There are several shops within 15 minutes drive of Taveuni Estates. The main shopping centre is situated at Naqara. The shops stock most provisions, catering for Taveuni’s ever expanding ex-pat community. There is a small fruit and vegetable market that sells local produce very cheaply. There is also a small fish market and most of the shops sell fresh fish as and when the local fishermen bring it in to them.
Due to the strong Indian influence in Fiji there is also a vast selection of spices and learning to cook with these is an experience in itself, all of the local women will be delighted to assist. A small beef butcher operates on the Southern end of Taveuni, simply place your order by phone by Thursday midday and the most succulent fillet steak you have ever tasted will be delivered first thing Friday morning! Any food item that cannot be found on Taveuni can easily be ordered from Suva.
There is a daily (sometimes twice daily) ferry service from Suva and the shopkeepers on the main island are all accustomed to using this service to provide their customers on the outer islands. It is a very simple process of making a call to place your order and collecting your box from the boat for a minimal fee of $F3. Be sure to remember that although provisions are easy to come by it is also possible (and great fun) to ‘live off the land’.
Taveuni is known as Fiji’s ‘garden island’ for the rich fertility of it’s soil – almost anything will grow here!
Tropical fruits are in abundance. Bananas, papayas, pineapples, lemons, limes and watermelons fruit all year round and are literally everywhere you look on Taveuni Estates! Seasonal fruits include passionfruit, guava, mangos, avocados, grapefruit, mandarins, sour sop – the list is truly endless. There are always plenty of vegetables and salad growing as well as a few local plants. Bele is the local spinach – the Fijians make a delicious soup mixing this will chillis and tomatoes – it full of iron and very good for you. Joka (pronounced Choka) is another local plant – crispy, unique taste, delicious in a salad with coconut cream and lemons.
If you prefer not to grow your own vegetables a couple of local men drive around the houses selling their homegrown vegetables from the back of their truck a couple of times a week.
A couple of the local supermarkets sell a good range of alcohol. Some of them have a decent selection of wines. If you wish to order more than a couple of bottles it is advisable to do so through one of the larger wine merchants in Suva who will offer a much more competitive rate than the local stores are able to. Wine orders will be delivered via the ferry service.
There are an ever increasing number of ex-pats living and owning property on Taveuni full time. All the resorts have restaurant/bar facilities and there are a couple of dedicated restaurants. Taveuni Estates Clubhouse is open every day. Most of the social life revolves around residents of the Estate and their guests. On Taveuni Estates, the choice is yours – either you can live a very social life, or a more reclusive existence. The Clubhouse is located on a beautiful ocean front golf course with tennis courts and a swimming pool.
Also located on the Estate is a boutique Hotel complex with excellent restaurant, bar and swimming pool all of which residents use on a daily basis www.taveuniestatesdiveresort.com. The Hotel is an excellent place to stay for prospective land or house purchasers.
Schooling on Taveuni is readily available. The primary language is English, but Fijian is also taught along with Fijian cultural classes. There is an old Catholic Mission School that is not far from the Estate and one of the oldest in Fiji dating back some 100 years. There are also a number of state schools.
Virtually all Christian denominations are represented in Taveuni. The majority of the population on Taveuni is Roman Catholic with a beautiful church a 5-minute drive from the estate. There is also an Indo-Fijians representation on the island, comprising of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.
Taveuni enjoys a tropical climate, the mild and dry season being May through November.
Average Air Temperatures: 23 – 30°C / 73 – 86°F
Average Water Temperatures: 27 – 29°C / 80 – 84°F
Average Air Temperature: 20 – 26°C / 68 – 79°F
Average Water Temperatures: 25 – 27°C / 77 – 80°F
The cost of living is to that of the US and Australia. However, appliances and vehicles are considerably more expensive, as are items of furniture. Most residents opt to bring those with them which allows tax-free entry. Domestic help will cost you approximately
FJ$60 per week if you choose to employ on a full time basis.