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There are hundreds of waterfalls hidden in the heart of Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island. But because of the island’s lush terrain, most of these waterfalls are inaccessible to visitors. But, Vuadomo Waterfall is one of the only easy-to-see waterfalls near Savusavu if you’re looking to cool off in a pool of fresh water.
Vuadomo Waterfall Guide
What to expect: A small waterfall found just outside of Vuadomo Village. It’s rare to find this spot crowded, and you might even have the waterfall all to yourself. A cool pool awaits those who want to take a dip. There’s a small changing area (but it’s not ultra-private) to slip in and out of wet clothing.
Entrance fee: There is no official entrance fee, but visitors are expected to bring a sevusevu, about $10 FJD worth of kava. You can purchase kava in Savusavu’s town center.
Hike length: 1.5 kms round-trip.
Difficulty: Easy; there are some slippery and rocky sections.
Where to find the Vuadomo Waterfall trailhead: The trailhead is a little challenging to find, you’ll need one of the locals at Vuadomo Village to point it out for you as there is no official marking for it.
Good to know: This waterfall visit is best done with a guide, who can be arranged through just about any resort in Savusavu. You’ll be able to participate in the cultural kava ceremony on arrival, so leave plenty of time for that and for your waterfall visit. Expect to spend half a day including driving, the village visit, and waterfall visit. Dress modestly in the village with your shoulders covered, knees covered (ideally with a sulu), and do not wear a hat or sunglasses while in the community center. On the waterfall trail, you can then change into your hiking attire.
Map of Vuadomo Waterfall
The trailhead of Vuadomo Waterfall is not clearly marked. You’ll likely need someone from the village or a guide to show you the Vuadomo Waterfall trailhead.
Hiking Vuadomo Waterfall: What it’s Like
My guide from Koro Sun Resort veered from Savusavu’s main road and the truck bumbled along a steep dirt road. The road was just narrow enough to let one car go up or down at a time, and a steep ledge intimidated any driver who dare pull to the side.
“How do people get in and out of the villages around here?” I asked.
“The bus!” my guide answered.
I hoped our vehicle wouldn’t have to play chicken with a bus today.
We arrived at Vuadomo Village, a small village tucked in the foothills of Vanua Levu’s jagged peaks. Hibiscus flowers, ginger lilies, and vegetable gardens lined the village’s manicured paths. An open-air community center welcomed my guide, my partner, and me to sit down with them. Our guide presented our bundle of yaqona, kava, to the village elder. On the other side of the community center, women in bright bula print dresses sold handmade jewelry and wooden carvings.
Because the day was already getting quite late, we only sat in the community center for a few minutes before making our way to Vuadomo Waterfall.
A mare and her foal marked the Vuadomo Waterfall trail entrance, weary of our presence. The narrow path wove into dense jungle, shaded by trees. Dalo, cassava, and other crops grew in patches just off of the trail. After a few minutes, we arrived at a small wooden shed with enough space to get changed and store our belongings. A slippery cement pathway led to a wide waterfall, Vuadomo.
We changed out of our sulus and T-shirts into our bathing suits and went for a swim under the cool, fresh water. Vanua Levu has hundreds of waterfalls across its island–but so few are accessible to tourists. The mist of the waterfall created a rainbow, a sight we’d regularly see during our time in Savusavu.
What to Pack on Your Hike:
- Sunscreen: Plan on spending a few hours in the sun. While sunglasses and a hat shouldn’t be worn in the village, you can wear them during your waterfall hike. Sunscreen is a must. >Shop for reef-safe sunscreen
- Hiking sandals: Hiking sandals like Tevas or Chacos are best for this type of terrain. You’ll want something sturdy that can manage the steep and slippery sections and be fine with traipsing through water. >Shop hiking sandals
- Day pack: You don’t need to bring much on this day trip. But, a water-proof backpack is ideal for storing your camera, dry clothes, sunscreen, and wallet >Shop day packs
- Sarong (sulu): You will need a sulu (sarong) during your village visit at Vuadomo. This can also be used as a towel during your swim afterward. >Shop sarongs
- Water bottle: There are no spots to purchase snacks or water along the trail, you’ll want to bring your own. >Shop water bottles
- Camera: Get shots from inside the waterfall with a waterproof camera. >Shop GoPro models
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