Lautoka: Physical Geography

FJ
Sugar-Train-in-Lautoka-City Fiji

Lautoka, nestled on the western coast of the island of Viti Levu in Fiji, boasts a unique and captivating physical geography. The city is embraced by lush, rugged hills that provide a stunning backdrop to the urban landscape. Its coastal location offers views of the nearby Mamanuca and distant Yasawa Islands. Lautoka City and its residential districts are encircled by undulating waves of emerald-green stalks, comprising densely packed sugar cane fields, hence earning the local name ‘Sugar City.’ The city, originally a small coastal town for most of its history, served as the main heartbeat of a thriving sugarcane industry spanning the last 100-150 years.

Table of Contents

Climatology: Lautoka Weather


Lautoka Golf Club at Sunset, with Vomo Island in the background
Lautoka Golf Club at Sunset, with Vomo Island in the background

Lautoka is celebrated for its splendid weather, characterized by consistently beautiful sunny days and clear blue skies throughout the year. The city experiences two distinct seasons: from May to September, it is cool and dry, while from October to April, the weather turns hot and wet. Despite the high temperatures, humidity generally remains low. The average temperature hovers around a warm 30ºC.

Table: Yearly Weather Averages for Lautoka


MonthMin Temp *
Max Temp **
Rainy Days
Rainfall
Sunshine Hours
Water Temp
January22.0°C (71.6°F)
31.0°C (87.8°F)
17
300mm
214
28.0°C (82.4°F)
February 23.0°C (73.4°F)
31.0°C (87.8°F)
18
303mm
184
28.0°C (82.4°F)
March22.0°C (71.6°F)
31.0°C (87.8°F)
19
324mm
190
28.0°C (82.4°F)
April21.0°C (69.8°F)
30.0°C (86°F)
14
173mm
198
27.0°C (80.6°F)
May20.0°C (68°F)
29.0°C (84.2°F)
9
80mm
212
27.0°C (80.6°F)
June19.0°C (66.2°F)
29.0°C (84.2°F)
5
62mm
206
26.0°C (78.8°F)
July18.0°C (64.4°F)
18.0°C (64.4°F)
4
47mm
218
26.0°C (78.8°F)
August18.0°C (64.4°F)
28.0°C (82.4°F)
5
59mm
231
25.0°C (77°F)
September19.0°C (66.2°F)
29.0°C (84.2°F)
7
77mm
215
25.0°C (77°F)
October20.0°C (68°F)
30.0°C (86°F)
8
103mm
227
26.0°C (78.8°F)
November21.0°C (69.8°F)
30.0°C (86°F)
11
139mm
222
27.0°C (80.6°F)
December22.0°C (71.6°F)
31.0°C (87.8°F)
15
159mm
225
27.0°C (80.6°F)

Table Footnotes

* – Usually the minimum temperature is noted during the night

** – The average maximum daytime temperature

°C – Celsius, also called centigrade, scale based on 0° for the freezing point of water and 100° for the boiling point of water.

°F – Fahrenheit temperature scale, scale based on 32° for the freezing point of water and 212° for the boiling point of water, the interval between the two being divided into 180 equal parts. Primarily used in the United States

Lautoka – Bird Watchers


White faced heron in Fiji

Overview: There are two main areas that have been identified as respectable for the avid bird watcher in Lautoka, these being the Waterfront and the Botanical Gardens. The Waterfront is a long stretch of walkway sandwiched between the coastal Marine Drive and the Waters Edge of Lautoka. The walkway starts at the South Seas Club and Shirley Park and ends at Danvia Street. Although this area is significantly removed from the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the city, it is only a stone’s throw away in reality.

The second recommended area for bird watching, the Lautoka Botanical Gardens, is situated opposite the Lautoka Hospital, a garden covering an area of 15 acres that possesses a rich natural flora.

Listed in the tables below are some of the avian life observed and recorded by local and international enthusiasts.

Lautoka – Waterfront Bird Sightings


SPECIES NAMESPECIES NAMESPECIES NAME
Great Crested TernVanikoro FlycatcherFiji Parrotfinch
Red AvadavatRock PigeonWhite-faced Heron
Pacific SwallowRed-vented BulbulCommon Myna
Jungle MynaPeale’s Imperial-PigeonFiji Goshawk
Fiji WoodswallowPacific Black DuckWandering Tattler
Pacific Reef-HeronPacific KingfisherBarn Owl
Spotted DovePacific Golden-PloverCollared Lory
Western Wattled-Honeyeater

Lautoka Botanical Garden


SPECIES NAMESPECIES NAMESPECIES NAME
Rock PigeonSpotted DovePacific Kingfisher
Orange-breasted MyzomelaWestern Wattled-HoneyeaterFiji Woodswallow
Vanikoro FlycatcherPacific SwallowRed-vented Bulbul
Common MynaJungle MynaFiji Parrotfinch
Pacific Golden-PloverFiji GoshawkPolynesian Triller
Red AvadavatWhite-rumped SwiftletWhite Tern
Great Crested TernWhite-faced HeronPacific Reef-Heron
Pacific Black Duck

Explore Lush Foliage: Trees in Lautoka and Botanical Garden


Cassia Fistula in Lautoka
Cassia-Fistula in Lautoka

While Lautoka may not showcase the same Instagrammable perfection as the coastlines of the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands, the city possesses its own unique beauty. Below, we’ve started compiling a list of various trees and flowers you’ll encounter throughout the city, with a notable concentration in the botanical gardens on the edges of Lautoka. Take a few minutes to immerse yourself in the natural beauty that typically surrounds you throughout the day. This section is continuously evolving as our team and community discover more floral gems during our journey around the city.

Table: Trees of Lautoka

Trees in Lautoka Trees in Lautoka
Annona Muricata – SoursopMalay Rose Apple – Kavika-Jamun
Annona Squamosa – Sugar AppleMangifera Indica – Mango
Averrhoa Carambola – CarambolaManilkara Zapota – Sapodilla
Breadfruit – UtoMoringa Oleifera – Saijan
Cassia FistulaPsiduim Guajava Aka Guava (Amrud)
Cassia Grandis – Pink Shower TreePunica Granatum (Pomegranate)
Casuarina EquisetifoliaRoystonea Regia Tree
Casuarina Nodiflora
Eugenia Uniflora – Surinam Cherry
JackFruit – Artocarpus Heterophyllus (Uto Ni Idia)

Additional Resources

Geological map of Lautoka 1957: PDF

Fiji Viti Levu Lautoka 50K: PDF

References

  • ANU (2022, November 17). Fiji, Viti Levu, Geological Survey – Lautoka, (Geol.) 1101, Sheet 4, 1:50 000, 1957. Australian National University. Retrieved September 3, 2023, from Link
  • Ebird (2023, September 19). Lautoka Botanical Garden. Ebird. Retrieved September 19, 2023, from Link
  • Ebird (2023, September 19). Lautoka–Waterfront. Ebird. Retrieved September 19, 2023, from Link
  • LCC (2019). Botanical Garden [Photograph]. Lautoka City Council. Link
  • List of rivers of Fiji. (2022, December 27). In Wikipedia. Link
  • Manubird (2019). White faced heron [Photograph]. Pixel Bay. Link
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