Arrive on Kadavu, and you’ll feel you’re in another world. This tropical South Pacific island is the fourth largest among the group of islands comprising the nation of Fiji. It’s about 36 miles long and 8.7 miles wide, and its elevation is approximately 9,000 feet above the ocean floor. Like many islands in the Pacific, Kadavu was formed by volcanic activity. Today, Kadavu contains 72 villages, and its approximately ten-thousand residents mainly speak Fijian and mainly live agrarian lifestyles. Even so, Kadavu is starting to become a popular tourist site, yet no section of the island ever feels crowded.

You can get to Kadavu by taking a Pacific Sun flight from Nadi and Nausori Airport in Suva, Fiji’s capital city. These flights are offered daily. Your plane will land at Kadavu Airport, which is really just an air strip. This airport provides tourists with a shuttle service. Most likely, your shuttle will take you to a boat landing, and you’ll reach your lodge via boat. Indeed, there are few roads on Kadavu, and only one town: Vunisea. Thus, most transportation routes on the island involve boats. Another option for getting to Kadavu is to take a ferry from Suva, although ferries run much less often.

Chief among the Kadavu attractions is the fifty-mile-long Astrolabe Reef; the views it affords divers of coral gardens and undersea plant and animal life are spectacular. For exercise and unrivaled scenery, you might rent a sea kayak. There’s even a company called Tamarillo Sea Kayaking that offers week-long kayaking tours of Kadavu, tours that include food and accommodations. Family-friendly versions of the tour are available as well. In addition, fishing and surfing conditions are outstanding all along the coastline of Kadavu.

Back on land, you’ll find that much of Kadavu is covered by a thick rainforest, with many gorgeous waterfalls and hiking trails throughout. The eastern half of the island is ideal for birdwatching – the avian specimens are exotic and varied. And a mere glimpse of the Kadavu musk parrot will surely excite your traveling party, especially if you have children among your group.