Less than a two-hour drive south from Fiji’s international airport in Nadi, along the scenic Queens Road, is the Coral Coast. While it’s a popular place to stretch your legs on the drive between Nadi and Suva, the area is also much more than a pit stop. You’ll find a 50-mile (80-kilometer) expanse of beaches, bays, forests and spectacular rocky outcrops.
Peppered with small towns and luxury resorts, the Coral Coast’s main attraction is the fringing reef that virtually kisses the sandy shores. The shallow shelf is a perfect destination for stress-free snorkeling. With no boats or dive tanks to worry about, simply walk off the beach to float above the reefs. The coral runs from Sigatoka to Pacific Harbor; the drop off into the South Pacific is truly astonishing. Korolevu is one of the more popular snorkeling areas.
For scuba divers, there are plenty of destinations and opportunities. Sign on for an exhilarating shark dive in Beqa Lagoon and get up-close to eight different shark species, giant groupers and eagle rays.
The Coral Coast offers plenty of land-based adventure too. Visit the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. Naturally created by fluvial erosion, the area covers 2.5 square miles (6.5 square kilometers) and consists of towering dunes formed over millions of years. Visit before 11 a.m. and after 3 p.m. when the dunes are at their most photogenic, and to avoid the mid-day heat.
Book a tour to explore the wide, cool reaches of the Sigatoka River, or visit the rare, endangered and recovering species at the Kula Eco Park.
Sigatoka is the region’s main center and a great place to explore should a rain cloud chase you off the beach. Predominately an Indian town, it features an ornate Hare Krishna temple. Sample a Fijian-style curry and Indian sweets, and browse craft, clothing and jewelry at the bustling central marketplace.
With its stylish resorts, world-class snorkeling, thriving villages and towns, and a little Indian spice, the Coral Coast offers a complete Fiji experience.