Here Comes the Sun: Rafting the Upper Navua River, Fiji

Our unforgettable rafting journey through paradise began early this morning with Rivers Rivers FijiFiji; we were on the bus before 7 am, but it was worth the early rise because the Upper Navua River, Fiji is a tropical wilderness, covered in lush rainforest and fed by countless waterfalls. The day would have been perfect if I didn’t make a serious, rookie mistake: I didn’t apply enough sunscreen throughout the day and now I’m as red as a matador’s cape. I’d recommend rafting the Upper Navua River if your in the area, but pack that suncreen and cover yourself head to toe! Oh Baby, it is hot in Fiji!

A remarkable river canyon, the Upper Navua River brought us beyond the ocean and beaches to the remote highlands of Viti Levu. The surroundings were like something from a movie with towering canyon walls and waterfalls around every corner.

Rivers FijiOur guide was friendly, although I don’t think there are Fijians that aren’t, and he navigated the gorge’s vertical walls and narrow passages with ease. As a cultural experience, we learned about the history of the neighboring villages but it was more in conversation rather than lecture. He took us under waterfalls, did most of the paddling work, and even snapped photos for us. The Fijian people truly are a treat.

When we reached an impassable section of the river, he jumped out of the raft and cleared the way. Rather than feeling stressed or worried about it, he just handled it, and it wasn’t a small section either. How wonderful it must feel to be so calm and laid-back. I should take a page from his book.

Rivers Fiji

There’s usually someone who falls in during every rafting excursion but not everyone handles it gracefully and not everyone is caught on camera. Ryan took the first spill of the day and “paused the moment” mid-air. When he popped up smiling, I knew it was okay to laugh and a small part of me wished I had been dumped in with him. It always gets my heart pumping when I’m thrown from the raft.

Rivers Fiji

My adventurous side was beaming when we explored two waterfalls. The first one allowed us to pass under it in the raft. The cool water pounded down on the raft while we leisurely paddled below. Being under a waterfall in Fiji was an authentic experience I didn’t want to miss.

Rivers FijiIMGP0559

The second, and largest falls, was passable on foot. We each took turns standing, or sitting, under the falls and I could have stayed there all day.

Rivers FijiIt wasn’t until I emerged from under the falls that I noticed my skin was getting more and more red by the second. By that time, it was too late to avoid sun burn pain but I at least applied more block before continuing on.

We took a swim and a few funny photos before the trip wrapped up.

Rivers FijiRivers Fiji

Is it wrong that I take comfort in knowing that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t use enough sunscreen?

Rivers Fiji

Our misleading day started out with rain and overcast and ended in sunny, clear skies. Although I welcomed the coming sun and its warm rays, it’s not my friend right now; do you have any aloe?

61 thoughts on “Here Comes the Sun: Rafting the Upper Navua River, Fiji

  1. Lesley,
    James Mitchner would envy your adventures. I’ve sent your Link to a 1/2 dozen of my friends in the Bay Area who are Ramblers.



  2. Awesome adventure and great pictures. You look like you’re having so much fun and I’m so envious that you could get a babysitter so that you could do this awesome water adventure. Fiji huh? Definitely on the list now!


  3. Lesley, I want some of your energy! You really took advantage of every moment in Fiji. Thanks for taking us along! Question: If you had only one thing to do in Fiji, what would you choose?


  4. Wow this is amazing! You are an amazing person. Thank you for sharing your experience, the photos are beautiful and you have a great way with words! I am happy to be able to read about these adventures you go on!

    Thank you as well for liking the blog posts I have. I appreciate that so much. I hope you continue to enjoy them! Good luck with everything in your life and I wish you all the happiness in the world.



  5. What wonderful memories you two are making and look at all the fun you are having while making them. You are certainly brave to do some of the things you have done. Hugs


  6. I rafted down the Upper Navua with Rivers Fiji about seven years ago. It was gorgeous, and while we were in the rock-walled canyon, our guide sang to us in his native language. It was very moving. Glad you enjoyed it!


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