Situated on Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu and spanning a distance of 80 kilometres (50 miles) along the main coast road which connects the major towns of Suva and Nadi is an area known as the Coral Coast.
A remarkably attractive region, it was here that international tourism begun in the 1950s when Fiji’s first truly international resort-style hotel was built, and visitors from nearby Australia and New Zealand began arriving to soak up the charms of the Fiji coast.
Although Fiji is now internationally renowned for the quality of its luxury resorts, it was here that the concept of the bure was born. A bure is the re-creation of a traditional Fijian dwelling that has been modified to offer luxury living for visitors, and is a concept that is now common throughout resorts the world over.
Even though there are now more exclusive resorts on private islands, the Coral Coast is still the most popular destination for holiday makers, thanks to the number of great resorts which dot the stretch of coastline, and the number of natural attractions in the area.
Being a tropical island it’s a given that the beautiful beaches and bays, offshore reefs and smaller islands will attract those who just wish to relax by sunbathing, sailing, snorkelling or diving. The resorts will cater to just about every whim, and they are great places for those who wish to pamper themselves with spas, fine dining and luxurious accommodation.
Fortunately, the Coral Coast also has plenty to offer those visitors who are seeking more of a local experience.
Fijian culture is very strong in the area, and traditional arts and crafts can easily be learnt at some of the local villagers. The Fijians are very open and welcoming people and are quite happy to share their culture. Visitors are encouraged to participate in kava ceremonies and cultural shows that are much more inclusive than you would first think.
One fascinating place to visit is the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park which is the result of erosion in the coastal hinterland and coastal dune forming processes. This extensive dune system covers an area of 650 hectares and comprises a series of parabolic sand dunes of various ages. Being natural sand dunes they go through a constant state of change.
The dunes are very impressive and range in size from around 20m to 60m in height. The dunes have been forming over millions of years and archaeological excavations here show evidence of long time human occupation as scientists have uncovered pottery more than 2600 years old, as well as one of the largest burial sites in the Pacific.