The scenic Queens Road passes through countless fishing villages alongside the winding bays of South Viti Levu. A fabulous beach, Natadola, lies within an hour’s drive south of Nadi. To the east is the region’s main town, Sigatoka, a rather uninspiring market centre. However, in its immediate vicinity are several worthy attractions, including the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park and Tavuni Hill Fort. Beyond Sigatoka the sunny climate and sugarcane fields give way to cloud-clad mountains, which descend towards the picturesque lagoons of the Coral Coast. Graced by white sandy beaches, this was where tourism first began in Fiji and it’s still home to a wide range of resorts, from large family-friendly complexes to budget resorts tucked away in secluded bays. Further east is Pacific Harbour, with the fabulous Beqa Lagoon offshore for scuba diving and game fishing, and the oppressive virgin rainforest of the Namosi Highlands offering remote riverside villages, pristine waterfalls and whitewater rafting. From here, the bustling, rain-drenched capital city of Suva (see Chapter 4) is just forty minutes’ drive along the coast.

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