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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 11 (June 1, 1930)

Under Cropic Skies

Under Cropic Skies

Mr. Ralph Hanan, of Invercargill, who recently visited the South Sea Islands, writes of a rail journey in Fiji as follows:—

Perhaps one of the most unique railway systems in the world is in the colony of Fiji.

The longest section of railway is on the main island, Viti Levu, and runs from Tavau, on the North Coast, to Sigatoka in the South West. This section is controlled by the Sugar Company, and is claimed to have the only free passenger service in the world. Passengers are carried, free of charge, in fairly comfortable carriages, for the entire length of the Company's line.

A trip along the route is one of absorbing interest. Seldom out of sight of the coast, the line winds between banks of brilliant greenery, dominated at intervals by the grace and majesty of cocoanut palms. At every turn on the journey new panoramas greet the eye. Now by the edge of a mangrove swamp; now through an enchanting banana plantation; now through green fields of waving sugar cane. Village after village is left behind. Everywhere are the gaily dressed, care-free, friendly natives.

The scenery changes. Verdant hills, beaches of golden sands bordered by innumerable graceful palms; beyond, the deep blue waters of placid lagoons. Combined with the scintillating brilliance of a tropical sun, this presents a glorious picture which must cause a journey over the railway of Fiji ever to remain a pleasant memory.