Wonders of Fiji
The tropical Fiji islands are interesting and very diverse. These islands are known as excellent dive and surf sites and as an exotic retreat – but there is much more than this. Among the most interesting landmarks of these islands are:
- Ecosystems. Until recent times in Fiji islands lived 3 m long terrestrial crocodiles, enormous lizards, and unusual, large flightless birds. Now they are extinct – but here still live giant beetles, centipedes, and stick insects. More than 60% of plants of Fiji islands are found only here – including such beautiful plants as tagimaucia liana.
- Archaeological heritage and legends. The archaeology of Fiji is diverse. There are monuments left by extinct cultures, but there are monuments that are part of living, exciting legends. Everyone here should obey the taboo rules – even white people have learned this!
Map with the described wonders
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Top 25 wonders of Fiji
A „hat island” – a small, forest-covered island with a large limestone plateau in the middle, rising up to 305 m above the sea level. This plateau is surrounded by up to 60 m tall cliffs. The summit of the plateau is rather flat, but with depressions, small lakes. This island is guyot – a former atoll with a volcanic plug in the middle.
Upper Navua Gorge
An amazing gorge that is deeply cut in volcanic rocks. Gorge has up to 75 m tall walls with some 25 – 5 m wide stream in between. 50 – 100 waterfalls on both banks. River has endemic fish species.
A remote island, split by a narrow, 57 m deep cleft in two parts. Cleft can be passed by a boat. There is a boulder ledged in this cleft, high above the water. This remote, very hard to access island contains ancient graves.
L’Aiguille de Prony
Amazing reef, formed by warm (up to 39° C), mineral-rich spring discharging in the sea. It is located at 35 m depth and here has formed up to 5 m high, 15 m wide formation consisting of stone needles, stalactites and stalagmites.
Vatuni’epa (Pedestal Rocks)
Interesting cliff formations made by sea waves. Numerous cliffs here resemble mushrooms.
Hot springs located at the seaside, some springs are seen only at low tide. The temperature of springs – up to 90° C. In earlier times these springs were used by locals to boil their food. In the 1870ies for two months these springs turned into geysers, up to 12 – 18 m high.
A beautiful, 30 m tall waterfall.
Bouma Falls (Tavoro Falls)
A spectacular sequence of three waterfalls. Lower Bouma Falls is 24 m tall, Middle Bouma Falls – 15 m tall, and Upper Bouma Falls – 10 m. Falls are located in a beautiful rainforest setting.
Dry tropical forest of Vunivia and Nasavu catchments
The last pristine stand of Fijian dry tropical forest with multiple endemic species of plants.
Mount Koroturanga cloud forest
An unusual cloud forest with very stunted trees and shrubs, growing not higher than 3 m. Numerous endemic species of trees and other plants.
Remote crater lake, located 832 m above the sea level. The best site to see the endemic tagimaucia liana (Medinilla waterhousei) with beautiful flowers.
A small island with pristine beach forest. Here lives the largest population of Fiji Crested Iguana (Brachylophus vitiensis) – beautiful, up to 76 cm long lizard. Some 6,000 of these lizards might be living here.
Tropical lowland forest of Sovi Basin
The largest undisturbed tropical forest (19,600 ha) in Fiji. It is located in an enormous valley surrounded by volcanic peaks. The forest grows on a granite rock base.
Volivoli Caves (Voli-Voli)
In these caves have been discovered remnants of extinct large reptiles – 1.5 m long iguana Lapitiguana impensa and up to 3 m long terrestrial crocodile Volia athollandersoni. The enormous iguana went extinct only after the coming of people some 3,000 years ago. Also remnants of an extinct giant dove Natunaornis gigoura similar to the dodo from Mascarene Islands.
A site where the remnants of a terrestrial crocodile Volia athollandersoni were found. This predator lived here some 10,000 years ago, but possibly – also later. Here were found remnants of other extinct large birds and reptiles of Fiji as well.
Great White Wall
An amazing dive site – a wall covered with white soft corals. The wall reminds a snow-covered mountain wall.
Hatana Sacred Island
Island has a sacred grove with a stone setting – a burial site of the mythical founder of Rotuma – Raho. According to the legends, his spirit still lives there. The stone setting consists of two boulders in the circle of 27 smaller stones as well as a flat stone – eating table. Visitors to the island should comply with diverse taboo rules, otherwise, they can not leave the island until the angry spirits are pacified.
A fortified cave that was used as a retreat of Fiji people during the times of invasion of Tongans. Hundreds of people lived in this cave for months. The cave contains interesting cultural artifacts – ritual platform, priest chambers.
Kī ne He’e
Large, ancient ritual complex – a large stone and earth platform with causeways and mounds.
Vatulele Island petroglyphs
Beautiful ancient paintings on seaside cliffs. It is possible that they were created by the people of Lapita culture around 1000 BC.
Kedekede hillfort (Kendi-Kendi)
A large hillfort that was built by islanders in the 17th century AD. This fortification with its multiple terraces potentially could have more than 2,000 inhabitants. Fiji is rich with diverse fortifications.
A beautiful traditional village with intact, authentic ethnographic architecture.
The largest collection of artifacts related to the history and culture of Fiji.
Botanical gardens of Fiji with beautiful palm avenues and garden architecture.
Fiji Government Palace
An ornate government building, the former presidential palace. Constructed in 1882, rebuilt in 1928 after a lightning strike.
Of all the island groups in the outer Pacific, none surpass the Fijis in their rare combination of beautiful scenery and interesting natives. The islands are upon the opposite side of the world from England, for the meridian of 180° passes through the center of the group crossing the island of Taviuni… That dauntless old rover, Abel Jansen Tasman, discovered them in 1643 on his way from Tonga in the Heemskirk and Zeehaan and named them “Prince William’s Islands” and “Heemskirk’s Shoals.”
South Pacific expert and veteran travel writer David Stanley knows the best way to experience Fiji, from making the most of one of the world’s premier diving spots to getting away from it all in lesser-known villages. David provides great trip ideas for a variety of travelers, such as Best of Fiji, Island-Hopper Special, and The Life Aquatic. Packed with information on swimming the reefs, taking day-long boat cruises, and sampling Fijian specialties, Moon Fiji gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience.