|RETURN TIME:||Approximately 4:00 PM to Pacific Harbour|
|RIVER RATING:||Class I|
|RIVER MILES:||5 miles kayaking, 8.5 miles in a motorized longboat|
|AGE LIMIT:||Minimum age is 8|
|TRIP LENGTH:||1 day|
|BOAT TYPE:||Inflatable kayak|
COVID INFO: Open to travelers. Requirements for entry: None. For more information about travel to Fiji and current COVID restrictions, visit the Travel Fiji website at www.fiji.travel/covid-19/travelling-to-fiji.
In 1997 OARS President, George Wendt and longtime OARS friends, Nate and Kelly Bricker founded Rivers Fiji as the first whitewater rafting company in Fiji. Since then, Rivers Fiji has employed local residents to manage day-to-day rafting & sea kayaking operations, and help guide adventurous travelers from around the globe down the Upper and Middle portions of the Navua River and the ‘Luva River–two of the most beautiful tropical rivers on the planet. Historically, Fiji’s tourism development has been focused primarily on the coastal communities, with Fiji’s interior populations receiving little benefit. Rivers Fiji, however, provides economic alternatives to people whose previous development options were limited to logging and resource extraction. Friendly, knowledgeable and hospitable Fijian guides make the trips here unlike any other experience OARS offers.
The Upper Navua Conservation Area
Our partner outfitter, Rivers Fiji, Ltd—along with the help of a number of indigenous landowning groups, a logging company, and the Native Land Trust Board—created the Upper Navua Conservation Area in the highlands of Viti Levu. The UNCA is a 17-km conservation corridor just upstream of the Middle Navua that protects the river and 200 meters to either side from future logging and gravel extraction. It maintains the pristine natural state of the Upper Navua River canyon and guarantees natural capital for the indigenous highland residents. By joining us on the Middle Navua, you help support this conservation effort.
The River is Fresh
As a destination for a beach vacation, Fiji has few rivals. The ocean water is clear and wonderfully warm, and there are many fine resorts spanning the spectrum from luxury to budget. The snorkeling, diving, surfing and beach lounging possibilities are nothing short of world-class. But if all these activities share one blight, it is their reliance on salty ocean water. The water in the Navua River is gloriously fresh, flowing from highland springs and collected rainwater; a day in the highlands is the perfect reprieve from the salt and crowds on the coast. As you journey through this ancient land by kayak, we bet you won’t even miss the stinging of salt in your eyes.
Inflatable Kayak—Inflatable kayaks float low to the water, putting you in touch with the pull of the current and splash of every wave. Using a kayak paddle with a blade on both ends, you’ll be in control of your own boat, choosing your path among the currents and bends of the river. Learn more about the boats on your trip at www.oars.com/experience/boats/
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what your trip might be like:
For guests meeting us in Pacific Harbour, the day begins with a meeting time of 8:30 AM at the Rivers Fiji office. We’ll climb aboard our 4×4 highland carrier and head west along the coast with the sun rising behind us. Guests coming from Nadi, the Coral Coast or Suva who have arranged a hotel transfer with us, you will have a pick-up time from your hotel that varies depending on location. You will meet the 4×4 carrier, along with guests coming from Pacific Harbour, at the junction of the Queens Highway and the dirt road that leads to the river.
The drive along the bumpy, but scenic dirt track ascends steeply to a coastal ridge before winding into the rain-forested interior. After about 45 minutes, we’ll stretch our legs and enjoy a homemade snack. Another 45 minutes in, we arrive at the village of Wainadiro. We’ll pack what we need for the day, leaving our dry clothes with the carrier, and begin a short descent to the river and our kayaks.
After a safety talk and paddling practice, we’ll head down river. The slow, easy current allows for graceful, casual paddle strokes. You’ll enjoy the scenery of tree-covered, lush jungle and swirling currents. Our liquid pathway takes us past villages and farms—a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the residents of the interior highlands. People may be fishing or working on their boat, or perhaps pushing their bilibili (a traditional bamboo raft) loaded with fresh produce for the market in town.
