The Pacific island nation of Fiji has been a popular tourist destination for Australians for decades. The history of commercial trans Pacific flight has seen the birth of Fiji as a tourist destination because it was always a necessary refuelling stopover for flights from the United States to Australia. This meant that many tourists, wanting to break the long flight, opted to spend a few days in Fiji and explore this magnificent group of islands. Cruise liners, have for years, had Fiji on their cruising itinerary’s and it is a common sight to see international cruise ships at anchor in Suva harbour. From these beginnings, the tourist industry in Fiji started to grow, but it was the advent of regular international flights into Nadi airport that really kicked off the important industry that tourism has become for Fiji.
The Fijian archipelago consists of hundreds of islands. They are volcanic in nature and many are surrounded by protective coral reefs. The South Pacific waters that surround them are crystal clear and warm and the weather is tropical. The islands are fringed by sandy beaches and waving coconut palms and the island people have an international reputation for their friendliness. The main islands in the group are Viti Levu which is the largest and home to the capital of Suva. Vanua levu is the second largest and between the two they host the majority of the country’s population. Holiday resorts have been built on both of these islands and on the outer islands as well. The stunning tropical beauty of the Fijian islands has tourist coming back for their holidays year after year. The main activities for holiday makers mostly revolve around its surrounding waters. It is a diving destination of international repute with some sensational and pristine dive locations. The island beaches are fantastic and tourist often join the locals on fishing trips in the native canoes or charter boats. Most Fijian kids have their own small outrigger canoe and they are always happily playing in the local waters.
Historically, Fiji has been a part of the Polynesian nations that inhabited the Pacific Islands for generations. Captain James Cook was the first European visitor and as the British Empire expanded, Fiji was colonised and became a member. Modern western sports were introduced and the locals took to them with gusto. The Fijian rugby team is always a major contender in international competition. Other internationally recognised sportsmen include top golfer VeeJay Singh. Despite some unstable government over the last 50 years and the odd coup or two, the Fijian Islands have managed to maintain there reputation as an international tourist destination. Resort accommodation in Fiji is spread out over a number of islands. On Viti Levu, there are resorts around Suva and along the Coral Coast in the Islands south west around the town of Sigatoka. Denarau is a small island near Nadi, which is connected to Viti Lavu by a causeway and the island has many resorts. The Mamanuca Islands lie just offshore from Denarau and are home to many beautiful resorts, as are the Yasawa Islands. The northern islands of Vanua Levu, Tavanui and Lomaiviti also have a number of resorts as do the southern Islands like Davui Island and Vatulele Island.
Fiji is a three and a half to four hour flight from Sydney to Fiji and this close proximity makes a Fijian holiday a highly attractive option. There are often travel specials and accommodation packages available to Fiji that make it such an wonderful holiday destination.