Cobia Island is located within the Budd Reef and has a submerged volcanic crater with the highest elevation on the west side of the island. The geological formations and the beach forests of the island contribute to its natural significance as outlined in Fiji's Biodiversity and Action Plan.
The island is a popular snorkeling, kayaking and scuba diving location with a reported visibility under water of 120 feet or 36 meters.
The island was considered a "conspicuous landmark" for navigators on ships sailing around and through the Fiji Islands. The island and its surrounding reef were described in Alexander Agassiz's publication, The Islands and Coral Reefs of Fiji.