you for a small sum of money. The ride takes you out into the blue expanse of ocean. Clouds gather over us turning the green water dark blue.
You can travel to Leleuvia as a day trip. Included in the $75 Fijian dollar fee is the trip there and back, lunch and use of any of the water sports equipment, all non- motorized gentle sports like kyaking , snorkling, diving, kiteboarding and fishing. Or you can stay at Leleuvia as long as you like. This is possibly a hideaway for artists, writers, families, backpackers or anyone that just loves nature. It is a tiny island with lots of places to laze.
There are basic but clean amenities in the middle of the sandy main square and the bures are mostly on the beach, not that the beach is far away. The cute huts have nothing- but everything you need to read and swim and eat. The experience includes meals in the restaurant bar area, included in the cost of your room. If you are hungry between meals there are all day snacks too.
I just love the idea of this dessert island existence. Swim and sun yourself till the sun hits the horizon, drink and eat and then do it all again. But I would most surely be lost without the internet, no TV is fine but no internet freaks me out and luckily there is free wi fi in the bar area . There are also no mosquitoes a big bonus. The island is treated for these little pests. Electricity is produced by a generator between 6am and 12pm and torches are provided for the time between.
You can also get involved in a bit of conservation here too if you like. There’s a choice of Coral planting out in the clear waters near the arrival jetty where your work place will be teeming with colourful tropical fish and the occasional whale . There’s a turtle conservation program where you can help document, observe & tag the local turtles or volunteer to work in the water sports department on the island. You could find all sorts of ways to stay on holidays forever.
Leleuvia is a tiny island out in the ocean and the elements and the thrill of seeing the weather come and go is all part of the experience. From here you can boat out to nearby islands and villages with a guide.
This was our lunch the day we visited as part of our package. At around 4.30pm in the afternoon we board the last boat off the island. Twenty minutes out into the ocean we see two men waving from the water. The boat turns and pulls up alongside them. They are helped aboard with their long line of fish and lobsters and crabs all slotted through the gills to keep them safe from escaping while they dive. These two men have been treading water for an hour hoping that a boat will come by and see them. During the storm that blew over they were separated from their boat and left in the middle of the ocean. We speed off with them on board looking exausted and ten minutes further along we see a man sitting alone in a row boat. He looks very relieved to see his friends alive. Our captain tells us that a lot of Fijian men drown in this way. They go out into the middle of the ocean to dive and snorkel spearfishing their catch but they get separted from their boat.
It’s a very thought provoking afternoon experience, imagining that lots of people go missing. Some are fishing for product to sell and others just for their families. On the road back to Suva we pass seafood of all kinds dangling from lines beside the road. This is a common way for families to make a bit of an income from passers by.
My Kitchen Stories travelled to Leleuvia independently