Great Astrolabe Reef
The Great Astrolabe Reef is in Fiji and surrounds the fourth largest island, Kadavu Island, which is approximately 65 km in length. Kadavu Island is approximately 100 km south of Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji.
The Great Astrolabe Reef is one of the largest barrier reefs in the world and encompasses Kadavu Island, Ono Island and other small islands within a natural protective lagoon. The reef is predominantly located along the southern coast of Kadavu Island and arcs north around Ono Island and further north passing the world class Kokomo Resort on the way to Buliya.
Enjoy the peace and complete solitude of the region’s many uninhabited beaches and jeweled islands, and visit a traditional Fijian village to experience Kadavu’s special culture, cuisine and hospitality.
The Kadavu Island is Fiji’s 4th largest and is found in the south of the Fiji Islands at 19 degrees south, approximately the same latitude as Hawaii in the northern latitudes.
It includes the many islands of the Great Astrolabe Reef system and is largely covered in semi-mountainous rainforest. The Great Astrolabe Reef is the second largest reef system in the Pacific behind the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and it includes one of the world’s largest and healthiest coral reefs.
The lifestyle of Kadavu’s indigenous people has changed little over the past 100 years. Subsistence farming and fishing remain the primary daily routine. There are few unpaved roads and no large towns on the island. Kadavu’s eastern half, where you will be visiting, has no roads, no cars, no horns, no sirens, no dumpster trucks, no TV, only villages, solitude, birds and the worlds friendliest people. Getting around is either done by foot along the many trails, or by dugout canoes or small boats.
Fiji’s climate approximates Hawaii as it lies in the same sub-tropical zone but in the southern hemisphere. The seasons are reversed with summer in Dec – Feb. Humidity is a bit higher due to the slightly closer proximity to the equator than Hawaii. During the winter months, June – Sept, you can expect cooler temperatures and sweaters are necessary during damp periods.
Nearly all of Fiji’s islands have shallow reefs around them. The islands are volcanic in nature and created from the ocean’s floor on plate subduction zones. The Great Astrolabe Reef surrounds the Kadavu island group creating a giant lagoon removed from the large ocean generated swells. Within the lagoon area, lie over 10 islands and countless islets to visit and explore. Snorkeling and diving are main attractions to the area with generally calm waters excellent for outrigger canoeing. Most islands have low lying mountains covered in tropical forests, rain forests and grass lands. Isolated beaches abound.
In the villages you’ll be traditionally welcomed and encouraged to feel at home and be treated to local ceremonies, meke dances and lovo feasts (similar to a Hawaiian Luau). The hospitality of the people of Kadavu is generous and genuine. You’ll be able to converse with the locals (English is widely-spoken), and to visit their homes, gardens, schools and other places of interest. Whether it’s for a few hours or a longer stay, during your time in the village you’ll be immersed in Fijian culture. You’ll get an insight into the reality of remote island life and experience of warmest of pacific island hospitality.