Taveuni is the third-largest island in Fiji, after Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, with a total land area of 434 square kilometres (169 Square Miles). The cigar-shaped island, a massive shield volcano which rises from the floor of the Pacific Ocean, is situated 6.5 kilometres to the east of Vanua Levu, across the Somosomo Strait. It belongs to the Vanua Levu Group of islands and is part of Fiji's Cakaudrove Province within the Northern Division.
The island had a population of around 9,000, some 75 percent of them indigenous Fijians, at the 1996 census. Taveuni has abundant flora and is known as the 'Garden Island of Fiji'. It is a popular tourist destination. Tourists are attracted to the excellent diving opportunities, prolific bird life, bushwalks and waterfalls. Central parts of the island receive very high rainfall rates. Being volcanic in origin Taveuni's soils have supported the island's most historically significant industry, agriculture.