Fiji is certainly a popular holiday destination. Many travellers head to this beautiful South Pacific nation to unwind by the pool of a beautiful resort, to explore the marine life in the adjacent crystal-clear waters or to go in search of an island adventure. Here at Escape Travel, we think Fiji is a fantastic country and thought we’d compile some fascinating trivia facts to make your Fijian holiday experience all the more informed.
Here are our top five trivia facts on Fiji.
Similar to the Australian and New Zealand flags, the Fijian flag also has the Union Jack in the top left corner. The British formally took control of the islands in 1874 and granted the country independence just under a century later in 1970. English remains today as the country’s official language, together with Fijian.
There are more than 330 islands within the Fiji archipelago, of which around 100 islands are permanently inhabited. Despite the incredible mass of separate islands, the bulk of the Fiji population, around 87 per cent, live on two islands – Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Despite having so many separate islands, the entire land mass is still considerably smaller than Tasmania.
Descendants of Indian contractors brought to Fiji by the British make up almost 40 per cent of the population. Indian labour was used on the sugar plantations.
Around half a million travellers holiday in Fiji each year. Many visitors relax in one of the resorts, while others appreciate the terrific snorkelling opportunities – the waters are home to 1,500 marine creatures.
Early European Exploration
Abel Tasman was the first European to sight Fiji. It is believed that he saw Vanua Levu in 1643 but didn’t land on Fiji’s largest island. Tasman is also the first European adventurer to reach Tasmania and New Zealand. Incidentally, Captain Bligh after the mutiny was apparently chased by Fijian tribes.