Fiji is an island nation located in Oceania that is close to Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Fiji had a population of approximately 900,000 as of 2016 and the country is made up of over 330 islands, of which over 100 are populated. Here’s a list of other fun and interesting Fiji facts:
- Most of the islands that make up Fiji were created over 150 million years ago as a result of volcanic activity: There are a number of dormant volcanoes across Fiji, but it has been hundreds of years since the last eruption.
- While the population of Fiji is spread across 100 inhabited islands, almost 90% of Fijians live on the two main islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu: Suva is the capital city of Fiji and is located on Viti Levu with a population of around 200,000.
- Fiji’s highest mountain is Mount Tomanivi, an extinct volcano: Tomanivi rises to a height of 4,344 ft (1,324 metres): The mountain is the last location on earth that the critically endangered red-throated lorikeet has been sighted.
- The worst cyclone to ever hit Fiji was Cyclone Winston, which struck in February 2016: Winston is the only Category 5 cyclone to hit Fiji, and it claimed the lives of over 44 Fijians, as well as causing over US$1 billion in damage.
- Rising 14 storeys above Suva, the nation’s tallest building is the Reserve Bank of Fiji Building: It was first opened in 1984, and despite other potential projects it still remains Fiji’s tallest building to this day.
- Tourism is a key part of the economy, with approximately 750,000 visitors to the nation on an annual basis: Australians make up the largest foreign market with nearly 400,000 annual visitors, while New Zealand (100,000) and the US (50,000) are other key markets.
- Rugby Union is by far the most popular sport in Fiji, and the local team is quite successful: Fiji has twice won the Rugby World Cup Sevens, while its national sevens side has won the Hong Kong Sevens tournament more than any other team.
- Fiji has a wealth of internationally famous sportspeople: These include golfer Vijay Singh, wrestler Jimmy Snuka and NFL/CFL star Bobby Singh.
- The nation’s first gold medal in the Olympics was won at Rio in 2016: The Fiji rugby team triumphed 43-7 against Great Britain to claim gold.
- Fiji’s national flag was adopted in 1970 and remains unchanged despite the nation becoming a republic in 1987: It still features the Union Jack, a throwback to Fiji’s colonial days.