Hello all, wanted to thank "ya'll", as we say in some southern parts of the US, for the kitesurfing brotherhood, been reading your posts for years, finally signed up. Read through the posts on Fiji I could find on the forum already.
Question: got 4 days at the Wellesley on the Coral Coast of Fiji, and one week at Tavarua, trip of a lifetime coming up end of this month. Traveling with my wife (likes flat water kiting) and I am a pretty confident and obsessively addicted wave kiter. Will definitely post a full review when I get back, but wanting some input if anybody has been to the area.
At Tavarua I will have support since they boat you to the different breaks, but I found very little about the wave kiting on the Coral Coast. Ideally, I would like to connect/hire someone to guide me with wave kiting on the Coral Coast, honestly am very respectful of coral and have no desire to get shredded on it, so having a local to steer me to the right places would be really reassuring.
I live in Arizona and kite the Sea of Cortez, where I kite 10 to 30 mile downwinders in the waves are the norm, if any chance of downwinders on the Coral Coast would be wonderful, but I would not dare to do that without a guide. I saw something on the internet about Ben Wilson doing downwinders on the Coral Coast from Matanavisu next door to the Wellesley, actually the reason I am staying there.
Appreciate any input!
i spent 2'weeks there recently and kited most days
didnt see any other kites
rode a 14m most and an 11 overpowered a few days
best was at sigatoka rivermouth on a sandy beach big waves
it was windy as but deserted (I was alone) and a bit sketchy if u messed up - I didn't see anyone in a 2 hr session there one day
You need to hire a car ( they are pretty cheap) to get around
its really tide dependant. It was low tide during the afternoon when I was there so couldn't kite a lot of the reefs
many would be great on high tide
kired out the front of a few resorts
some get more wind due to a better direction of coast - I just cruised the highway and kited anywhere it looked ok all the resorts were ok with me parking and using their beach to launch
a lot of spots need 2 people to launch/land due to the coral
the reefbreaks are pretty knarly and shallow - you don't want to drop it out there but fun. No real down the line though
watch out for the coral lumps on the sand when launching/landing though it will rip up your gear
thers a village lagoon by the large pier that was ok on mid low tide but flat water only. You will see it on your way to the resort it's a sand bottom
Thanks for the great input. Tide should be right for high tide in the afternoon for the days I am there. Heard the reef pass between the Wellesley and Matanivusi is good for waves on either side, will plan to focus on this spot most likely as is right by the resort. Will do a downwinder if I get a boat for support that inspires any confidence of not being left out there. 10 days away, will post a review of the spots on way back.
Was over there for a surf trip many years ago.
Stayed with friends of friends in the village on the beach at Sigatoka.
One if the very few beach breaks.
We surfed the reef passes but these were super gnarly, if not unsurfable at low tide.
The beach was our low tide goto.
I didn't kite back then it looking back on it,that beach would have been epic to kite. Wide rivermouth at one end and long lefts rolling around the reef on right hand side.
Might be be an option for you and I reckon worth checking out.
Thank you Simsurf. At the end of our trip will have two days on Viti Levu with low tide in afternoon so Sigatoka beach will be the target now that I know that...
I will post a review of the whole trip after I get back.
Sigatoka - no wind, but good for a paddle.
Reef pass out the front of Wellesley
Reef pass out the front of Wellesley
Here at work in the the Sonoran Desert in Tucson, Arizona, daydreaming in my office between patients( I am an eye doc) at work looking at the beautiful images!
Just getting back to the Sonoran Desert, to home in Tucson Arizona, far away in all possible ways from the Fiji islands we just visited and kited.
The vibes of the Fijians were truly and surprisingly sincere and warm, super clean, rarely saw any garbage on the beach or elsewhere, sublimely perfect temperature day and night(23 to 27C), thin neoprene top if kiting at dusk or if you tend to get cold or for surfing maybe. Been to kite much of the Caribbean(Barbados, Bahamas, Union Island, Turks and Caicos, Aruba), Cape Hatteras, Florida, Florida Keys, Oregon Coast, Hawaii, Baja MX, Northern Peru, San Blas Panama, Brazil, Cape Town. But nowhere are the people's vibes this simple and sweet.
To the wind point though: 9 days and nights spent there, 2 1/2 spectacular wave kiting sessions, 3 sessions of flat water kiting, all on a 13m Drifter for my 105 kg. I say sessions and not days since the tide and exposed reef pares down time on the water, limiting you to 3-4 and maybe less hour sessions. Dagger to the heart in general terms for a rabid desert dwelling wave kiter, but went with my wife, had a great time, and was able to work on learning to surf and was able to stand up on a surfboard and get some good kiteless surfboard rides on perfect learning waves on the surf break called Restaurants(small day) at Tavarua Island for the first time in my life after trying several times in the past. If you are well accompanied and have a bad time in Fiji, perhaps you should put a dagger to your heart, the place is delicious, top of the world.
