Hot Springs In Fiji

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Visit the hot springs of Fiji; these pools might be the pinnacle of relaxation. The Sabeto Mud Pool Hot Spring and the Tifajek Mud Pool are tucked away under the Sabeto hills on the western side of Viti Levu, offering visitors a relaxing escape—a natural spa tour in the countryside. The Savusavu hot springs, located in the tourist town of the same name on Vanua Levu, are used by the locals for cooking and at the Health Centre. The mineral waters help ease various conditions, including diabetes, circulation problems, respiratory issues, and joint pain. These pools might be the pinnacle…

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Nadi: Sabeto Hot Springs

Nestled side by side on the provincial boundary line between Lautoka and Nadi, two distinct hot springs, the Sabeto Mud Pool Hot Spring and the Tifajek Mud Pool, coexist harmoniously under the careful operation of a brother and sister, if I recall correctly.

We’ll focus on the Sabeto Mud Pool Hot Spring, a venue we’ve personally explored and had an amazing experience at. Upon arrival, the grounds offer various amenities, including sheltered communal changing areas, male and female changing facilities, toilets, souvenir tables, and traditional Fijian bures equipped with massage tables for a comprehensive experience. Occasionally, local villagers extend the experience by offering delectable Fijian dishes for purchase along the property’s periphery.

The main attraction unfolds with a unique ritual: disrobe your outer garments to your swimwear and apply a thin layer of soft, silky-smooth mud, generously served from an old wooden bucket, to the entire body with the assistance of fellow visitors. After the complete mud coverage, let the Fijian sun gradually bake the mud onto your skin, transforming it into a lighter, harder shell. It’s essential to emphasise the thin layer to avoid standing for an extended period while waiting for the thick mud to dry. It normally only takes 5–10 minutes to become a solid earth statue.

Following this unique mud coating experience, you will take a revitalising dip in the mud pool, where the mud will simply dissolve away, and then you will proceed through the sequence of three pools, each one cooler and the water clearer than the last. Embarking on this immersive journey comes highly recommended, leaving you with a renewed and invigorated sense of lightness, all while basking in the authentic camaraderie of shared moments.

You can get to the venue by self-drive, taxi, or guide tours. I strongly do not suggest getting a bus and walking down the Sabeto Road. I walked this long road to a friend’s house a few years ago; it is literally never-ending and will retract from the amazing venue itself.

Savusavu: Nakama Hot Springs

The Nakama Hot Springs in Savusavu, discovered by European settlers in the 19th century, have been a vital resource for the local community. Residents utilize the natural geothermal activity to cook various foods, such as root crops, chicken, and meaty bones, taking advantage of the hot steamy bubbles that allow for efficient cooking. This not only serves as a cost-saving measure for the residents but also imparts a unique flavor to the food. The hot springs have a rich history, with scientific descriptions dating back to 1864, when American geologist James Dana provided the first scientific account. Over the years, the hot springs have continued to be a natural cooking hub for the community.

In recent times, the Nakama Hot Springs underwent an upgrade, reopening on August 2, 2022, and gaining recognition as a national treasure. The renovation, funded by the Commonwealth Local Government Fund, transformed the area into a tourist attraction with improved landscaping, stone walls, signage, steps, and seating areas. The makeover not only enhanced the aesthetics but also provided easier and safer access to the cooking areas.

“The project has been completed through the Ministry of Local Government, the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Savusavu Town Council and other partners such as the Savusavu Tourism Association, Savusavu Chamber of Commerce and the Blue Town committee.”  Local Government Minister Premila Kumar.

Geologists attribute the Nakama Hot Springs’ origin to the geological activity in Vanua Levu, a relatively young region at 10,000 years old. Savusavu Bay, formed from a volcanic caldera, sits at the epicenter of intense geothermal activity. The emergence of hot springs is facilitated by three major fault lines near Savusavu, allowing water to be heated by magma bodies beneath the earth’s surface. The Nakama Hot Springs, with water temperatures approaching the boiling point, indicate a deep-seated magma source. Geologists speculate that the springs are replenished by seawater seeping through a fault line off the eastern coast of Savusavu Bay, contributing to the unique composition of sodium and chlorine in the hot springs.

Though not as plentiful as the Sabeto Hot Springs, small hot spring baths are available at the local health centre, offering the opportunity to immerse yourself in a controlled bathing setting with a combination of the nutrient-rich hot spring water and cold Fijian waters.

References

  • Oxford, P. (2014). Savusavu Bay Hot springs [Photograph]. Alamy. Link
  • Silaitoga, S. (2022, August 29). Hot springs ‘blessing’. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from Link
  • Silaitoga, S. (2022, August 5). ‘Project will boost economic activities’. Fiji TImes. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from Link
  • STA (2022, January 1). Thermal Hot Springs. Fiji Savusavu. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from Link

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