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Fiji Islands Travel Guide

Fiji Travel
Guide

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Fiji travel is the most popular of the South Pacific tourist destinations. With 330 islands, there’s no shortage of places to visit. The largest island is Viti Levu , home to almost three quarters of the countries 850,000 population.  On the sunny west coast is the tourist centre of Nadi with the international airport and gateway to the islands commercial tourist destination, the Mamanuca Islands and the backpacker hotspot of the Yasawa Islands . On the wet tropical east coast is the vibrant yet edgy capital of Suva , the largest city in the South Seas with almost 200,000 people. North and South are the adventure islands of Taveuni, Vanua Levu and Kadavu, all with traditional villages, lush tropical forests and world class scuba diving whilst to the east is lazy Ovalau with its tiny offshore island resorts and charming historical town of Levuka.

The main island of Fiji is Viti Levu with Nadi Airport , arrival point and tourist hub on the dry west coast, the bustling cosmopolitan capital of Suva City on the wet east coast and between the two the picturesque Coral Coast with its large family resorts and small budget retreats set amongst tropical rainforest.

The thirty or so popular small island resorts of the Mamanuca Islands lie directly off the coast from Nadi Airport making this the most popular tourist destination in Fiji . With small boutique resorts scattered evenly around the group, some on tiny uninhabited coral islands and the majority in secluded bays with no neighbours, this is also the prime beach holiday destination in the South Pacific. If you’re looking to get away from the fast life and soak up the sun with a book in hand or try your hand at a few water activities, then this is the place to unwind. Honeymooners and families flock here during the winter months between June and October when finding accommodation can be difficult.

Extending to the north of the Mamanuca Islands is a long thin string of fifteen volcanic islands that make up the Yasawa Islands . These islands are slightly larger and more dramatic in appearance than their southern neighbours and, being further out from the tourist hub of Nadi Airport , are less commercial with only a handful of up- market resorts. The beaches here are exquisite on all islands and the best way to see them is by hopping on and off the fast catamaran, Yasawa Flyer, along the most frequented backpacker trail in Fiji and staying at one of the many locally owned budget resorts along the way. For a little more luxury, consider splashing out on an overnight or week- long cruise, which ranks as the finest organized sightseeing experience in Fiji, putting ashore at secluded beaches and fishing villages along the way and anchoring at fabulous coral reefs for snorkelling.

Three tropical islands south of Viti Levu , Kadavu, Beqa and Vatulele, present world class scuba diving, hair- raising reef surfing and record- breaking game fishing. There just happens to be several of Fiji ’s most beautiful beaches here too, with shallow lagoons offering fabulous sea- kayaking and deep bays sheltering fishing villages to visit along the way. The farthest of these southern islands from Viti Levu and the southern- most island in Fiji is Kadavu. It’s barely a 40- minute flight from Nadi, and closer still from Suva , but a world away from the tourist trail. With its twisting Great Astrolabe Reef and rugged mountain scenery, this is the place to visit for adventure on the water and to immerse yourself in culture. Midway between Kadavu and Nadi Airport is the delightful flat limestone island of Vatulele , famed for its tapa cloth making and with several unusual attractions including petroglyphs and the sacred red prawns. Further east and less than ten kilometres off the southern coast of Viti Levu is a 360 square kilometre lagoon encircling Beqa, a rugged tropical island home to Fiji ’s firewalkers and its adrenalin pumping shark dives.

Vanua Levu and Taveuni in Fiji ’s north are slowly developing as an adventure destination. Those that visit come to dive the rich coral reefs which hug the coast and to get away from tourism. Vanua Levu , Fiji ’s second largest island at 5,587 sq. km. is a rambling countryside with just two towns – Savusavu, the main tourist town, has a beautiful anchorage for mariners with quaint drinking holes and restaurants whilst dusty Labasa in the north of the island is an Indian dominated town where you’re unlikely to meet another tourist. Off the east coast of Vanua Levu is the splendid island of Taveuni , the third largest island in Fiji yet not even a twelfth the size of its neighbour. Taveuni lures hikers and bird watching enthusiasts to explore the stunning National Park and scuba divers to the fabulously colourful Rainbow Reef. A two- week adventure arriving by plane in Labasa, travelling by bus to Savusavu and over to Taveuni by boat will unravel a diverse insight into Fijian life.

