The Republic of Fiji is an island nation in the southwest Pacific Ocean. The archipelago is famous for its coral reefs, mango thickets and white sandy beaches.
Things to do in Fiji
Fiji is a paradise in Oceania, attracting with a welcoming atmosphere and original culture. This is a popular tourist destination for people who want to relax in a relaxing environment on the Pacific coast.
The archipelago consists of 332 islands, a third of which are inhabited. A significant percentage of the population lives on Viti Levu, where the main airport and major cities are located. The capital city of Suva houses the President’s residence, offices of travel and trade companies, hotels and restaurants, as well as the Fiji Museum, which stores exhibits from the Pacific archipelagos.
People come here to relax with friends, with family and to spend their honeymoon. Luxurious rooms, spas and entertainment for wealthy travelers await tourists in fashionable hotels. In individual bungalows and small hotels, conditions are easier, but prices vary in the middle category.
Fiji’s mild tropical climate is ideal for a beach holiday. The Great Barrier Reef is amazingly beautiful. In clear warm water there are bright fish, shellfish, turtles, dolphins. Diving, underwater fishing, surfing, water skiing are practiced here all year round. Yachting is no less popular — tourists go to sea on pleasure boats and explore neighboring islands, admire nature, devote themselves to water sports or go fishing.
Fiji is a wonderful place where the benefits of modern civilization are harmoniously intertwined with national color. In ethnic villages, you can watch traditional dances, original musical numbers and even walking barefoot on fire.
While relaxing here, be sure to try the national drink kava, which is made from the root of an intoxicating pepper, fish marinated in lime juice, breadfruit and rice pancakes with coconut milk.
Islands, cities and resorts
The largest island of Fiji covers an area of 10,388 km². This is the center of the archipelago, the territory of which is covered with forests, mountain ranges and valleys. The local population is engaged in cattle breeding, sugarcane cultivation and is involved in the tourism industry.
The capital of the republic, Suva, is located here. It and the cities of Lautoka, Nausori, Sigatoka have excellent infrastructure. Travelers can enjoy well-maintained beaches, shady parks, attractions, author’s cuisine restaurants, nightclubs and bars.
The second largest island in the archipelago, having the shape of an irregular triangle. The south is dominated by mountainous terrain. The highest ranges are Batini (1111 m) and Thurston (1030 m). In the northern part, hills alternate with plains and forests.
People come here to watch birds, climb mountains, explore the secluded corners of the seashore. The land is crossed by numerous rivers. In the delta of one of them stands the city of Labasa. There is a big market, good restaurants, cinemas, hotels.
The private island to the west of Viti Levu is famous for its luxurious resorts, private beaches, hotels, mango groves and a huge golf course.
The development of the tourism business began here in 1969, when the American Dennis McElrath purchased the land and built the first hotel on it. Soon, Japanese investors invested in the infrastructure, and resorts, marinas, entertainment centers, supermarkets, and restaurants appeared on Denarau.
The Mamanuca archipelago of 20 volcanic islets is a great place for a romantic trip. The wide beaches are lined with palm trees, flowers and equipped with everything you need for a carefree holiday. Tourists go in for swimming, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and snorkeling. Diving and underwater fishing are popular.
The Yasawa volcanic archipelago includes 20 islets with an area of 135 km². Until recently, they were closed to tourists, as the local ruler was against the arrival of foreigners. In 1989, the restriction was lifted, and the tourism industry began to gradually develop.
Yasawa has built good resorts for a budget holiday. Travelers combine spending time on the beach with fishing, visiting limestone caves and hiking.
Savusavu on Vanuta Levu was founded by British settlers almost 200 years ago. For a long time it was used as a port for the export of fish and valuable tree species. Now it is a quiet resort, suitable for a relaxing family holiday.
The main attraction is considered to be hot springs, beating with different intensity throughout the city. Hot steam and water are the echoes of volcanic processes that once seethed in the bowels of the earth. The coastline is a great beach where you can enjoy cocktails in bars, swim, snorkel, ride water rides.
Nandi is the third largest city in Fiji and is located in the western part of Viti Levu. This is the center of Islam and Hinduism, in which beautiful mosques and temples are built. An international airport has been opened on the outskirts.
All tourists arriving in Fiji must visit the city and often stay for a couple of days to explore the surroundings and have fun. Not far from Nandi are Sabeto hot springs, Natadola beach, Nausori town and ethnic villages.
Architecture and museums
Suva is the official residence of the President of the Republic. The white two-story building in the Gregorian style was erected in 1928. The facade is decorated with spacious balconies, wide arches, graceful columns.
In front of the main entrance there is a square where once a month a colorful changing of the guards takes place, attracting foreigners. You can’t go inside the government building. Tourists can admire the architectural monument from afar and walk in the park.
