Country guides Australasia
Fiji is an exotic tropical paradise in the South Pacific made up of around 330 islands, nearly two thousand miles (3,219km) east of Australia. Once feared as the haunt of cannibals and fierce warrior tribes, today Fijians are regarded as a supremely friendly and welcoming people who are so relaxed they consider it rude to rush.
The verdant islands of Fiji are famous for their eternal sunshine and their beauty is legendary, with orchids hanging over waterfalls in lush jungle, and palms lining long stretches of beach. Visitors can immerse themselves in offshore activities like swimming with manta rays, snorkelling over coral gardens, scuba diving on the famous Astrolabe Reef, or riding the 'Cloud Breakers', amazing 20ft (6m) waves off Tavarua, an island resort.
Suva is home to more than half of Fiji's population and it is not only the capital of the country, but an important regional centre of the South Pacific. Visitors can eat on a floating fine-dining restaurant, drink at vibrant and quirky bars, shop at the bustling municipal market or explore the Fiji Museum, one of Suva's the many historical and cultural sites. During the day there is as much to do and see as there is at night down Victoria Parade, where the buzzing nightlife keeps the city alive when the sun dives below the horizon. Suva is also a good launching pad for venturing into the surrounding wild areas.
Most visitors will, however, arrive in Nadi, one of the largest towns in Fiji, and the main international port. Tourists can visit the Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple and the Garden of the Sleeping Giant in Nadi, or travel to the Sabeto Mountains, Sugar-city Lautoka or Natadola Beach, one of the numerous special sites surrounding the town. Alternatively, they can rest and relax at the Wailoaloa and Newtown beaches and get ready to move onto the next island paradise.
The Fiji archipelago is the transport hub of the South Pacific, so domestic and international flights are continually stopping at Nadi airport, the main international airport. From there it is easy to access the offshore island resorts or the other large islands of Vanua Levu or Taveuni, as well as other destinations in the Pacific.