It’s a challenge to talk about time without sounding like I’m chatting with a strong drink in one hand and a spliff in the other. But time is quite an interesting concept, isn’t it? On Taveuni, where the only time that goes by is of the island variety, existence was once split by the international date line–a modest tourist attraction you can visit on your next trip to Taveuni.
Where to Find the Date Line
Not the most enthralling of attractions, Taveuni’s date line can be a challenge to find. The easiest way to find the sign is by making your way towards the fire station, off of the main road. From the fire station, cross the rugby field. The sign is found at the back.
The International Date Line in Fiji
The 180th meridian–commonly called the International Date Line–splits the island of Taveuni from today and yesterday. Or, today and tomorrow, depending on what side of the line you’re standing on. My friend Clare and I had about twelve seconds of fun time traveling by jumping between ‘today’ and ‘yesterday.’ The sign also has some information about indigenous flora and fauna found on the island.
According to locals, New Years on Taveuni was once a huge celebration. Adjacent to the international date line sign on Taveuni is an open field, a prime spot for rugby playing and general merrymaking. Locals would throw two parties, celebrating the new year on both sides of the calendar. Shops on Taveuni once happily claimed that they were the first to open in the world.
Despite the dateline that splits Taveuni (and the islands east of Taveuni), Fiji opted to nudge its borders to fit the entire country within one time zone.
When you visit the date line itself, don’t expect a full-fledged tourist attraction. There are no snack stalls or souvenir stands, and it can be a little challenging to find the date line sign without a guide. There are two small benches to have a break before continuing onward with your next adventure.
Explore more of Taveuni
Don’t let the fun stop at Taveuni’s international date line. Here are some other adventures to enjoy: