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 Savusavu - Profile


Savusavu is a Port of Entry on the south east coast of the  large northern island of Vanua Levu, 125nm NNE of the capital Suva.

Most yachts from Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu & Wallis-Futuna sail directly to Savasavu as it is well located for clearance for yachts wishing to cruise in the east of the archipelago and to Lau after clearance.

As one of Fiji's clearance ports, this town has worked very hard to make clearance here friendly, simple and straightforward. It is an attractive and friendly small tourist town which allows visitors to experience the traditional Fijian way of life. Between 230 and 400 boats clear in here every season.

The town is located on the shore of Nakama Creek, which is considered a cyclone refuge and normally 100% occupancy during the cyclone season. The attraction of spending cyclone season here, is that there are many beautiful anchorages just a short sail away (Cousteau Resort, Lomaiviti Islands), within running distance back to safety should the weather start deteriorating.

Savusavu has however been starved of a good marina, dry dock or haul-out facility. But this will change when the Nawi Island Resort and Marina opens in late 2017.

Security: Over the years this town has suffered periods of crime against cruising boats (attempted break-ins, stolen dinghies etc.). See reports adjacent and comments at bottom of page. Cruisers should be vigilant and take due normal care, avoid putting temptation in view and employ normal security on their vessel and ashore, as they would anywhere in the world.

Savusavu Cruising Guide

Useful map and directory of services for yachts put together by cruisers.

Interesting varying comments from cruisers who have spent some time in Savusavu can be found at this noonsite report and at the bottom of the page.

Position: 16°46.65'S, 179°19.58'E (entrance)


Refer to the main Fiji Formalities page for detailed clearance information including prior notification before arrival.

On arrival, and before entering the creek, yachts should first hail the Port Authority on VHF Channel 16. It is unlikely you will get an answer, so then proceed to contact either the Copra Shed Marina or Waitui Marina on Channel 16 (they are the only two operations who undertake International Clearance whether you are using their respective facilities or anchoring out).

Do not enter the creek until advised. You can anchor between the commercial wharf and the red markers on the reef off Nakama creek entrance while you wait. Or you will be told to pick up one of the quarantine mooring balls near the entrance. The marinas will call all the relevant officials and arrange for them to be brought to your yacht.

Important: Yachts are not permitted to anchor anywhere in Fiji waters before checking into a Clearance Port, and the rules state that you MUST check-in the day of your arrival. Cruisers warn of substantial fines.

Cruisers arriving here on a Sunday have reported that the authorities forced them to clear in the same day and pay the appropriate overtime fees. Bear in mind that clearance on weekends and holidays have much higher charges so time your arrival accordingly if possible.

Boats are visited first by a Health Officer then followed by Customs and Immigration, Quarantine and Bio Security. The Copra Shed Marina or Waitui Marina will use their chase boats and staff to forward officials back and forth - both charge approx. FI$15.00 for this service.

Note: If you are clearing-in via Copra Shed Marina and not planning to stay on one of their mooring balls for the night, make this clear whilst on the quarantine mooring buoy as the short (3 hr) stay on their ball will cost you a full 24 hr stay at approximately FI$17.

The I’Taukei Cruising Permits which include Lau are issued free of charge (see Documents for more details), but there are administrative charges ($5.00 to $10.00) from the three marinas for obtaining these permits from Suva if you don't want to go yourself.

Last updated April 2017.


Nakama Creek is deep water, but the various marinas and representatives of several cruising associations rent moorings here. There are currently between 50 - 60 moorings for rent.

A new 40 meter [130 feet] channel is being dug into the creek to facilitate the new resort being built on Nawi Island on the opposite shore.  Work is ongoing to create the channel but an opening date is not yet available. This has meant that several moorings have been removed and some relocated.

Currently only two of the marinas have alongside berthing.


When entering the creek, the first marina on the right is Waitui Marina (see photo taken from their facebook page); the next marina on the right is Copra Shed; next is Curly and finally Savusavu Marina.

All marina hours are from 0800/0830 to 1700. It is recommended that you contact the marinas in advance by e-mail to find out availability prior to arrival.

Note for alongside berthing, cruisers have reported a problem here with rats and invasive birds, so it is advisable to take the necessary precautions.

Visitor Moorings

Moorings are all coloured according to the owners - make sure you pay your mooring fees to the correct owner! Waitui Marina has 20 orange Helix moorings, Curly has 7 yellow cyclone moorings and Copra Shed's moorings are white.

The creek is an internationally recognised cyclone hole, however, moorings have been known to fail. Be sure to double check the strength of your mooring before leaving your boat unattended.

Note: The Savusavu Marina is located to the east of the mooring field. Access through the reefs to Savusavu Marina’s mooring field is a challenge for first-timers. It is advisable to call Savusavu Marina on VHF 16 for their boatman escort.