We’ll pull over on a sandy beach, where we park our boats and leave the river behind for a short hike to a magnificent waterfall. Stand below the towering cascade for a free massage or swim in the fresh, clear pools. You’ll have plenty of time to revel in this tropical paradise. Upon our return to the river, we’re met by a delicious picnic lunch—an abundant spread of meats, cheeses, veggies and bread with all the fixings, fresh fruit, cookies and juice.
A short paddle downstream brings us to the village of Namuamua and the confluence of the Navua and ‘Luva Rivers. We’ll roll up the kayaks and board a motorized longboat for the remainder of the journey, winding through another breathtaking canyon with many waterfalls, exotic birds and giant fruit bats. We’ll meet our vehicle near the village of Nakavu and make the 30-minute drive back to Pacific Harbour.
*Note–we do not recommend people join our trip the same day as a departing flight from Nadi. We cannot guarantee a specific return time to any destination after the trip.
- Skilled, professional guide service provided by our affiliate operator
- Delicious picnic lunch and snacks
- High quality inflatable kayaks and related river equipment including paddle, helmet, personal flotation device, splash jacket and small waterproof dry bag (17” tall x 9” diameter, sealed)
- Transfer from the meeting place to the river and back
What’s Not Included?
- Round trip transportation from your hotel (available at an additional charge)
- Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan
- Items of a personal nature (see suggested packing list below)
Meeting Place & Time
Roundtrip hotel transfers are available for an additional charge from hotels in Nadi, along the Coral Coast and from Suva. Cost and pick-up times vary depending on location. We provide complimentary transfers from accommodations in Pacific Harbour. Please call the Rivers Fiji office (679-773-1147 or 679-777-9450) upon arrival to Fiji to confirm your reservation, trip status and pickup time if applicable.
Getting to the Rivers Fiji Office
The Rivers Fiji office is located in Pacific Harbour, behind the Mobil service station. Follow the Queens Highway to Pacific Harbour: the station is opposite the ocean side of the highway on Hibiscus Drive. The Rivers Fiji office is down a gravel drive, to the left of the Mobil station. If you are driving, park your vehicle in the parking lot in front of the Rivers Fiji office. Allow 2.5 hours from the Nadi/Denarau area and 1 hour from Suva.
Pre- and Post-Trip Accommodations (not included in your trip cost)
If you are not already staying at one of the island resorts and would like accommodations in Pacific Harbour:
You may want to check one week prior to your trip for an up-to-date forecast of weather predictions in Fiji. We recommend you check with the Fiji Meteorological Service.
The Fijian archipelago has a mild tropical maritime climate and generally stable temperatures all year round. Fiji’s so-called ‘wet season’ is from November to April and is the hotter part of the year, while the ‘dry season’ is from May to October. The reality, however, is that rainfall is fairly consistent each month of the year. Because it is on the windward side of Viti Levu (Fiji’s largest island), Pacific Harbour receives more annual rainfall than resort areas closer to Nadi on the leeward side. In our case, this increased rainfall translates to more water in the Upper Navua River and more fun in the rapids!
River Runners Responsibility Code
1. Read the pre-trip literature and arrive at the meeting place on time.
2. Understand the risks: your safety is ultimately your responsibility.
3. Treat your fellow guests and guides with respect and courtesy; harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.
4. Wear clothing and personal protective equipment suitable for the current conditions.
5. Listen to and follow the guides’ instructions.
6. Abide by the managing agency’s rules.
7. No drugs or alcohol prior to, or during, your trip.
8. Minimize your impact on the environment.
9. Wear the issued and properly–fitted Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times when in the boats or swimming. Wear a helmet when required.
10. Your children are your responsibility!
Essential Eligibility Criteria for River Trips
Your outdoor adventure will be an active participatory trip. Please inform us of any physical limitations you may have as soon as possible. Make sure you are exercising frequently in the months leading up to your trip and can meet our essential eligibility requirements.
What to Bring
The information below is subject to when your trip takes place. The need for warm weather or cold weather items should be based on a reliable weather forecast leading up to your trip.
