Ovalau

Travel Guide Oceania Melanesia Fiji Ovalau

edit

Introduction

Ovalau is the principal island and seat of local government of the Lomaiviti Islands in Fiji.

Top

edit

Geography

Situated at 17.70° south and 178.8° east, (60 kilometres northeast from the national capital Suva and 20 kilometres off the east coast of Viti Levu), the island is about 13 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide. It covers a total area of 106.4 square kilometres and has a population of around 9,100, approximately half the Lomaiviti population. Levuka, Fiji's former capital, is the largest of 24 towns and villages on the island.

Ovalau is characterized by its rugged topography, with little flat land apart from the Lovoni Valley in the centre of the island. The island is an eroded volcanic crater with a narrow belt of flat to udulating country between the encircling lagoon and the steep crater sides. The highest peaks are Nadelaiovalau, with an altitude of 625 metres, in the east, and Tomuna, 526 metres, in the south.

Top

edit

Cities

There are 24 villages and settlements on the island. Levuka is the only town and acts as a market place and service centre for the people of the island of Ovalau. Levuka is also the former capital of Fiji.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

  • Anniversary Bure - built for Prince Charles to entertain dignitaries when he came to grant Fiji her independence in 1970.
  • Cession Stone - commemorating the signing of the Deed of Cession between Fiji and Great Britain
  • Leleuvia Island - A beautiful coral cay about a 45-minute boat ride from Levuka.
  • Lovoni - The village of Lovoni lies in the center of the islands volcanic crater and is a lush and fertile valley.
  • Silana (on the north west coast of Ovalau, 10 kilometres from Levuka town). Sights here include white coral sand beach, local village life, village green, church and temple.
  • Queen Victoria Memorial Hall
  • War Memorial on Niukaube Hill

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

Levuka Airport, which handles twice-daily Air Fiji flights to and from Suva is located on the west of the island, next to the Bureta District School compound. There is one flight in the morning, and one in the evening, with only the evening service operating on Sundays. Flights cost around FJ$150 return.

By Boat

Patterson Brothers Shipping (Ph: +679 3315 644, e: patterson@connect.com.fj) has a daily (sometimes on Sunday) bus and ferry service from Suva to Levuka. The trip takes 4.5 hours, and is recommended for its experience. The connecting bus leaves Suva from the bus stand opposite the flea market at 13:00 and arrives at Natovi at 15:30. The ferry departs from Natovi jetty at 16:00 and arrives at Buresala jetty (Ovalau Island) at 16:50. The connecting bus departs Buresala at 17:00 arrives at Levuka at 17:45. The ferry back to Suva departs Buresala jetty (Ovalau) at 05:45. You can also take your own car on this ferry service. Bookings should be made (for any trip) at least four days in advance. Cost is $25 one way.

Top

edit

Getting Around

There is one road which circles the island. However, between the villages of Rukuruku and Buresala the road is little more than a track, as travel between these points is uncommon, most traffic being directed from these two villages to Levuka.

Transport around the island is mainly by carrier. There is one bus service, which runs once daily from the west of Ovalau to Levuka in the morning, and returns at 5pm, and is mainly used by schoolchildren and PAFCO workers.

Top

edit

Eat

The only restaurants on the Ovalau Island are in Levuka town, or at the Ovalau Holiday Resort, 4 km north of Levuka. However visitors may be offered food and drink when passing by a village. This is Fijian custom and should not be abused.

Top

edit

Drink

The only bars or clubs on the island are in Levuka. In the villages the only drink is yaqona (kawa).

Top

edit

Sleep

  • Bobo's Farm (Near Ruku Ruku). A family home in the middle of the rain forest. The owner will take you to the beach, sandbanks, nearby islands, snorkelling, spear fishing and has an extensive knowledge of the surrounding flora and fauna. The journey to Bobo's Farm can take a bit as it's literally on the other side of the island, but is well worth doing.
  • Levuka Homestay. Levuka Homestay is run by a laid-back Australian couple, John and Marilyn. There are four rooms, three with a double bed, and one with a double and single bed. Each room is on a separate level and has its own verandah. The rooms have polished floors, ceiling fan, refrigerator, en suite bath, outside veranda, and private entrance. A very full breakfast is included.
  • Ovalau Holiday Resort (About 4 kilometres north of Levuka), ☎ +679 3440329. Simple basic seaside bungalows reached by taxi or carrier from Levuka, Price for whole cottages (sleeps 4) start at around $90.
  • Royal Hotel. The oldest hotel still standing in Fiji, this hotel has plenty of character and authentic old furniture and decorations throughout. Each room is different, and is good for the budget traveler.
  • Silana Village Backpackers and Cottages, ☎ +679 3440166, e-mail: silana@owlfiji.com. Arovudi, reached by taxi or carrier from Levuka, Tentsites dorm and cottages available near white coral sand beach. $20+.

Top

Ovalau Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Ovalau

This is version 1. Last edited at 13:21 on Jan 15, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License