Before You Go

Upper Navua Gorge: Fiji Whitewater Rafting

Overview

TRIP SNAPSHOT

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. Please refer to your confirmation letter for the exact dates of your trip.

MEETING PLACE:Rivers Fiji Office in Pacific Harbour or at your hotel if a transfer is requested
MEETING TIME:6:45 AM at the Rivers Fiji office; Hotel pick-up times vary by location – please call the local Rivers Fiji office to confirm times and trip status (+679-992-2148 or +679-777-9450)
RETURN TIME:Approximately 5 PM to Pacific Harbour
RIVER RATING:Class II-III
RIVER MILES:12
PUT-IN:Near the village of Nabukelevu
TAKE-OUT:Village of Wainadiro
TRIP LENGTH:1 day
BOAT TYPE:Paddle raft with oar assist

Itinerary at a Glance


The Day of Your Trip

  • For guests meeting us in Pacific Harbour, we’ll meet at 6:45 AM at the Rivers Fiji office and board a 4-wheel drive highland carrier for the scenic drive to the river.
  • Guests coming from Nadi or the Coral Coast who have arranged a hotel transfer with us will have a pick-up time from your hotel that varies depending on location. You will meet our 4×4 carrier at the junction of the Queens Highway and the dirt road that leads to the river.
  • It’s an approximately 90-minute drive in the 4×4 carrier to the end of the road. Here, we’ll pack what we need for the day (leaving our dry clothes with the carrier), and begin a 15-minute hike to where our rafts await. Refer to the trip page for a more detailed sample itinerary.
  • After a full day on the river, we’ll reach our take-out point at the village of Wainadiro. You will have the opportunity to change into dry clothes for the 1-hour drive back to the Rivers Fiji office in Pacific Harbour, arriving at approximately 5 PM.

*Note–we do not recommend people join our trip on the same day as a departing flight from Nadi. We cannot guarantee a specific return time to any destination after the trip.

INCLUDED IN YOUR TRIP COST

  • Skilled, professional guide service provided by our affiliate operator
  • Delicious picnic lunch and snacks
  • High-quality inflatable rafts 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

NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR TRIP COST

  • 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)
  • Gratuities
  • Photos of your trip (we cannot guarantee photos are taken on every trip)

Getting Ready


PRE-TRIP CHECKLIST

Consider Purchasing Travel Protection: Learn more about the plan we highly recommend and get a quote.

Trip Forms: Each participant will need to complete the required trip forms within two weeks of making a booking. Refer to your confirmation email for the link to the online forms. If you prefer to fill out paper forms, please let us know right away. If you are reserving within 30 days of departure, your forms must be completed immediately to ensure we can properly plan for your trip.

Whitewater Orientation: To increase your safety, we expect everyone to watch our Whitewater Orientation video before joining us. 

Physical Requirements: Your outdoor adventure will be an active participatory trip. Please inform us of any physical limitations you may have as soon as possible. If you exceed 260 pounds, please give us a call. Make sure you are exercising frequently in the months leading up to your trip and can meet our Essential Eligibility Criteria

Payments: Final payment is due at time of booking.

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.; alcohol is allowed in moderation in camp on overnight trips.

8. Minimize your impact on the environment.

9. Wear the OARS-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!


Travel Arrangements


Please call the Rivers Fiji office (+679-992-2148 or +679-777-9450) upon arrival to Fiji to confirm your reservation, trip status, and pick-up time, if applicable.

GETTING TO THE RIVERS FIJI OFFICE, PACIFIC HARBOUR

By Shuttle

If you are staying in Pacific Harbour, we provide complimentary transfers from your hotel.

Round-trip 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. 

By Car

The Rivers Fiji office is located in Pacific Harbour, behind the Mobil service station (Lot 5, Arts Village, Pacific Harbour). 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 inside 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.


Weather


You may want to check one week prior to your trip for an up-to-date forecast of weather predictions in Fiji. Being properly prepared for weather variations is an important factor in fully enjoying your trip.

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!


Packing for Your Trip

We want you to be prepared and comfortable for your trip. Below you’ll find some general tips for how to dress and what to pack and a comprehensive packing checklist. 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 synthetics or merino wool. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives of 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.

Clothing

Start with sunscreen and swimwear, and then add additional layers if needed. We recommend long sleeves and pants for sun protection. You may want a jacket or windbreaker if it’s a rainy day as temps can be surprisingly cool on the river.

Footwear

The best choice is an amphibious shoe that drains water, protects your toes, and won’t come off in swirling currents. 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.

Sun Protection

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. Lightweight long pants may also be appropriate to protect your legs. A hat, sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are also a must.

Cameras

We provide a small waterproof bag on each raft (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.

PACKING LIST

☐ 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
☐ Polarized sunglasses with securing strap (consider bringing a spare)
☐ Swimwear: tankinis and board shorts are a great option
☐ 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®); “Aqua socks” strongly discouraged
☐ Dry clothes and shoes to change into after your trip
☐ Cash for gratuities 

  • Find all the gear you need for your trip online in the OARStore and 15% of your purchase helps provide under-resourced youth with outdoor adventure experiences.

Reminders


SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Please let us know if you have any medical issues or dietary needs that we’ll need to consider in planning your trip.

EXPLORER ETIQUETTE

In order to ensure that each guest 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 while in the raft with other guests and pack-out cigarette butts.

GRATUITIES

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 OARS trips for gratuities to be given to the Trip Leader, who will then distribute them appropriately amongst all the guides and support staff. If you plan to tip, remember to bring cash—ATMs are not readily available in Fiji.

SOMETHING VOLUNTARY

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.


Terms & Conditions


Reservations and Payments

Full payment is required at the time of booking.

Payments can be made by check, money order, eCheck, wire transfer, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. 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. Your payment is fully refundable for 48 hours, less a 3% processing fee, after making a reservation when you reserve a trip 7 days or more prior to departure.

Cancellations and Refunds

Canceling 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. 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 that 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. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.

DATE OF CANCELLATIONCANCELLATION FEE
30 or more days before your trip$30/person
29 – 7 days before your tripPayment can be transferred to another trip within the same year (or to a credit account for the following year) for $50/person transfer fee. No refund.
6 days or less before your trip50% of the trip cost can be credited to another trip (within the same year).
Late arrivals or “no-shows”No refund or credit

TRANSFERS

If you need to move your reservation to a different trip during the same year, or to a credit account for the following year, there is a $15/person fee up until 30 days prior to departure for a one-time transfer of your payment. If we are 29-7 days prior to your trip departure, there is a $50/person fee to transfer to another trip, within the same year or to a credit account for the following year. Transfer requests made 6 days or less prior to departure, 50% of your trip cost can be credited to another trip within the same year only. Transfer requests made the day of departure will be treated like a cancellation according to the schedule above.

Canceled Trips

OARS reserves the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. In such instances, we will inform you at least 7 days prior to departure. Do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until you have verified with OARS that your trip is confirmed.

If a trip must be canceled 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 $30/person service fee and any non-refundable 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 cannot guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.

Transfers

If you need to move your reservation to a different trip during the same year, or to a credit account for the following year, there is a $15/person fee up until 30 days prior to departure for a one-time transfer of your payment. If we are 29-7 days prior to your trip departure, there is a $50/person fee to transfer to another trip, within the same year or to a credit account for the following year. If we are 6 days or less prior to departure, 50% of your trip cost can be credited to another trip within the same year only.

Medical

Under most circumstances, if you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying an OARS trip. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip.

Travel Protection

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. Learn more about the plan we recommend.

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 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 the 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 guests 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 in 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

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.

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