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.
Fiji may be famous for its rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches, coral reefs and crystal clear lagoons, but there’s more to this archipelago than what you see in the tourist brochures.
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The 300+ islands were once covered by miles of dry forests and dense tree populations and while centuries of human intervention have encroached somewhat, native and endemic flora and fauna still thrives. For any botanist, biologist, ecologist, naturalist, ornithologist or zoologist, Fiji is an excellent source of discovery, but you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the wonders that Fiji has to offer.
The Animals of Fiji
Fiji has 76 native land and sea bird species, 27 of which are endemic (only found in Fiji). The Red-throated Lorikeetis a critically endangered lorikeet around 18cm long, and is bright green with red cheeks, throat and thighs. The Fiji Petrel (also known as MacGillivray’s Petrel) is a small, dark gadfly petrel with a short neck and stout black bill. Other birds to look out for include:
- Three species of Shining Parrots (Kaka)
- The Collared Lory (Kula)
Fiji also has four raptors: the Pacific Harrier, the Barn Owl, Peregrine Falcon, and the endemic Fiji Goshawk.
Fiji’s marine life is varied and includes dolphins, whales, sea turtles, eels, sea snakes, corals and an abundance of exotic and colourful fish. Home to five species of sea turtles you can find the Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Green, Pacific Ridley and Leatherback. Three of these species lay eggs on the beaches from November through to March, a site not to be missed.
Another site not to be missed (especially if you’re into sharks) is Shark Reef Marine Reserve off Pacific Harbour on Viti Levu. Here, 8 different species could turn up to feed, including Tawny Nurse, White Tip, Black Tip, Grey Reef, Sicklefin Lemon, Silvertips, Bull and Tiger. And out in the open seas, you’ll see Hammerheads and more.
Fiji is home to six species of bats, including the Fiji Monkey-faced Bat. Endemic to Fiji, it’s restricted to the summit region of Des Voeux Peak on the island of Taveuni (Koroturanga Mountain to the locals). Four of the six species only eat fruit, while the other two – the Polynesian Sheath-tail Bat and the Fijian Mastiff Bat, also eat insects.
Reptiles and amphibians
Fiji is home to two endemic frog species, the Fijian Tree Frog and the Fijian Ground Frog. Both males and females produce a mating call, an unusual characteristic for frogs, and Ground Frogs are a threatened species.
The Fiji Banded Iguana is a spectacularly beautiful and large lizard with emerald green colours. The extremely long tail makes up more than two thirds of its total length and the body presents broad vertical blue and green stripes that give the iguana its name.
The Plants of Fiji
The stunning beaches of Fiji are covered in a variety of pine trees, such as Silver, Fishtail, Fantail, Umbrella and the iconic Coconut Palm. The Coconut Palms provide Fiji with one of its most versatile manufacturing resource – coconut oil – and are believed to have self seeded on the islands. Other common species include the Mallotus tiliifolous, a small deciduous tree with hairy leaves and spiny fruit and the Indian-beech with its aromatic flowers and medicinal bark and roots.
The Tahitian Gardenia is one of Fiji’s most iconic flowering species, offering glossy green leaves and gnarled branches. Prized for their fragrant, tubular white flowers they can be found in almost every resort and produce yellow-green fruits that have medicinal use. Any fans of the Perry Mason TV series should visit The Garden of the Sleeping Giant in Nadi, which was founded in 1985 by the show’s actor Raymond Burr. A lover of orchids, the garden is packed with exotic orchids and native trees and is a real treat.
Mangroves are crucial to Fiji’s geography because they strengthen the coastlines of the islands and protect the beautiful reefs by absorbing much of the force from high ocean waves. Mangroves are particularly vulnerable to climate change and sealevel rise, and there is a strong possibility that they may be lost in the future.
