Welcome to the beautiful, coral-fringed 332 islands consisting of Fiji.
Fiji lies in the heart of the Pacific Ocean midway between the Equator and the South Pole and has a sunny climate with shores that are safe and pollution free. Among Fiji's 332 islands, the closest islands to the Nadi International Airport are the Mamanuca and Yasawa Groups. These are a string of gems thrown in a scimiter-like curve from near the airport to stretch away almost 100 miles. Each is beautiful. Each has snow-white beaches, turquoise and jade green reefs and coral gardens. The islands offer warm sunny days and starlit nights.
The range of memorable experiences available is so diverse that it is possible to discover virgin grasslands and tropical rainforests unscarred by logging or mining as well as marvel at the exotic customs of the Fijian, Indian, Chinese, Rotuman and other cultures that have made Fiji their home. Fiji is home to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, a treasure trove of orchids and flowering plants and is the largest grower of orchids in Fiji.
You can explore the ruins of a fascinating pre-European war hill fortification, or wander through a colonial town that has changed little in over 150 years and soak up the history that surrounds you. Or experience life in Viseisei Village, just north of Nadi, Fiji's oldest village where the first Fijians are said to have set foot 3500 years ago. Or take a tour through a working sugar mill in Lautoka, the second largest city in Fiji, located 25 kms north of Nadi or tour through the many garment factories dotted throughout the county.
Fiji offers an adventure for the shopper as bargaining with the local shopkeeper is a way of life and a must to get the best price. Fiji has some wonderful displays of local handicrafts, gold jewelry, watches, electrical items, local clothing and a host of duty free shops. The locals are very friendly and like to chat while bargaining with the customer. However, when visiting the cities ' local produce markets, experiencing the aromatic odors of fresh Indian spices and many varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, bargaining for food stuffs is generally not practiced. Fiji also offers the shopper a variety of fish, prawns, crabs, seasonal fruits, coconuts and local root crops by roadside vendors. Fiji has a restaurant to suit everyone's budget and tastes where the visitor can experience the flavors of your typical Indian or Fijian , Chinese, Japanese and European cuisine. Night life can be found throughout Fiji, whether it be the sounds of Fiji's famous Black Rose band, Fijian entertainers and of course, disco.
Where else in the World can you experience the friendliness and famous bula smiles of the Fiji Islander where paradise is not just a word in the dictionary but REALITY. There is so much to do and see for those who want to come and experience the real Fiji, its beauty, culture and people. Because many of these attractions are run by the indigenous Fijians themselves you have the opportunity for a memorable as well as educational cultural interaction. Visitors to Fiji will have a chance to see something of Fijian Culture. Usually this will be a meke staged at your resort and featuring the traditional songs and dances of the Fijians. Or perhaps you will experience a yaqona or kava ceremony and the presentation of the tabua. These are extremely important rituals and it would be impossible to conduct business in present day Fiji without themm. Yaqona is the dried root of the pepper plant and is pounded into a fine powder, steeped in water, strained and served in an elaborate ceremony on formal occasions. The tabua is the tooth of the sperm whale. In former times it was the price of life and death. Today it is still an essential ingredient during Fijian ceremonies pertaining to births, deaths and marriages; the conclusion of important negotiations, during visits of chiefs and dignitaries and on countless other occasions.
Ever heard of firewalking? Fiji, will provide the visitor with a lifetime experience by watching the legendary firewalkers of Beqa Island, close to Pacific Harbour let the Fijians entertain you with their traditional arts including weaving of pandanus palm mats, woodcarving, pottery, canoe making and the making of tapa cloth from bark. Or discover the Indian culture by visiting their elaborate temple in Nadi.
The population of Fiji on August 25, 1996 stood at 772,655. Of the total, 394,999 were Fijians, 336,579 were Indians and 41,077 were others.
FESTIVALS and EVENTS
Hibiscus Festival lasting one week and held during the month of August in Suva. Sugar Festival held in Lautoka, the sugar city in September. Bula Festival in Nadi in July. Diwali Festival in October or November.