The Fiji Islands are famous for the beautiful blue lagoons, gorgeous coastline, pristine rivers and hills covered with evergreen forests.
The larger islands are interesting for its flora and fauna. Numerous national parks and reserves, including underwater, enabling you to see the world as an island, as it was long before the advent of man.
Things to do in Fiji: Part 1
The islands are not left behind of civilization, but it had almost no effect on the nature of these amazing places.
Fiji Islands – are the one of the most picturesque archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. The Fiji Islands are widely known for its exotic blend of Melanesian, Polynesian, Micronesian, Hindu, Chinese and European traditions.
Fiji Islands History
According to archaeological evidence, the first settlers appeared in the Fiji Islands around 1500 B.C. The Melanesians were the first who began to develop these islands. They were fishermen and sailors who crossing the great ocean on their frail canoe with rocker.
Initially, they brought their culture to the Fiji Islands. Here they began to develop agriculture on this relatively large island with fertile soil.
Approximately in V B.C., the population of the islands has grown to the limit for the size of such conditions, which dealt a heavy blow to the development of the Melanesian culture.
Approximately in X A.D. The Polynesians, mostly natives of the Samoa and Tonga Islands, pulled the locals in a century-old bloody war, that led to the occupation of the Fiji islands by Polynesians.
The first European who visit Fiji Islands, was Abel Tasman, who had gone through the island on their way to Indonesia in 1643.
He left the details of the numerous dangerous reefs to the north-west of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Only in 1774, James Cook ships cast anchor on the “Cannibal Islands”.
At the beginning of the XIX century English missionaries and Tongan chiefs tried to subdue the Fijian tribes. But they all failed.
The Reverend Thomas Baker, for example, has been eaten in 1867 (his shoes are still kept in the Museum of Fiji).
Factoria Levuka has become an important trade market XIX century of the South Pacific, where converged American, French and British interests.
In 1873, the British Consul J. Thurston found the approach to the self-styled King of Sakobau. At the 10th of October 1874 Fiji declared a British colony with the capital Suva.
The Governor Arthur Gordon tried to instill the culture of the islands grow crops, cotton, copra and sugar cane, so he began to deliver here as cheap labor Hindus.
By the time of the abolition of slavery in 1919 (!), The Fiji islands are home to more than 60,000 people from the Indian subcontinent.
For nearly 70 years, until the military coup of 1987, ethnic Fijians were a minority in their own land.
It was only after the Declaration of Independence and several military coups, ethnic relations in Fiji have been regulated on the basis of contracts and laws.
The Constitution, adopted in 1990 establishes dominance of the indigenous population of the country, but in 1997 it was amended to provide greater equality between citizens of different origin. In this form it entered into force in 1998.
Things to do in Fiji: Viti Levu Island
The Viti Levu Island (The Fijians pronounce its name as “VI-ti-Li Wu,” which can be translated as the “Big Island”) located in the western part of the archipelago.
It is the largest (area of 10, 390 sq. Km.) and the highest (1324 m) island of Fiji, as well as the third largest of the Pacific Islands (second only to New Caledonia and the “Big Island” of Hawaii archipelago).
With dimensions of 146 by 106 km, it holds on its territory, the largest volcanic areas of the country and 70% of its population.
Here are the major cities of Fiji – Suva, Lautoka (second largest), Nadi, Sigatoka, Navua, Rakiraki and others. This is also the air gateway of the country where is located the International Airport.
Dry western side of the island, known as “The Burning West” is an area of focus of most resorts in the country and the vast sugar plantations.
In the southeast coast stretches capital and main port of the country – Suva.
The modern highway runs along the perimeter of Viti Levu, connecting between a spa and the city.
It should be borne in mind that the climate in different parts of the island is quite different. The western side of the island is almost always bathed in sunshine and relatively dry, whereas the green and richly moistened east side gets up to 2500 mm. Annual precipitation.
Things to do in Fiji: Suva – The Capital of Fiji Islands
The capital of Fiji is located on the southeast coast of the Viti Levu island, sprawled on a hilly peninsula between the Gulf of Laukaa and Suva Harbour in the southeast “corner” of Viti Levu.
It is a political and administrative center of the country, as well as its chief port and is the oldest city.
The main attraction of Suva – is The Fiji Museum. This museum is located in the heart of historic Thurston Gardens, next to the Government House and the Old Parliament House.
Fiji Museum is considered the richest collection of anthropology and the history of the archipelago, while it is the first museum of its kind among other Pacific islands.
