Dr Stuart Myers


Time zone GMT +12 hours     ( 2hrs ahead of Sydney)
Lautoka is the second largest city of Fiji and the second largest in the South Pacific.


It is in the west of the island of Viti Levu, 24 kilometres north of Nadi, and is the second port of entry in Fiji, after Suva.

Lying in the heart of Fiji's sugar cane growing region, it is known as the Sugar City.

Covering an area of 16 square kilometres, it had a population of 52,220 at the 2007 census, the most recent to date.
The main Lautoka Sugar Mill is the city's biggest employer by far. Built for the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (Fiji) (CSR)  by workers from India and the Solomon Islands between 1899 and 1903, it hires some 1,300 employees today.

Other industries include timber milling, garment manufacturing, distillery, brewery, jewellery, blending, steelworks, fishing, hatchery, domestic items, paints, and construction.

Fish being sold on the side of the road.

Lautoka is the only city in Fiji's Western Division,and is the industrial hub of Fiji which contains more than 50 percent of the nation's population.
Since 1970, the population of Lautoka has grown rapidly, and in the last twenty years it has also changed dramatically in structure. In the early 1970s the population was estimated to be about 12,000, the vast majority of inhabitants being Indian, as would be expected considering the early growth of the city was entirely associated with the sugar industry. Almost all of the present Indian inhabitants are descendants of the early Girmityas. In 1986 the population was 39,000 and in 1996 almost 43,000, but it is not clear exactly how the boundaries of the urban area were defined at either of these censuses. In 2005 the population including the suburban zones was probably about 50,000, occupying a total area of about 16 km². The population of Lautoka including the rural districts is around 80,000. But much of the recent growth of the city itself has been due to indigenous Fijians moving into the urban area.

The local markets sell all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables and local produce.

The roads have improved greatly since we have been going to Fiji and particularly in the last 12 months a huge investment of money has come from China.

The cars and buses have not changed at all and the air conditioning in the buses is very effective.

Unfortunately the drivers have not improved at all and now the roads are better cars are going faster and the road toll is increasing.  Driving at night is a particular hazard and is to be avoided.

There are still no book stores in Lautoka so book donations are particularly treasured at the Hospital and also by the local schools
The region is known as lying in the valley of the “Sleeping Giant” due to the shape of the local mountain range.

The countryside is often lush but there is much less rainfall in the western division compared with Suva.

Fiji is a particularly religious country. The are many different religions co-existing in harmony. Swearing and Bad language is greatly frowned upon.

The view from the hospital below. Many of the houses have bars on all the windows and doors and crime is an issue for the locals. We have never had any issues at all in 16 visits to Fiji.


Sport is played everywhere. The Fijians mostly play Rugby and the Indians play Football.

Last Updated on 14 / 5 / 2015