As part of the conference, the Local Organizing Committee (LoC) have arranged for 5 field trip options on 12 July which showcase the best of Fiji’s natural environment.
These field trip options will begin from The University of the South Pacific begin at 6am. Conference participants are kindly requested to pay for field trips as part of the registration process as each tour has limited space available.
Outside of these options, the LoC will also be listing a variety of options which conference participants may book individually.
Birding Watching – Savura Forest Reserve
Organized by Miliana Ravuso (Birdlife International)
The Savura Forest Reserve is designated an Important Bird Area (FJ10) in Fiji and is located on the other side of the Colo-i-Suva Forest Park, about 10km out of the centre of Suva. The Forest Reserve hosts one of the best forest areas in south east Viti Levu and has watersheds (Savura & Vago Creeks) which are protected water catchment areas. The Savura Forest Reserve is bordered by settlements on the edge of Suva and the mahogany plantations of the Colo-i-Suva Forest Park and has been protected from logging since 1963.
The walk follows a 4wheel drive track that can be wet underfoot following rain. There is no need, however, to venture off the track and into the forest. July is the start of the breeding season for most forest bird species in Fiji, so we should expect to hear a lot of singing and calling from approximately 32 bird species which are either endemic or have been introduced.
Pick-up: 6am, USP
Drop-off: 9am, USP
Cost per head: FJD 35
What to Bring – Good walking shoes, hat, binoculars. Bird Pocket Guides will be provided.
Dolphin Watching – Moon Reef
Organized by Cara Miller (Whales & Dolphins Conservation Society)
Dolphin Watch Fiji is a locally owned company which offers a truly unique opportunity to spend a day with our dolphins on Moon Reef – just 15 minutes by boat from Takalana Bay. The day includes a locally prepared delicious lunch and refreshments leaving you to enjoy the wonderful marine scenery.
As part of the day trip to Takalana bay, you will be treated to dolphin watching, sea kayaking and a bush walk.
Pick-up: 6am from USP
Drop-off: 6pm at USP
Cost per head: 130 FJD
What to bring: Walking shoes, dry bag for camera and other items, towel, bug spray and sun screen.
Wailotua Bat Caves and Waterfall Hike
Organized by Stacy Jupiter (Wildlife Conservation Society)
The caves are locally referred to as Ono (six) symbolizing the six-headed snake who resides in the cave and is the keeper and owner of the caves. Fiji’s first Governor, Sir Arthur Gordon was presented with a ‘yaqona’ ceremony in these very caves. Rich with history and folklore, which the guides will share with you along the way, the caves are worth a visit.
Although it bears the name of the snake, the cave is more popularly known amongst Fiji’s field biologists for its bat fauna. This is one of the remaining roosting and nesting cave of the Vulnerable Fiji Blossom bat.
Pick-up: 7:30am from USP
Drop-off: 6pm at USP
Cost per head: 120 FJD
What to bring: Walking shoes, ‘sulu’ (sarong) for village, notebook, and umbrella (just in case)
Pumice Island – Nasoata Islet CANCELLED
Nasoata Island is located in the outer Rewa Delta on the southeastern part of Viti Levu about 15 km NE of Suva. It is a beautiful intact mangrove forest, which will hopefully be designated as Fiji’s 2nd Ramsar Wetlands site of International Importance this year. The trip will leave Suva at 8:00 AM by bus proceeding to Nasali Landing, from where the participants will take boats for a 25 min ride through the beautiful Rewa Delta mangrove channels.
It is considered one of the most spectacular mangroves in the Western Pacific, has one of the highest resident and seasonal migratory, wading and water bird populations and the trip to the island provides spectacular views of Rewa River villages, fish and fishers, and the Rewa mangroves, the largest mangrove in Fiji.
Pick-up: 8am from USP
Drop-off: 4pm at USP
Cost per head: 100 FJD
What to bring: A lunch pack (Nasoata is an uninhabited island, water), towel, bug spray and sun screen.
Nature Hike – Colo-i-Suva Rain Forest
Organized by Dwain Qalovaki (Wildlife Conservation Society)
Colo-i-Suva Forest National Park was established in 1872 boasting a lush rain-forest renowned for tropical flora and bird life. There are approximately four and a half kilometers of natural trails through the forest and natural water pools to swim in.
The Waisila Creek flows through the Colo-i-Suva Forest National Park in Fiji making its way to Waimanu River and is the water catchment for Nausori and Nasinu creek. African mahogany, planted in the 1940s and 1950s, stands apart from the older native vegetation. This is a guided tour by the Colo-i-Suva Park Rangers which will begin with a brief about the national park before the hike begins, at the mid-way participants will get to take photos and have a swim in the water pools.
Pick-up: 9am, USP
Drop-off: 1pm, USP
Cost per head: 35 FJD
What to bring – Hiking shoes, water bottle, light lunch, bug spray and a towel. Maps will be provided.