Orange Dove by Simon Colenutt. This fabulous bird can only be seen on the islands of Fiji.
The endemic Golden Dove by Paul Noakes.
The strange Taveuni Silktail, in the fantails family, photographed by Simon Colenutt.
Fiji Goshawk, Golden, Orange and Velvet Doves, Peale’s (Barking) Imperial Pigeon, Crimson, Masked and Red Shining Parrots, Collared Lorikeet, Orange-breasted Myzomela, Fiji Wattled, Giant Forest and Kadavu Honeyeaters, Fiji Woodswallow, Kadavu Fantail, Slaty Monarch, Fiji (Golden) Whistler, Azure-crested and Chestnut-throated Flycatchers, Fiji Streaked Fantail, Natewa (Natewa Peninsula, Vanua Levu) and Taveuni Silktails, Fiji Bush Warbler, Long-legged Warbler, Fiji (Layard’s) White-eye and Fiji (Red-headed) Parrotfinch.
(Fiji Petrel (mostly south-southwest of Gau, May- October, but possible from Suva-Gau Ferry which traverses the waters west of Gau), Red-throated Lorikeet (not seen on Taveuni since 1992), Rotuma Myzomela, Ogea Monarch and the nomadic Pink-billed Parrotfinch are all very rare, very rarely seen or endemic to remote islets.)
Fiji, Samoa and Tonga Endemics
Many-coloured Fruit Dove and Fiji Shrikebill. Also a chance of Shy Ground Dove.
Polynesian Triller, Black-throated Shrikebill, Vanikoro Flycatcher and Polynesian Starling. Also a chance of Collared (Gould’s Petrel).
Red-tailed and White-tailed Tropicbirds, Brown and Red-footed Boobies, Lesser Frigatebird, Pacific Reef Egret, White-faced Heron, Swamp Harrier, Buff-banded Rail, Australasian (Purple) Swamphen, Wandering Tattler, Black-naped, Bridled, Great Crested and Sooty Terns, Black and Brown Noddies, Metallic Pigeon, White-rumped Swiftlet, Collared Kingfisher, Pacific Robin, Pacific Swallow, Island Thrush and Silver-eye. Also a chance of Herald, Kermadec, Murphy’s and Tahiti Petrels. Introduced species include Australian Magpie, Red-vented Bulbul, Common and Jungle Mynas, and Red Avadavat.
A chance of Spinner Dolphin.
The amazingly diverse marine life includes about 1000 fish species, notably a fantastic range of coral reef fish, Manta Ray, and several species of shark including Hammerheads which are resident off Koro Sun Resort on the island of Vanua Levu, and Bull, Lemon and Tiger Sharks, all three of which can be seen while scuba-diving in Beqa Lagoon. The diving season is from April to October.
Great Astrolabe Reef At over 120 km (75 miles) long this is the fourth largest barrier reef in the world. It is situated along the south side of Kadavu Island.
The best time to visit Fiji is the cooler 'dry season' from May to October, when humidity is also lower, especially September, but this is the high season as far as prices go, although prices usually peak in June and July. Plankton blooms usually occur during April-May and/or November-December and may hamper visibility underwater so in between these times is the best for scuba-diving. The average temperature is a warm to hot 25°C, even 30°C plus at times in December-January. Rain falls year round, mainly in the form of showers, but especially from December to mid-April when cyclones also occasionally occur. Quick-dry shorts, t-shirts, a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended for the sunshine, a light waterproof jacket for the showers, and a fleece for the evenings. While snorkelling water temperatures are likely to be very comfortable but it is often best to wear a thin wet suit if in the water for longer than 30 or 40 minutes, and remember it is best to wear something while in the water anyway to provide some protection from the sun, stinging animals and sharp corals.
A Guide to the Birds of Fiji and Western Polynesia (including Tonga) by D Watling. Dick Watling, 2003 (Second Edition).
A Field Guide to The Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific by H D Pratt, P L Bruner and D G Berrett. PUP, 1987.
Birds of Hawaii, New Zealand, and the Central and West Pacific by B v Perlo. PUP, 2011.
Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific by G Allen et al. New World, 2015 (Second Edition).
Butterflies of the South Pacific by B and H Patrick. Otago University Press, 2012.
Where to watch birds in Australasia & Oceania by N Wheatley. Helm, 1998.
Don’t know which country/countries/regions to visit in Australasia? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them in the region, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.
Many trip reports, some for Fiji, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Fiji. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Fiji' below.
The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.
There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.
While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.
Tour companies who are running organized tours to Fiji in the next couple of years include the following. Many of these also offer custom tours.