Arrived in Nadi, rented a car and drove 2 hours to the Coral Coast, stayed 2 nights at Wellesley resort. Beautiful, clean, with a nice sandy beach to launch, put up a 15m which flew but not enough to pull a kiter, even for her fly weight category. If I remember right about 160 US$ per night for a super nice bure(Fijian for self standing hut with a/c) with its own private pool.
Zero knowledge anyone has there about kitesurfing, even less about getting to the breaks, etc. Finally visited Matanivusi Resort next door, one strong option for boat support and guidance on where to wave kite, as they have supported kiters here and there. If they had room on their boat they said perhaps they would have taken me. For flat water in that area, kiting is only doable at or near high tide from what I could see, but we did not get on the water there. Also met a nice Australian fellow Cormac Brown who kites and runs the surf trips from the Beach House hotel/hostel nearby, he could be hired to support a wave kiter.
7 days then at Tavarua Island( no room at Namotu), pick up at airport by the resort in a bus, 40 min drive to a beach where boats are waiting to take you on a 45 min ride to Tavarua Island. You see Cloudbreak a few km away and Namotu a few km the oposite direction. For the 500 US$ per person per day (about 600 US $ pp pd at Namotu) you get a bure similar to Wellesley and all meals(buffet) and boat transfers to the surf breaks. All alcohol or drinks other than water ++ expensive.
I consider myself a confident wave kiter, but felt very intimidated about kiting there on arriving at Tavarua. The day we arrived, the wind was the usual SE trade wind. The only kiter among 30+ surfers arriving on a windy day, got some advice from Trevor, one of the owner's teenage sons that kites, which was basically to wait a few hours till high tide, launch on the NE side, go around the island, and have fun on the SW side. He was not up to kiting with me to hold my hand that day. Crap, I thought, I will end up impaled on a shallow part of the reef somewhere, shredded like Parmesan cheese. But no, turns out that high tide(about 1.3m above low tide) will float you nicely above any reef all around the island. Kited on my 13m Drifter ( I am 1.90m 105kg) there at Tavarua on the SW reef, overhead but a quick close out type of wave. As I saw the next day, forget wave kiting there.
I imagined there was a reason I could see 10 or so kites 3km away at Namotu Lefts and none on Tavarua. By asking, I was told they would send a boat behind me to babysit me while there at Namotu. Whew! What a relief! So downwinded there and kitesurfed the most beautiful conditions I had ever lived, see pictures by the Namotu photographer. Just amazing, till sundown,then got in the boat, put the kite down, a bit tricky, folded the kite and back to Tavarua by boat. Did the same the last day there, but tide allowed only 1 hour of kiting that day before the light of day ran out.
Two other sessions we had with the opposite wind, NE, which my wife and I both kited a few hours as tide allowed on twin tips, in addition to a session at Restaurants, the famous left surf break at Tavarua that on NW wind turns essentially into small mushy minimal waves.
The next two days we spent nearby with no wind, at Tadrai Resort on the back side of Mana Island, 100 yards from the beach where the show Survivor has been filmed for the last few years. Super nice(expensive +++ also) all inclusive place with only 5 bures, super attentive staff, etc. It included a 40 min day trip by boat to Mondriki Island where the Tom Hanks movie Castaway was filmed, boat trips to the sandbar and evening champagne boat cruises at sunset. If flat water /choppy water kiting is your thing, there is a 80 meter sand bar 2km from this resort that should be really nice in any wind direction, but a good 45 + min away from kitesurfing breaks at Namotu and Cloudbreak, would be +++ expensive to hire boat support to take you there.
So, my guess is 30-50% wind days is a reasonable expectation for the area during wind season, could be more or could be less. My 2 1/2 wind and wave days there, specially now that I know what to expect, rank at the top of my wave kiting days ever. Will definitely do Cloudbreak next time if not ridiculously big, and with a good high tide if it happens. Go to Cape Town though if only 80% chance of 2 to 3 wave sessions per day will suffice (not to mention that these sessions are possible in 20km + downwinders in Cape Town) and you are OK with wetsuits.
Looks like you had an awesome trip. I had some great flat water sessions close by on Castaway Island a few months earlier. And some excellent sessions in 2 trips to the Coral Coast in previous years.
You will have to come back again sometime!
Yes, will most definitely go back. Want to take the whole family next time(total of 6, of which only two wave kiters, the rest flat water kiters) but would be unable money wise so looking into renting a house and getting a boat guy to take us out to the breaks to kitesurf. Malolo Island I think would be the best but could look into staying on Viti Levu also, just a longer boat ride.