Your Fiji Holiday
Everybody has their own idea of a Fijian holiday and if yours is the opportunity to discover Fiji’s most incredible flora and fauna, it pays to have an idea of what to look for. Create a list of search items and see how you go. The beauty of Fiji is that it’s there for the taking so you might not have to search that hard. With little effort you could tick of a list that includes:
- Manta rays
- Coconut palms
- And more!
Experience the wildlife of Fiji in person!
With the huge assortment of amazing and unique wildlife, why not take a quick down to Fiji and see it for yourself! We pride ourselves on crafting the perfect cruising experience so you can have lasting memories. Check out our small ship cruises to find out more! Alternatively, check out our diving packages for those seeking out the marine life.
Facts About Fiji
Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean. It has an area of 18,274 square km. Suva is its capital and largest city. English, Fijian, and Hindi, are the official languages of Fiji. Fijian dollar is its official currency.
The Fiji Republic is actually not just one beautiful island but an archipelago of some333 islands and over 500 islets. Only 110 of them are inhabited and all of them are beautiful combinations of volcanic mountain ranges, rainforests, and gorgeous sandy beaches. Read on to discover some interesting facts about Fiji.
Facts about tourism in Fiji
- Fiji’s main sources of foreign exchangeare sugar exports and its thriving tourist industry, which along with its abundance of minerals, fish, and forests, gives it one of the most developed economies in the Pacific.
- The first word in the native Fijian language you’ll need to learn is Bula, which means “hello”,because you will hear it everywhere. These friendly people will also greet you in English, which almost all of the population speaks as well.
- Those who enjoy outdoor adventureswill find great walks and hikes in the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, the sandy Natadola Beach, or the Lavana Coastal walk from the beach to the waterfall. There are also several zip line opportunities available.
- Hire a boat to spend the day on the water diving in the Great Astrolabe Reef coral reefs and snorkling along the beaches.
- Take the kids to the Big Bula Water Park or hike to one of the waterfalls or caves on the islands.
- Be sure to visit the Kula Eco Park where you can feed young sea turtles and hold iguanas and young snakes.Don’t be afraid to handle them; there are no venomous snakes in the Fiji Islands.
- Accommodations range from luxury hotels on the beach to hostels for backpackers that run an economical $8 to $15 per night.
- Fire walking originated on the islands around 500 yearsago but today the ceremony is usually practiced as cultural shows that appeal to tourists.
- Visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giantto see the orchids or experience the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool in Nadi.
- Fijian girls learn how to craft potteryas well as weave baskets and mats while boys learn to carve kava bowls, war clubs, spears, and the always-popular wooden forks that are sold to tourists as relics of Fiji’s days of cannibalism.
Historical Facts of Fiji
- 11. The original settlers of Fiji,who came to the islands over 5000 years ago, are now called the Lapita people but were originally Melanesiansand Polynesians.
- Fiji’sfirst settlements were started by voyaging traders and the first Europeans to land and live among the native population were shipwrecked sailors.
- Fijians were formidable warriors who built some of the finest boats in the Pacific in their day and time. They called their home Viti but nearby island Tonga called it Fisi. Captain James Cook was the first to pronounce it as Fijiand his writings promulgated that name.
- Fijians were also fierce cannibals who were known for their practice of eating their enemies and making human sacrifices.The ferocity of their lifestyle deterred European sailors from going anywhere near their coastal waters. Fijians now regard those years as “na gauna ni tevoro” (the time of the devil).
- With the arrival of Christian missionaries, cannibalism began to wane.The last known victim was himself a missionary. Thomas Baker made the mistake of accidentally touching the head of the village chief, an insult tantamount to a declaration of war.
- The Dutch and British began to explore the islands in the 17th and 18th centuries.In 1874 the British subjugated Fiji as a colony and began the large scale cultivation of sugar cane there in the 1880s.
- In order not to interfere with the Fijians’ native way of life, contract labor from India was brought in to work in the sugar plantations.More than 60,000 indented workers arrived before the practice ended in 1920. Later these Indian transplants would lead to conflicts in the islands’ government.
