Tavuni Hill Fort

Coral Coast

Viti Levu, Western Division, Fiji, Pacific

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Image

Although there are many forts like it scattered all over Fiji, Tavuni Hill Fort is the most accessible for visitors. Built in the 18th century by Tongan chief Maile Latumai, this fort was a defensive site used in times of war and is one of Fiji’s most interesting historical sights.

The steep 90m-high limestone ridge at the edge of a bend in the Sigatoka River is an obvious strategic location for a fortification. The views over the valley are tremendous.

From this position, the surrounding area could easily be surveyed, both upstream and downstream, and the views are spectacular. Substantial earthworks were carried out to form yavu (bases for houses) and terraces for barricade fencing. There are also a number of grave sites, a rara (ceremonial ground) and a vatu ni bokola (head-chopping stone), as well as some beautiful curtain figs and an ivi (Polynesian chestnut tree) on the site.

The fort is about 4km northeast of Sigatoka on the eastern side of the river, above Naroro village. Occasional local carriers make the trip past the entrance gate. A taxi costs $5.