Location and Geographical Primer
Volcanic in origin, Fiji is a group of islands located in the South Pacific approximately 4,450 km (2,775 mi) southwest of Honolulu and 1,770 km (1,100 mi) north of New Zealand. Flight time to Fiji is 10 hours from Los Angeles; four hours from Sydney; slightly over two hours from Auckland and about six hours from Honolulu.
Of the 322 islands and 522 smaller islets making up the archipelago, approximately 106 are permanently inhabited.The largest island Viti Levu, covers about 57 of the nation’s land area and has the two largest metropolitan areas (the capital Suva, and Lautoka). It also hosts and most of the other major towns, ie, Ba, Nasinu, and Nadi (the site of the international airport), and contains some 69 of the population. The second largest island, Vanua Levu, is 64 km to the north of Viti Levu, covers just over 30 of the land area and is home to some 15 of the population. The two major communities there are main towns are Labasa and Savusavu.
Other islands and island groups make up only 2.5 % of the land area. These include Taveuni and Kadavu (the third and fourth largest islands respectively), the Mamanuca Group (just off Nadi), and Yasawa Group (north of the Mamanucas), the Lomaiviti Group (located geographically in the center of the archipelago), and the distant Lau Group which is seldom visited by tourists. The only major town on any of the smaller islands is Fiji’s former capital Levuka, located on the island of Ovalau.