More than 70% of Fiji's population resides on Viti Levu which is home, unsurprisingly, to its three largest cities. The cultural, economic and governmental powerhouse of the country, most visitors spend a few hours here, even if they're on their way to a smaller island.
Still, Viti Levu has plenty of attractions of its own, including the country's first area developed for tourism, the Coral Coast, plus interesting scenery and well-preserved historical attractions.
Nadi, where most international travelers arrive, and Suva, the capital, are a four-hour bus ride apart. Most travelers do not visit Suva, instead preferring to spend their time on the beach.
Activities around Nadi
Nadi airport and surrounding land.
Nadi: Although it's home to Fiji's largest international airport, this dusty city is actually Fiji's third-largest. BigDay writer Courtney says, "Visit Nadi to shop, eat, or explore, but don't spend any longer than a day or you'll quickly grow bored of the city."
Lautoka: North of Nadi, and the second largest city in the country, Lautoka is also the second-largest point of entry, with many passenger ships departing from here to elsewhere in Fiji.
View Lautoka in Google Earth here.
Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple: This is the largest place of worship for the Hindus in Fiji and is supposedly the largest temple south of the equator. Taking pictures and wearing shoes inside are forbidden. Click here to see Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple in Google Earth.
Shopping: Nadi and Suva offer the country's most compact, easy-to-shop areas for souvenirs. Large and small stores clamoring for tourists line the main drags.
Activities around the Coral Coast
Sigatoka Valley: This fertile growing region produces much of the country's natural vegetable supply and provides excellent exploring opportunities.
Sigatoka Sand Dunes: For drier hikes just off the beach, scale the heights at Sigatoka Sand Dunes.
Click here to see Sigatoka in Google Earth.
Naihehe Sacred Caves: Near Sigatoka, these should be toured with a local guide for religious and practical reasons.
Natadola Beach: Viti Levu's stunning beach is home to several up and coming resorts, with strong breaks that encourage bodyboarders.
Tavuni Hill Fortification: These ruins are a national protected site.
A guide can explain the fascinating history - including how human bones were found in the oven - for a small fee.
Momi Guns: During WWII, Viti Levu housed a defensive base, which has been spectacularly preserved with a museum inside an old bunker and an expansive view of the water and land below. The cannons were never fired as an act of war.
Activities Elsewhere on Viti Levu
Nausori Highlands: A remote area with plenty of mountain hikes, this area is best explored with a guide...or 4x4.
Suva: The nation's capital offers a wide array of shopping, dining and cultural attractions.
Click here to see Suva in Google Earth.
Fiji Museum: In Suva, this museum hosts the largest collection of Fijian artifacts in world (which, considering it's in Fiji, is a good thing). History buffs can also view some remains of the H.M.S. Bounty.