Also interested in the building of the University of the South Pacific, the beautiful frescoes in the Church of St. Francis-Hsaver High on a hill, through which the “Road of Kings”, Centenary Methodist Church, the Methodist Church on Stuart Street. Catholic Cathedral (1902) – one of the most famous attractions of the city.
Just 10 km from the city limits, there is the oldest cultural center of Fiji – Orchid Island in Veisari.
Here is the Polynesian Cultural Center Orchid Island, where a huge number of examples of local flora and fauna, the famous Albert Park, where in 1928 landed Australian aviator Charles Kingsford-Smith, the first to depart the United States – Australia, as well as traditional temple Bure-Calo (“Mbu-ray ka-low” – “spirit house”) with the fifteen-tower and a small cultural village with traditional handicrafts and ethnographic theater.
The city has its own beach, but all prefer to swim and sunbathe in the Gulf of Pacific Harbour, which is located just 20 minutes’ drive from the capital.
The bay is sometimes called the “adventure capital” – numerous resorts, Gulf specially constructed according to a single plan, with the expectation of foreign tourists.
It focused a lot of luxury hotels, dozens of first-class beaches and even has its own golf club with 18 fields.
The nearby island of Beqa (Ben-ha) is home to the unique tradition of the tribe “Sheba” – walking on hot coals (“vilavilairevo”).
Also around the Gulf coast are several dozen fishing and diving clubs, which is not surprising – the local water is really beautiful, and sea life is widely known for its diversity of species.
Things to do in Fiji: Sigatoka Town – Fiji Islands
The little town of Sigatoka is on the south-west coast of Viti Levu, 61 km south of Nadi and 127 km west of Suva.
It is a quiet agricultural town, the entire population is engaged in service of Coral Coast resorts. Its main attractions are the bustling market, a large mosque, cultural center Kalev and amazing architecture of the mansion on the hilly outskirts of the city. But most visitors are attracted here by the country’s first National Park, Sigatoka Sand Dunes, (opened in 1989) near the village of Kulukulu (2 km south of Sigatoka).
Things to do in Fiji: Nadi – Fiji Islands
Nadi – The third largest city of Fiji. Nadi is located on the shores of the Gulf, 80 km north of Sigatoka. The local economy is almost entirely dependent on tourism, and although it is – not the most attractive part of the country, but a good starting point for a tour around the island of Viti Levu, in the Mamanuca island group and the Coral Coast.
It was in Nadi begins the most modern part of the coastal highway running through the breathtakingly beautiful places, past small Fijian and Hindu villages, sugar plantations and coral lagoons.
The main attraction of Nadi – The Swami Temple, Sri Siva Subramaniam at the south end of the main street. It is the largest Hindu temple of the Southern Hemisphere – multi-colored pyramid, richly ornamented with all sorts of religious elements, ascends into the sky almost 30 m In essence, this is not one, but three churches, each part of it is devoted to their deity – Murugan (his statue carved in India), Ganesh and Meenakshi. Just a short drive from the airport is a colorful local market where you can buy local souvenirs, food and clothing.
And just half an hour south of Nadi can see one of the most beautiful coasts of Fiji – Beach Natadola Beach. There have always arranged numerous trips to mountain villages, to orchid gardens, cultural centers, as well as rare for countries in entertainment – a journey down the rivers to remote villages, where tourists show the life and customs of the local tribes.
Lautoka city lies on the north-west coast of Viti Levu, 25 north of Nadi International Airport. According to legend, one day between two local tribes emerged feud, and the leader of the northern tribe killed his opponent, while exclaiming “lau-current” (“Pierce”), that was the name of the village in which it happened. The morning of May 7, 1789 g Lautoka came to the shores of the frigate “bounty” under the command of Captain Bligh, and these were the first Europeans found themselves in these parts. Today, this small pastoral town, surrounded by the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west and green sugar cane fields in the east, is often referred to “Sugar Town”. Sugar cane, as well as tourism, the main “breadwinner” Fijian economy, and Lautoka – its capital. Here is the biggest sugar factory in the country, modern facilities and a large dock.
The main street of the city – the coiled-Parade, decorated alley “royal palms” and the Municipal Market area of approximately 58,000 square meters. m is considered one of the best on the west coast of Viti Levu.
A large shopping center is conveniently located in the city center between the coiled-Parade, WOUND Street and Yasawa Street.
But tourists do not come here because of the shops or sugar.
The main points of attraction Lautoka are two nearby world-class resort complex – Denarau and Abacus.
Denarau Island has two luxury resorts, golf course and world class marina, which is the base for many cruise and excursion vessels. The abacus has several top-notch resorts, markets handicrafts, duty-free shops, and a modern marina in Point Wood.