Waterfalls & Waterslides On Taveuni Island

Taveuni Rainforest Fiji
The Garden Island
Taveuni Island, Fiji

I was unprepared for just how beautiful Taveuni island would be. A mountainous landscape covered by tropical rainforest and plenty of hidden waterfalls to explore.

Nicknamed “The Garden Island” due to the incredible amount of vegetation you’ll find there, Taveuni is the 3rd largest of Fiji’s 300+ islands. Compared to others it has very little development.

A majority of Taveuni’s flora & fauna are protected by two nature preserves and a national park.

Visiting is usually accomplished in a small propeller plane, and doing so allows you to see Fiji’s numerous colorful islands from the air. This is a worthwhile experience in itself. Taveuni’s Matei Airport is just a shack with a few benches under a roof acting as a terminal.

Local Kids Fiji
Fijian Kids on Taveuni

Taveuni Island Villages

The indigenous population of Taveuni survives by growing coconut, kava, breadfruit, cassava, vanilla, and coffee on small plots of family land to feed themselves and earn an income.

Villages are made up of small wooden homes with metal roofs. Sometimes corrugated metal is used to build the whole structure.

Clothelines hang outside each dwelling — although with all the rain and humidity the island gets, it must take days to dry anything this way.

Roads on Taveuni are rough and muddy. In some places streams & small rivers were flowing right over them. We passed local kids who enthusiastically waved as our 4×4 van crawled it’s way to the Eastern end of the island to visit the national park.

House Tavueni Fiji
Simple House in Korovou Village

Bouma National Park

In addition to farming small plots of land, tourism is also an increasing source of income for local residents of Taveuni. Nearby villages share revenues from the entry fee that tourists pay for a visit Bouma National Park in order to trek to it’s hidden jungle waterfalls.

Joined by my friends JD, Lesley, Ryan, Stephanie, and our guide Atu, we entered the park and began marching up a wide path of thick grass absolutely teeming with frogs. They hopped out from under our feet in the drizzling rain.

Small patches of taro grew on steep inclines next to the trail. If you’ve never heard of taro, it’s an important root crop with large heart-shaped leaves and reddish stems commonly grown on Pacific islands.

After cooking it to remove toxins, you can eat it’s roots and leaves. Island nations have been surviving on it for hundreds of years.

Taro grows well on Taveuni, and 80% of Fiji’s supply comes from the island.

Bouma Waterfall Fiji
Famous Bouma Waterfall

Waterfall Hike

The rainforest landscape in Bouma National Park is a feast for the eyes & ears. Vibrant red ginger flowers stand out in stark contrast to the copious amounts of green.

Exotic island birds like the orange dove, wood pigeon, and Taveuni parrot serenaded us as we marched.

A series of beautiful waterfalls can be reached while hiking in Bouma National Park. The first one is called Bouma falls, and it’s probably Fiji’s most famous waterfall. It’s quite impressive at 24 meters (78 ft.) tall.

We stopped here for 30 minutes to take a dip in the refreshing Tavoro river water. But I’m not happy until I can find something to jump from…

Tavueni Waterfalls Fiji
Waterfall Number Two

Wet & Slippery Trails

Fortunately you can climb the rocks behind the Bouma waterfall and leap off a 5 meter (15 ft.) cliff into the pool below. The loud pillar of cascading water creates a cloud of mist that helped cool us off.

For the next leg of the hike we climbed higher into the mountains while looking back at fantastic views of the ocean, nearby Qamea Island, and local villages down in the valley. The trail got progressively steeper, muddier, and narrower as we pushed on to the second waterfall.

A fork in the trail took us down a very slippery path that led to the 2nd waterfall. We jumped in for another swim of course!

Purple freshwater crabs scurried over the rocks.

Natural Water Slide Fiji
Tell Me This Doesn’t Look Fun?

Waitavala Waterslide

Rather than continue on to the 3rd waterfall, we decided to leave Bouma and visit a natural waterslide located on another section of the island. The Waitavala river is a favorite local hangout for Fijian kids.

We’re all just a bunch of big kids as well, so we had to check it out.

Basically it’s a 50 meter (150 ft.) section of river with small waterfalls and smooth rock chutes that you can slide down like a waterslide. And it’s fast! There are even banked turns on this thing.

The local kids are pros, they were actually barefoot surfing down sections of it standing up!

As for the rest of us, we left with plenty of bruises. But it was incredibly fun nonetheless. ★

Watch Video: Jungle Waterslide Fiji

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(Click to watch Jungle Waterslide – Taveuni, Fiji on YouTube)
Travel Planning Resources for Taveuni, Fiji
Cost: $8 US (park entry fee)
Accommodation: Garden Island Resort

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I hope you enjoyed my guide on the beautiful waterfalls & waterslides on Taveuni Island! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:

Ever tried a natural waterslide? Drop me a message in the comments below!

#ExploreFiji is made possible in partnership with Tourism Fiji. As always, the content & opinions expressed here are entirely my own.


Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for the last 10 years as a blogger, photographer, and digital nomad. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel with crazy stories, beautiful photos, and money-saving travel tips.
Matthew Karsten
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Comments (30)

  1. Hi all and Vagabond,
    Just a quick query. I am heading to Fiji in 3 months and wanted to know if this is suitable for young children of the ages 13 to 16. The scenery looks beautiful and I am absolutely off my buck excited to go. LOL!

    Kind regards, the Van Gooten family.

  2. It seems Taveuni is becoming known to the world. It is unique in many ways and I hope it won’t be spoiled to tourism

  3. I just watch the video-couldn’t from work- great experience, wow! was the bottom smooth? I would have been scared to scrape my skin. Awesome video! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. I love your always very informative photo essays. Matthew, I was wondering-because I see how perfectly elaborated your stories are..photos and story- if keep with your a writing pad to gather information or if that’s something you research later, once the experience is over. Do you usually have an idea ahead of time of what you wish for your photo essay to look like or do they elaborate them based on each experience? The photos, information and structure of each one are always awesome!

    • Good question Janeth. It’s a combination of both. I take notes on my iphone using an app called Evernote while I’m traveling. I can also use it to record audio notes, interview someone, or snap quick photos just for memory purposes. Very handy for organizing my thoughts and recalling details later.

      Then I’ll do additional research while actually writing the post. :D

      • Thanks for the info, Matthew. Funny, I downloaded Evernote along with Gogobot a few weeks ago but have never used them. Now I see what a helpful app Evernote actually is. Are you familiar with Gogobot? If so, do you find it helpful?

        I have a few more questions: When you travel, do you follow any kind of schedule or do you just go with the flow of things? Are there days you have assigned to work on your stories or do you simply work on them whenever you’re free? Do you keep yourself constantly busy traveling or are there days, when you chill and enjoy the surroundings like locals do? How do you sustain your stay in Thailand? Can you do like in the U.S. day labor and work or just volunteer? Thanks I’m just curious. :)

  5. You’ve got an amazing blog here Matthew and the best job in the world. I’ve tried something similar to this in Wales, its called canyoning / gorge walking there. Needless to say the conditions are a lot colder but its a great laugh.

  6. Fun video, you make us laugh, just livin the dream aren’t you. Of course we are jealous but loving watching the adventure. Those waterfalls way need to go on the list, looks like a must see.

    • Exactly Annie. I was happy to experience the interior, as all the photos I’d ever seen of Fiji were near the beaches. The beaches are great — but there is so much more to that country.

  7. Love the video!
    And wow that water rush was narrow! You were probably bruised all over afterwards?
    The colors in the pictures are amazing though.
    That’s what real green looks like.