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Lautoka is often described as the sugar city. Sugar cane is the major industry of Fiji and Lautoka is its main base. Here are the industries’ headquarters, the largest sugar mill, modern loading facilities and a large wharf. It features 70 miles of roads, almost all paved, a wonderful botanical garden and royal palm trees decorating the city’s main street, Vitogo Parade. The municipal market is another attraction from both outside and inside.
Fiji typifies the image of paradise. The people here live as they have done for centuries, retaining their ancient traditions and simple and carefree lifestyle supported by the harvest of a generous land and bountiful sea.
Levuka highlights both the historical and natural aspects of Fiji. The small island of Ovalau is located off the east coast of Viti Levu. The quaint town of Levuka has the honour of having been Fiji’s very first capital where King Cakobau reigned and where the deed of cession to Queen Victoria was signed in 1874. Many of the old buildings in the town have remained nearly unchanged since the late 1800s. View less
Here one can find Fiji’s first government school, the popular Ovalau Club, and the “Cession Stone” commemorating the signing of the Deed of Cession. Just outside the city, it is possible to hike through pristine rainforest and take in the magnificent natural beauty of the surrounding area.
Leleuvia is a small low-lying island southeast of Ovalau with a length of barely 500 meters. Situated between the chiefly island of Bau, Moturiki and Ovalau, almost equidistant from Ovalau and the Central Eastern coast of Viti Levu, this lush, green island hosts a small resort. An easily accessible reef with many colorful reef fish 10 meters off of Leleuvia’s western beach invites to be explored. Resident sea kraits are often seen resting ashore north of the small pier. View less
Despite its small size and the resort on its southern side, the island still has quite an extensive forest of tamanu (Alexandrian laurel), lantern trees, fish-poison trees and beach gardenia. There are also local clusters of beach hibiscus, beach heliotrope and Pacific rosewood where Sacred Kingfishers, Orange-breasted Honeyeaters, and Pacific Swallows have been recorded.
Lomé is the capital of Togo, in West Africa. It’s known for its palm-lined Atlantic coastline. The central Independence Monument is in a landscaped traffic circle. The nearby Congressional Palace houses the National Museum, exhibiting West African jewelry, masks, musical instruments and pottery. To the northeast, the Akodésséwa Fetish Market sells voodoo items like animal skins and skulls. ― Google
The cobia is a species of carangiform marine fish, the only representative of the genus Rachycentron and the family Rachycentridae. Other common names include black kingfish, black salmon, ling, lemonfish, crabeater, prodigal son and black bonito.
As part of the Southern Lau Group, Fulanga is one of Fiji’s easternmost islands. Fulanga has a large central lagoon with a 50-meter wide pass to the ocean on its northeastern side. The crescent-shaped raised limestone island is famous for its numerous islands, mushroom-shaped islets and many sandy beaches in the calm lagoon. Some 400 residents live in three small villages.
The two villages of Muana-i-rai and Muana-i-cake are quite close together on the southern exterior side with a very narrow passage allowing access to the ocean, while Naividamu, the third village, is on the interior, i.e. lagoon side. Muana-i-cake is the main village and hosts the kindergarten and primary school, a post office and first aid station. Old-style houses made of corrugated iron are predominant with limited solar power for the odd refrigerator and television set. Although many islanders have left Fulanga to look for work in Suva, traditional crafts are still practiced by men and women. The weavers and carvers producing pandanus mats and wooden bowls for kava ceremonies are not only valued on Fulanga. Their products can leave on the monthly supply vessel and is highly sought after in Suva.
With a population of 6,000, Neiafu is the capital of the Vava’u Group and the second largest municipality in the Polynesian nation of Tonga (a 169-island archipelago in the South Pacific). The city is situated next to a deep- water harbor (Port of Refuge) on the south coast of Vava’u, the main island of the Vava’u archipelago in northern Tonga. The waters of this region are known for their clarity and beauty, and the area attracts many humpback whales between June and November. View less
A popular destination in Neiafu is the ‘Ene’io Botanical Garden, a bird sanctuary that promotes the survival of exotic and native bird species as well as supports and conserves a diverse array of plant life.
The low-lying atoll of Palmerston is inhabited by three families, all descendants of William Marsters (1831-1899). Members of the community are known to greet visitors and guide small boats and Zodiacs into the lagoon through a maze of coral reef to reach the only inhabited islet –commonly called “Home”. Once ashore, the whole community generally turns out to meet visitors as it is a rare occurrence. View less
The island’s highlights include a church, the oldest house, the cemetery, the school, the underground gardens and “Duke’s Pool,” inviting for a swim or snorkel. In the lagoon’s waters it is possible to find colorful reef-fish, sea cucumbers, rays, and sea turtles. Overhead there is birdlife including tropicbirds, boobies, noddies, frigatebirds and terns.
