Savusavu History

  • Savusavu is located on Fiji’s northern and second largest island of Vanua Levu, 100 miles north-east of Suva. It’s famous for its hot springs, located mostly opposite the Hot Springs Hotel.  At low tide you can see the steam from numerous smaller outlets all along the foreshore.
  • Founded before the signing of the Deed of Cession (10 October 1874, when Fijian chiefs signed the document which making Fiji a British Crown Colony), Savusavu township is on the shores of a large picturesque, deep water harbor
  • It was originally established as a center with the sailing ships plying the coastline for cargoes of sandalwood and beche-de-mer; later it became the center of the cotton boom.  During World War 2 the Americans were looking for a deep water harbour for their navy in the Pacific and Savusavu was under consideration.  The Americans chose American Samoa for their base and today Savusavu is known as the Hidden Paradise as it is virtually unspoilt. Savusavu Bay is amongst the world’s finest natural harbors, and cruise ships visit regularly, yachties (over 300 every years) and divers visit regularly. Today, Savusavu remains much as it did in its “heyday”, the hustle and bustle of progress appears to have passed it by. 
  • Savusavu’s economy relies on copra as one of it’s aspects and the township serves an area that constitutes the major coconut producing area of Fiji. (Similar to the Coral Coast resort area on the main island of Fiji).
  • The population of nearly 5000 is a harmonious mix of indigenous Fijians, Indo-Fijians, mixed race (kailoma), and expats (kaivalangi) people.
  • The Hibiscus Highway stretches 70 miles up the coast from Savusavu, offering some of the finest and most unspoiled scenery in the South Pacific, while the trans-insular road across to the main town of Labasa, offers breathtaking views and indigenous rainforest. The atmosphere of the past lingers on everywhere, amongst a natural and friendly population. These roads are some of the best in Fiji.
  • Unusual attractions include the thermal springs at Nakama and the blowholes at Namale.  The Old Copra Shed Marina, which has been renovated in recent years was originally the place where copra was traded and shipped from, as one of the earliest industries in the area along with beche-de-mer and sandlewood. Copra is still processed in the area today.   Today tourism, including diving, sailing and fishing are amongst the current economic drivers in the area. One of the oldest, if not the oldest structures in the area is the Savarekareka Catholic  Mission Chapel, built in 1870 and located 10 kilometres north of Savusavu.
  • The hot springs in Savusavu have been identified as being capable of creating enough geothermal energy to power the entire island of Vanua Levu and a geothermal plant may be on the cards in the future.
  • The majority of the land in Fiji is owned by native land owners – the mataqali (extended family unit).  Savusavu and surrounding areas however have substancial amounts of freehold land.  Most of this land was previously used as coconut plantations, however in recent times some of it has been subdivided and sold to expats looking for a holiday or retirement home, resulting in an eclectic mix of Americans, Australians, New Zealanders and Europeans, adding to the demographic and economic aspects in the area.
  • Thanks to Wikipedia and others for this information!