Waterfall and Cave… DIY options!

Figure under waterfall

If you’re unable to join a scheduled trip with us, or just live in Fiji and can travel independently, then you can visit Nabalesere’s waterfall and the cave at Wailotua in different ways.

If joining a fully supported trip is not an option, then check out these alternatives.

Book a Talanoa Treks vehicle with an experienced driver-guide, or book a driver-guide to accompany you in your vehicle. Either way, we’ll make the arrangements with the villages.  If you’d like us to drive your vehicle please ensure that it is comprehensively insured for any driver.

We’ll charge you for our driver-guide (FJD 100) and, if you use it, our vehicle (FJD 275). You can bring as many friends and family as you like in your own vehicles. You are responsible for providing a sevusevu and paying the villages directly for your visit.

We recommend the itinerary and timings outlined below.

Waterfall visit, including lunch, Nabalesere | FJD 40pp, plus a sevusevu
Cave visit, Wailotua | FJD 10pp, no sevusevu required

If you’re making your own arrangements, we strongly recommend you follow the itinerary and timings outlined below. Doing so helps the villages, and ensures you make the most of daylight hours.

Savulelele waterfall, Nabalesere village

The Nabalesere Tourism Committee can take your booking directly. The village welcome direct bookings from visitors to trek to their beautiful waterfall on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays. Visits on other days are not possible.

Vodafone coverage in the village is patchy so please try calling several days in advance, be patient, send a text message with clear information (when you’d like to go, the number of people, a contact name), and call again. The village focal point is Paula on 9398393.

Your payment includes guides to the waterfall and lunch in the village. You will need to take a sevusevu, ensure everyone observes cultural requirements (sulus in the village, swimming in t-shirts and shorts etc). You will be met at the village entrance by a member of the committee on arrival who will brief you and also present your sevusevu on your behalf.

From the King’s Road, it takes about 1 hour on gravel roads to reach Nabalesere village. Ensure your vehicle has sufficient clearance and drive according to the road conditions.

Nakoroloaloa cave, Wailotua village

The cave in Wailotua is easily accessed from the King’s Road. Turn on to the gravel road following the edge of the village that looks like it is leading to the quarry. The last house on the right belongs to the Tui Wailevu and his wife, Biu.

Biu (2742889) is the best person to contact to arrange a visit in advance, and she can guide you into the cave sharing stories along the way. She is also an expert masi maker and designer. This is a great way to break the return journey to Suva and only requires about an hour’s stop. No sevusevu is required.

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Waterfall visit, including lunch, Nabalesere | FJD 40pp, plus a sevusevu
Cave visit, Wailotua | FJD 10pp, no sevusevu required

Please read all the trip information carefully, so you know what to expect and can be prepared.

Directions to Nabalesere from the King's Road v2
Map and directions to Nabalesere village from the King's Road

Day-trip | A day-trip out of Suva, enjoy the drive along the scenic King’s Road and then inland to the edge of the Greater Tomaniivi forest reserve; soak up the atmosphere at Nabalesere’s stunning waterfall and swim in the refreshing waters; warm up with a cup of draunimoli and a local lunch in the village; and visit the historic Wailotua cave on the return journey to Suva.

Day trip

07:30 | Depart Suva
09:00 | Short stop in Korovou town, opportunity to visit the market, and buy your sevusevu
10:00 | Turn inland onto gravel roads near the Waimicia shops
11:00 | Arrive in Nabalesere, sevusevu, and be guided to their waterfall (1.5km track)
13:30 | Local lunch prepared by the village
15:00 | Depart Nabalesere
16:30 | Guided visit into the Wailotua caves
19:30 | Arrive back in Suva

Please note that timings depend on the fitness of individuals and size of the group.

What to bring…

You’ll need a sulu (as in a sarong or wrap-around) for village etiquette and to put on as you enter the village.

It’s also a good idea to wear whatever you’re going to walk and get wet in (should you want to walk behind the falls or take a swim), as changing facilities are basic and it saves time when you arrive. Feel free to swim in any of the pools, but out of respect for the site as a place of cultural importance, please keep a t-shirt on and refrain from stripping down to revealing swimwear.

You can leave a dry change of clothes in the village hall for when you get back, as it’s best to carry as little as possible, but do take a towel for any kids as the water is cold and can leave them briefly shivering!

Other things to take on the walk to the waterfall… sun cream, insect repellent, camera, and waterproof bag to keep it dry, drinking water and a snack (lunch will be on the late side). Plus, if you have a pair of swimming goggles or a mask, bring them along so you can see in the spray if you get close to the waterfall!

For the cave, please bring along a torch, but do not shine this at the roosting bats as they are at risk of being disturbed by light and noise. The Fiji Blossom Bat that you’ll find in the cave is officially listed as endangered, so please do your part!

