You won't find Fiji's best beaches on Viti Levu, but excursions to the Mamanuca group's lovely sands leave daily from Port Denarau, near Nadi, returning you back in time for Fiji's best restaurants and five-star hotels. Other easy trips are possible to one of the surrounding uninhabited islands, where you'll experience the tranquil simplicity of secluded white sands and the Pacific's warm, clear waters.
If you want to explore on your own, just rent a car at the airport and follow your nose. The island's southern half is full of magnificent natural wonders, each within a few hours' drive of every hotel, and practically everything is either on or just off the highway that circumnavigates the island. You can visit the old colonial capital of Suva; the sugar cane town of Lautoka; or dive the Vatu-I-Ra, which is off the northern branch of the King Highway, halfway between Suva and Nadi. You can climb millennia-old sand dunes or kayak through a prehistoric setting capped by 300-foot black volcanic rock walls, and swim with sharks as they're fed within one of the world's largest barrier reefs, in Pacific Harbour. You can recount the experience by one of the multiple bars or pools at a huge resort on the Coral Coast. On the urban side, you can have your pick of handicrafts in Nadi, fine-dine on a bevy of cuisines in Suva, feel the local Indo-Fijian vibe by the waterfront in Lautoka, and discover the Melanesian lifestyle around a kava bowl in a village anywhere along the way.