Derelict Boats

If planning on leaving your boat here during cyclone season, be aware that there are a number of abandoned boats here which are not maintained or looked after and may pose a problem in bad weather conditions if they break free.

Getting Ashore

All yachts are welcome to use the Copra Shed Marina dinghy pontoon as a means of access to the business premises within the Copra Shed building. Those who are not on a Copra Shed mooring and who wish to use the dinghy pontoon solely as a means of getting into town or to do personal errands outside of the Copra Shed building, are required to pay a fee of $1.00 per day.

Waitui and Savusavu Marina do not charge for the use of their dinghy docks.

Curly’s shore access is via Surf and Turf Restaurant / Waterfront Buildings large pontoon which is free to all cruisers.

Note on speed limits: Be aware that there are resident sailors living on their boats in the harbour and cruisers need to be aware that there is a 5 knot speed limit and it is a no wake zone.

For information on yacht security here, see Curly's blog

Cruising Locally

A short distance from the bay, yachts can anchor off Cousteau Resort, a convenient little spot where one can snorkel and do night diving off the point, and close enough to run back for shelter from cyclones. Also, a little further on and also within reach of a safe return, are the islands of Lomaiviti which includes the world renowned dive sites of Namena Reef.

Last updated April 2017.

Copra Shed Marina
Location 16°46'40.29"S, 179°19'59.50"E ,
P.O. Box 262, Savusavu , Fiji Islands
Tel:(679) 885 0457 Fax:(679) 850 344 ,VHF Channel 16 & 17
Full service marina with 28 alongside berths (a few for larger boats) and 20 (white) moorings. Fuel, laundry, restaurants, bar, chandlery, dive shop, internet cafe, travel agency and apartments. Dolly Singh is still the friendly and helpful manager. Help with clearance. Dinghy dock free for marina berth holders, charge for outside use.
The House Boat , Nakama Creek , Savusavu, Fiji Islands
Tel:Cell (679) 868 0878
Curly has cyclone moorings (yellow) - long term rental only. Curly also runs the cruiser's net every morning - 0800 hours Monday-Saturday VHF Chanel 68. Offers weekly Nav/Cruising Seminars. Is the Island Cruising Association Port Captain.
Nawi Island Marina
Tel:+679 777 6669 / +679 772 6575
New Marina, dry dock and haulout facility (75 ton travelift) as part of a resort on Nawi Island, adjacent to Savusavu town. Planned amenities include: 150 slips (10-60m) with power and water to all berths, fuel berth, pump out, ferry/taxi pontoon, cafe/bar, mini-market with chandlery. Ten minutes from Savusavu airport. However, as of July 2018 no opening date has been announced.
Savusavu Marina and Boatyard
PO Box 186 , Eastern Nakama Creek , Savusavu, Fiji Islands
Tel:+(679) 8853 543 / 9005 003 Fax:(679) 8853 422
Small marina with space for approx. 8 alongside berths and 20 screw moorings. Power and water on the dock plus 1 shower and toilet, laundry, small kitchen with freezer, garbage disposal, vet. Free dinghy dock. There is 4m at the dock at LW. See note above about approach to the marina through the mooring field.
The marina has a fully equipped workshop and boatyard plus Curly’s haulout for smaller catamarans.
Short dinghy ride or inexpensive taxi ride to town, or about a 10 min. walk.
Waitui Kelekele Marina
Location 16°46'43.08"S, 179°19'49.74"E ,
P.O. Box 465, Savusavu , Fiji
Tel:(679) 835 3913 ,VHF Channel 16 - Good radio
Located in Nakama Creek, Sauvsavu Bay. Assistance with Government Clearances, including transport of government officials to your vessel.
No alongside berths but has 23 Helix moorings (orange) with 3 meters of 19mm studded ship chain at the bottom (available for short or long term stay). Facilities include 1 hot shower, 3 toilets, laundry, free garbage disposal, day use of deep freeze, free water, dive shop, restaurant, cruiser-friendly bar, book exchange, butcher, DHL Express Agent. Help with filling of gas bottles and charging of electrical appliances. Free dinghy dock.

