Vanua Balavu

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Location in the Lau Group
Map of Vanua Balavu

Vanua Balavu (pronounced [βaˈnua mbaˈlaβu]) is the second largest island in Fiji's Lau archipelago (not counting the islands of the Moala Group), and the main island of the Northern Lau Group.

Geography and infrastructure[edit]

Located at 17°13′13″S 178°56′58″W / 17.2202°S 178.9494°W / -17.2202; -178.9494Coordinates: 17°13′13″S 178°56′58″W / 17.2202°S 178.9494°W / -17.2202; -178.9494, this coral and volcanic island has a land area of 53 square kilometers. Its maximum elevation is 283 meters. The island is characterized by steep undercut cliffs, with fertile volcanic soil. It is well watered and has hot springs. There is an extensive reef system, including the islets of Qilaqila Bay. The main village on the island is Lomaloma.

Vanua Balavu boasts of the Yanuyanu Island Resort, an airstrip, a copra port, and a small hospital. There was also the Lomaloma Copra Biofuel Project which provided power to three villages, Naqara, Sawana and Lomaloma, however it is now defunct.

Points of interest[edit]

A large sea cave on the southeastern tip of Vanuabalavu was excavated and shown to have been used by humans more than 10 centuries ago.

Notable people[edit]

The best-known native of Vanua Balavu is Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, past President and longtime Prime Minister of Fiji, also Laisenia Qarase, Fiji's Prime Minister since 2000, who hails from the village of Mavana. Other prominent Vanua Balavu natives are the academic leader Esther Williams, from Levukana village, former Attorney-General Qoriniasi Bale, from Levukana village, and prominent former politician Filipe Bole, also from Mualevu village. Charles Walker, a former politician and Fiji diplomat hails from Sawana village. Mere Samisoni Business woman and politician comes from the Village of Lomaloma also including the current Lami Mayor Tevita Vuatalevu who hails from the village of Mavana. In sports the famous Matavesi clan Josh, Sam and Joel, sons of Sireli. Current Flying Fijians Josh Matavesi and Sam Matavesi who was born and raised in Cornwall, England is also a native of Vanua Balavu through his paternal line. Home to long serving civil servant and Retired School Teacher Mr. Samuela Korovou who hails from the village of Narocivo.

References[edit]

  • Fiji, By Korina Miller, Robyn Jones, Leonardo Pinheiro, Published by Lonely Planet - Page 237

External links[edit]