Welcome to Labasa
Labasa (pronounced ‘Lam-basa’), Vanua Levu’s administrative centre, is a dusty sugar and timber town that doesn’t hold much allure for the average traveller. Sitting about 5km inland on the sweltering banks of the Labasa River and reclaimed mangrove swamps, the top sights in town are a large sugar mill and the seasonal trains that ka-chunk bushels of cane through Labasa’s centre. The local population is predominantly Indo-Fijian, many of whom are descendants of girmitiyas (indentured labourers brought from India to work on the plantations); you’ll find good curries here, and can shop for trinkets, bangles and saris in colourful shops blasting out Bollywood hits. Vanua Levu's main airport is also here.