Nawanawa

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Nawanawa Estate was the only licensed accommodation on Vanua Balavu at the time of our stay.  Moana's the other homestay accommodation was expected to get a license soon. The Lomaloma resort has closed down. It costs us $100 Fijian a night for both of us (a married couple)  to stay at Nawanawa for board and meals.  Fuel for the boat, airport transfers and trips were extra.  So our three day stay amounted to just over $500 Fijian (about $265 US) for food, travel and lodging.

Contacting Nawanawa is a challenge - especially as the phone was not working when we needed to call.  The phone is radio phone: +679-889-5144.  When you speak to one of the owner's, Joe or Hlne Tuwai, only one person can speak at once and it may not accept international calls (we need to test that!).  So you can write - but allow about a month for a reply as the mail is only collected from the Island's post office which is in Lomaloma at the other end of the island once a week.  The address is: PO Box 20, Lomaloma, Vanua Balavu, Fiji.  Brochure Front Page, Brochure Back Page (prices subject to change - we are not agents!)

If you are on a nearby boat you can communicate on VHF channel 16. 

The phone and ship's radio and a few lights are powered by solar panels.  There is a flush toilet for guests and wash basin.  The bath is a huge oil drum outside - we did not try it as we swam every day.

The way to get there is to get a truck to Daliconi then ask a villager to take you in a boat to Nawanawa - else you can wade through the mangroves.  There is only one large truck on the north of the island and about 3 small ones, there are more boats.  The large truck will probably meet the plane and trucks take the children to school - so traveling on a school truck is an option.

The cooking at Nawanawa is a combination of local Fijian fare and home made delicacies.  Ratu (Chief) Joe cooked us rock cod in garlic and coconut sauce and also made kokoda (pronounced kokonda) from raw fish, lime, chili and coconut - a Fijian version of sushi which was delicious.  As a chief Ratu Joe does not fish, but supports fishermen by buying their fresh fish.  Helene cooked fresh bread in an outside wood-fired oven which was wonderful.  We always had plenty to eat - rice, spaghetti, cassava were the main starch foods.  For breakfast Hlne made good porridge which we could garnish with fresh coconut.  We also had some excellent home made marmalade made from lemons.  The greens were home grown and very fresh.  We also had sausages in a spaghetti sauce.  Helene made a wonderful coconut cream pie and other fine desserts.  The tea in Fiji is excellent - much coming from Sri Lanka.  On days we went out Hlne made a substantial picnic for us - we declined a picnic the day we went to Lomaloma as we had Power Bars with us and were full from our other meals.  The water was boiled and good.

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Nawanawa is on the south end of the bay at Daliconi - this is a view of the peninsula on which it is situated and a rather blurred aerial photograph.

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This is the picture of the house. It was built by Ratu Joe, the owner and he built it with his own hands from wood and nails that he shipped from New Zealand.

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The boat is on its own little bay which fills with sea water at high tide.  If you come here in your own boat you need to estimate when you will leave so that your boat is not high and dry or far from the shore when you want to leave.  You can swim and snorkel in the bay - there are crabs close to shore - which apparently are very tasty.

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Fresh vegetables are grown at Nawanawa - the coconuts, which are excellent  - probably the best I have ever tasted, are mainly for the pig, which was about to have piglets.  The fresh vegetables include green cabbage, cassava, bok choy and various Fijian plants.  Some of the fruits like papayas (pawpaws) and bananas had been destroyed in a hurricane, but more papayas were about to ripen.

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The bed had a mosquito net over it.  The first night we foolishly did not put a mosquito coil in our room to smoke away the mosquitoes - so they buzzed at night.  By the second night we had a coil and slept well.  The third night we were woken by dogs (there are three friendly small dogs at Nawanawa) - they barked at a fisherman and crabs - which they do on moonlit nights.  After they'd barked a few times I realized that there was no intruder and fell asleep.  There are no roosters on the property - so they don't wake you up.  The bed was very clean and comfortable.  The one bedroom had a couple of double beds, a single bed and a couple of chaise longues.  Joe and Hlne said that if they need more beds they have a house in the village and can get them from there. We were fortunate to have the large room for ourselves.

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The hosts are Joe and Hlne Tuwai.  They make you feel really welcome in their home and Joe gave us a great trip of the Bay of Islands.  Hlne took us to Lomaloma where she spent much of the day talking to the Telecom engineers - however it did result in the phone service getting repaired.  Joe loves to travel around in his boat and both are seen here  - they took us in their boat to the truck that would take us to the airport for our departure.

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