The origins of the name Nadrau are based on its historic past. "many dialects" sums up the many clans that passed through Nadrau on their way to the picturesque Coral Coast.
Your host at Nadrau is Ratu Lemeki Natadri, the Paramount Chief of the village and the district of Nadrau. He speaks excellent English and is a well respected member of the village. The guest house boasts four tabua (whale's tooth) - the most highly valued symbols of respect in Fijian culture.
Image right: The incredible view on the road above Nadrau
The village is situated in the centre of Viti Levu and is ideally placed for numerous bush walks and climbs through the beautiful Nadrau plateaus, rocky hills and top reaches of the Sigatoka river (see map).
The old village of Nadrau is about two hours walk away - a walk to this old village, beside a beautiful gorge, still has the remains of the old killing stone used by the cannibals and the pond where they put the bodies after the killing.
Image right: The Sigatoka River valley in which British Missionary Thomas Baker was cannibalised in 1867
There are some other fantastic traditional activities that are unique to Nadrau including wild pig hunting and bush walks to the village of Navatusila (also known as Nabatauatau) where Thomas Baker, the British Methodist Missionary was killed by the village Chief. Your host, Lemeki, will organise guides to take you lovely relaxing walks or steep climbs. As you will see on these pages there are some stunning views and places to visit. Just getting here is an adventure .
The village is near the Monasavu Hydro Electric scheme - and has electricity. This is normally turned on in the evenings. Water is tapped directly from an island stream and is purer than the water you find bottled in stores.
Fijian villagers are very healthy and believe that cleanliness is next to Godliness.
Image right: the turn off to Monasavu
It is important to note that Fijian villagers are offended by bikinis or scant clothing worn in the village area - be safe and wear clothing that covers the knees and shoulders. Do NOT wear hats in the village during your holidays in Fiji.
However, if you go to the beach away from the village treat it like any other - and get a great suntan in a bikini!
Image right: The beautiful beach at Nadrau
Your host has a telephone.
You will enjoy the most incredible and memorable holiday adventures whether walking along the secluded beaches, collecting shells, or enjoying some of the unique activities on offer. At Nadrau you will, from the moment you step into the village, be accepted into the community. You will, in true Fiji-time, be able to participate in traditional ceremonies, like Kava drinking in the "vale ni so qo" (or large community hall), dancing and singing as well as swimming in the sea, snorkeling on the Coral reef, relaxing or visiting the nearby Marlin Bay Hotel - just a short walk away. Alternaatively you can just lie under the moon and watch the sea break gently at your feet.
Image right: the beautiful vista surrounding Nadrau
It is important to note that the "man is boss" in the traditional Fijian community so you will find the village women doing all the household work, cooking, etc. Tourists to the village are welcome to participate in the kitchen, washing etc... but this is entirely optional although you will enjoy chatting to the women about their experiences at Nadrau. All food, washing etc.. is done for you by the women in the village - and these costs are included in the cost of accommodation. Once again you are not expected to do anything but relax and do what you wish, but for those who want to take a step back in time this is an unforgettable experience well worth considering.
If you have children this will be a holiday and experience of a lifetime as they are immediately welcomed into the fold by Fijian kids of all ages - about 170 of them! (Bring a small rugby ball with you and your kids will be kept occupied for your entire stay! Simple things like balloons and sweets are a firm favourite.)
While the local Nadrau Fijian dialect may be spoken by villagers English is understood by the villagers. (Fijian translation of common greetings can be seen at this link).
Nadrau is the ultimate backpacker adventure. You are in a safe environment, welcomed into a friendly community from the moment you arrive - and you have the numerous walks around Nadrau to explore.
When you arrive at Nadrau there is a very simple traditional ceremony that you can participate in. When the villagers gather in their community hall they welcome guests at a Kava ceremony known as a "sevu sevu". An elder from the village will welcome you and the man or male spokesman for your group, at this time, is expected to make a short speech and provide a small gift to the village (such as 1kg of powdered Kava - which cost about F$20 or US$10). Once these formalities are over your host will keep you informed of future Kava celebrations, entertainment or other activities taking place during your stay. (A big wooden drum is often beaten to alert villagers of celebrations, church services and other community activities).
More on kava at this link
Payments for transport will be organised directly with your taxi driver when he collects you either from the hotel or airport. The lorry fare is paid to your host when he meets you at the town of Tavua, he organises to get you the special local rate. Payments for accommodation are also to be made to Ben. Please do not tender credit cards to the village as they do not have those sort of banking facilities - cash is king. There are plenty of ATM machines at Lautoka and Nadi on the way to Nadrau.
Gifts and Village Funds:
If you are thinking of bringing gifts consider bringing practical things like books, notepads, pencils, rubbers and sharpeners that can be used in the school. If you have children consider bringing a gift of a rugby ball, tennis balls, cricket gear, balloons etc for the village... a great ice breaker and your kids will have a great time. This option is entirely up to you and is not expected.
There is also a village fund which has been set up at the request of past guests. The village fund is contributed to by guests, but it is important to know that donations are voluntary and you are NOT expected to donate to the funds. The funds are administered by the village mataqali (or elders) without any outside influence.
The two village funds are:
a building fund which is used in identified projects that help the entire community; and
micro-financing - a fund which is used to finance small enterprises that individuals or groups of villagers in each village want to set up. The money is loaned interest free and with no strings attached. The recipient is morally bound to return the money once he has started earning an income from his enterprise so that the money can be used again to help someone else in the village.
There will be a poster in your guest room in the village which tells you more about the village funds, alternatively you can discuss them with your host.
- Village apology over cannibalism of British Missionary - Thomas
Murdered Missionary's relatives in ceremony to lift curse
Cow killed for Fiji villager's dining sins