Nacula island’s Oarsman Bay. Photo by TobiasK.
Nacula is one of the largest islands in the Yasawa chain and hosts a handful of mid-level resorts, native villages and brilliantly clear lagoons and lively reefs.
Oarsman Bay Lodge (OBL) is locally owned and operated, with a superb sandy beach (seen above at high tide) that permits swimming at any time – unlike many resorts where coral outcrops interfere during mid/low tides. A coral reef protects the beach but has not infiltrated it.
Years ago the beach here was declared a marine park with no fishing allowed so now there are masses of fish around and the coral is looking healthy. Among the fish seen recently are lion fish, barracuda, rays, eels, sea snakes, cuttle fish, star fish and giant clams.
It’s delightful that OBL is owned and operated by the local village and staff sing traditional songs during dinner but as there is no professional management the standards of service and quality can – and do – drop over time. Currently the bures need renovating and showers are temperamental but the rooms are just 5 meters from the best Fiji beaches and the views fantastic.
The meal plan provides tasty, healthy food on a dining deck facing the bay, but there is little choice of foods (gluten free is possible) and meal times are set.
If you want a vacation at a quiet resort with a local flavour, a great beach and outstanding snorkeling nearby then OBL is for you, but if you need a large bed, good shower and variety of meals it’s probably not.