Vanua Levu is the second largest and more northern island in Fiji.Located 64 kilometres (40 miles) to the north of the larger Viti Levu, the island has an area of 5,587.1 square kilometres.
Savusavu town is set in beautiful surroundings, with a protected bay that is a popular mooring for yachts. Wasali Nature Reserve is an untouched rainforest with hiking trails leading to spectacular views. Whether touring the Snake Temple near Labasa, diving to see the soft corals or just exploring along the Hibiscus highway, Vanua Levu has lots to offer.
The Dutch navigator Abel Tasman was the first known European to sight Vanua Levu, in 1643. He was followed by Captain William Bligh in 1789, en route to Timor while escaping from the Mutiny on the Bounty, in which his crew had forced him and those loyal to him off deck and cast them adrift in a lifeboat. Captain James Wilson subsequently explored the area in 1797 in his ship Duff.
Settlers from Australia and New Zealand established coconut plantations in the Savusavu area in the 1860s. Intermarriage with Fijian people produced a mixed-race elite, which also prospered from the sale of copra, of which Savusavu was a major centre, until the Great Depression of the 1930s led to a collapse in the price of copra. In the same period, Indians founded the town of Labasa, now a major sugar-producing centre.