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Tivua Island

Fiji is paradise. There’s no denying it and it’s definitely not an exaggeration. 

We stayed at a resort on Denarau Island and for most of the time, lazed our days away by the several resort pools along the island’s shoreline.

But the highlight was by far a day trip to the unspoilt Tivua Island. Our transport picked us up bright and early to take us to The Port and with the sun already beating down at 9:00 in the morning, we boarded Captain Cook Cruises’ tall ship Ra Marama.

A group of musicians welcomed us on board with traditional Fijian songs, while the sails blowing in the wind evoked the days of Captain Cook sailing on his discovery expedition. 

Turquoise waters of Tivua

Throughout the lazy one and a half hour cruise to Tivua Island, the crew continues the serenade, creating a relaxing atmosphere with fresh juice and fruit while guests drink in the clear blue waters of the ocean.

You can’t actually dock on the private island so instead, Ra Marama anchors offshore and tenders come to pick us up. The option is also available to travel to shore on a glass-bottomed boat to see the sea life. 

We’re welcomed on shore by a traditional Kava Ceremony. A chief of our group is named and a big burly man is honoured with second in charge, just in case the chief gets into trouble … or murdered. 

The chief and assistant chief drink back the traditional liquid before the island is handed over to us. “And now, the ceremony is finished. The island is yours.”

We hopped straight on the glass-bottomed boat for a trip around. While we were on the boat, our driver gave us some history about the island. After the devastating cyclones last year, almost half of the island disappeared. He also taught us a bit about the local sea life and explained that while there is plenty of coral below, some it is dying or dead, also a result of the cyclones.

Meeting Nemo

After relaxing for a bit on the white sand and in the hammocks, we hit the snorkels. We met Nemo and Dori along with many other fish as we glided through the water. If you go snorkelling, just watch out for the coral, it tends to lash out with scrapes and scratches if you get too close. We learnt the hard way.

Time seemed to get away from us as we floated through the clear blue waters. As soon as we entered the water it seemed like we were being ushered back to shore. Looking at our watches, we realised we’d been snorkelling for a good half hour.

Land ahoy

We leapt back onto Ra Marama as the rough seas began to sway the tender, and sailed back to Denarau. The crew sang us home with Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Waltzing Matilda and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot among others.

As we neared Denarau, the crew launched into Isa Lei, the traditional Fijian farewell song, and we headed home to their soothing voices behind us.


Day tours to Tivua Island can be booked through Captain Cook Cruises. You can also cruise the waters during a dinner sunset cruise and enjoy the spectacular Pacific Island scenery. Captain Cook Cruises also offer three-night, four-night and seven-night cruises which take you to the Yasawa Islands of Fiji where you’ll explore a different coral reef every day.