The main Roman Catholic church stands proudly in the center of the capital. The Romanesque church was built in 1902 on the initiative of the missionaries. The building has a triangular façade with original balconies and arches.
Four-tiered bell towers rise on the sides. The roof of the church is crowned with the figure of Jesus Christ, arms outstretched. The interior walls are covered with ornaments, the windows are decorated with multi-colored stained-glass windows.
Temple of the Sacred Heart
The city of Levuka has a Catholic church of the Sacred Heart, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Gothic temple in the form of a Latin cross was built under the direction of Father Lujo in 1858.
Its main decoration is a square stone tower 24 meters high. There are 4 bells on its belfry. The round tower clock counts the exact time and strikes every half hour. The spire of the tower emits neon light, which serves as a guide for ships entering the port.
A museum has been opened in Suva that preserves the cultural and historical heritage of the Pacific Islands. This is one of the best museums in Oceania, telling about the people of Fiji, British colonization, gaining independence.
The exhibitions feature bamboo rafts, double-hulled Fijian canoes, earthenware jugs, woven carpets, and handmade jewelry. A separate exposition tells about the cannibalism of the tribes and shows archaeological finds discovered during excavations near Sigatoka.
Sri Shiva Subramania Temple
Nandi adorns the highest Hindu temple in the Southern Hemisphere — Sri Shiva Subramania with a height of 30 meters. It is dedicated to three deities: Meenakshi, Murugan and Ganesha. The temple embodied the best traditions of ancient Indian architecture.
To enter inside, tourists must follow the dress code and take off their shoes. Photography is prohibited on the territory of Sri Shiva Subramania.
Nature and entertainment
Suva is famous for its magnificent parks and squares. The center of the capital is decorated with a park planted in honor of Prince Albert, the wife of Queen Victoria. The green area, designed in the English style, attracts attention with strict symmetrical lines.
In the center is an artificial lake with winding edges. Alleys depart from it, along which ferns and sprawling trees are planted. The park is equipped with a hockey field, rugby grounds, a children’s playground, and a cafe.
Sand dunes of Sigatoka
To the west of Sigatoka is the Sand Dunes National Park. The picturesque landscape was formed millions of years ago as a result of soil erosion. The height of the dunes varies from 20 to 60 meters.
At the end of the last century, a group of scientists conducted excavations in this area and discovered the burial places of people who lived 2600 years ago, the remains of settlements and ancient ceramics. The finds are on display at the Fiji National Museum.
Sleeping Giant Botanical Garden
In the vicinity of Nandi, a botanical garden was founded in 1977. Initially, it grew mainly orchids, but gradually the collection increased. Now the territory of the garden occupies 20 hectares and represents 400 species of tropical plants.
Neat paths are laid through the park. In the middle is a charming pond with lilies and fountains, and next to it are flowerbeds with exotic flowers, benches, pavilions for relaxation. All visitors are offered a free fruity soft drink.
The Astrolabe Reef, which surrounds the Kandava Island Group, is considered the fourth largest Barrier Reef in the world. Divers and ordinary tourists come here to explore underwater caves, hard and soft corals, colorful fish.
Scuba diving is often combined with fishing and yachting. Going to the edge of the reef, you can see sharks, humpback whales, dolphins and killer whales.
Caves of Sawa-i-Lau
The Yasawa Islands have the mysterious caves of Sawa-i-Lau, carved into the ocean by waves and wind. The first cave is lit by the sun and is easily accessible for visiting. To get to the second, you need to swim through an underwater tunnel — a spacious hall opens behind it, one third filled with water. Further on is another cave, which can only be entered at low tide.
A large river flowing through Viti Leva originates on the slope of Mount Gordon and moves between the hills to the south, flowing into the sea. The shores of Nauva are framed by cliffs and green tropical forests. The turbulent current creates a favorable environment for canoeing, kayaking or bamboo rafting.
Active tourists come here to go rafting, climb mountains, explore the virgin forest, watch herons and parrots.
National park in Taveuni
The volcanic island of Taveuni is the most popular attraction in Fiji. In 1990, a national park was founded here, which includes 150 km² of tropical forests with rare birds, dormant volcanoes and waterfalls. In one of the craters, at an altitude of 800 meters, there is Lake Tangimautia with a total area of 23 hectares.
Nearby stands Mount Uluikalau with a height of 1241 meters. Many plants and animals of the Taveuni Park are endemic and are not found elsewhere.
The Kula Family Park and Ecological Reserve appeared on Viti Levu in 1997. It is located near Sigatoka and includes a well-maintained tropical garden with walking paths. Lizards, snakes, insects, butterflies, flying foxes, parrots live here in natural conditions.
The park has a school for children, introducing them to the flora and fauna of the archipelago. There is also a breeding program for endangered crested and banded iguanas.