Landscapes in Australia and Pacific
An amazing 5 km walk which first follows some of Fiji's most beautiful coastline for then goes through a lush valley before ending at a gushing waterfall with a cool natural pool. A second hidden waterfall can be reached if you swim between the sheer walls to the last pool right below the big waterfall. You can jump from both waterfalls, but let a local show you first. The trail is well beaten and pass villages, white sandy beaches, black sandy beaches, and across rivers. About halfway are some black rock "mushrooms" where the coral base has been eroded. You have to come back the same way, making it a 10 km hike, which normally takes about three hours for the return journey, but you could easily spend more time swimming.
Limestone Sawa-i-Lau Island stands out amid the other Yasawa Islands, which are volcanic. Sawa-i-Lau houses two caves, both with coldish sea water. The first cave is easy accessible from a set of stairs. The cave roof is 15 m high and shafts of sunlight shines through a hole. You can swin in the cold water natural pool. The second cave is adjoined and accessible through a short dive through an underwater passage. It’s totally dark, so a torch is necessary. You have to swim the whole time, but there are rocks here and there to stand on. A scene of the movie The Blue Lagoon was apparently shot inside the first cave. The is cave owned by the village across the channel and these days it’s locked, so you need to go on a tour, but you will need the guide’s knowledge and waterproof torch anyway. In high season it can gets really crowded with several groups in the caves at the same time.
Three dramatic waterfalls which plunge out from the green jungle into refreshing chilled pools. With a 24 m drop the first waterfall is the talles and lies just an easy stroll from the simple visitor centre. The second waterfall is about another 30 minutes hike along the well marked trail through the jungle (two options; bush walk or river crossing). The third waterfall (pictured) is another 20 minutes hike from the second. The last part can be seriously slippery and muddy when wet, so be careful. The jungle trail is easy to follow as there are steps, rails and even ropes. A rushed return trip can be done in two hours, though the information board states three hours.
Less developed than the west side with more vegetation and a rough shore that is not protected by an outer reef. The coast has some of the best surf around (and that says something), though not as terrifying big as the Teahupoo wave on the west side of Tahiti Iti. Hidden black-sand beaches can be found here and there, and the lush mountainous inland, which rise steep from the shore, offers excursions to tall waterfalls and lava tunnels among other attractions. So nothing mind blowing, just something to see one those days where you need to heal your sunburns.
To grasp the charm of Tahiti you need to see the island as a whole, rather than a string of single sights. The west coast is the most groomed and have a handful of sights that cater to the few tourists that actually venture out of their resorts. This include the fine lighthouse at Point Venus, the pretty garden of Maraa cave and the lovely located Gauguin museum (yes, the French painter) that actually does not have a single original painting of the guy (understandable though, consider their values). The road from Papeete to Tahiti Iti (the sizable lump attached to Tahiti's southeast end) wind along the coast passing a range of small patches of beaches, where none are of the white-sand-palm-fringed-postcard-worthy quality that the French Polynesia is otherwise known for, and ending in Tahiti Iti, where the famous Teahupoo wave is breaking.
These gorgeous waterfalls are considered to be the most beautiful on Savai'i. There severel smaller ones, which drops into different pools, but it's the highest one that will delight you. Water plunge straight from the jungle into a big clear pool below. It doesn't get more picturesque than this. You can jump in and swim around in the refreshingly cold water. Remember to visit the neighbouring Pulemelei Mound too (ask for directions).
The southern coastline of Savai'i Island is pretty spectacular with sea-smashed black volcanic cliffs and dense lush jungle and occasional coconut palms. But at the village Taga, it gets a little more spectacular with blowhole after blowhole. At high tide seawater is blasted through lava tunnels and send 10-15 metres into the air in big sprays. Stay behind the painted white line, as freak waves occasionally break over the rocks.
This smallish waterfall lies right next to the road. There are grounds which charge the usually small entrance fee, but the view is almost better from the bridge (which is free), because you can see the river flows into the sea further down.
A five minutes hike through a plantation brings you to these two dramatic waterfalls. If the look over the unfenced edge isn't thrilling enough for you, then follow the short trail through the jungle untill you reach the top of the falls (no elavation). One wrong step and you will fall into the river and go over the waterfall. The rocks are slippery, so be extra careful.
When Mt Matavanu erupted in the begning of the 20th century, a thick lava flow covered the northeast part of Savai'i. Even after all these years, there is still a black carpet of lava, though today it's dotted with green plants. The structure of the lava flow is still clearly visible to this day. The Lava Field continues to the next village Sale'aula, where the Ruined Churches are, so if planning to see them, you can just see the lava field there.