A world away from the beach resorts of Fijis , the historically fascinating Lomaiviti and Lau groups radiate from the east coast of Viti Levu eventually dissipating before a massively deep ocean trench which separates Fiji from Tonga . Those who visit these enchanting islands step into the Fiji of old, where locals fish the lagoons as a matter of necessity, travel the open seas in small craft to visit relatives and seldom host outsiders. As a tourist destination, the inner islands of the Lomaiviti Group are relatively developed, particularly Ovalau with its charming old capital of Levuka Town . The outer Lomaiviti and the entire expanse of the Lau Group are a complete tourist backwater, captivating the minds of the most curious of travellers. With over fifty islands to visit in an unpredictable sea, virtually no accommodation and limited transport, time and patience are the main requisites for successfully exploring this remote region. Naturally though, it’s a haven for visiting yachts, with the spectacular clump of limestone islands and bays around Vanuabalavu being a favourite anchorage.

Even more remote is the isolated and culturally unique Polynesian island of Rotuma , over 300 km to the north of Nadi and closer to the tiny island nation of Tuvalu . With no organized accommodation the number of travellers each year venturing this far out can be counted on one hand.


The six popular fiji travel destinations:

viti levu
Largest and most populated island in Fiji
Location of
Nadi International Airport, the Jet Set Town
Plenty of beach resorts along the
Coral Coast
Main centre for day tours, exploring and island hopping
Excellent hiking in mountains and adventure tourism
Most traditional villages in Fiji - ideal for cultural interaction
Cosmopolitan and vibrant
Suva City
Islands off the sunbaked
Sunshine Coast


mamanuca group
Resorts on palm fringed coral islands and small volcanic islands
Great beaches, extensive water activities
Excellent snorkelling and diving
Numerous day trips and cruises from Nadi
Stunning hills, bays and beaches throughout group
No public transport on islands and few roads


yasawa group
String of small volcanic islands with secluded bays and beaches
Lots of backpacker and budget beach resorts
Good for island hopping, hiking, snorkelling and sea kayaking
Destination for luxury overnight cruises
No public transport on islands and few roads


southern islands
World famous Great Astrolabe Reef on Kadavu for scuba diving
World class surfing breaks
Secluded specialist resorts for all budgets
Waterfalls, bush trekking and kayaking throughout Kadavu
Luxury resort on Vatulele with Eco-tourism interest


northern islands
Numerous eco-tourist and dive resorts around Taveuni
Several luxury dive resorts
Lush tropical environment, National Parks and hiking
Easy to get to and easy to get around
Stunning Savusavu Bay and Natewa Bay on Vanua Levu


lomaiviti
Large group of islands with some accommodation
Historical old capital of Levuka on Ovalau
Excellent hiking in rainforest on Ovalau
Several small islands with accommodation

Two extremely remote areas where the more adventurous travellers might be interested in are
Rotuma (600km to the north of Nadi) and Lau (200-300km to the east of Suva). Both require several weeks, if not months to explore and have limited tourist infrastructure with basic guesthouse accommodation only but provide a truly unique experience of the old South Seas life.



Readers may also be interested in the following destinations:

Cook Islands Travel Guide
Samoa Travel Guide
Tonga Travel Guide
Tahiti Travel Guide
Hawaii Travel Guide



Other Recommended Websites:


South Pacific Hotels
Cook Islands Hotels ; Fiji Hotels ; Vanuatu Hotels ; New Caledonia Hotels ; Samoa Hotels ; Tonga Hotels ; Tahiti Hotels ; Hawaii Hotels ; Australia Hotels



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