White water rafting on the Upper Navua

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Fri 29 Jun 2012 07:42
17:46.21S 177:22.97E
We have been here in Port Denerau in Fiji for a few days for some maintenance work, so Andrea and I took the opportunity to go white water rafting on the Upper Navua river.  The Upper Navua river area is Fiji's first conservation area, established to protect the rainforest from logging. 
You get to the rafts after a three hour bus journey (two hours on road and one hour on a logging track) and then twenty minutes of hiking through the forest.  There you board the inflatable rafts, four to a raft.  We were paired up with an Australian couple, Peter and Evette, from Melbourne.  Evette is half Fijian and was bringing Peter to visit Fiji for the first time.  Evette's mother taught her some Fijian, but she did not understand the word "tuki" that they had us shouting to the camera.  (Our guide described it as hitting something with a hammer, but eventually admitted is has the same double entendre as the English word "banging".)
The river runs through a narrow gorge that is littered with waterfalls.  The scenery is spectacular.  Our guide, Ben, gave us some interesting commentary on living in the forest (which palms to use for building your house, which vines to get drinking water from, how they trade wild boars with the people on the coast for dogs to replace the dogs killed when hunting the boars) and Fijian history (how the Reverend Tom Baker got eaten by the cannibals but they couldn't tenderize his shoes enough even after days of cooking).
The trail down to the starting point
The river running through the gorge
High fiving our paddles after running a rapid
Sometimes it was hard to see what was river and what was reflection
Here it looked like the river just faded away to nothing.
The rapids were not extreme, but there was enough white water to make it a fun ride.
Sometimes it looked like the river was heading downhill very fast.
The entire route is littered with waterfalls.