Clothing for physical activity should be quick-drying and made of merino wool or synthetics. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives with this outline. Weather conditions can vary considerably. It’s important to dress in layers so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature no matter what Mother Nature may have in store. The inner base layer should move perspiration outside, where it can evaporate. The intermediate layer should insulate while the outside layer should act as a barrier to wind and rain.
The best choice is an amphibious shoe that drains water, protects your toes and won’t come off in swirling current. A retired pair of athletic shoes can work well, too. Sport sandals with a heel strap are a good option, especially on rivers with sandy beaches. The hike to the put-in is steep in places and often slippery. You will want footwear in which you feel confident for these conditions. Find professional-grade options made by Chaco®, the official footwear sponsor of OARS guides.
Start with sunscreen, a swimsuit, shorts, and long-sleeved shirt, and then add additional layers if needed. As the day warms up layers can be taken off and stored in your daypack. You may want a jacket or windbreaker if it’s a rainy day as temps can be surprisingly cool on the river and during the longboat ride.
Protecting yourself from the sun should be taken very seriously! In many cases, a long-sleeve shirt is the best method for preventing sunburn on your upper body. Light-weight long pants may also be appropriate to protect your legs.
A hat, sunscreen, lip balm and sunglasses are also a must. Rheos, the official sunglasses sponsor of OARS guides, offers polarized floatable nautical eyewear with 100% UV protection. Use promo code OARS15 to save 15% on any purchase from The Nautical Eyewear Collection.
☐ Sunscreen & lip protection: waterproof and SPF 30 or higher
☐ Water bottle with a carabiner to attach it to the boat
☐ Shade hat/visor which is flexible enough to fit under your helmet
☐ Sunglasses (preferably polarized such as Rheos floatable eyewear www.rheosgear.com) with securing strap
☐ Bathing suit
☐ Shorts (long board shorts preferable for sun protection) and quick drying top
☐ River shoes or sandals with a heel strap (such as those made by Chaco® chacos.com)
☐ Dry clothes and shoes to change into after your trip
Find all the gear you need for your trip online in the OARStore + 15% of your purchase helps provide under-resourced youth with outdoor adventure experiences.
Please let us know if you have any medical issues or dietary needs that we’ll need to consider in planning your trip.
We provide a small waterproof bag (17” tall x 9” diameter—approximate sealed size) to hold your camera and other items you might need during the day. While these bags are designed to be waterproof, you may wish to place your camera in a zip-lock plastic bag or waterproof casing for additional protection. We also strongly recommend you take out a rider on your homeowner’s policy to cover your camera—especially if it’s fine equipment. If you are planning on bringing a digital camera make sure to bring additional memory cards, batteries, and any other extras you will need.
Each participant will need to complete the required trip forms online and submit them no later than 30 days prior to your trip.
In order to ensure that each passenger experiences the pristine condition of the river canyon, all of our trips practice a “leave no trace” environmental and social ethic. All garbage and waste packed in are also packed out. We ask that you refrain from smoking around other passengers and pack-out cigarette butts.
Tipping is optional, but appreciated by our staff. If you are wondering how much to tip, you may consider that we operate in a service industry with a host of behind-the-scenes contributors in addition to the guides on your trip. In general, we suggest a gratuity based on 10 – 15% of the trip cost. It is customary on trips for gratuities to be given to the Trip Leader, who will then distribute appropriately amongst all the guides and support staff. If you plan to tip, remember to bring cash—ATM’s are not readily available.
In reviewing your statement, you’ll notice a $1 per person per day donation to International Rivers, a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protecting rivers and defending the rights of the surrounding communities. Their work helps stop destructive dams and promotes water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world. One-hundred percent of these funds go directly to protecting rivers, and your contribution is tax-deductible. This donation is voluntary and may be removed from your invoice if you choose not to participate. Please notify our office to delete the donation from your balance.
