Fiji-Islands

Catamaran Yacht Charter - Pacific Ocean - Fiji Islands

Overview

The Fiji archipelago has 322 islands and over 1000 islets with a total land area of 1.3 Mio sq km. There is a large variety from large and high volcanic islands to small coral atolls, 106 islands are inhabited with 750 000 people – Melanesians, Indians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Chinese and Europeans. This mix of people gives a rich culture and diverse cuisine on the Fiji islands. The country has a great variety of traditional customs such as kava drinking or fire walking.

This fascinating landform and seascapes offers blue lagoons and white beaches and open hillsides and lush rainforests. Together with the diverse culture it makes this group of islands to a very varied area.

Tourism

There is a great touristy infrastructure with holiday resorts, excellent restaurants, night life and sport activities like diving, snorkelling, hiking, biking, kayaking, surfing sailing with outrigger canoes and many guided tours. And there are good flight connections. Even in a 4 weeks vacation you can barely scratch the surface of all what this group of fascinating islands can offer. But Fiji is not much crowded like Hawaii and not so expensive like French Polynesia and the friendly people and the good communication in English makes it to a real travellers country.

People

Nearly half of the population are Fijians and nearly the other half Indians. Between these 2 groups is tension and unrest. The Indians who are descendants from imported labour force for the sugar fields under the British authorities have a sense for business, trade and money. They dominate the business live. But they don’t have all the right the Fijians have. The Fijians dominate the local authorities.

Main language is Fijian, but Fijian Indians speak Hindi or Hindustan. English is the second official language and is almost understood by everyone in the Fijis.

Customs

Fijians regardless if Indians or Melaneese are very tradition oriented people especially on the outer islands. For cruising yachts there are strict guidelines how to behave when visiting the island villages. Some examples: dress and behaviour codes, bring kava root presents when you arrive as a gift, make a first visit to the elder chief just after arrival and get his blessings. Special customs in the Fijis are fire walking, kava ceremonies, presentation of the Tabua (tooth of sperm whales), rising of the Baloho (caviar of the Pacific) end of October.

Climate

Fiji has a mild tropical climate. From Mai to August – the time when Neveland will sail between the Fijis – a constant SE trade wind blow and it is drier and cooler.

Economy

Tourism is the No. 1 industry. It contributes with over 32 % to the gross domestic product, but compared to the tourist industry on the Hawaiian Islands it is only a small part of 5 %. Sugar farming and reefing is the second biggest industry, followed by timber, fishing, gold mining and agriculture.

Activities in the Fijis

Sports and recreation possibilities are great on these islands. Hiking is good; the villages are linked by trails. Biking, surfing, scuba diving and snorkelling, white water rafting, ocean kayaking and sailing ant there are some great golf courses on Fiji.

Sailing in the Fijis

For the sailor Fiji offers all to be a perfect sailing destination

For some outer islands a special permission is needed. The main reason for that is that the Fijians want to reserve their traditions. But permit can be obtained. Neverlands plan are to sail to these remote islands, to visit the villages and to take part in the traditional life. The 2 main ports for yachts are Suva and Lautoka. Suva the capital is the busiest centre. The Royal Suva Yacht Club is a meeting point for circumnavigation yachts. People are friendly and helpful; provisioning and repair facilities are good and all this in a relaxed atmosphere. Lautoka the 2nd largest centre offers good provisioning and is close the airport.

Sailing with Neverland in the Fijis

Because of these excellent sailing conditions Neverland will stay there for 4 months from May to August 2006. There are good flight connections from Los Angeles to the Fijis. In a 2 weeks cruise we will sail with you around the whole archipelago. You can make your own itinerary what you want to see and to discover.

Viti Levu

Viti Levu is an over 10 000 sqkm large island and inhabits the main airport in Nadi. This town has 35 000 inhabitants and has the atmosphere of a noisy airport town with hotels where people just stay for a night. So do we. The South West coast has a fringing coral reef. Here are the top resorts of the islands but there is not much of interest for yachties. Suva on the SE side is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Oceania. With 170 000 people. It has a busy port, the largest fresh product market in the Pacific and is a charming city on a on a peninsula. There are many good restaurants, bars and nightclubs and shopping facilities. For yachties the Royal Suva Yacht Club offers a lot of amenities and they are very welcoming.

