The Lomaiviti Islands lie to the east of Viti Levu in central Fiji. In fact, the name Lomaiviti means "middle Fiji." The archipelago has nine main islands and several smaller ones that encompass a land area of 411 km² (158.7 sq mi). The three largest islands are Gau, Ovalau and Koro. Levuka on the island of Ovalau is the largest town in the Lomaivitis, with a population of about 3,000 people. It was once the capital of Fiji (between 1871 to 1882).
Most visitors to the Lomaiviti Group head to Ovalau. The island is surrounded by tall volcanic peaks with the Lovoni Valley in the center. The main town Levuka is one of the prettiest in Fiji featuring colonial buildings. Walk along its main street and you'll almost feel like in the Wild West with the only difference that you’ll also see the sparkling blue ocean and lush mountains.
You can visit museums, churches and monuments and visit great colonial-style hotels, including Fiji's first hotel (Royal Hotel), which was originally built in 1852 and after a fire rebuilt on its original foundations in 1913. Behind Levuka, there are gorgeous mountain ranges and hiking trails that lead into the rainforest and to waterfalls and swimming pools.
Located northeast of Ovalau is the volcanic island of Koro, featuring a mountain range that runs through the island's center from northeast to southwest. A few villages are located in these lush tropical forests. Dere Bay is one of the places that are of interest to visitors. There's a wharf where you can walk out to a good snorkeling spot and inland is a waterfall and natural pool. Koro is also known for producing Fiji's finest kava (yaqona). It's available at a cooperative store in Nagaidamu.
Even though the island of Gau is the largest of the Lomaiviti Group (and the fifth largest in the Fijian archipelago), it is seldom visited and there are only few visitor accommodations. The island's highest peak is Delaico (760 m) and it's possible to hike up to it in about 4 hours to enjoy sweeping views. The east part of the island also has many waterfalls, the best ones up Waiboteigau Creek behind Lekanai.
Why visit the Lomaivitis?
The Lomaiviti Islands are an ideal mix if you're looking to experience Fijian culture but still have access to facilities and conveniences for visitors. The islands’ climate is moderate, not as humid and wet as Fiji's capital Suva and also not as dry and hot as Nadi. Budget travelers will like the islands of Leleuvia and Caqalai, which have good snorkeling conditions, nice sandy beaches and budget resorts. The island of Koro attracts divers, Naigani is great for families and privately-owned Wakaya leaves no wish open if you're looking to get pampered. It's where Wakaya Club is located, one of Fiji's finest and exclusive resorts.