- After 96 years of British rule,Fiji became independent in 1970 but remained part of the British Commonwealth.
- In 1987, a military dictatorship took over the country to prevent an Indian-dominated party from controlling the government. This triggered a larger exodus of Fijians of Indian origin from the country. Today the population is 40 percent Indian.
- Fiji continued to be controlled by one military coup after anotheruntil a democratic election was finally held in September of 2014.
- Village groups own over 80 percent of Fiji’s land,which is called Native Land, and use it for their village site and as a nature reserve.
- Villages are generally self-sustaining.They have a chief as their leader and each has a community center. Tourists may visit them but must bring a gift of kava with them and present it to the chief for the welcoming ceremony, known as the “sevu sevu”.
- Visitors arewelcomed with white talc powder on their faces and leis of flowers and leaves from the villagers. Ladies should leave their jeans at home and wear modest clothing, like a traditional Fijian sarong (a “sulu”) to show respect for the residents and chief.
- Only the village chief is allowed to wear a hat and sunglasses.You must remove yours, please. You may also be required to remove your shoes in order to enter homes or other buildings.
- The village women play a game on New Year’s Eve called “veicaqemoli” (kick the orange). Played by two teams, the winning team must give gifts of new garments to the members of the losing team so there’s really more incentive to lose than to win.
- The Meke is a celebration of culture through traditional storytelling and dancing using songs that is performed at Fijian festivals.It is performed even more frequently during cultural shows at tourist resorts.
- Rugby is a national obsession.The national rugby team used to perform the Cibi (pronounced “thimbi”) before their matches. The Cibi is, appropriately enough, a war dance. It has now been replaced with their “mBolay!” war cry.
- The native Fijians are mostly Christian and the Indo-Fijians are mostly Hindu.The largest Hindu temple in the entire Southern Hemisphere is the Sri Siva Subramanuya Temple. This colorful worship site is in Nadi.
- The Fijians have a gift-giving culture. For a community ceremony one brings a large quantity of food. This food is also accompanied by gifts like bark cloth or whale’s teeth or kava (the national drink.)Ceremonies include village marriages and religious festivals.
- Typically village households contain extended families, including a nuclear family with in-laws and possibly other grown unmarried children. The cultural frowns upon elderly people living alone and uncared for.
Other random and interesting facts
- The 180°meridian, or International Date Line, runs through the island of Taveuni in Fiji. On that island, there is a site where you can stand with one foot in today and the other in yesterday.
- Traditional Fiji meals includerelishes, starches and a beverage. The starches include yams, taro, sweet potatoes and manioc. The relishes include meat, fish, seafood and leafy veggies. Water is the typical beverage of choice although hot tea with lemon leaves is also served.
- The traditional cooking method in Fiji is called lovo.Food is wrapped in palm fronds and banana leaves and roasted in an earthen pit lined with extremely hot stones. Pork, chicken or fish is placed in first on the bottom. Root crops like cassava, wild yams and taro cover the meat then the pit is filled with dirt and left to cook for three hours.
- Many islanders raise their eyebrowsas a non-verbal way of saying “yes”.
- Fiji has a comparatively large armed forceand has been an active participant in numerous major U. N. peacekeeping missions throughout the world.
- One of Fiji’s international sports stars is professional golfer Vijay Singh.He is the winner of three major championships.
- Speaking of the Fijians’ love of gift giving, the most precious giftof all to give on ceremonial occasions is sperm whale teeth, presented with a long and formal speech.
- An interesting Fijian superstition says that coconuts have eyes.Furthermore, they watch for certain people on which they want to fall from the tree. So if a coconut falls on you, you can expect bad luck for several days, because it picked you specifically to fall upon!
- Kava, or Yaqona, is the national and traditional drink. Made from the powdered root of the Yoqona bush,it is mixed with water in a bowl called tanoa. Guests must clap before and after drinking from the dish.
