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.
Resorts dot the many beautiful bays and beaches along the coastline and are available at a range of price points. Many resorts are isolated on their own stretch of beach but a cluster of resorts and restaurants can be found at Korotogo just outside Sigatoka town.
Whether by tour bus or on your own 4WD adventure, you can grab a quick bite to eat in Sigatoka town before heading inland along the river to the heart of the island. The patchwork of fertile crop fields give the Valley its nickname: "Fiji's Salad Bowl." Visit the villages of Lawai and Nakabuta, who welcome guests and offer handicrafts and pottery for sale or stopover at a scenic spot for a quick swim and picnic.
Jetboat safaris and ATV cave tours can also be booked for jaunts upriver.
The Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park rise steeply at the mouth of the Sigatoka River. The extensive dunes - unusual for a tropical island - extends for several miles along the coast reaching heights of 60m (200ft). The Park is also an archaeological site where early Lapita settlements dating back some 3000 years have been uncovered by shifting sands. If you're a fan of wild beauty, excellent walks and archeological sites, then the Dunes are a must-do. Morning visits - before the blazing heat of midday - is the best time to visit.
Kula Wild Adventure Park
Fiji's only wildlife park - Kula Wild Adventure Park - is located just opposite the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort in Korotogo.
The Park is nestled in a small forested valley where native food and timber trees tower above the valley floor filtering sunlight and enabling an enjoyable walk through the cool forest. Visitors will hear the call of barking pigeons, the shrill of honey eaters and the constant, pulsing concert of unseen canopy dwellers. This is about as wild as Fiji gets.
The Park doubles as a captive breeding facility for some of Fiji's endangered native wildlife like the peregrine falcon, Fiji ground frog and crested iguana which are regularly released into their natural environments. It also operates as a free education facility for local schoolchildren.
DiningMost dining options are confined to the resorts but restaurants and markets at Korotogo and Sigatoka town are worth a visit for some local flavour. Head down to the Sigatoka food market on weekends when they burst with fruit and vegetable from the Valley.
Buses run continuously between the Nadi International Airport and Suva on the opposite coast of Viti Levu. 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.