Navua River in Fiji

Anyone run this by chance? It looks absolutely amazing and very packraftable. I’d love to hear what anyone has to say. I’m going to try it out next month hopefully, on a week-long stopover in Fiji en route to NZ.

Yes, been down it in an IK. Totally packraftable – a classic en route to NZ.

Also sent a PM to you.

Disappointing try at the Navua:

Rivers Fiji has a strangle hold on the access, so don’t count on them to help.

The whole island is private property so you need permission from multiple landowners to run the Navua, is what i was told. The 4wd road is 15-20 km long so maybe you could walk in/hitchhike with some Fiji dollars and buy your way onto the river from the local landholders up there.

Bring some Kava.

It’s good to get away from the road to see the true essence of a place. Actually, to really see the underlying, original geography, it’s best to get away from the sight of lights and sound of motors, but that’s getting harder and harder to do anywhere on the dry earth today.

But still, to see local people who walk on trails and travel by water offers a truer sense of a place than the easily traveled roads, urbanized towns, and bus routes. And for this kind of travel, a packraft can be ideal.

Shut down by Rivers Fiji I was still determined to judge how good Fiji might be for packrafting. After two trips to Fiji now with a packraft, my verdict is it’s great.

No doubt there are hidden runs of steep drops and slides, but if you’re on your way to NZ, why not wait for the steep and scary and flush the jet lag from yourself with a bit of grog, some sun, and lots of smiling faces?

Much of Fiji’s Vatu Liva Island populace live among the steep, un-roaded mountains in small villages of thatch roofed huts. Trails link these small communities where people still walk. They feed themselves with their subsistence gardens and sell crops their hillside crops of cassava, pineapple, and sugar cane. In the river bottoms grow taro and breadfruit, papaya and mango.

The native Fijians locate their villages high enough off the rivers to avoid flood but close enough for laundry, bathing and play. There are no vehicles. The people graze their few animals in the village, keeping the grass short their and giving the appearance of a neat and tidy lawn among the dwellings. Foot paths radiate across from home to home, to the church, the river and the forest. Many of the rivers alongside these villages appeared to me during the Eco-Challenge to be runnable in a packraft. But getting from village to village on the linking trails will require local knowledge.

Fortunately the Fijian friendliness and hospitality and a little cash make that part easy.
It should be possible to cross the island from village to village with explorations of the local creeks and rivers en route rather easily. The ideal way would be to have a guide take you from one village to the next, where he’d introduce you to the mayor or chief or major landowner. They’d set you up with a place to stay and a guide for the next leg of you journey.

This is a cyclone disturbed ecosystem, and just two weeks before a storm had passed off the sea and into this forest. It looked ratty and broken, but the people and villages looked as if nothing had happened.

Anyway if you have a week and a packraft get to Navua, the town on the south coast and take an afternoon river boat up to Namuamua ($10) where the 'Luva and Upper Navua come together. Ask for Andre and he can take you upstream to run the Upper Navua and 'Luva for a really neat experience. Spend a couple days in the village hiking and boating. It’s neat there.

Definitely worth going up there, especially