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The gray-sand beaches around Savusavu aren't the main reason to come here. The nearest beach to town is a shady stretch on Lesiaceva Point just outside the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, about 5km (3 miles) west of town, which is the end of the line for westbound buses leaving Savusavu market. A half-moon beach is hidden away at Naidi Bay, an extinct volcanic crater, just west of Namale Resort on the Hibiscus Highway. The road skirts the bay, but the beach is not easy to see. Take a taxi or ask the bus driver to let you off at Naidi Bay -- not Naidi village or nearby Namale Resort. The bar and restaurant at Namale Resort are not open to walk-in customers, so bring something to drink and eat.

Adventure Cruises

Ecotourism takes to sea with Active Fiji (tel. 885 3032; www.activefiji.com), which uses the luxurious, 42m (140-ft.) sailing schooner Tui Tai to make 7- and 10-day voyages from Savusavu. The boat goes to Taveuni, where you visit Bouma Falls; Kioa, where you spend time in that island's one village; and Rabi Island, which is inhabited by Micronesians who were relocated here after World War II when their home island of Banaba (Ocean Island) was made uninhabitable by phosphate mining. Some cruises go into the Lau Islands in eastern Fiji. The Tui Tai carries mountain bikes for land excursions as well as kayaks and diving and snorkeling gear for exploring the shoreline and reefs. The Tui Tai can accommodate 24 guests in air-conditioned cabins. Rates range from F$3,739 to F$8,722 (US$2,428-US$5,664/£1,246-£2,907) per person double occupancy, depending on the length of voyage and type of stateroom, and including all meals and activities.

Fishing

Ika Levu Fishing Charters (tel. 944 8506; www.fishinginfiji.com) uses 7.2 and 12m (24- and 41-ft.) boats for sportfishing excursions in the bays and offshore. Rates range from F$1,013 for half a day to F$1,688 for a full day (US$658-US$1,096/£338-£563). Each boat can take up to four fishers.

Mountain Biking

The best way to explore Vanua Levu's mountains by bike is on a tour offered by Naveria Heights Lodge (tel. 885 0348; www.naveriaheightsfiji.com), whose three modern bungalows all have views of Savusavu Bay as well as private bathrooms. Daily rates are F$125 (US$81/£42) double, including breakfast, but they also offer "Adventure Weeks" for F$1,450 (US$942/£483) double, including meals and five biking and hiking excursions.

Sailing

Most sailboats vacate Savusavu during the hurricane season from November through March. Among those that stick around is SeaHawk Yacht Charters (tel. 885 0787; www.seahawkfiji.com). The SeaHawk is a cruising yawl built for famed yacht designer Ted Hood in 1969. It can carry eight passengers and is now used for half- and full-day sails, sunset cruises, and longer charters (3-day minimum) throughout Fiji. Rates range from US$150 to US$250 (£75-£125) per person per day plus food and beverages.

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

A very long boat ride is required to dive on the Rainbow Reef and Great White Wall, which are more easily reached from Taveuni than from Savusavu. But that's not to say that there aren't plenty of colorful reefs near here, especially outside the bay along the island's southern coast. The beautifully preserved Namena Barrier Reef, a wonderful formation nearly encircling Moody's Namena, is a 2 1/2-hour ride away. Namena trips are not always possible, since it can be too rough to cross if the trade winds are blowing strongly out of the southeast. Most of the resorts have complete diving facilities.

The best spot for snorkeling is over Split Rock, off the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, but to access it you will have to stay at the resort or go on a snorkeling expedition with Savusavu town-based Rock 'n Downunder Divers (tel. 885 3054; rockndownunder@connect.com.fj), which also has scuba diving, teaches PADI diving courses, and rents snorkeling gear, kayaks, and bicycles.

Curly's Cruising/Bosun's Locker, on the main street opposite Waitui Marina (tel. 885 0122), has snorkeling trips to colorful reefs offshore for F$55 (US$36/£18) per person.

When to Go Diving in Northern Fiji -- Diving in northern Fiji is best from late May through October, when visibility reaches 36m (120 ft.) and more. Because of the strong currents, however, dives to such outer reef sites as the Great White Wall and Rainbow Reef can be strenuous any time of year.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.