Fiji Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Fiji?

Overview:

Fiji is referred to as "300 islands in the sun." Of the 320 islands and islets that make up the Fiji group, only about 150 are permanently inhabited. The total land area of the country, 18,272 square kilometers (7,055 square miles). The largest island, Viti Levu, 10,386 square kilometers (4,101 square miles), has a mountainous interior penetrated by few roads. Most agricultural land and all towns are near the sea or along the river valleys. The highest point, Mt. Victoria, rises 1,323 meters (4,341 feet). Twenty-eight other peaks exceed 914 meters (3,000 feet). Vegetation on the windward side of the islands is luxuriously tropical, while grasslands prevail on the leeward sides.

The climate is warm and humid. Suva, on the eastern "wet" side of Viti Levu, averages 120 inches of rain annually. The western and northern sides of the island are drier and sunnier. Temperatures in Suva range from the high 60’s in the winter, to the mid 90’s in the summer. Most of Fiji’s sugarcane, the nation’s primary crop, is grown on the western side. Nadi (pronounced Nandi), site of the international airport, lies on the western side, benefiting from the better weather and visibility. Many of Fiji’s tourist resorts, some ranking among the best in the world, are in the West.

Geography - note:

includes 332 islands; approximately 110 are inhabited

Climate:

The wet summer season lasts from December through March. The cooler, drier winter season falls between May and October. Although temperature changes are noticeable, the average number of days of rainfall in Suva varies little from month to month. Humidity during summer is usually high, often reaching 90% and above. Fiji is in the hurricane zone. The last hurricane to hit Suva directly was Cyclone Kina, in January 1991. In March 1997, Cyclone Gavin swept through northern Vanua Levu and the northwestern part of Viti Levu, devastating several outer island-groups. Southeast trade winds blow steadily from March to October, with variable winds during the Southern Hemisphere summer.

Fiji Use of Natural Resources

Fiji Environment

Climate:

The wet summer season lasts from December through March. The cooler, drier winter season falls between May and October. Although temperature changes are noticeable, the average number of days of rainfall in Suva varies little from month to month. Humidity during summer is usually high, often reaching 90% and above. Fiji is in the hurricane zone. The last hurricane to hit Suva directly was Cyclone Kina, in January 1991. In March 1997, Cyclone Gavin swept through northern Vanua Levu and the northwestern part of Viti Levu, devastating several outer island-groups. Southeast trade winds blow steadily from March to October, with variable winds during the Southern Hemisphere summer.

Terrain:

mostly mountains of volcanic origin

Natural Resources:

timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential, hydropower

Natural Hazards:

cyclonic storms can occur from November to January

Irrigated Land:

12 Square Miles
30 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

deforestation; soil erosion

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Fiji Geography

Geographic Location Oceania
Total Area 7,056 Square Miles
18,274 Square Kilometers
Land Area 7,056 Square Miles
18,274 Square Kilometers
Irrigated Land 12 Square Miles
30 Square Kilometers
Coastline 702 Miles
1,129 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 18 00 S, 175 00 E
Terrain mostly mountains of volcanic origin
Highest Point 1,324 Meters
Highest Point Location Tomanivi 1,324 m
Lowest Point Location Pacific Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential, hydropower
Time Zone UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins first Sunday in November; ends second Sunday in January
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