of Fiji


I discovered that Fiji consists of 18,376 square km of land and includes about 330 islands (depending on how many reefs and tiny islets you take into consideration), of which about 100 are inhabited. The largest island and population center is Viti Levu, which has an area of 10,388 square km--slightly smaller that the big island of Hawai'i.

Vanua Levu, located northeast of Viti Levu, is the second largest island and is a bit more than half the size of Viti Levu.

Taveuni, the Garden Island of Fiji and a popular dive destination, lies to the east of Vanua Levu separated from it by the Somosomo Strait. Also a major scuba spot, and tied with Taveuni as the third largest island in the archipelago is Kadavu, which lies to the south of Viti Levu.

Fiji's remaining islands are small and are divided into three main groups-- Lomaiviti, Lau and the Yasawas. A smaller cluster of islands, home to many popular resorts, is the Mamanuca Group just offshore from Viti Levu's west coast.

I stayed near Suva, a seaport town on the SE coast of Viti Levu and also stayed on one of the very small islands that surround the bigger islands.

The population of Fiji is about 750,000, volcanic in origin, the highest point is 4,341 feet. First sighted by Abel Tasman in 1643 and explored by Captain James Cook in 1774. Fiji was declared a republic in 1987 following a military coup against the Commenwealth of Great Britain.

Location: Oceania, island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates: 18 00 S, 175 00 E

Map references: Oceania

total area: 18,270 sq km
land area: 18,270 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 1,129 km

Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation; rectilinear shelf claim added
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation

Terrain: mostly mountains of volcanic origin
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Tomanivi 1,324 m

Natural resources: timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential

Land use:
arable land: 8%
permanent crops: 5%
meadows and pastures: 3%
forest and woodland: 65%
other: 19%

Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1989 est.)

Environment: current issues: deforestation; soil erosion
natural hazards: cyclonic storms can occur from November to January

international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Whaling

Geographic note: includes 332 islands of which approximately 110 are inhabited


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