The Republic of Fiji (Fij. Matanitu Tu-Vaka-i-koya ko Viti, Fij.
Hindi Fidźi Ganaradźja) is an independent state in Oceania in the
east of Melanesia. Located in the Fiji archipelago in the
southwestern Pacific Ocean, north of New Zealand, east of Vanuatu,
south of Tuvalu and west of Tonga.
The modern name of Fiji
comes from the distorted name of the country's main island, Viti
Levu, namely its Tongan pronunciation. Since ancient times, the
inhabitants of the islands of Tonga had close ties with the Fijians,
who were considered brave warriors and cruel cannibals in the
region, and their weapons and other products were in great demand.
The Fijians called their homeland "Viti" (Fij. Viti), but the
Tongans pronounced it as "Fisi" (Tong. Fisi). Subsequently, this
word was distorted by Europeans, namely the British navigator James
Cook, who first put on the map the modern name of the islands -
The Melanesian state of Fiji is a cluster of volcanic
and coral islands located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The
country's capital, Suva, is located approximately 1,770 km north of
New Zealand and approximately 4,450 km southwest of the US state of
Hawaii. The nearest archipelagos are the islands of Futuna (Horn),
belonging to the French territory of Wallis and Futuna and located
northeast of the Fiji islands, the islands of Tonga, lying to the
east and belonging to the same state, as well as the New Hebrides,
located to the west and belonging to Vanuatu.
Fiji has a
total area of 18,274 km² (- 18,074 km²). The country is located on
332 islands, of which only one third of the islands are inhabited.
The largest of them are the islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu,
whose area is 10 429 km² and 5556 km², respectively. About 70% of
the country's population lives on the island of Viti Levu. It has
the three largest cities in Fiji (Suva, Nadi and Lautoka), as well
as the main airport. Other major islands are Taveuni (470 km²),
Kandavu (411 km²), Ngau (140 km²) and Koro (104 km²). Most Fiji
islands are grouped into island groups, the largest of which are
Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Kandava, Lomaivichi, Yasawa, Mamanuta, Lau
and Moala. The country also includes the island of Rotuma (43 km²),
located about 650 km northwest of the city of Suva. From the
north-west to the southeast, Fiji islands stretch for 595 km (not
including Rotuma island), and from the north-east to the south-west
- 454 km. The highest point of the country, Mount Tomanivi, reaches
1324 m and is located on the island of Viti Levu.
northernmost island of Fiji is the Uea island, which is part of the
Rotuma island group, the westernmost and at the same time the
southernmost is the Tevaira reef, the easternmost is Vatoa.