Rakiraki is the provincial town of the northernmost province of Viti Levu, Ra. Ra, is the ultimate hub of Fiji’s suncoast, hosting magnificent natural wonders, versatile accommodations for visitors of all types and home to one of Fiji’s most majestic coral gardens which span across the Vatu-i-ra seascape and further out into the Bligh waters. Here are 10 things to do when you’re Ra for vacation or just passing by the area.
Photo Credit: Fiji Water.
Fiji is home to the famous mineral water, Fiji Water. This mineral water is sourced from natural artesian aquifers of water springs and wells located in the Yaqara valley. The manufacturing facility for Fiji Water is located in the Ra province. The facility is located on Naseyani village road (off Kings road) which is directly-across from the Yaqara pastoral station. The facility is situated 30 kilometres west of Rakiraki town, so why not head here and see for yourself how Earth’s finest water is bottled and packed.
Near the village of Vitawa, located about 6 minutes from Rakiraki town, sits this mighty boulder that could easily be mistaken for a mountain. Separating the villages of Narewa and Vitawa, this boulder is surrounded by folklore and traditional legends of the ancestors that once dwelled in the area. According to a Fiji Times article, Pottery found in the area, dating to about 1000 BC suggests that the inhabitants of the rock preceded even the birth of Jesus. Climbs can be made but permission must be sorted from the Mataqali (clan) Navatu of the villages of Vitawa, Narewa, Vunitogoloa and Naivuvuni.
Udre Udre’s Tomb
Photo Credit: Tanoa Hotel, Rakiraki.
Now, there is debate as to whether his body actually rests here,however, the stones that made him keep count of his victims are cemented here, into a memorial tomb. Ratu Udre Udre’s resistance to change helped him achieve this ghastly title of being Fiji’s last and the world’s most prolific cannibal. The tomb is located on Kings road, just outside Rakiraki town. If you find history fascinating even the ones that spook you then check out this headstone.
Local cuisine and market visit
There are a few restaurants and places that serve delicious local cuisine from Indian spicy dishes to mouth-watering Fijian seafood, take your pick. A few recommendations for the area include Golden point restaurant, of Golden Point Resort, Nuku Bar and Grill of Volivoli Beach Resort, and Sue’s restaurant located in town. Looking to cook your own meal or want Fijian cuisine, then checkout Rakiraki market, also located in town. Like any local Fijian market, the place has everything you need, from veggies to root crops.
Narara Village-water slide
Photo Credit: Mark Snyder, Tourism Fiji.
Located south of Rakiraki town and about 6 kilometres inland, lies this cascading waterfall. However, natural wonders on native land have to be sorted out with permission, but if arranged under a tour then your resort or accommodation will take care of things for you. All you have to worry about is dressing modestly when visiting the village of Narara for permission or a Kava ceremony, so grab a sarong.
The waterfall is quite a distance away from the village, about 15 to 20 minutes precisely. The slides at the waterfall are naturally formed out of the rocks that help direct the water.
The Church of Black Christ
Here is one for Art and History lovers! Situated south-east from Rakiraki town about 30 kilometres, the Saint Francis Xavier Church sits along the Kings road, and is directly adjacent from Naiserelagi village with a 20-minute walk or a 3-minute drive from Naiserelagi to the church.
The church is famed for its fresco mural, depicting a Black Jesus crucified on the cross. Painted by Jean Charlot in the early 1960’s, the painting shares some history with the Churches of Black Christ in Central America which the painter Charlot had actually spent some time in, prior to Fiji. The painting also illustrates a bit of Fijian culture and some important figures in the Fiji catholic church.
Photo Credit: Zoomfiji.
The waterfall is a 1 kilometre walk from Nabalasere village, located in the highlands of Saivou in Ra. The road turns in at Nalawa road (off Kings road) opposite Naiserelagi, the village’s distance is about 25 kilometres from Kings road. The waterfall is majestically spectacular, towering rock cliffs measuring approximately 70 metres in height. Standing in its proximity, one can really appreciate the wonder and creation of such a site.The village organises tours for an affordable price for a lunch at the village and a tour of the waterfall.
The best time to kite-surf in Fiji is around July-September, and you can practically fly and kite-surf almost anywhere where there’s a beach, sea and consistent trade winds. In Ra, you will have to make your way to Nananu-i-ra island as it is considered a windsurf and kite boarder’s paradise.
Nananu-i-ra has versatile accommodations for travellers of all kinds, and is only a kilometre off-shore from the Volivoli peninsula. Safari Lodge, one of the more affordable accommodations on the island offers beginner classes in kite and windsurfing.
Vatu-i-ra Conservation Park
Photo Credit: Vatu-i-ra Conservation Park.
Vatu-i-ra is an island off the coast of Viti Levu, roughly about 28 kilometres from the Volivoli peninsula. Having been nicknamed, ‘Bird island’, the island offers a sanctuary for a variety of birds and a marine reserve for schools of fish and coral. Its seascape is known for its colourful fishes and coral.
Scuba diving and snorkelling
Now, the blue water lagoons of Ra share in the reputation that made Fiji the ‘soft-coral capital’ of the world. The Vatu-i-ra marine reserve and the Bligh waters, the sea that separates Viti Levu from Vanua Levu is known for its luscious and colourful coral life. There are also a number of sharks that frequent the area and dolphins who are rarely seen anywhere else in Fiji. The area is frequented by divers and is more lovely around this time of year, where there is less plankton in the waters.
If Nadi is a bit busy at times, why not choose Fiji’s suncoast for a more laid back and natural atmosphere for the family.
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