Fiji is a small island nation that is located in the South Pacific Ocean. It is approximately 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km; 1,300 mi) northwest of New Zealand’s North Island. The nation of Fiji is made up of 322 islands and more than 500 islets. Its total land area is just 18,274 km2 (7,056 sq mi) and it has a population of approximately 850,000 people. The capital city of Fiji is Suva which is also the nation’s largest city with a population of 89,000. It is located on the south east coast of Viti Levu Island. Most of the population of Fiji resides on this island.
Interesting facts about Fiji
- Fiji is officially known as the Republic of Fiji.
- The motto of Fiji is Rerevaka na Kalou ka Doka na Tui which translated means “fear God and honor the Queen.”
- The official Languages of Fiji are English, Bau Fiji and Fiji Hindu.
- The Republic of Fiji covers a total area of 194,000 km2 (75,000 sq mi) of which only 10% is land.
- The highest point in the Fijian Republic is Mount Tomanivi on Viti Levu with a height of 1,324 meters (4,344 ft). Mount Tomanivi is an extinct volcano; it was previously named Mouth Victoria. All the major rivers on the Island of Viti Levu have their headwaters mid-way up this mountain.
- Fiji’s nearest neighbors are Tonga to the East and Vanuatu to the west.
- The climate in Fiji is fairly stable with a warn season from November until April and a cooler season from May until October. The maximum average temperature in the warm season is 30 °C and in the cooler season the average daily temperature is 22 °C (72 °F). Fiji also experiences tropical cyclones.
- Fiji is a popular tourist destination and tourism is very important to the Fijian economy.
- Fiji gained independence from the United Kingdom on 10 October 1970 and became a republic on 28 September 1987.
- The population of Fiji is mostly made up of native Fijians and Indo-Fijians. The Indo-Fijians are descendants of Indian labourers brought to the islands by the British. Fijian is the term used to denote those people who are indigenous to Fiji. Fiji Islanders or Nationals is used to describe people who have citizenship in Fiji.
- The Fijian Military has been part of peace keeping operations for the UN in various parts of the world.
- Since the country became independent there have been four military coups in Fiji (two in 1987, 2000 and 2006).
- Indigenous Fijians are mainly Christian with the large majority attending the Methodist church. The Indo-Fijians are mostly Hindu and Muslim.
- Rugby Union is the most popular sport in Fiji and they have a very successful national team. Rugby league is also popular in Fiji along with soccer.