Once a wild whaling outpost, diminutive LEVUKA is now a charming seaside town on the island of Ovalau. Its laid-back atmosphere is epitomized by its weathered yet colourful clapboard buildings, most of which now function as Chinese or Indian-run stores, so packed full of goods and groceries it’s difficult to poke around without bumping into someone. Outside, the pillared pavement is where the town’s residents meet for a gossip. The town has a rich Fijian and colonial heritage and the best way to learn about it is by walking and talking with the genuinely hospitable locals, either on a guided walking tour or on a home visit arranged through the museum at the Morris Hedstrom building on Beach Street.

The main thoroughfare of Levuka town, misleadingly named Beach Street, passes between the rocky seawall and the town’s most historic buildings. It’s a simple tar-sealed track where dogs roam and people wander back and forth unconcerned about the occasional carrier van that trundles along.

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