Yacht Clubs

Savusavu Yacht Club is located in the Copra Shed complex. They offer cruisers a free 90 day membership. There is a bar and TV and a great youth sailing team.
[email protected] says:
Jul 11, 2018 01:32 AM

Misadventure at Savusavu Marina:
This marina bills itself as a user friendly marina with hurricane moorings. The reality of life there, as in the way they present themselves to the world via their website, could not be further apart.
I arrived at the marina just before hurricane season and was assigned a mooring older than 5 years. Not happy with this I demanded a mooring no older than 3 years (which is what they had told me) and had to wait almost a month (of hurricane season) for the correct mooring tackle to arrive so they could set up a safe mooring for me. I have learned to watch any work the marina does and always to speak up if things are not right, out of self-preservation.
There are a number of hurricane moorings, some of which are protected behind the reef that's there and mangroves. I was placed out on number 20, well away from the mangroves but behind the reef. I rode out two hurricanes there this season and thankfully we only saw the peripheral effects as the
storms passed well away from our location in Fiji. But I can tell you this, being on these moorings would be extremely rough if you were in the path of one of these monsters, especially if it happened during anything other than low tide with the added risk of other boats from the other marinas breaking free and crashing into you, as has happened in the past. The hurricane protection here is not what you might think it is if you believe the website.
Hurricane Winston happened two and a half years ago and the marina still has not recovered the basic services. The only source of power for the dock is at the head of the ramp where extension cords run to each boat with multiple connections along the way. I have seen two electrical fires as a result in my six months here and recently a boat baked some of its electrical wiring on board (which according to the owner of the boat was a result of the electrical issues here on the dock). The marina did put in a new electrical outlet after this, but there is still no power on the actual
There is no running water on the dock, just a tap at the head of the ramp next to the electrical outlets already mentioned. The water itself is good when it’s not raining, but is out of sorts during and after a rainfall (in my experience 2-3 days after). So if you have to fill your tanks plan accordingly.
There is a pole at the head of the ramp with two light bulbs on it and this is the only light anywhere near the dock unless you supply it yourself. Take a headlamp if you go out at night.
Internet (as in many marinas) is sketchy and is not available for all moorings.
It’s fair to say that the place is a shambles and there appears to be no progress to recover what would be considered basic amenities. It would also be nice to see staff on site during regular hours.
Be cautious of any emails that you send to the office and on occasion to any of the boats there as it has been known (I have seen it myself) that your email will be sent around to various people as entertainment. So be cautious of what you say in an email unless you want it to become public knowledge. I wish I could say that this was a rare event.
Finally in my own experience that is fully documented I have had trouble with a tradesman named Shane Middenway of Middenway Engineering Solutions who operates out of a workshop on the marina property. His information is on the marina website.
On my arrival I had been at sea or travelling for 5 years and I needed a general clean-up and refit onboard Ellare. The marina recommended Shane, who quoted a ridiculous amount to do the work, which I refused. He then immediately dropped his price to what I told him was my budget and said he would do it for that price. It was agreed the job would be completed in 3 weeks and that I would supervise the work. Shane Middenway sent unskilled labour to do the job, with no tools or experience, and after six weeks I fired them. Various parts that had been removed from my boat and put in Middenway’s workshop for safe keeping, were then held to
ransom and various demands for money made.
I really should have seen this coming, but blindly believed that good business practices would prevail and that my parts would be returned and we would part wiser for the experience. As non-citizens of Fiji, you are on the losing end of any trouble. The system is stacked against you.
I will add that when this trouble started the marina did allow me to stay on the dock for free, although I did have to pay for power.
My own story ends with a final offer I made to Middenway and which the marina supplemented by borrowing from another boat here to pay the ransom and get my stuff back.
EZRA at Savusavu Yacht Services, worked with me and helped me put the boat back together. I used Ritesh for welding and fabrication.
Jamie MacDonald
[email protected]

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 30, 2018 01:05 PM

Further update from Jim:
The robberies on Savusavu moorings continue.
Recently a cruising boat, on a mooring in Nakama Creek, was burgled while the owner was away for three weeks. The burglars had the proper tools to cut the padlock and cleanly cut the solar panel cables. They also used screw drivers.
This is unusual as Fijians don't generally have metal tools. Also a boat in the same mooring was broken into and had cash stolen.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 01, 2018 01:28 PM

Reported 28 January, 2018 by Jim Van Cleve
Trouble in Paradise

A couple of nights ago in Nakama Creek, Savusavu Fiji, a yacht was robbed while the owner was sleeping. This much loved individual, a fixture in Savusavu, is also profoundly hearing impaired. It appears that the carefree days of leaving your boat open, day and night, are over.

Noah D.
Noah D. says:
Jun 30, 2017 03:24 PM

Reported by Ted Simper - 30 June 2017

The yacht Kia Ora sank near Nasonisoni pass in Fiji. The mast is partially exposed a low water and the wreck is a hazard to navigation. Fortunately it is out of the main pass area. It is located at 16 56.21S 178 59.049E.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 25, 2016 03:05 PM

Reported by Roger Jones - 30 September, 2016

Savusavu update. There is a sunken boat near the entrance to the mooring field – a casualty of hurricane Wilson. It will be on your left just as you pass into the area. It is visible at low tide but not at high tide. Favour the right side as you enter.
Based on where my charted track goes crazy, my best guess is it is near S 16 46.661 E 179 19.731. Apparently they have tried to mark it with a bottle on a rope.

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