Mount Tomanivi, also known as Mount Victoria, is the highest point in Fiji standing at 1323m. Unfortunately, at this high elevation, the mountain appears to be nothing more than a hill, although the two-hour hike to the top is certainly strenuous. The trail starts from Navai village, 8km south of Nadarivatu. You’ll need to hire a guide (F$20) and pay a F$20 admission fee which goes towards village projects; you can also enquire in the village about homestays. The walk is best attempted on a dry day, setting off from Navai around 8am – any later and the trail becomes swelteringly hot, any earlier and the summit is likely to be obscured by morning mist. The lower part of the trail is extremely muddy, passing plantations and crossing a couple of streams. About halfway up, it enters the government-leased Tomanivi Nature Reserve, where you’ll probably see masked shining parrots, long-legged warblers and hear whistling doves. From here on up the route follows an exceptionally steep ridge over boulders and contorted tree roots – it’s quite a scramble but thankfully the trail is hemmed in by thick forest. There are a couple of clearings along the way with glimpses of the surrounding countryside, and the panorama from the top is exceptional. On a clear day you’ll see the stark contrast between the dry valleys in the distant north and the rugged tropical mountains draped in rainforests to the south.

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