When Lonely Planet co-founder describes somewhere as “the world’s most beautiful island” you can be sure that you are in for a treat. Incredible Aitutaki, inspiring Aitutaki, unbelievable, idyllic and unimaginable, there are simply not enough superlatives to describe quite how amazing Aitutaki is. Brought to light in 1779 by Captain Bligh, the Mutiny on the Bounty meant that Aitutaki has something of a bloodthirsty history.
While Europeans missionaries eventually settled on the island in the 19th century (evidenced by the white, coral-encrusted walls of the many churches) the island’s Polynesian history dates to around 900AD. Traditional songs and dances from this period still exist (although Christian hymns, known as “imene metua” are also popular), and are performed by islanders with gusto and much pride. The island is part of the Cook Islands, one of the most secluded and romantic archipelagos in the world. With its powder white sand, warm turquoise waters and sense of casual luxury, it is easy to see why the island has earnt itself the moniker of honeymooner’s island. However, there is much more to Aitutaki than just fun in the sun. With a reef that completely encompasses a large turquoise lagoon, Aitutaki is considered one of the most spectacular diving and snorkelling destinations in the world. Added to the tropical excitement is that when entering the main village via Zodiac along a narrow channel – travellers will be greeted by a traditional and customary warrior challenge.
If you have ever dreamt up your ideal island holiday, we suspect it goes something like this: Soapy blue seas? Check. Sparkling white beaches? Check. Thatched wooden huts, gently sloping palm trees and kaleidoscopic marine life? Check, check and check. And yet, even by ticking every box, first time viewing of Bora Bora still beggars belief. This tropical hideaway less than 12 m2 in the heart of the South Pacific has been toping travel wish lists for years.
Long considered the realm of honeymooners – spectacularly romantic sunsets are a speciality – Bora Bora is not just for wandering with your love. If the prismatic shades of blue of the world’s most beautiful lagoon do not fill you up, then perhaps underwater scooters and aqua Safaris will charge your batteries. If exploring Bora Bora’s lush hinterland is more your glass of tequila sunrise, then trips around the island (often stopping off at the celebrity haunt Bloody Mary Restaurant & Bar) are a must. Bora Bora’s peaceful ambience has not always been the case. The island was a US supply base, known as “Operation Bobcat” during WWII. During this time, Bora Bora was home to nine ships, 20,000 tons of equipment and nearly 7,000 men. Eight massive 7-inch naval cannons were installed around the island, all but one of which is still in place. Although little is known of the history of the island, it is known that Bora Bora was called Vava’u in ancient times. This supports belief that the island was colonised by Tongans prior to French annex in 1888.
The largest of the Leeward Islands, Raiatea is totally surrounded by a reef but has several navigable passes and the only navigable river in French Polynesia. Raiatea shares a protected lagoon with the island of Taha’a; legends tell how the two islands were cut apart by a mythical eel. Although it has no beaches, there are picture-postcard motus (flat reef islets) with nice beaches in the lagoon. One of the nicest things about Raiatea is that it remains “undiscovered” by most visitors to French Polynesia. Before European encroachment, Raiatea was the religious, cultural and political center of Tahiti-Polynesia. It was also Captain Cook’s favorite island. The last resistance to the French takeover on the island lasted until 1897, when French troops and warships used arms to conquer the island. The native leader of the resistance, Teraupoo, was deported to New Caledonia. Raiatea is an archaeologist’s delight. Scientists have unearthed artifacts linking the island with Hawaii. Local tradition says Raiatea was the great jumping-off point for ancient Polynesian mariners. There are a significant number of marae (Tahitian temples), including Taputapuatea. Considered the most important temple in the Society Islands, it is a national monument. In Uturoa, the main port, the colorful market is most crowded on Wednesday and Friday mornings when the Tahaa people arrive by motorized canoe to sell their products. Behind Uturoa, you can climb Tapioi Hill, one of the easiest and best climbs in Tahiti-Polynesia, and get a great view of four islands. Near the village of Pufau, Mount Temehani is the highest point on the island and the only home in the world of the Tiare Apetahi flower.
Raiatea is the second largest of the Society Islands, after Tahiti, in French Polynesia. The island is widely regarded as the “centre” of the eastern islands in ancient Polynesia and it is likely that the organised migrations to the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand and other parts of East Polynesia started at Raiatea.
Formed by two ancient volcanoes and joined at the isthmus of Taravao, Tahiti is the largest island of the Society Archipelago and the economic heart of French Polynesia. Ever since the famous French impressionist painter Paul Gauguin immortalized Tahitian maidens in vibrant colors on his canvasses, Tahiti has had a mysterious allure and still summons up all the romance of the South Pacific as a tropical paradise.
Rising in the center, Mount Orohena and Mount Aorai are the highest points; deep valleys radiate in all directions from these central peaks. Steep slopes drop abruptly from the high plateaus to coastal plains. The northeast coast is rugged and rocky without a barrier reef, and thus exposed to intense, pounding surf. Villages lie on a narrow strip between mountains and ocean. The south coast is broad and gentle with large gardens and coconut groves; a barrier reef shields it from the sea.
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