Vatuvara Island

Vatuvara Island or Vatu Vara Island is an island below Yacata and Kaibu (I wrote about them here ) about 16.5km. Its area is about 1000 acres (405ha), length / width about 2.2km by 2.3km. Its height is 305m, the highest in the Lau Group. Its top is flat at the end of the hill, so the island looks like a hat, that’s what they call it sometimes ,,hat island”, and they orient themselves towards it. It is a former atoll, an extinct volcano that has grown, and limestone has accumulated. Later, the island grew into a dense tropical jungle.

just look at this beautiful island

As a former atoll, it has the remains of an old lagoon, a good sandy base, which creates a bright blue water. It has bright white sandy beaches, a flat part, palm trees along the coast … Billionaire Jim Janard bought it in 2006 for $ 75 million at the time as the most beautiful and most expensive island in Fiji. In the same time he bought Kaibu Island with resorts there, and redesigned and converted it into today’s Vatuvara Private Islands and Vatuvara Foundation. Yes, a bit confusing. The resort is located in Kaibu, but the name is Vatuvara, regardless that Vatuvara Island is across and is uninhabited.

here you can see everything such as awesome hill, beach, palms, limestone cliff, corals and lagoon. Vatuvara!

In Vatuvara resort on neighbouring Kaibu Island, Megan Markle and Prince Harry stayed in 2018 when visited Fiji. Since last October, the whole group of islands (including Vatuvara) is on sale. We covered this article as well here

The new and lucky owner will be very pleased with those islands once he buys them. Especially with this untouched island. And not just that, just right from Vatuvara there is Mago Island located, (owned by famous actor Mel Gibson) as the first neighbor.

this is very pretty scenery on the island ,,inside”. We see it’s an untouched jungle.

The top of the island is a massive shortened pyramid, which is surrounded on all sides by almost steep cliffs up to 61 m in height. The top of the pyramid is about 40 acres (160,000 m2) and is mostly flat, although it contains some holes and depressions 2 to 8 meters deep, some of which are filled with water that accumulates. At the foot of the peak, in most places, there is a wide belt of slightly sloping land, which is not above 8 meters above sea level, and forms the brim of the hat, which indicates the typical profile of the island.

interesting beach. We see Yacata and Kaibu islands at distnce

On the eastern and northern edges of the island, the sea strikes limestone cliffs, which are mostly deeply undercut, there is a reef closer to the shore, but in other places, the island is surrounded by a wide reef, which moves away far from the west coast to enclose the lagoon. On the steep sides of the central mass, there are three shallow terraces, as three levels, which mark the rise of the island, but they are harder to notice because they are covered with dense vegetation that covers the entire high structure of the island.

Katy Miller, scientist from Vatuvara foundation, checking plants and animals inside the island. I wish I was there too, to see this awesome jungle

Vatuvara Foundation is dedicated to environmental protection, and they work mostly in Northern Lau Group, around Yacata, Kaibu, and of course, Vatuvara island itself. Some of their recent projects include ,,Coral Restoration Project” which they started in 2019 to protect and restore nearby corals in the Northern Lau Group. It was aimed to restore those corals, mostly from climate change consequences and recent severe storms (which heavily damaged that region, and corals suffered as well).

palms and vegetation

In 2021 they also did a three-week survey about endangered coconut crabs in the region. According to them, that was the first systematic study in Fiji on the Coconut Crab’s species distribution and abundance, to improve the profile for and provide stringent management recommendations and community-based training on resource management. I was pleased to hear that there are those crabs abundant in this region.

dramatic cliffs and landscape

Back then in 2017, on Fiji’s Independence Day (10. October), Vatuvara Foundation teamed with a community of Yacata Island, and declared a part of their traditional fishing grounds a marine protected area (tabu in Fijian) for five years.

There is a myth about the Guardian of Vatuvara (Vakatawa Kei Vatuvara). The traditional mythical guardian of Vatu Vara is Sakulawe, a sea goddess. In Yadrana village ( in Lakeba Island), the Turaga Vaka family has one of their elderly matriarch named after Sakulawe, as a token of respect to one of their late blood relatives and a chief of Vuna, Ratu Masiwini.

a place to relax and forget about daily problems

Vatuvara Private Islands won both Accommodation Luxury and Tourism Sustainability, and the 22nd ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards. So, this awarded company and island combined have a lot to offer. A new owner will be pleased with this island (or even better, the whole pack).

This is their quote from March 3, 2023, on their Facebook page:

Congratulations to our Vatuvara Private Islands team! We are grateful to have won four awards at the 2022 Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards. Our team received Gold in Environmental Sustainability and Accommodation Luxury, along with Silver in Excellence in Food Tourism. Our General Manager, Robert Miller was recognized for his 50 years’ experience in Fiji’s Tourism and Hospitality industry with the Silver Dixon Seeto Tourism Leader award. We celebrate with our team this special recognition together in Northern Lau and congratulate all the winners across the industry for their contributions. Vinaka!

nice view from above

Now, you will see a video and our gallery with over 87 pictures (click on a picture and wait for a little until the gallery loads, then scroll left/right, and press Esc to exit, optionally you can press F11 for a bigger gallery).


(This post was last updated on 16. February 2024)