Footwear

Trainers with a good grip, walking shoes, or walking sandals are best. The 1.5km path to the waterfall can be a bit slippery and muddy – especially after rain – but there’s no need for hiking boots. The path in the cave is uneven in places, and is wet in places after heavy rain.

For safety, we’d recommend keeping your shoes on, when you cross the creek or even when you go swimming. It makes it less likely that you’ll slip and stop you stubbing a toe.

Flip-flops or sandals to change into from your wet shoes are a good idea!

Where should I stay before and after the trek?

This itinerary is designed for people staying in Suva. It is possible to combine a visit to the waterfall and the cave with stays at hotels on the Suncoast.

How fit do I need to be?

Our itineraries are designed for hikers. While they cover a variety of levels of difficulty, they are enjoyed most by people with a good level of fitness who hike regularly. The visit to Nabalesere and their waterfall is within most people’s ability. The track is 1.5km each way, with some up and down, but no time pressure. The path into the Wailotua cave is approximately 400m long. All the other hikes that we organise are more strenuous. Longer days should leave you feeling satisfyingly tired after a good day’s hiking with a sense of achievement. The challenge of walking in Fiji comes from the heat, humidity, remoteness and the nature of the tracks, which are not constructed paths, are uneven, and can become muddy and slippery. If you don’t exercise regularly, we’d recommend getting out on the trail before you come to Fiji, as you’ll enjoy your trip with us all the more!

What shoes and clothes are best?

Footwear

Approach or trail shoes are ideal for Fiji conditions. But trainers/runners with a good grip or other walking shoes will do. Avoid stylish trainers with no grip! Paths can be slippery and muddy – especially after rain. Almost all walks involve walking through small creeks and our longer hikes involves crossing some larger rivers. You will get your feet and up to your knees wet! Unless you’re wearing heavy boots, we recommend keeping your shoes on at all times, whether you’re crossing a river or even swimming.

Other clothing

Most people wear a lightweight t-shirt (quick-dry, collared t-shirts are ideal) and a pair of shorts for walking. This is perfect for visiting the waterfall. On our longer hikes, if you want to protect your shins from grass cuts, then trousers, long socks (stylish!) or exercise leggings are highly recommended. Also, for longer hikes, if you have a lightweight raincoat/pac-a-mac, it’s worth carrying it in case we get caught in a shower… it won’t keep you dry, but it’ll keep the wind out. We also strongly recommend you bring a hat to keep the sun off your head.

What about water?

Although the piped water in the villages is drunk by the locals, to reduce the chance of any problems we strongly recommend you only use only filtered, treated, or boiled water. We carry a supply of filtered water in our vehicles and we have installed Lifestraw Community filter systems at each of our partner villages for refilling bottles, and which is used for mixing kava. Lemon-leaf and lemongrass tea, using boiled water, is in plentiful supply in the villages, and with a bit of sugar added makes for a good energy drink!

In Fiji, you need to carry and be drinking a lot of water. How much will depend on the length of the walk, the heat, humidity, your own personal fitness, and how much you naturally sweat. For this day trip a 1.5-litre bottle should be sufficient.

Do I need to bring food?

Meals are provided by the villages and lodges. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements before your trip. The guides carry some snacks to share on each hike, but if you have any favourite snacks, you should buy them in advance. There are no shops or stores once we leave the coast.

More frequently asked questions

Check out our FAQs and if there’s anything you can’t find the answer to, please just drop us a line via the Enquiry Form or email [email protected]

When you’re visiting or staying in a Fijian village there are some important rules for you to remember so that you are being respectful of Fiji’s history and culture.

The most important ones are:

  • Always wear a sulu (sarong/wrap around material) that covers your legs down to just above your ankles while you’re within the village boundaries
  • Never wear a hat or anything on your head while you’re in the village
  • Always take your shoes off before going inside (you can keep your socks on)
  • Sit down as quickly as possible when you go inside and don’t stand up indoors
  • If you need to move around indoors when others are sitting, it’s polite to stoop or crawl
  • If you’re presented with a bowl of kava it’s polite to drink the first one… clap once, take the bowl and drink it all, and after returning the bowl clap three times
Photo: Elliot Wright

Guides mixing kava in Naga – Photo: Elliot Wright

Trek Rating

Steepness : 3
Track Roughness : 2
Difficulty : 2
Please note

If you are joining us on a semi-supported or fully-supported trip, we may need make the call to change the itinerary for your safety, for example if the weather is particularly bad. If we have only provided booking support, or you have booked directly, you are responsible for your own safety, and should check road conditions and the weather forecast before driving into any remote area.