4 Beautiful Heritage Sites In Fiji
Have you discovered the heavenly tropical islands floating paradisiacally in the Pacific Ocean? If you don’t know where I am talking about then I’ll give you a hint. It is a place that has been influencing responsible and sustainable travel for years. It has been a trending hashtag on TikTok and Instagram, and home to many transformational retreats. Fiji consists of over 300 tropical islands infused with lush landscapes, craggy hills, majestic mountains, dense jungles, palm-lined beaches, coral reefs with clear lagoons, and a long history of culture and heritage.
Viti Levu, one of the most densely populated cities, is very much eco-friendly and is known to be the largest of the islands, also the Home to the capital city of Suva, as well as most Fiji’s residents. There are so many beautiful places to adventure through in Viti Levi: the mud pool, temple and the sleeping giant garden transforms it into a modern day Eden. Vanua Levu, formerly known as Sandalwood Island, is the second largest island of Fiji. Located just 64 kilometers to the north of the larger Viti Levu, but in terms of tourism amenities it pales by comparison as it haves few white sandy beaches and little accommodation outside of Labasa and Savusavu.
The south Pacific Paradise of Fiji offers visitors of all generations (millennials through baby boomers) many outdoor activities and authentic places to discover during a regenerative travel trip. Immersing yourself in the Levuka Historical Port Town will allow you to learn how the first European colonists made themselves comfortable in the south Pacific. Lovers of lush landscape will find themselves at home in the Şovu Basin. This is Fiji’s most important ecosystem in terms of its biological and landscape heritage. There is so much more to discover on your visit to Fiji and while the options are endless here are our 4 top picks that will help you when checking Fiji from your bucketlist.
Levuka Historical Port Town
Levuka Historical Port Town is set amongst coconut and mango trees along the beach front of Ovalau Island against the forested slopes of the island’s extinct volcano. From the 1820s onwards the port was developed as a centre of commercial activity by American and European colonisers and the town became the first colonial capital of Fiji, peacefully ceded to the British by Tui (King) Cakobau in 1874. A stone and concrete sea wall runs the length of Beach Street, from which other streets and lanes branch inland in a radial pattern following the contours of the land. Inland are the sites of two former indigenous villages Totoga (Vitoga) and Nasau located on one of the three creeks draining the slopes above the coastal plain. Copra sheds, warehouses, bond stores, port facilities and commercial buildings developed along Beach Street, and residences, religious, educational and social institutions grew up around the villages of the indigenous population. These are generally single or two storied corrugated iron or weatherboard clad timber buildings with hipped or gable roofs. Development continued beyond removal of the capital to Suva in 1882 as companies continued to establish bases at Levuka, reflecting all stages of colonial development in the South Pacific. Key elements include the former Totoga and Nasau village sites, the former Cakobau Parliament House site (now the European Memorial), Morris Hedstrom bond store, the Baba indentured labour settlement, the Hennings residence, Captain Robbie’s bungalow, Sacred Heart Cathedral and Presbytery dating from the 1860s, the Royal Hotel founded in the late 1860s, Deed of Cession site, former Government (Nasova) House site, Port Authority, Post and Customs buildings together with their remnant tram tracks to the wharf, former Methodist Church and mission, Levuka Public School, Town Hall, Masonic Lodge, Ovalau Club, Bowling Club, workers cottages and the shell button factory site.
The Sovi Basin, Waimaro, is Fiji’s most important land ecosystem in terms of its biological and landscape heritage. The 19600 hectare Basin is sited in the Naitasiri Province. Sovi Basin has a number of special natural features. The distinctive bowl shape of the Basin with its encircling volcanic peaks create a landform unique in both Fiji and in the island Pacific. Its floor is composed of hard granite rock which has slowly eroded over time to form low rolling hills, drained by crystal clear rivers and streams. The entire landform is covered with undisturbed tropical lowland forest. The Sovi Basin is the largest, most diverse and most scenically outstanding of Fiji’s natural forest. If it were to be protected it would be the “jewel in the crown” of Fiji’s protected areas system, functioning as the main storehouse of Fiji’s land-based biodiversity. The spectacular natural and cultural features of the Sovi Basin together build a strong imperative for ecoturism development. International promotion of the wilderness and cultural features of the Sovi Basin would form the lynch pin of a new heritage focus to Fiji’s tourism industry.
Sigatoka Sand Dunes
The Sigatoka Sand Dunes are located directly west of the mouth of the Sigatoka River the second largest river in Fiji. They are the product of fluvial erosion in the coastal hinterland and coastal dune forming processes. The extensive dune system covers an area of 650 hectares and comprises a series of parabolic sand dunes of various ages and activities. Approximately half the area is unstable, especially in the east. The vegetation is predominantly native forest and introduced herbaceous communities. The Sigatoka Sand Dunes are the location of one of Fiji’s earliest recorded prehistoric sites. Evidence of the past is clearly visible throughout the dune system as pottery scatters, stone tools, human remains and other archaeological relics continue to be uncovered by natural processes.
Yaduataba Crested Iguana Sanctuary
The Crested Iguana, Brachylopus vitiensis is found in large populations on the island of Yaduataba. The uninhabitated island is a rainshadow island with less than 180cm of rain per year. The vegetation is comprised of a mixture of beach forest, introduced Casaurina scrub, disused copra plantations, coastal scrub and grassland. Wildlife is limited to migratory birds, tree skinks and geckos. The species is aboreal, rarely descending to the forest floor except to oviposit. Males are territorial and both sexes are omnivorous.