It’s expensive, yet inviting.
Where:Tavarua is a small island located on the southwesternmost edge of Fiji’s barrier-island system.
What: An island resort with three world-class surf breaks at one’s beckoning. The island itself is around 29 acres in area (depending on the tide) and is a self-sufficient resort that caters to guests year-round.
How: A direct flight from LAX to Nadi on the main island of Viti Levu is around eleven hours. Once in Nadi, there’s a 30-minute bus ride followed by a twenty-minute boat ride to get to the island. Package deals are around 2,800 dollars (in peak season—March through November) for a full week and include everything except your bar tab (which adds up).
The breaks: “Cloudbreak” is the most consistent and the most famous wave. Breaking from two to twenty feet, the wave can provide either a heaving tube or a playful long ride. “Restaurants” is located in front of the resort and is a fast, hollow wave on a shallow, sharp reef. “Rights” is a fun right-hander that shows only at high tide.
Living quarters: Accommodations include thirteen regular bures (or huts). Each one has its own bathroom with hot showers, two beds, and a futon. There are also two big family bures with two bedrooms and a large living-room area.
Food: Visitors receive three meals a day, and as anyone who’s been there will tell you, it’s good. Breakfasts include morning mainstays such as omelets, pancakes, and fruit. Depending on how much fish has been caught, sashimi appetizers can be served all day long. Dinners include fish, steak, and chicken—quality food at a quality place.
Crowd factor: Because of the size of the island, the maximum number of people who can be on the island at once is 34—according to resort rules, the most allowed out in the water at one time is 24 surfers. Depending on waves and tide, there’s a good chance that amount is spread out at all three breaks.
Stuff to bring: It’s not uncommon for surfers to pack sunscreen, trunks, rashguards, and a hat into their board bag and leave the suitcase behind. Your quiver should range from a normal shortboard all the way to a gun. Don’t forget that boards can break as well, so back-ups are always an option.
If the surf’s flat: The fishing on Tavarua is almost as famous as its surf—plenty of tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi, and trevally. There’s also diving and snorkeling in the water as well as tennis courts, Ping-Pong, and sight-seeing on land. Another popular pastime involves drinks in the swimming pool and Jacuzzi at dusk.