I Left My Heart In Lau

I Left My Heart In Lau

Visiting the Lau group of islands was always on the top of my bucket list and after seeing images of Qilaqila (Bay of Islands) from some family members who visited earlier, I knew that I had to see her beauty for myself. Those images had left an imprint on my mind, thus began the day dreaming of dipping my feet into the aqua coloured waters, frolicking in the briny ocean and strolling on the powder like sandy beaches of the islands.

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji had orchestrated a seven night’s cruise for locals to the Lau group which departed the capital city amidst international border closures – the cruise line has released both 7 and 11 night sailings from now to March 2024. Both cruises depart from Port Denarau in Nadi. Qilaqila (Bay of islands) located in Lau’s third largest island of Vanua Balavu was our first stop on the cruise. The sanctuary of limestone islets that appear bolted in the ocean was our entrée into six more amazing days of discovering Fiji’s best kept secret.

The feeling of immersing yourself in the aqua-coloured water inside the bay of islands was priceless because this was that tempting location, captured in a photograph from my family’s earlier trip that led me to this adventure – bucket list ticked!

Waking up on the morning of day 3 was met with the breathtaking sights of Fulaga Island. If the jungles of the Marquesas, the clear turquoise water of Bora-bora, the limestone formations and caves of Niue and the beaches of Tonga all had a child, then that would be the easiest and simplest way of describing the beauty of the crescent – shaped reef limestone island.

The spectacular lagoon that surrounded the island was so flawless turquoise in color that we were able to catch sight of turtles, reef sharks, sting rays and brilliant marine life in their home.

I am not one to jump at an opportunity to go on hikes but when the next stop presented an itinerary that included a hike to a salt lake filled with turtles, snakes and bird life, I couldn’t resist! Vuaqava island, an outlier to Kabara is another stunning looking limestone island garnished with lush forests including the other jewel in its crown – the skeleton riddled caves!

I navigated my way across the immaculate looking beach of Kabara afterwards to explore the island’s shell and handicraft market. The island is famed for their wood carvers, the best in Fiji and I did not leave without souvenirs – a neatly carved wooden bowl for my dining room table at home and a bottle filled with white powdery sand. Did you know that sand from this island takes up to 6 months to clear if it ever gets in your hair? that is how fine it is!

Scuba diving on Totoya island, our last stop on the Lau itinerary was the climax of the entire experience. The reefs were rich with marine life and I was able to catch sight of giant clams, lobsters, sting rays and reef sharks.

Every stop on the Lau cruise was definitely an unforgettable experience. It made me feel prouder as a Fijian to know that the untouched, undiscovered islands of Lau was indeed a setting for the best Instagram photographs in the world! Part of my heart was left on one of the islands because I know I will be navigating my way back soon to discover more of their beauty.

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