Levuka Travel Blog› entry 6 of 22 › view all entries
Ovalau,roughly oval in shape,is the principal island of the Lomaitivi group.This small(13 kilometers long and 11 km large),volcanic island with little flat land, is located just off the East coast of Vitu Levu,the main island of Fiji(Nadi,Suva the Fijian capital).
Ovalau is a fascinating destination because it is the place where Fijian nation came into being with Levuka,the old colonial capital of Fiji.
THINGS TO DO IN OVALAU:
-Hiking around Lovoni,the village in a crater with Nox,a gardener of LevukaHomestay or with Epi's Midland Tour Phone:602 1103
-Watching for whales from May to September.
-Diving in Levuka Passage and Levuka wharf with Ovalau Watersports(www.owlfiji.
-Snorkelling around Caqalai and Leleuvia with Ovalau Watersports
-Wandering in Levuka's colonial streets and meeting the residents with a friendly Bula.
HOW TO GET THERE:
BY BOAT DONT FLY AIR FIJI! they are unreliable:(We had cancelled flights at the last minute).
Patterson Brothers Shipping,a ferry service ( phone 344 0125 in Levuka,331 5644 in Suva) situated Beach street in Levuka,near the Bomber's building,offer a bus/ferry trip from Suva to Levuka.This involves about three and
a half hours on a bus and one hour on a ferry,departing Suva at 1.00 pm and the return bus to Suva
departs Levuka at 4.
LEVUKA,off the beaten tourist track has the ambience of a 19th century town with its old colonial buildings,narrow streets,number of
churches,including Methodist,Catholic,Anglican,Assemblies of God,Seventh Day Adventists,Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Days
Saints,Jehova's Witness,Hindu and Muslim...
There is no real beach in Levuka.
The first European sandalwood traders stopped there in 1806 and settled in 1830.
Despite burnings by the Lovoni people,Levuka grew and flourished,attracted traders,cotton growers,beachcombers,missionaries,coconut planters...
In 1874,Fiji became a British colony and Levuka the first capital of Fiji(the capital was shifted to Suva in 1881).
At the end of the 19th,trade was also shifted to Suva and in the late 1950s,Levuka lost its last trade,the coprah trade.
But fortunately in 1964,a Japanese firm built a tunna cannery(PAFCO) employing now,after a joint venture with the Fijian governement in 1976 over 1000 people(mostly women), in freezing and canning tunna exported to Canada and Europe.
THINGS TO DO IN LEVUKA:
-Wandering along Beach street,especially on Sunday!
-Going to church?
-Having a drink in the Royal Hotel www.royallevuka.com ,the oldest hotel of South Pacific managed for 2 generations
by the Ashleys .It's load with atmosphere,especially on a rainy Sunday!
-Enter the Levuka Community Centre and Museum,situated in an old store belonging to Morris Hestrom and Co
-Visit the Sacred Heart Church ,with its French clock,built by the Marist Fathers
-See the Levuka Public School(1879),the oldest public school in Fiji and
-The Ovalau Club,in a colonial house,don't worry about the Member's only sign!
-The Nasova House ,1 km south of the wharf ,once the governor's residence and the Provincial Bure where the Prince Charles ,during the transition to independance in 1970,had his headquarters.
-The first Masonic lodge in South Pacific,burnt in the 2000 coup
-The chief's House with its particular roof
-Climbing with the permission of the Chief ,Gun Rock and get a great Levuka overview....
The MOON GUIDE is the best for Fiji!