Gear up in the OARStore where 15% of all purchases help fund outdoor adventures for under-resourced youth
Shop for the latest in top-quality clothing, footwear & outdoor gear
Watch our “What to Wear and Bring” video
Terms & Conditions
Reservations and Deposits
Full payment is required at the time of booking. Payments may be made by check, money order or Visa/Mastercard (American Express and Discover incur a 3% processing fee). Prices are in US Dollars and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency.
Cancelling your trip after your deposit is processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you.
Cancellations and Refunds
Your payment is fully refundable, less a 3% processing fee, for 48 hours after making a reservation when you reserve a trip 7 days or more prior to departure.
If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below. We regret we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan (see Travel Protection below).
|DATE OF CANCELLATION||CANCELLATION FEE|
|30 days or more prior||$30/person|
|29 days or less prior, late arrivals or “no shows”||No refund or credit|
OARS International and the outfitter Rivers Fiji reserve the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. Do not make nonrefundable travel arrangements unless you have spoken to your Adventure Consultant regarding the status of your trip.
If a trip must be cancelled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel, or a refund less a 5% service fee plus any nonrefundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers, however we can’t guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a cancelled trip.
Under most circumstances, if you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying an OARS International trip. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip.
Because there are costs that you will incur if you cancel the spaces on this trip that we’re now holding for you, or in the event you need to be evacuated during the trip due to an unforeseen illness or injury, we strongly encourage our guests to purchase an optional travel protection plan. A travel protection plan may help reimburse the cost of your pre-paid, non-refundable payments in the event you are prevented from taking your trip for a covered reason. Trip participants must understand that in the event of an illness or injury on a wilderness trip, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult and expensive. For complete details and to purchase the plan we highly recommend, visit: www.oars.com/tpp
Please note: To be eligible for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your initial trip payment and you must be medically fit to travel at the time you pay for the plan.
Liability Release / Assumption of Risk
Everyone is required to sign a standard liability release/assumption of risk form before the trip, confirming awareness that there are inherent risks associated with the trip. Due to the nature of the activities, a condition of your participation is that you will sign this form and return it to our office before the trip begins. Anyone who refuses to sign the form will not be allowed to participate, and consistent with OARS International cancellation policy, there will be no refund of the trip fees at that time.
Responsibility – An Important Notice
O.A.R.S. International, Inc., Rivers Fiji, Ltd. and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agent for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services, and assume no responsibility however caused for injury, loss or damage to person or property in connection with any service, including but not limited to that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, pandemics, strikes, theft, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or change in transit over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the participants, including cancellation due to water fluctuation, insufficient bookings (this trip requires a minimum of 4 guests) and other factors. There is risk in whitewater rafting, particularly during high-water conditions. Rafts, dories and kayaks do capsize. You could be swept overboard. Your guide will make every attempt to assist, but you must be strong and agile enough to “self-help” and “float-it-out” without further endangering yourself or others. We reserve the right not to accept passengers weighing more than 260 pounds or with a waist/chest size exceeding 56 inches. We may decide, at any time, to exclude any person or group for any reason we feel is related to the safety of our trips. We are experienced at accommodating people with various disabilities. Please give us an opportunity to make you feel welcome. We need to discuss any special requirements ahead of time.
OARS trips occur in areas where unpredictable environmental conditions are to be expected. To moderate dangerous situations for our guests and guides, all travelers must obey the rules and regulations as determined by the managing agencies and the Trip Leader and demonstrate reasonable consideration for other guests and OARS employees. We reserve the right to remove any guest from a trip if, in our opinion, that guest’s actions or behaviors pose a threat to the safety of her/himself or others, or if those actions or behaviors compromise the enjoyment of the trip for others. Should a guest be asked to leave a trip, there will be no refund for the unused portion, nor will OARS be responsible for additional expenses incurred by the guest for accommodations, return transport, change fees, etc. Prices subject to change without notice. OARS is an equal opportunity provider.
Rivers Fiji, Ltd., a travel partner of OARS. International is the operator of this trip. A Rivers Fiji representative will meet you and escort you throughout the program. These Fijian staff members are the very best. They will do their best to ensure your complete satisfaction.