- Kava is believed to have medicinal qualities and is used to treat: headaches, colds, insomnia, and anxiety.It has a bitter, tongue-numbing, unsweetened coffee taste. Visitors to villages are expected to present gifts of kava to the chief upon arrival.
Fiji – country at a glance
Independence10 October 1970 (from the UK)
Table last updatedJuly 1, 2019Capital CitySuva
(18°10′S 178°27′E)Largest CityNasinu
Area18,274 sq kmAgricultural land23.3%Population926,276 (July 2018 est.)CurrencyFijian dollar (FJD)ReligionProtestant 45% (Methodist 34.6%, Assembly of God 5.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 3.9%, and Anglican 0.8%), Hindu 27.9%, other Christian 10.4%, Roman Catholic 9.1%, Muslim 6.3%, Sikh 0.3%, other 0.3%, none 0.8% (2007 est.)Official LanguageEnglish, Fijian, HindiSuffrage18 years of age; universalNational Anthem”God Bless Fiji”National symbolFijian canoeNational colorlight blueNational holidayFiji (Independence) Day, 10 October (1970)Climatetropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variationTerrainmostly mountains of volcanic originHighest pointTomanivi 1,324 mLowest pointPacific Ocean 0 mLife Expectancy73.2 Years (2018)Industriestourism, sugar, clothing, copra, gold, silver, lumber, small cottage industriesExports$908.2 million (2017 est.)
sugar, garments, gold, timber, fish, molasses, coconut oil, mineral water
Imports$1.911 billion (2017 est.)
manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products, food, chemicalsGDP – per capita (PPP)$9,800 (2017 est.)Natural resourcestimber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential, hydropowerBirth rate18.2 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)Death rate6.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)Sex ratio1.03 male(s)/female (2018 est.)Government typeparliamentary republic
PresidentJioji KonrotePrime MinisterFrank BainimaramaTime ZoneFJT (UTC+12)Internet country code.fjCalling Code+679Drives on theLeft
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Did you know that Taveuni, the Garden Island of Fiji is pure beauty and adventure. Recognized as the jewel of Fiji, the islands are a welcoming paradise for residents and visitors alike.
Our islands have it all coastal walks along sandy beaches, world class diving and snorkeling just offshore, luxurious vegetation, pristine tropical rain forests with exotic birds, colorful Fijian and Indo-Fijian villages, and hidden waterfalls.
Contact Noble Realty to find out more.
Good news for everyone as the roads on the Estate are being resealed and the place is looking very good. Still time to buy a lot on the Estate starting at $20,000.00 Fiji Dollars
Fun had by all as the final day of school for Solo’s Kindergarten ended with a big bang and the final Christmas closing. Children received their diplomas along with commemorative medals and trophies marking this the 10th Anniversary of the School right here in Soqulu Taveuni Estates. Thank you for all those that keep the school going with your donations and kind support. Solos Kindergarten is one of a few stand alone schools in all of Fiji. We look forward again to our next year.
Renowned for its captivating flora and fauna, Taveuni Estates continues to draw stellar interest from property buyers wanting a slice of Fiji’s Garden Island.
Most of Taveuni’s coveted oceanfront and resort lots are listed by Noble Realty, which facilitated a large number of properties late last year, when an amendment to the Land Act in 2014 sped up the sale of vacant foreign-owned lots whose proprietors did not construct dwellings within a 2-year deadline.
A considerable number of these lots were listed at reduced values to meet the December 31 deadline and avoid hefty fines for their foreign owners.
“We sold 98 listed properties for foreign owners and the majority of buyers have been locals,” Noble said.
Buying interest, continues to thrive.
“For those who haven’t grabbed a lot of Taveuni Estates, now is the time to do it.”
I would just like to share with you a little of our coast line on Taveuni Estates. Please contact me for more information.