Not too far from Australia and New Zealand is Fiji, an archipelago of more than 300 islands surrounded by the glistening waters of the South Pacific. The increasing number of visitors have contributed to Fiji tourism enormously over the past few years. People come here for the sun-kissed islands, the lush green forests and rugged mountains. The major islands here are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
A Fiji tour is perfect no matter who accompanies you, whether it is your loved one, family or friends. Soft white sands, cool blue waters, the sun generously bestowing its rays on you - if this isn’t paradise, what is? The fun doesn’t end in Fiji and whether you love adventure or simply prefer to laze away your holiday by the beach, you’ll find that it’s perfect for you.
Fiji lies in the South West Pacific, an archipelago of 332 islands of which only 106 are inhabited. The terrain of the two main islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, is mostly mountainous with thick tropical forests. Mount Tomanivi on Viti Levu is the highest point on the island. The capital of Fiji is Suva and can be found on the southeast coast of Viti Levu. Some of the other important towns are Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa and Savusavu.
Fiji’s climate is tropically marine and is warm throughout the year. Its location in the Southern Hemisphere ensures that its summers are from November to April while May to October is when the season is cooler. Rainfall is expected and during the summer season, it can get quite heavy. Fiji tourism doesn’t face much impact from the weather but it’s always a good idea to be prepared as there can be some tropical storms during summers.
Fiji is a melting pot of different cultures, primarily indigenous Fijian, Indian, European, Chinese and other nationalities. Fijian culture imbibes quite a bit from all these different cultures to create a unique culture of its own. The Fijian indigenous society is very communal, and family based. But there are various other clans and tribes as well. The main languages spoken here are English, Fijian and Hindi. Fiji’s arts and crafts are attributed to their Polynesian and Melanesian heritage.
Fijians are known for their dependence on root vegetables. Traditional Fiji meals are usually served with sweet potatoes, yams, or taro along with bananas and breadfruit. Fiji is also known for the huge variety of local seafood that is available. Most of the food is cooked with herbs and spices on wood fire ovens. A popular method of cooking is the earthen oven, which is a fire-pit made in the ground, lined with heat resistant stones Several interesting dishes are cooked this way, wrapped in banana leaves, lowered into the pit and left to cook.
Fiji is truly heaven for those who love the lure of the blue seas and the flurry of activity that goes on under water. The marine life is simply brilliant here and can be observed from close quarters when you go scuba diving. The main islands here are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, and the most popular islands which bring in most of Fiji tourism are Taveuni and Kadavu.
For the best beaches, head straight to Mamanuca and Yasawa islands which are simply stunning. These islands have been featured in several Hollywood movies such as Castaway and Blue Lagoon to name a few, which have lent a great boost to Fiji tourism.
Taveuni is often referred to as The Garden Island because of the verdant forests that abound here. It seems straight like a scene out of a movie, with its secluded waterfalls and greenery everywhere. Those on a Fiji tour will love to check out Bouma National Heritage Park here, as well as the marine park at Waitabu. At the latter, there are dive sites such as Eel Reef and Great White Wall.
Fiji tourism depends on Nadi in Viti Levu as it has the international airport that connects Fiji to the rest of the world. It’s close to Denarau Island and it’s a good place to start your Fiji tour. Nadi also has several activities on and off the water. Jet skis and Hobie cats are available for those who want to enjoy the water while sky diving and zip lining is perfect for those who are looking for a land-based adrenaline rush.
Suva is Fiji’s capital and also its largest city. A tropical metropolis, Suva has all the trappings of an ex-colonial haven. There’s much to see and do here – it could be a mix of historical tours as well as modern bliss such as a lively nightlife scene. Suva is also a great place to enjoy delicious Indo-Fijian and Chinese food at their many restaurants, cafés and bistros.
For a taste of true Fijian culture, head to Kadavu which is so laidback that there are hardly any roads here. Laze by the blue waters and enjoy a timeout from your busy life as you relish the beauty and serenity of this island. Kadavu is renowned the world over for its world-famous diving spot, the Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world.
Fijian, Fiji Hindi
The following are travel tips to keep in mind while travelling to Fiji -