Accessed from Nadi or Suva via Labasa Airport in the north or the charming tiny airport at Savusavu on the south coast, Savusavu - on the largely untouched emerald jewel of Vanua Levu - offers a taste of the real Fiji.
Here are six things to do in this spectacular slice of the South Pacific.
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1. Shop for premium pearls
Marine biologist Justin Hunter returned to his hometown of Savusavu to spearhead the pearl-farming industry in Fiji after a decade working in the oyster business overseas.
Nearly 20 years later, J. Hunter Pearls is known globally for its exquisite pearls which come in natural hues of gold, chocolate, cranberry, pistachio, blue, green and pretty pastels.
Despite taking a big hit from Cyclone Winston in 2016, J. Hunter Pearls continues to farm oysters in several locations in Savusavu's deep blue waters, providing valuable employment and community support for locals while advocating for sustainable pearl farming and ocean conservation.
His showroom is in the town's main street and you can tour one of his farm sites daily on weekdays, with the opportunity to snorkel if the weather is playing ball.
2. Visit the Savusavu Market
Take a wander around the relaxed town market to browse fresh produce including cabacaba lobster, fresh mullet and sici shells as well as seasonal fruit and veggies such as eggplant, chillies, pineapples, kava, tomatoes, ginger, bananas, taro and mango.
You can also pick up some cute handmade souvenirs and if the premium pearls at J. Hunter are a little out of your price range, you'll find bracelets here made with seconds.
Cool down with a refreshing drink by the water at the Captain's Table restaurant in the Copra Shed Marina complex.
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3. Meet the local marine life
KoroSun Dive offers a great introduction to the vibrant world below sea level. During the Discover Scuba Experience (FJD$270) an instructor will control your oxygen tank and make sure you're comfortable as you descend to at least 12m.
They'll keep a comforting hand on your tank to steer you around the reef, with the other appearing in your periphery every now and again to check you're okay, remind you to equalise (pinch your nose and blow) and to point out the marine life.
If a quick snorkel is more your style head for Split Rock, which you'll find just 150m off the roadside southwest of the township.
4. Trek to a waterfall
It's a treat to trek through Vanua Levu's lush green tropical rainforest and at Vuadomo Village, 30km west of Savusavu on the west side of Vanua Levu, your walk is rewarded with a swim under one of the region's most stunning waterfalls. The water is so clean and clear that you can see right down to the bottom.
Make sure you have permission from the village chief to visit the waterfall - you'll need to make a donation or kava offering. If you've organised your visit through your resort, you'll likely have the opportunity to spend some time in the village too.
5. See some endangered palms
Just out of town is the Flora Tropica Gardens, 2ha of glorious gardens featuring more than 250 species of palms from all over the world, many of which are classified as rare and endangered.
The officially accredited botanic garden also features more than 40 types of tropical fruit trees and orchids, water lilies and up to 2m-long strands of heliconia, or 'lobster-claws'.
You can tour Flora Tropica with a guide at 10am on weekdays (FJD$20) or self-guide via a well-built timber walkway that goes in a loop through its signposted highlights.
6. Feast on local chocolate
One of Savusavu's newest tourist attractions is KokoMana, a sustainable cocoa farm and small chocolate factory on the outskirts of town. Its expat owners Richard Markham and Anne Moorhead discovered cocoa trees behind Daku Resort while staying there in 2012 and subsequently bought a piece of land on Daku Estate.
In June of this year after several years of planting and finessing they began offering small group tree-to-bar tours to the public three days a week or by appointment.
Your guide will explain the cocoa pod-growing process during a pleasantly cool walk through the property, accompanied by playful resident cat Dua, and you'll learn about best-practice agroforestry and sustainable agriculture practices.
The couple say every step of the cocoa's journey is about getting the best flavour possible out of its beans and you'll see the cocoa pulp fermenting and drying in action and learn about the chocolate-making process.
Part of KokoMana's goal is to be part of the renaissance of the cocoa industry in Fiji, particularly in Vanua Levu, and the couple are working with several communities on the island.
They also have a strong focus on advocating for a different local approach to growing crops and trees to protect against future events brought about by climate change - as well as its 16 varieties of cocoa trees, KokoMana is also growing many other plants and trees including vanilla, kava, cassava and several varieties of fruit. Guests can also discover the native birdlife and insects on the farm including the resident stick insects.
At the end of the open-ended tour guests are invited to sample some of KokoMana's handmade fine flavoured chocolate made simply with cocoa solids and Fiji cane sugar. The bars are currently available in an 85 per cent variety and three 70 per cent varieties (plain, with New Zealand sea salt or with local chilli).
Buy a couple to take home as gifts for FJD$12 each - if you can hold yourself back from eating them. Regardless, you'll definitely leave with a whole new appreciation of the work that goes into hand-making such a fine product.