Surfing Tavarua Island, Surf Trip Tavarua Images

Tavarua :: THE SURF

Guests staying at Tavarua now have open access to a variety of breaks within a few miles of the island: Cloudbreak, Restaurants, Tavarua Rights, Kiddie Land, Swimming Pools, Namotu Left, Wilkes Pass, Desperations.

A left breaking wave along a reef to the southwest of Tavarua that is separated by about two miles of channel. Regularly voted one of the 10 Best/Most Challenging waves in the world. Cloudbreak was described by Matt Warshaw in the Encyclopedia of Surfing:

“Cloudbreak (a shortening of “Thunder Cloud Reef,” which is translated from “Nakuru Kuru Malagi”) is a powerful open-ocean reef located nearly a mile south of Tavarua; waves here often subdivide into three main sections - the Point, the Middle and Shish Kebabs – which occasionally link up to offer a screaming, 200-yard-long ride, with a number of tube sections. Like many tropical reef-pass breaks, Cloudbreak tends to get faster, shallower and more critical as it goes. Waves here are regularly four to six feet, and it’s been ridden up to 18 feet.”

Not necessarily always gnarly, there is a growing club of surfers who come to Tavarua once a year, psyched up and geared with their best quiver, to face the iconic wave that is “Cloudbreak”.  Any surfer is more complete having faced this legendary wave.


This left-breaking wave along a reef directly in front of the island, is not as exposed to swell as Cloudbreak, but sometimes that is a blessing. Matt Warshaw described Restaurants in the Encyclopedia of Surfing: …the near shore spot named after its proximity to the resort’s kitchen and dining area, funnels around the western edge of the island; it breaks in extremely shallow water over sharp-edged coral heads with waves usually half the size of those at Cloudbreak. But the shape is perfect, and skilled riders are able to ride inside the tube at Restaurants for 10 or even 15 seconds at a time.”

During a smaller swell and at higher tides, Restaurants can be any surfer's fantasy having often been called a “skate park” in the water.


When the wind and swell aren’t perfect for Cloudbreak or Restaurants, they can be perfect for Tavarua Rights – a fun wave on the southeast side of the island, in the line of sight from the bures out to Cloudbreak.

Tavarua Rights has been described as “playful” and “user-friendly” but can become serious with size.  It breaks during mid to high tides which diminishes the challenges posed by sharp reef.  Great for long and short boards alike, the wave is best from November to March, but can present during any season when the prevailing southeast wind lies down and conditions at Tavarua Right are either glassy or offshore.


While Tavarua attracts the world’s top surfers – and experienced surfers who want to challenge those same waves – Tavarua also offers Kiddie Land – not really a break at all, Kiddie Land is actually the far inside of Restaurants and is a perfect place for beginning surfers, bodyboarders and even SUPpers to ride their first waves.

Tavarua resort has a complete quiver of beginner equipment for all ages, and the staff is happy to assist eager students.  Breaking directly in front of the Restaurant, Every wave at Kiddie Land has party wave potential and it also presents a great opportunity for quality time with family and significant others.


Tavarua Island has its own swimming pool on the island, but surfing is discouraged there. The surf spot called Swimming Pools is the right that breaks straight south from the tip of Namotu Island – just about a mile to the northwest from Tavarua, across a channel.

If you’re thinking “playful” and “warm” and “fun” then you have the right impression of Swimming Pools, which has just enough of the power of a tropical wave coming up out of the deep ocean.  Popular with longboarders, Swimming Pools has the speed and power and length to do all those things you doodle in your algebra book and daydream about in your cubicle.


What Restaurants is to Tavarua, Namotu Left is to Namotu - a world-class reef break that’s more forgiving than its fearsome, more famous neighbor Cloudbreak. From 6 to 15 feet, Namotu Left can be the thrill of a lifetime, but from two to 6 foot, short board, fish, longboarder or SUPper’s paradise.

When the wind is going strong side shore, Namotu Left is as legendary in the sailboard and kitesurf world as Cloudbreak is in the surfing world.


About a mile northwest of Namotu Island, across the channel, Wilkes Pass is a powerful right barrel that breaks on the southern tip of a long barrier reef. Wilkes is a serious wave that will test the skill of any surfer, especially as it approaches the 10 foot mark. Access to all the surf breaks is by boat, with a boatman and radio on board in case of a broken board or an up-close-and-personal inspection tour of the Fijian reefs.


Farther northwest up the barrier reef from Wilkes Pass, Desperations is a right and left peak that breaks off a point. Desperations is the go-to spot when the ocean is having an off day, but it’s better than 90% of the waves most surfers leave behind at home.