Far Off Fiji, The Islands Of Your Dreams
Imagine the relief of early explorers who had slogged their way around the tip of South American only to find nothing on the other side but ocean...lots and lots of ocean. And then came Fiji.
Fiji is technically a republic, consisting of the islands in a South Pacific archipelago off the northeast shores of Australia. The majority of the population lives on the two main islands, Viti Levu and Vanau Levu. Out of the 800 islands that fall within the Republic of Fiji, only 100 are populated on any regular basis, partly because of freshwater supply problems, and also the isolation.
Although closer to Australia, the first inhabitants were nomadic ocean travelers from southern Asia, who arrived long before the British explorers that claimed the islands for England in the 1700s. The fact that the Brits imported so much labor from India, accounts for the two main ethnic cultures that exist today, one being native Fjians, and the other Indo-Fijians.
After gaining independence in 1970, political upheavals badly damaged the economy, particularly when some of the warring factions left the islands, taking a good percentage of the population with them. But the resurgence of the fishing and agricultural industries as well as sugar cane processing and the 350,000 tourists that arrive every year, have restored its financial health, and resurrected its reputation as the islands of your dream vacation.