Some physical features of the 332-island archipelago of Fiji include varied terrain such as beaches, mountains and tropical forests. Much of the mountainous terrain has volcanic history.
Fiji lies in the South Pacific north of New Zealand and beside the Solomon Islands. Other than the 322 islands of the archipelago, there are 522 smaller islets. There are over 700 miles of coastline, which is where the majority of the population lives because of the ruggedness of the terrain. Only a third of the islands are populated. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, contain nearly 90 percent of the land area. Both of these islands are covered primarily with mountains and tropical rain forests. The mountains, which reach up to 4,200 feet, curve down into the lowlands on each of the islands and provide the area with a dry season suitable for the cultivation of sugarcane and other crops.
On the southeastern side of Vanua Levu is the Loa Peninsula and Natewa Bay. The bay is the largest in Fiji, and the peninsula has significant biodiversity. The peninsula contains lowland tropical rain forest, steep slopes and montane forest. The outlying regions of Fiji include the uninhabited coral atoll Conway Reef and Rotuma with a small population.