Hiking Mt. Batilamu peak and visiting a waterfall in Koroyanitu National Park

When Jean was here I had wanted to do a hike in the Koroyanitu national heritage park but the timing didn’t work. But as Carl and I made good progress on decommissioning it began to look like we would get done early so I proposed to Carl a hike to Mt. Batilamu peak and to the waterfall in the park. He was game so next up was finding a guide. Thank you Google, I located a private guide (Peni of Highlander Twinny Tours) and sent him an email. Many of his tours are booked through companies but we were able to book directly for a lower price (and more money for Peni). You can reach him at bonjovijpel@gmail.com or Facebook.

It was an incredible day. Peni picked us up right on time and drove us to Lautoka where we switched into a 4WD truck for the drive up to Abaca (start the hike). After checking in, we began our hike in an overcast morning which was welcomed given the hot weather. Along the way Peni shared his knowledge of the area, the people, the history, and the various plants along the way. A mile or so in to the hike we stopped at a Rose Apple tree where he harvested some fruit to give us a nice energy boost.

From there we kept climbing and eventually went past a hikers Hut at the top of Mt. Batilamu. Over the saddle and around the bend we were soon at a fantastic overlook of the entire Nadi valley. I could even see the Botanical garden that Jean and I visited a few months ago. Since it was just the two of us, we were in no rush so we took in the views for a long time before heading downhill and over to the waterfall.

Along the way to the waterfall I spotted another Rose Apple tree so guess what we did. Yep filled up on more fruit. It wasn’t too long before we reached the waterfall and dove in to cool off. It was cold but felt perfect after our trek up and back down the mountain. Our bellies rumbling we dried off an continued down, crossing the river a couple times and eventually making back to Abaca where a local family hosted us for lunch (Peni rotates which family hosts so that they can all make a little money).

We feasted on a large meal of bone fish, taro, casava, rice, papaya, and noodles with caned fish, plus some super hot peppers. It also gave us a chance to meet the family. Margret watched her two grandchildren while her daughter was busy with the food. It was a perfect way to end the day talking with her and learning more about her life in the village. Sadly, it was soon time to go and we headed back to the marina. I need to head to the airport and Peni offered me a lift, even though I needed a shower and final pack he was happy to hang out and wait for me. He is truly a great guy.

Peni is an excellent guide, who entertained us with stories and facts about the area. He grew up in the mountains and gave us an incredile education on Fiji and its people. We learned so much and I feel so lucky that he led us on an exploration of this beautiful area. If you are in the Nadi/Lautoka area, you should 100% reach out to him and book a tour. It was amazing.

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