The first inhabitants appeared on the Fiji archipelago in 1500 BC. e. They were Austronesians. They were engaged in fishing, farming, cattle breeding and set sail to the neighboring islands. Around the 10th century AD. Polynesians began to appear on the islands (residents of the neighboring islands of Tonga and Samoa).
The first Europeans, led by Abel Tasman, landed in Fiji in 1643. Upon arrival in Europe, they told about the local population who were engaged in cannibalism, as well as about the coral reefs surrounding the islands, which caused shipwrecks. These stories have long deterred travelers from Fiji. It wasn’t until 1774 that James Cook’s ships landed on the islands. Since then, traders began to arrive in Fiji, who exported sandalwood, trepang (shellfish) and coconut oil from here. Merchants and local residents were constantly in confrontation, because the former wanted to conquer the local lands and set up plantations on them. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Fiji.
At the end of the 19th century, the British found an approach to the leaders of the archipelago and in 1874 an act was signed on the transfer of Fiji to Great Britain. Power on the islands began to belong to the British governor, under whom the Executive and Legislative Councils acted. Plantations of grain crops, cotton, copra and sugar cane immediately appeared on the islands, and the British brought in Indians to work on them. Already in the first half of the 20th century, the number of Indians equaled the number of the indigenous population of the archipelago, which could not but cause protests from the Fijians. Moreover, the Indians began to rent land and received almost equal rights with the Fijians.
Fiji declared independence in 1970. However, the elected government was unable to resolve interethnic differences and in 1987 a military coup took place. Thousands of Indians left the islands. In 1990, Fiji adopted a constitution that proclaimed the dominance of the country’s indigenous population, however, under the influence of the world community, it was amended in 1997 to provide for equality between citizens of different origins.
Fiji is now a member of the UN and the IMF.
SOUTHERN GROUP OF ISLANDS
South of Viti Levu is a group of islands led by Kadavu Island, which is the fourth largest in the Fiji archipelago. Kadavu area 411 sq. km. Tourists come here to watch birds, walk through the local landscapes and tropical forests, as well as to explore the famous Astrolable reef among divers. On Kadava you can see the colorful Kadava parrot, which is now on the verge of extinction and is protected by the state. Kadava is considered to be the best traditional kava drink, so be sure to head to one of the island’s restaurants or bars to sample it.
West of Viti Levu is a group of volcanic islands Mamanuca, which has about 20 islands. These islands are known for being very small, densely vegetated and with beautiful sandy beaches. This is a great place for a secluded vacation. Basically, tourists come here for one day to sunbathe and swim. Beachcomber and Mana Islands are the most popular. There are no strong undercurrents here, so the surrounding reefs are great for novice divers.
The Yasawa Group
The Yasawa Islands are located to the north of the Mamanuca group of islands. Several hotels are located here. and resorts. Photographs of the sandy beaches of the Yasawa Islands can be seen in any tourist brochure because they are considered to be one of the best examples of the “Islands of Oceania”. Yasawa is home to the famous Sawa-i-Lau Cave, where the movie “The Blue Lagoon” was filmed.
This group of islands is located to the east of Viti Levu. The central island of the group is Ovalau. It has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is here that the ancient capital of Fiji – Levuka is located. The city was founded in the 18th century and became the first permanent European settlement in the Pacific Islands and the capital of Fiji. When the city could no longer accommodate the newly emerging buildings in the late 19th century, the capital was moved to the city of Suva. The heyday of Levuka fell on the colonial era, so the European spirit is present in every corner of the city. In the center of it stands the “stone of freedom”, which was installed at the site of the signing of the independence treaty between Fiji and Great Britain. Here you can see the first churches and temples of the archipelago. Numerous narrow streets branch off from the central part of Levuka, where colonial buildings are located. The city has Nasau Park, where locals relax and play sports.
The relief of the entire island of Ovalau is elevated, with a maximum elevation of about 600 m above sea level. It is crossed along and across by foot routes. The main attraction of these routes is the village of Lovoni. It is located in a volcanic crater. The village is surrounded by tropical forest, where you can visit picturesque waterfalls.
The Lau group of islands is located in the eastern part of the Fiji archipelago and is remote from the large islands. The group consists of 60 small islands. Some of them can host no more than 10 tourists, so those who want to be alone or spend their holidays alone with their soulmate will definitely like these islands.