6 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Fiji
Although it's now part of an island nation in the South Pacific, Fiji was once home to many tribes, known as island nations, each with its own distinct culture. You'll see villages where the locals grow food, primarily taro, and many who live on the coast are fishermen.
The most visible inhabitants are islanders, descendants of the Fijian first settlers, who have maintained their culture throughout the years. You can get a taste of their traditional lifestyles and their traditional methods of greeting by visiting their villages, usually by boat or by plane, and getting a feel for the way of life.
While Fiji's beach resorts are well known for their turquoise waters and splendid beaches, you'll also discover some of the country's more remote and less-visited spots. Hike in the national parks, go island-hopping on a private yacht, or simply explore the ancient volcanic cone of Vanua Levu, Fiji's largest island. Discover the best of Fiji on this list of the top tourist attractions in Fiji.
Taveuni is the largest of the many volcanic islands in Fiji's south-eastern group and is the second largest in the Pacific after Hawaii. More than 2,000 people live on the island and of these, 80 per cent are Toga people. The majority of the Toga (also known as the i-Toga) are farmers and fishermen and in recent years, resorts and small tour operators have opened on the island to cater for growing interest from tourists. There are several parks and coastal reserves that tourists can explore and places to stay for both the independent traveler and those who prefer to travel with a tour operator.
Vanua Levu is a small, lovely island off the coast of Fiji that is surrounded by some of the most magnificent waters on the planet. The beaches are classically blue-and-white. The water is warm and the sunsets incredible. If you have the luxury of time, you can spend some time on Vanua Levu and relax on the beach at Savusavu, one of the main hubs for visitors to the island. Here, you can visit the school run by volunteers and have a chat with the kids. The island has a hospital with 24-hour emergency services, and a few quiet beaches at Hanuamanuwara, Murawaka, and Malasimasi. There are two main ports on the island, Ratu Aka and Denarau, which offer internet and other facilities.
A delightful 1-hour flight from Nadi to Lautoka, Fiji's capital, reveals the endearing beauty of this idyllic island destination. Between a tropical climate, white beaches and great diving and snorkeling, it's the perfect destination to relax on a tropical island paradise. Set in a bay surrounded by white sand beaches, Lautoka is the island's transport hub. Home to a vibrant Pacific culture, the vibe in the capital city is unlike any other on the island. Housed in a tropical garden setting, the government-run Suva Travel and Tourist Information Centre runs local tours and travel itineraries to the stunning interior of the country, where you can visit its famous natural attractions such as the Nairai Waterfall, visiting the Kairiki Sugar-mill, a local heritage site, and go on a river cruise down the Rewa River. Other things to do in Lautoka include enjoying walks along the beaches, relaxing in the nearby restaurants and bars, or taking in a Fijian wedding. If you are looking for a little shopping, Lautoka is renowned for its brightly colored shell handicrafts, and there are plenty of stores to buy handcrafted gifts and souvenirs, all guaranteed to add charm to your next holiday.
Made up of six smaller islands, Mamanuca Island group is a short, affordable day trip from Suva. But while some travellers say that it's just a stopover on the way to neighboring Vanua Levu or Taveuni, there is much more to the islands than that. They are a great tropical destination and the reef on the north shore of the largest, Mamanuca Island, is one of the best in Fiji. Visitors can choose from a variety of dive sites that include some of the less-frequented spots, and there is the opportunity to see giant manta rays, dozens of sea turtles and hundreds of smaller species. Some of the island's hotels have been refurbished, and facilities like the island's only dive shop and the Tani resort are of the highest standard. The weather is fine throughout the year, so for those wanting to avoid the cold of other islands in Fiji, the Mamanuca Islands are ideal. Getting to the island group from Suva can be done in several ways: charter a boat from a local marina, take a scheduled bus from Suva or take a plane from Suva.
Viti Levu is the third largest island in the Fiji chain. With its untouched natural beauty, it is home to five small villages and three national parks, of which the most popular is Natewa and Beqa which have some of the best diving in the South Pacific. A year-long monsoon season ensures a great chance of seeing the eastern rainforest. Beqa, a steep, winding mountain road, is the most accessible part of the island, being the second largest town after Labasa on the opposite side of the island. The road starts about 3 km (2 miles) out of Nadi in the north and hugs the coast for most of its journey before ending at Beqa. The inter-island ferry calls at Nadi. With stops en route the journey is usually in two days. A flight from Nadi is around 90 minutes. There are many things to do in Fiji, so it's wise to book well in advance. The resorts in Beqa and Natewa are quieter than those in Labasa.
The island of Bua is located at the southern end of the Fiji archipelago, off the northeastern coast of Vanua Levu. It is one of the most remote islands in the South Pacific, lying 260 miles south of Rotuma and more than 2,300 miles from Fiji's capital of Suva. Travel here is by sea or air with carriers flying to Nadi airport in Fiji's capital, Suva, from Auckland and Fiji, and from Auckland to Nadi. The rest of the South Pacific and South Asia are linked to Suva by air. If you're traveling from Australia or New Zealand, you'll land at Nadi. A hike in Bua is a wonderful way to experience the island's landscape of bush-covered mountains, lofty ridges and craggy cliffs. The island's only airport is about 15 miles from Bua town and is served by the Reefjet charter jet, which operates a weekly scheduled flight. Visiting Bua can be a chore, but one that is worthwhile, since it is home to the only inhabited island in the Fiji archipelago.