DIY at Deep River Private Lodge

Dreketi Deep River Lodge

By Sera Tikotikovatu-Sefeti

When you have lived in Viti Levu your entire life, it’s easy to think that all travel in the islands is the same: short and easy. In Vanua Levu, it is a totally different story. Vanua Levu locals are prepared to travel for hours from Macuata to Labasa, and because transportation like buses is a luxury—they do not run as frequently as they do in Suva— they sometimes have to hitch rides on trucks to get to their villages. So it is nice to know there is an accommodation in between Labasa and Macuata to break up the journey.

The Dreketi Lodge, also known as Deep River Private Lodge, is located along the Nabouwalu Highway in Dreketi, Nakanacagi, just past the Taiwan Timber Factory.

The lodge surprises you in a good way; it appears to be like a motel or an Airbnb at first glance, but when the gate opens, it appears like a cabin in the woods that instantly melts the stress away and demands that you take notice of its beautiful setting.

The wooden villas are all self-contained and also have everything you need to cook your own meals. It has a beautiful pool that you can take a dip in to cool down and a playground to entertain the kids.

The charming wooden villas come with fully air-conditioned rooms, hot and cold showers, kitchen utensils, a television unit, a mini fridge, a kettle, and tea supplies. However, there are a few things you need to bring with you if you plan to stay.

For instance, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are not provided on site, so you need to buy your groceries and cook your meals. Another option is to ask the caretakers if they are willing to cook for you, and pay them separately. If you run out of supplies, there is a shop a 10-minute walk from the lodge where you can purchase basic items, but note that it is not a supermarket, so you won’t find everything you want there. 

If you want to enjoy the enchanting view outside at night, bring mosquito coils or mosquito repellent. And if you are one of those people who want to be connected to the internet 24/7, Vodafone is the only network that catches in this part of the island, and even then, you still need to find a better spot to get full bars. 

Rates range from $170 for a sleeper with a king size, double and single bed to $100 for a cabin to sleep one adult and one child. 

This hidden gem is unknown even to some locals in the area; others travel all the way to Labasa for accommodation. However if you ever find yourself in need of accommodation in this part of Vanua Levu, we recommend a stay at the Dreketi Deep River Lodge.

To book a stay, call +679 9123924 (also on Viber) or message them on their Facebook page.

This article first appeared in Fiji Traveller, January 2023.

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