There is no doubt that Levuka deserves its new status as Fiji's first World Heritage site. Some places just have that "certain something", and Levuka is one of them. A mix of old colonial buildings, historic sites and monuments, all tucked close to the waterfront makes for a wonderful setting.
It seems like every second building you look at in Levuka is either "the first in Fiji" or one of the oldest. And in fact, there is a good reason for that. Levuka used to be the capital of Fiji, although you wouldn't know it now. But right up until the 1830s, it was a thriving colonial town full of coconut planters, cotton growers, merchants, a rowdy and bustling hub of the South Pacific.
But all that changed when the capital was moved to Suva. Because Ovalau is a mountainous island, there simply wasn't room for expansion... Levuka already occupied all the flat land in the area. So even though many of the businesses and people moved on, the old buildings still remain.
The oldest operating hotel in the Pacific Islands, the oldest Masonic Lodge, oldest church, there are bits of history everywhere you look. Walk down the main road of Levuka, and many of the shops still have the old colonial style frontages.