There’s a reason why so many travelers flock to Fiji: It’s pure paradise. From the blue waters and picturesque lagoons to the swaying palm trees and pristine white sand, it doesn’t get any prettier than Fiji. And for plant and animal lovers, there’s so much to see and do. Fiji comprises more than 300 islands and islets (most of which are uninhabited), and the ocean wildlife is extraordinary; in fact, there are more than 1,500 species of fish and other aquatic creatures in the waters.
The Fascinating Plants and Animals of Fiji
Fiji is home to a plethora of native flora and fauna that travelers find fascinating. The country has 76 native land and bird species, 27 of which are found only in Fiji. More than 25 reptile species live here, including various types of iguana and the cane toad. Fiji’s bird species include the golden dove, the orange dove, three types of shining parrots, the red-breasted musk parrot and the Fiji peregrine falcon. But it’s Fiji’s marine life that’s truly amazing: The country is home to whales, dolphins, eels, several turtle species, sea snakes, and an abundance of fish and corals, among many other sea creatures.
The postcard-perfect beaches of Fiji are filled with a variety of trees, flowers and mangroves. Keep an eye out for the country’s most iconic flower, the Tahitian gardenia, a lovely white bloom found in most resorts. And for a real treat, visit The Garden of the Sleeping Giant in Nadi; here, you’ll see 30 to 40 native varieties of Asian orchids and Cattleya hybrids. Don’t skip out on the (free!) tour, so you can learn more about the orchids and the history of the area.
Get a Closer Look at Wildlife
If you’re itching to catch a glimpse of playful dolphins and exotic eels in the wild, look no further than Fiji. Travelers who want an up-close look at sharks should check out Shark Reef Marine Reserve, where you can feed up to eight species of shark at a time; and, if you’re feeling brave, you can even try a shark dive. In addition, the diving and snorkeling in Fiji are some of the best in the world. Take a dip at the Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the world’s largest coral reefs, or head to the Namena Marine Reserve to look at the mind-boggling biodiversity, including over 1,100 fish species, barracuda and blue ribbon eel. No matter where you go in Fiji, you’re bound to see incredible plant and animal life around every corner.
Transportation and Lodging
Flights to Fiji are notoriously pricey, though it’s possible to book a bargain flight if you shop around; several Australian airlines offer direct flights. Many travelers opt to do a multi-day stopover in New Zealand or Australia before heading on to Fiji since the countries are close. You’ll likely be stopping over in Fiji anyway as the majority of flight routes do. Note that airfares tend to peak between December and January and again between April and June.