Let’s Go Local: It’s Tivua Island For Me, Says Alifereti Koroilavesau

Captain Koroilavesau’s area of interest is in tourism, maritime and shipping.
13 Jun 2021 16:20
Let’s Go Local: It’s Tivua Island For Me, Says Alifereti Koroilavesau
An aerial shot of Tivua Island west of Lautoka. Inset: Alifereti Koroilavesau, manager operations for Captain Cook Cruises

Meet Alifereti Koroilavesau, the manager operations for Captain Cook Cruises based in Denarau, Nadi.

He is from Nalotu, Yawe in Kadavu.

Captain Koroilavesau’s area of interest is in tourism, maritime and shipping.

He was brought up in Nadi and returned in 2015 to take up his current role at Captain Cook Cruises.

What’s one place you’d take every visitor to Fiji and why?

The Lau Islands.

I recently took close to 100 visitors there on Captain Cook Cruises’ small ship Reef Endeavour on the Lau and Kadavu Discovery Cruise for over seven days.

Specifically, Vanuabalavu, Fulaga and Kabara.

The Lau Group is a special group of islands that is off the beaten path and rarely visited by outsiders.

The geography, landscapes and marine life are pristine and full of life.

The people of Lau are rich in their culture, traditions and history and are very proud of their heritage.

The highlights would be the Bay of Islands at the Qilaqila Pass, north of Vanuabalavu, where the Tongan Prince, Ma’afu, rallied his forces and maintained his warriors against impending enemies.

The second would be the lagoons in Fulaga.

The islets and shades of turquoise make you feel as if you are on another planet.

They are also renowned as master carvers and historically were the traditional builders of War Canoes or ‘Druas’.

Finally, the island of Kabara and Vuaqava where the corals are among some of the most beautiful you’ll ever see in the world.

The diverse marine life is rich and mammals like turtles and dolphins is a daily sighting.

The Island of Vuaqava has a saltwater lake where they have turtles and marine life, even mangroves in the lake.

Historically, the lake was used to capture and breed turtles as a subsistence means of having it readily available should it be required for a feast or banquet, for the whole community, as a ‘soqo’.

There is an abundant population of ‘vesi’ trees in Vuaqava and Kabara also in nearby islands as well.

They are also master carvers where they carve beautiful tanoas or kumete and takona or a traditional bowl used to knead breadfruit or root crops for Qalu.

What is your secret backyard favourite spot?

Obviously, there is Tivua Island.

I grab any opportunity to go out there and be away from the office and mainland.

Whether it is to assist marine biologists plant coral, carry out repair and maintenance or just to do some landscaping or organising a beach clean up.

It is not a hotel or resort but a day cruise island and is exclusively for day cruises for Captain Cook Cruises.

What is your favourite place in Fiji for a pie/coffee?

It has to be the Coffee Hub on the Nadi Back Road.

Apart from the great coffee, it happens to be on the way to work and the staff are some of the friendliest you’ll ever meet.

What is the one spot in Fiji that is on the top of your bucket list? 

It is a must for Rotuma.

Hopefully we can generate enough interest one day to make Rotuma a destination or part of an itinerary for Captain Cook Cruises.


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