The Northern part of Viti Levu has a more spectacular landscape with breathtaking views and nice villages. So there is a lot to see travelling around this island in a rental car. But the charm of the Fijis is made by the small and remote islands like The Yasawa Group, the Mamassuca Islands or Kadavu.

Mamanuca group

10 miles west of Nadi lies the Mamanuca Group with 15 islands. This archipelago is one of the hot spots in the Fijis. Sand-fringed islands surrounded by reefs, white coral beeches, excellent diving and snorkelling, game fishing, surfing and yachting are waiting for you. You find traditional Fijian villages and luxurious resorts and full touristy infrastructure. Planes and boats are going constantly to bringing people form nearby Nadi airport. The whole group of islands is about 15 miles long and 5 miles wide. Together with the Yasawa islands north of it can be a sailing ground for a full 3 weeks vacation.

Yasawa islands

A chain of 16 volcanic islands and many small islets just 20 miles west of Viti Levu. The islands stretch from North to South about 40 miles. You find cliffs and reefs, wonderful anchor bays, isolated beaches and clear water and as on the Mamanucas traditional Fijian villages next to yet-set vacation resorts. Together with the Mamanuca group and the west coast of Viti Levu with Nadi and Lautoka this sailing ground is about 100 miles long and 50 miles wide.

Kadavu

This 410 sq km island is situated 60 miles south of Suva. It is a mountainous island with waterfalls, high quality beaches and reefs and many nice anchor bays. About 10 000 inhabitants live in about 50 small villages which are scattered around the island. North of the island is the 20 miles long Astrolobe Reef, which is nearly 1 mile wide and offers a rich marine life. The reef gives shelter for 10 small islands. This area is a wonderful place for divers and yachties. The underwater visibility is about 75 meters. The Kadavu Island is one of the Top places for yachts and Neverland will definitely visit this area several times.

Lomaiviti group

The 9 islands in the centre of Fiji are of volcanic origin. The population is mostly Fijian who lives from agriculture and copra making. The islands have picturesque historic places. Main town is Levuka on the east side of the island of Ovalau once the capital of the Fijis. You find here nice restaurants and bars along the beach street. Levuka is one of the most picturesque towns in the South Pacific.

The outer islands have small villages and are sheltered by barrier reefs. You can enjoy here the traditional village life of the Fijians.

Vanua Levu

The 5600 sq km big island of Vanua Levu is worth a long stay. People are friendly and hospitable, the scenery is varied and fewer tourist come to this island compared to Viti Levu. There are a lot of Fijian villages and you will be able to experience real Fijian life. The north of the island is protected by one of the worlds longest barrier reefs and there is a lot of room to sail between reefs and islands, sometimes up to 12 miles. The north of the island is drier and has pine forests and sugar cane fields. The SE has coconut plantations. And there are many beautiful bays for anchoring; one of the biggest of the whole Pacific is Natewa Bay which goes 25 miles inland.

Savusavu is a picturesque small town on the south coast and the main port and has also a well-protected hurricane hole.

Taveuni

Taveuni is said to be one of the most beautiful scenic and friendly islands of Fiji. It is a great spot for scuba divers and for those who are in search of a more natural vacation area. The island is 40 km long and 15 km wide and 60 % of the land is under tropical rain forest. The island is surrounded by a reef. But even on this remote island there is a golf course. On the eastern side of the island there are 3 lovely waterfalls. Trails lead to the falls from where you have spectacular views and you can swim tin the pools under the waterfalls.

Lau group

This group of 57 islands on the East side is the most remote part of the Fijis. Half of the islands are inhabited. The whole group of islands is 200 miles long and 100 miles wide. Here you will find unspoiled environment of palm-fringed beaches like in postcards. On most islands there is no organized accommodations and no other touristy infrastructure. But it is a great area for sailing. No wonder that Neverland is planning to stay here for some wile.

The Fijians live here a very traditional life style and traditional large outrigger canoes are still built. The Lau Group is ideal for a 2 weeks vacation sailing cruise with Neverland. It will be one of the high lights of our circumnavigation.