Yanuya Island Village Tour

  • Days:Mondays & Fridays
  • Time:11.00am–1.30pm
  • Price:$90.00 per person (min 4 people)
  • Private Charters:$360 (up to 4 people)

Glazing Traditional PotteryYanuya village, a short boat ride away from Tokoriki, is home to around 500 people, including many of the staff at Tokoriki. This guided visit is a wonderful opportunity to experience South Pacific Island life.

On arrival at Yanuya Island you’ll be welcomed by the village elders. It is customary in Fiji for visitors to present a gift or sevu-sevu out of respect to the chief.

Your guide will present a gift of kava, on your behalf. Kava, otherwise known as yaqona, is a mild narcotic made from the root of a pepper plant (the botanical name is Piper Methysticum).

A village boyAncient ritual surrounds the strict protocol of kava drinking. Be prepared to sit on a straw mat and in turn, try a taste of kava as a coconut cup or bilo is dipped into a mahogany bowl (tanoa) and passed to you. Your guide is at hand to help you with the intricacies of kava drinking—a firm clap, down the kava in one, followed by three claps—Kava drinking is optional, so if you don’t want to try—no problem.

After the sevu-sevu has been performed, you’ll wander down to the beach front with your guide, where you’ll see the pottery ladies at work on traditional handmade pots—a Yanuya specialty. Yanuya Island is the only island in the Mamanuca Group where a clay mud is excavated. Before plastic, metal and china, this would have been a viable reason why the islanders settled on this island rather than its neighbouring uninhabited islands. Other perhaps more important reasons were fresh artesian water and a very sheltered lagoon.

Many of the Yanuya Islanders rely directly or indirectly on tourism as a means of livelihood. Women supplement the family income by selling a wide range of traditional crafts at Yanuya’s handicraft market. We encourage you to spend your money here, rather than in the big department stores in Nadi. Please be aware however that certain items such as shells and corals are endangered and should not be bought, however pretty they make look. Please check our Sensible Shopping Guidelines (.pdf, 376kb) as some goods require permits to leave Fiji.

The highlight of most people’s Village Tour is a visit to Yanuya’s busy junior school. While most pupils are day pupils, some from neighbouring Tavua Island, board. The class rooms have the best view any student could wish for whilst whiling away a hot afternoon of mathematics! The school’s friendly Headmaster delights in telling you all about his school and he is more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Please note that the school closes for holidays and special events. Please check with our staff for dates.

Yanuya Village Tour Check List

  • Wear modest clothing (over the shoulders and on or below the knee)
  • Cash in Fiji dollars – small notes recommended (for shopping or making extra donations)
  • Small bottle of water for your walking tour (please note iced water is carried on the boat)
  • Camera