Coral Coast Fiji
The Coral Coast is one of Fiji’s most popular holiday destinations for good reason. Located on the south west coast of Viti Levu, the Coral Coast stretches 130km and is accessible by road from either Nadi or Suva. The area comes with longstanding tourism credentials, welcoming foreign visitors to Fiji’s shores for around 40-odd years. International resorts through to budget backpacker lodges and everything in between are dotted between rural villages either side of coastal Queens Road, the main link between Nadi and Suva.
Protected from onshore swells by a fringing reef, the coast is a mix of white sand and coral beaches. Most beaches offer calm swimming conditions for families with young children while others are strictly for keen surfers when South Pacific conditions are right. In fact some of the best beach breaks in Fiji can be found along the Coral Coast. The mouth of the Sigatoka (pronounced Sing-a-toe-ka) River and offshore from Hideaway Resort are two well known breaks that can be reached from the beach.
Sigatoka is the regional centre for the Coral Coast, sitting on the banks of the Sigatoka River. A trader’s town, Sigatoka is a mix of Indigenous Fijian and Indo-Fijian Indian population with Hindu temples, mosques and Indian retail merchants throughout the town. This melding of cultures makes Sigatoka a terrific place to taste a unique melding of Indian-influenced Fijian cuisine in restaurants and takeaways. A bustling central market comes alive with a fusion of vendors selling fruits and vegetables from outlying village crops along with souvenirs and handicrafts. Get there early in the morning to soak up all the colours and aromas of the market when it’s lively and bristling with energetic vendors bursting with enthusiasm.
Near the mouth of the Sigatoka River natural erosion has heaped crushed coral sand into an extensive coastal dune system that has been evolving for thousands of years. Nominated as Fiji’s first National Park in 1989, archaeologists have unearthed ancient treasures and human remains beneath the ever-shifting sands. Artefacts unearthed including pottery and stone tools dating back 2,600 years are on display in the Fiji Museum in Suva.
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