Korolevu, on the Coral Coast, is the birthplace of Fiji tourism. A brilliant stretch of white beach dotted by copious lush vegetation, popular back-packers, hotels and resorts still line its beautiful shore.
The place that started it all is the Korolevu Beach Hotel. Built in the 1950s by pioneer hotelier Bill Clarke on 76 acres of prime real estate, it was an immediate hit with the colonial expatriates of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Long since closed, the Beach hotel’s legacy is a still-thriving tourist industry as guests continue to arrive, drawn by Fiji’s natural beauty and Fijian’s natural hospitality.
As its history suggests, The Coral Coast is well served with places to stay, with backpackers, resorts and hotels available at a range of price points.
Whether by tour bus or on your own adventure, head inland along the west bank of the Sigatoka river. Either side of the road are the patchwork of flat green fields growing the crops that give the Valley its nickname: "Fiji's Salad Bowl." Along the way are the villages of Lawai and Nakbuta, who welcome guests and offer handicrafts and pottery for sale. The drive past Nakbuta is not for those who suffer from vertigo, as the road climbs steeply along a narrow ridge, but the reward is a panoramic view across the winding Sigatoka Valley with its quilt-like fields to the right.
The road then winds to the valley floor and Sigatoka Agricultural Research Station, a popular spot for picnic lunches. From here, the roads get rough and are strictly for the four wheel drives, but even for those who turn back, this trip is a once in a lifetime glimpse at the real Fiji.
The Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park is located at the mouth of the Sigatoka River. The extensive dune system extends for several miles along the coast with dunes reaching heights of 60m (200ft). Fiji’s first National Park, this is also an archaeological site where pottery some 3000 years old has been uncovered by the shifting sands, alongside stone tools and human remains. The curious should drop into the Visitor’s centre to learn more about this unique natural location.
Kula Eco Park
Just off the Queen's Road opposite the Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji, Kula Eco Park is Fiji's only wildlife park.
The park is a cool green forest nestled in a small valley. The trees have names like Dawa, Ivi, Vutu and Vesi and tower above the valley floor filtering the sun. Visitors will hear the call of barking pigeons, the shrill of honey eaters and the constant, pulsing concert of unseen forest dwellers. This is the wild side of Fiji
Established in the late 80s and purchased by Kula Eco Park Management 1997, today the park is the an environmental showcase of the South Pacific.
Pacific Transport and Sunbeam run continuously - the ‘stopping bus’ does exactly what it says, picking up whoever waves them down from the side of the road, although there are also express services available.