A Guide to Nacula Island

jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (4)

Nacula Island is in the northern part of the Yasawa Islands. I stayed on this island for four nights; two nights at the Nabua Lodge on the southern coast and two nights at the Oarsman’s Bay Lodge on the western coast. Oarsman’s Bay Lodge was by far the nicest place I stayed at during my time in Fiji.

How to Get to Nacula Island

Nacula Island is on the network connected by the Yasawa Flyer, a large catamaran operated by Awesome Adventures. There are a variety of packages and passes available; I am traveling on an 11-day Bula Pass which is essentially a hop-on, hop-off pass to visit the islands. Check out my guide to how to book your own pass here.

The Yasawa Flyer travels each day from Port Denarau in Nadi northwards through all the Manuca and Yasawa Islands before heading home in the evening, picking up and dropping passengers off along the way. At each island, passengers disembark onto a smaller boat that will take them to each island.

It takes about 4 ½ hours from Port Denarau to Naviti Island. I arrived from Naviti Island, about an hour away. Nabua Lodge to Oarsman’s Bay Lodge takes just ten minutes.

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jana meerman nabua lodge nacula island fiji (8)

Nabua Lodge

The first place I stayed was Nabua Lodge on the southern coast of Nacula Island. Nabua Lodge is situated on the beach and is the largest of all the places I stayed at in Fiji. There is plenty of accommodation to choose from including small bures for single, double or family occupancy and a couple large dorms that could hold twelve people each. The grounds are spacious and the main building juts out on a large deck over the beach.

I felt that Nabua Lodge was the least personalized experience of all the spots I visited; comparative to Wayalailai where you are treated like family or Oarsman’s Bay where every need is seen to, I felt that the staff were the most distant here. Regardless, I still very much enjoyed my stay thanks to the lovely people I met and the beautiful surroundings.

jana meerman nabua lodge nacula island fiji (1)

Oarsman’s Bay Lodge

The second place I stayed was Oarsman’s Bay Lodge on the western coast of Nacula Island. This was by far the most beautiful resort I stayed at; the facilities were beautiful, open, welcoming and clean. The food was top notch and my stay was honestly lovely. I truly wish I could have spent more nights here!

Not only that, this was the only place I stayed with free unlimited wifi! All the other locations either had pay-per-hour wifi or none at all. While it’s been wonderful to disconnect a bit, the demands of online work do require a wee bit of internet connection every now and then!

While I was here, a massive bush fire spread across the island after igniting near Nabua Lodge. The entire mountainside went up in flames but local knowledge of how to channel fires prevented the flames from coming near the resort and everything was safe. It was scary to witness massive flames racing across the island, tearing through everything in sight. We did not need to evacuate in the end although we were packed and ready to leave; the drums would be sounded should the need to leave arise at any point during the night.

jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (1)
jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (1)
jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (1)

Things to Do on Nacula Near Nabua Lodge

Hang Out in a Hammock

It seems to me that the rules of a Fijian holiday are simple: relax and do nothing! There are loads of hammocks strung up in the trees of Nabua Lodge. Find one that isn’t situated directly under a coconut tree (falling coconuts are quite hazardous and can be fatal!) and curl up with a good book for the day.

jana meerman nabua lodge nacula island fiji (9)
jana meerman nabua lodge nacula island fiji (9)

Enjoy the Beach

The waters beyond the grassy shallows here are so blue! Pop on your snorkel and head out for beautiful explorations. You can also wander quite a way down the beach to the left to visit a village and another resort. Watch out for falling coconuts!

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Hike to Sunset Point

At the end of the beach, you’ll find a hand-painted sign with the word Sunset clearly marked. Follow the short trail up the hill for panoramic views of the blue water and a prime spot from which to view both sunset and sunrise from! Watch out for the ants – I recommend bringing something to sit on.

jana meerman nabua lodge nacula island fiji (3)
jana meerman nabua lodge nacula island fiji (3)
jana meerman nabua lodge nacula island fiji (3)

Reef Hopping

Nabua Lodge offers a snorkeling tour for $15 FJD ($9.25 CAD) that takes you by boat to two different local reefs as well as a shipwreck! The reefs were quite stunning – I’ve never seen so many fish at a reef before! They were quite large and beautifully coloured. The shipwreck was a highlight and a first for me. The highlight was spotting the sunken toilet… The ship downed four years ago after striking a reef and taking on water.

jana meerman snorkeling yasawa islands fiji (1)
jana meerman snorkeling yasawa islands fiji (1)
jana meerman snorkeling yasawa islands (3)
jana meerman snorkeling yasawa islands (3)

Afternoon Tea at the Tea Shop

Along the beach in a bright yellow roomy building, a lady sells tea, coffee and cake each afternoon from 3-5:30pm. $3.50 FJD ($1.85 CAD) will buy you a delicious fresh-out-the-oven slice of cake with a different flavour on offer each day.

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Things to Do on Nacula Near Oarsmans’ Bay Lodge

Go Snorkeling

This was the first place I stayed where I could snorkel straight directly off the beach outside the resort. Plenty of fish and gorgeous reef was available to explore.

jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (11)
jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (11)
jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (11)

Enjoy the Beach

The nicest beach I’ve gotten to stay on, there’s plenty of sun loungers, hammocks and pure white sand just begging you to grab a book and relax on.

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jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (24)
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jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (4)

Watch the Sunset

The steps to Oarsman's Bay Lodge at high tide sit right in the ocean's edge, making the perfect canvas for a Fijian sunset to light up the sky and reflect back on the smooth water below. There was a massive bush fire tearing across the mountain behind the resort while I was here to the clouds made the sunset all the more ominous and deeply coloured.

jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (8)
jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (8)
jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (8)

Hike the Island Mountains

Right behind the resort, follow the trail up the mountain for panoramic views over the entire island. The first summit takes about half an hour - you can continue on the trail for another hour to find more views. We went the day after the massive fire; it was strange seeing the contrasting colours where the fire had burned through the vegetation. Honestly stunning.

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jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (16)
jana meerman oarsman's bay lodge fiji (16)

Enjoy the Water & Resort

Oarsman's Bay Lodge was by far my favourite stop in Fiji. This was one of the few where clear water runs on the beach, void of any sea grass, and where a reef sits just in the bay. The staff are delightful, strong and free wifi is available, the food is delicious and fresh and the facilities are gorgeous. I can highly recommend this resort. You can also borrow free kayaks, paddleboards and snorkelling gear at any time to explore the surrounding ocean.

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