Leg 6 | Tonga to Fiji & The Ultimate Fiji
World ARC 2020
June 10th to July 5th
June 11th 2020
July 5th 2020
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The best places are the hardest to get to, and therefore the least travelled.
Here’s an easy rule-of-thumb that we use to judge places—
The smaller the airport, the better the place
No airport, it’s even better
No hotels—it’s probably wonderful
No cars, grocery stores, restaurants, cars, cell phone towers—probably the nicest
people you’ll ever meet
(and not a person on the island—maybe paradise)
This Expedition is an immersive tour through the out-islands of Fiji, kicking off with a 300 nm Pacific Ocean crossing from Tonga to the Lau Group in Fiji. You’ll join us in The Kingdom of Tonga on the Vava’u archipelago in northern Tonga, at the main town of Neiafu.
Fiji is one of those absolutely magical places in the South Pacific, with islands, and animals, and reefs, and sunsets of the most stunning natural beauty, for sure.
But the true beauty of Fiji that you’ll discover is hidden--away from the big cities and resorts. It’s the Fijian people and their culture. They are the most genuinely friendly and happy people that we have ever met. We guarantee that you will fall in love with the people you meet there. And it will be the warmth and beauty of their people that will stick in your mind, and make you want to keep coming back to this place, again and again.
Throughout this trip, there will be ample opportunities for snorkeling, diving, kiteboarding, fishing, and all the other good stuff! Be sure you get your dive certification before the trip, because you’re not going to want to miss some of the dive opportunities on this voyage.
One of the really cool things about this Fiji trip is that we get to enter Fiji via the Lau Group.
The Lau group is a really special place. These are the most remote and untouched islands in the Fiji archipelago. Until just a few years ago, you weren’t even allowed to travel there except by special permit. Even now, boats cannot enter the country through the Lau Group, and because the Lau Group lies upwind in the Trades from the other islands, most boats don’t come here.
The World ARC has made special arrangements with Fiji and will be flying Government officials out to the island of Vanua Balavu to meet us and allow our entry to Fiji via the Lau Group.
(Schedule is weather dependent)
June 10th to 14th
Vava'u to Lau Group
Arrival times 12:00 hrs - 23:00 hrs. Get settled, meet your fellow crew members, and learn your way around the boat. Day two will be briefings & training, final preparation & planning for the ocean passage. On day three we'll set sail on a 300 nm ocean passage from Vava’u to Vanua Balau, Lau Group, Fiji. Day 4 will see us arrive in Lau Group and clear into Fiji.
June 15th to July 4th
Cruise and explore the Out Islands of Fiji
The Lau Group, the Northern islands
We’ll be starting off Fiji by visiting one of it’s top 10 most stunning islands-- Vanua Balavu, with such natural wonders as Ship’s Sound in the Bay of Islands.
We also begin our immersion with the Fijian people here, as you participate in our first (of many), sevusevu ceremonies with the local chiefs and village elders.
The out islands of Fiji are very traditional, and in many ways life is the same here as it was tens of generations ago. The traditions must be respected and strictly followed, and we will make sure that you are briefed and prepared in the local ways to be accepted and allowed to visit with these amazing people, their waters, their islands, and their villages.
Bay of Islands
Vanua Balavu is large, and you could easily spend several weeks here exploring its many lagoons and villages.
And once here, you may wonder why you would ever want to leave. But we have so many amazing places to visit.
From here, many of the boats may choose to head North-West out of the Lau Group to Taveuni and Savusavu on Vanua Levu, and both of these are beautiful places. It’s a short run from Vanua Balavu, and then around the North side of the big island.
But we’re going to head South & West, and “take the long way” around, approx. 775 miles. We’re going to cover a lot of ground in a short time, but by doing this, we hit some of the most amazing and remote island--making this truly the trip of a lifetime.
From Vanua Balavu we head South to Oneata Island, or a little further south we may also want to stop at the Yagasa cluster.
Navutu-i-Loma and Yagasa Islands, which are protected within a beautiful barrier reef lagoon, we can visit Navutu-i-Loma‘s white sand beach on it’s Northwest side.
You are really exploring the outer reaches of the Earth, rarely travelled and experienced by anyone, even from within Fiji. We could go one stop further South to Fulaga Island and Ogea Levu and Ogea Driki, should we have time.
From the Eastern Lau Group we then sail West to the Moala Islands, stopping in the
magnificent Totoya, where we can anchor inside the crater of an ancient volcano, which rises 366 meters above sea level.
Leaving the Lau Group we’ll continue West again about another 100 miles, for a quick stop at Kadavu Island and the Great Astrolabe Reef, and some fantastic snorkeling and diving.
Above is a photo from one of our favorite photographers, Perrin James Franta. Also check out his gorgeous film shot on Kadavu here.
June 15th to July 4th
Two of the biggest dive operators there are Mad Fish Dive Center and Mai Dive . From Kadavu you can clearly see Fiji’s main and biggest island of Veti Levu rising up from the sea.
And this is our next stop as we sail around the Beqa (pronounced “benga”) Barrier Reef, and Beqa Island to Pacific Harbor on Viti Levu. There you can arrange to join the Pacific Harbor Shark Dive— (click here for an amazing description of the shark dive).
Diving without a cage, inside Shark Reef Marine Reserve, you head down 95 feet to sit along a ledge with other divers and your guide. Up to 8 different species of shark including large Bull sharks, Lemon, Nurse, Whitetip reef, Blacktip reef, and Grey Reef sharks along with the occasional Tiger shark circle as your guide feeds them by hand. It is not to be missed and will be one of the most amazing experiences you’ll have in your lifetime.
*(We are not much for resorts, but there are one or two exceptions)— Inside the beautiful Beqa lagoon is one of the most stunning small private-island resorts in the world, The Royal Davui.
As the clouds break and the reefs begin to move offshore, we tuck inside through a pass in the reef, past the legendary Cloudbreak, and into Musket Cove Marina on the beautiful harbor made by Malolo and the Malolo Lailai Islands.
You can climb the “rock” at the end of the isthmus, and take some surreally beautiful photos from the top looking out over the island, anchorage, and the Fiji islands in the distance. (Note: it’s a short climb, but has one or two quite challenging little parts. Take at your own risk, but well worth the effort).
Enjoy a beautiful sunset, and then in the evening these ginormous bats come out. There are hundreds of these, with 5-6 foot wingspans--it’s like something out of Jurassic Park. If you’re on the beach, and don’t know about it beforehand, you’ll be running for life—(hilarious only after the fact that you find out that they’re fortunately just Fruit bats).
The Blue Lagoon
Along the way up the chain, we’re sure to bump into several of our World ARC friends coming down the other way from Vanua Levu, and we may raft up for an impromptu get together.
Once we reach the tip of Yasawa island, we’ll turn around and head back down the chain. Apache was made for the strong Trade Winds, and if the strong trades are blowing, (and they usually are here), the sail down the leeward side of the chain to the Mamanucas can be just magical, arriving back at Musket Cove Marina.
Trip review, cleanup
These last few weeks have been an epic adventure--truly the trip of a lifetime. From exploring the remote outer islands, meeting the people, and sharing sevusevu with the chiefs, glorious sails, and awe inspiring landscapes. But now it’s time to put the ship back in shape, do our debriefings, and say goodbyes, until the next time.
The schedule above represents a typical itinerary and should only be used as a guide as actual itineraries may change and are always subject to weather and local wind conditions.
All 3rd-party activities, such as scuba diving, kite lessons, and on-shore dining are arranged directly between you and these independent providers.