Viti Levu is the largest island in the Republic of Fiji, the site of the nation's capital, Suva, and home to a large majority of Fiji's population.
The largest island, Viti Levu is home to 70% of the population (about 600,000) and is the hub of the entire Fijian archipelago. It measures 146 kilometers long and 106 kilometers wide and has an area of 10,389 square kilometers comparable to the size of The Big Island of Hawaii or slightly smaller than Connecticut. Geologists believe that Viti Levu has been submerged a number of times, and has been covered by lava and other volcanic materials. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions account for the somewhat rugged terrain of the island, which is divided into roughly equal halves by a north-south mountain range. The eastern side of the island experiences heavy rainfall, while the western side is noticeably drier. Accordingly, sugar cane production thrives in the west, while a dairy industry is being built in the east. Fiji's biggest cattle ranch, with 7000 head of cattle in its 70 square kilometres, is at Yaqara, halfway between Tavua and Rakiraki. The centre of the island is forested and includes the nation's highest peak Mount Tomanivi (otherwise Mount Victoria) rising to 1,324 meters. The island is the only known home of one of the world's largest insects, the Giant Fijian long-horned beetle.