Kanacea Island

Kanacea Island is 13.5km left of Vanu Balavu. It is an impressive volcanic island of an incredible 3085 acres (1248ha), round in shape, with a diagonal of 4.5 km. It has 7 hills, height 259m, several streams of drinking volcanic water, white sandy beaches, coral reefs that surround it, a large lagoon with access to deep water. The island is certified as organic. It has some infrastructure, roads, and even a place for a runway to be built.

nice beach at Kanacea, and very shallow warm water

Kanacea is a coconut plantation, and bananas, ridges, cattle, goats, pigs, horses and chickens are widely grown. Because of all that, it is one of the best private islands not only in Fiji, but also my personal favorite. It has everything you need, large size, hills, flat ground, tropical fruits, animals, beaches, drinking water…

one of hills with various vegetation
One of the beaches (since the island has plenty of them, it is almost wholly surrounded by beaches) with nice brown-green contrasts

During the American civil war, Kanacea Island is served as cotton and cattle plantation primarily. There is controversy about this island as Kanacea people are forcefully moved out of their island when it was sold to European buyer back in 1868. However, it is said that the Tui Cakau, Ratu Golea, had sold the island of Kanacea because Kanacea people had sided with Tongans in a war. The Tui Cakau at that time owned all the land because he was the ‘Head Chief’ and for that reason he did not need the permission from anybody to sell the land. But it was frequent back then that Fijian people are forced out from their homes and their lands/islands because of colonialists.

a beautiful nature from hill
some of the infrastructure

However, being awesome island, not everything is awesome there. Sadly, this island suffered as well. Cyclone Winston damaged the island. (We have post about this catastrophe here https://tropicalislands.net/lau-islands-and-cyclone-devastation/ ) Jetty was destroyed, some of infrastructure destroyed and some damaged, many vegetation is being wiped out. Black song happened there! Luckily, since then the island is recovering nicely, but mark of clear wreck can be seen.

the island before catastrophe
the island after catastrophe.

BUT! This is not all! Kanacea Island also suffered from almost ecological disaster! As reported here http://digilib.library.usp.ac.fj/gsdl/collect/kalenchits_m-moanausp/index/assoc/HASH0113.dir/doc.pdf  in this survey report (Institute of applied science, University of  The South Pacific), there are many of ,,domestic wild animals” roaming free on the island. Yes, for some reason, as being a giant farm with various animals, they let free many of the animals. And since they are not native to the island, they start giving births rapidly in the wild. The island was being overrun by wild cows, horses, cats, dogs, pigs, goats and even sheep! There were hundreds of those in the island, causing environmental damage even now! They rapidly eat native trees and vegetation causing giant degradation. Even today various hunters come to the island to hunt wild pigs (domestic ones which became feral)

As you can see this professional hunter (i blurred out his face) with others shot few wild pigs, and reported that HUNDREDS of various animals are located on the island! Those feral animals must be captured or this will get worse!
view at ,,White House”, before it got red roof
Kanacea from above
welcome to the jungle! Kanacea jungle!
Organic plantation! Here everything grows naturally


Here is a video from KnightFrank about Kanacea Island:

When Kanacea people were forced to move from their island, they moved to Taveuni Island, and formed Kanacea village there, which exists today. In 1991, Australian company Carpenters sold the island to an American company. But then, Kanacea descendants were angry and demanded the island to be returned to its original landowners because that original forced sale in 1868 was invalid. But minister for lands in the interim government said that the sale was legal, as Kanacea people sided with Tongas, and for that Tui Cakau sold the island. Also, as Head Chief, he was the supreme ruler of that region there, and did not need permission to sell the island at all. However, the government pursued Carpenters company to pay some compensation to the people of Kanacea. And all sides agreed.

Kanacea Island is the second largest private island in the Northern Lau Group, just after Mago Island. It is a freehold island, and freehold islands are rare in Fiji (less than 10% are freehold). Flight time from Nadi International airport to Vanua Balavu is around one hour. Northern Lau group is renowned for its sea life, beaches, and turquoise waters. Kanacea is no exception as well. It is noted that Kanacea Island can take large tourist development, due to its size and shape. Also, it is noted that Kanacea island is covered by a mobile network signal. Here is a publication at the research gate about tribes of Kanacea https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rokoua-Mataiciwa/publication/354821866_THE_YAVUSA_PROFILE_Yavusa_Kanacea/links/614e4e73f8c9c51a8aeedf26/THE-YAVUSA-PROFILE-Yavusa-Kanacea.pdf?origin=publication_detail

Also, in 2017, scientists of the Vatuvara Foundation did an ecological survey of 4 islands, including Kanacea itself. Here is a detailed report https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5f6e6ced5f74dc06eded8ca2/t/5f7529d01158a96d1ac36b8e/1601513961745/Vatuvara+Foundation+Report-25June2018-Web.pdf According to the report the island has high coral diversity, and there were large numbers of fusiliers and parrotfish, some turtles, starfish, and three giant clams. They stated that it is a suitable site for recreational divers. (post updated in 26. July 2022)

>>CHECK OUT OUR HUGE KANACEA ISLAND GALLERY (ABOUT 150 IMAGES) https://tropicalislands.net/kanacea-island-gallery/ <<