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Whitewater rafting in Sigatoka, FijiWhitewater rafting in Sigatoka, Fiji
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Fiji is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. Its is some 2000 km to the northeast of New Zealand. It is also close to other island nations of the Oceania including Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Tonga and Tuvalu, to name some. I am including Fiji as part of AsiaExplorers due to its proximity to the Asian continent.

Fiji is an archipelago of some 332 islands, of which the major ones are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, together accounting for 87% of the nation's population of 850,000. The islands are volcanic mountains surrounded by coral reefs. The capital and largest city is Suva, on Viti Levu. The name Fiji in English is derived from the Tongan pronunciation of Viti Levu.

Fiji is a parliamentary representative democratic republic with the Prime Minister as the head of government, and the President as head of state. The population of Fiji comprises native Fijians (54.3%) and ethnic Indians (38%), descendants of contract labourers brought to the island by the British in the 19th century. The people of Fiji, collectively, are called Fiji Islanders or Fiji Nationals, whereas Fijian refers to the indigenous ethnic group.

Yalobi Bay, Waya Island, FijiYalobi Bay, Waya Island, Fiji
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Fiji experiences a tropical marine climate with only slight variation in temperature throughouot the year. Hurricanes do occur from time to time between November and April. Fiji is a popular island getaway for tourists seeking the sun and the beach. It is also a popular honeymoon destinations for tourists from the Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Planning your trip to Fiji

The main international gateway to Fiji is Nadi International Airport (NAN). Located on the crossroads of the Pacific, the airport serves more as a refueling stop than a destination. Australia, for example, provides both national and international carriers that offer direct flights to Fiji. Another option would be by sea, but most Australian tourists prefer by air since it is time saving and more convenient.

From the airport, you have the option of taking the public bus, the taxi or rent an car. Air conditioned airport shuttle coaches serve the major towns and resorts in Fiji. Alternatively, you might want to do the locals do and take the open-window public buses.

Planning your travel within Fiji

Taxis are plentiful in Fiji - as the locals do not usually own a car. The fare is reasonable. Metered taxis can be found in the city area. Flag fall at FJ$1.50 during the day and FJ$2.00 after 10.00 pm. (Exchange rate is approximately US1.00 = FJ$2.00 as of 1 June 2010).

The Point, Vatulele Island, FijiThe Point, Vatulele Island, Fiji
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authorshipJon-Eric Melsæter
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Principal Cities in Fiji

  1. Suva: Capital and biggest city of Fiji
  2. Lautoka: Second largest city and center for sugarcane plantations.
  3. Nadi: Third biggest city in Fiji and major tourism destination.
  4. Nausori: Fourth biggest city in Fiji, with ancient archaeological site from the 13th century.
  5. Levuka: Old capital of Fiji, with many heritage sites.

Tourist Attractions of Fiji

  1. Colo-i-Suva: Forest national park established in 1872 where you get to experience the nature in Fiji.
  2. Mamanuca Highlands: Panoramic vista awaits those who trek up to the highest point on Mamanuca Island.
  3. Sabeto Hot Springs: Natural hot springs where you can also take a mud bath.
  4. Sawa-i-Lau Caves: Limestone caves on Sawa-i-Lau island, with subterranean river.
  5. Sigatoka Sand Dunes: Located at the mouth of the Sigatoka River on Viti Levu, these are dunes created by erosion covering some 650 hectares.
  6. Sigatoka Valley: Scenic valley where you can discover traditional life in Fiji, buy traditional handicrafts and pottery.
  7. Takalana Dolphins: Beach some 35 km northwest of Korovou where 30 to 40 dolphins visit early every morning.
  8. Vatuwiri Plantation: A huge coconut plantation established in 1871 and covering over 1,500 acres, where you can also find ruins of the ancient Baudua village, a volcanic crater and experience farm life in Fiji.

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