the Degree Confluence Project


Tavuki, Taveuni (Island), Northern, Fiji
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap)

Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Close-up view of sign #3: Map of Fiji #4: On the island of Taveuni #5: A little island just off the coast from the Date Line marker

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  16°48'S 180° (special) 

#1: On the dateline

(visited by Uwe Luettringhaus and Srisuda Luettringhaus)

28-Jul-1991 -- This 'special' longitude does not have many confluences that fall on land and any attempts to visit those few will require some major expeditions. According to the DCP web site the following confluences (all 180°) can potentially be visited by foot: 66N-68N, 71N, 72N - 90N (ice cap), 79S - 90S. The only (any other islands?) other land crossed by the 180° lies in much more comfortable latitudes: Fiji.

I have always been interested in the geo-sciences, maps, etc. So when a 100-day backpacking trip to New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Hawaii took us close to this special meridian I had to visit it. This was before cheap, ubiquitous GPS receivers and the WWW. Luckily there is a marker on the island of Taveuni (pic #1 & #2). The map (pic #3) indicates the location of the marker. We actually stayed less than 0.5km from this point, so it was a nice evening stroll to this place.

The marker was put there to point out the old International Date Line. Today the date line deviates from the 180° in a number of places (including Fiji), to avoid land. All over the islands there are references to the fact that the day begins here. The Fiji Times claims to be 'The first newspaper published in the world today'. This is all not quite exact as the new day officially begins in Greenwich (see http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/home.htm for more info, including info about the International Meridian Conference held in 1884, at http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/info/conference.htm)

To reach our destination we traveled by land and sea from the capital Suva to Taveuni. Our budget did not allow for the 'expensive' air travel by Turboprop, but time was relatively cheap to us. Transportation included buses, ferries of various sizes (some could hold trucks, others could take only about 10 people), and hitchhiking. This way of travel gave us the chance to see the country and to meet it's people. The busses and ferries were not always reliable and on one occasion we got stranded for an afternoon on a fairly remote road when the busses' radiator burst. We met many interesting people and had many great experiences in the islands. We took the greatest memories with us from the month we stayed in Fiji.

Picture #4 was taken on a hike to some waterfalls on the island of Taveuni. Picture #5 shows a little island just off the coast from the Date Line marker. We had a local fisherman drop us there for an afternoon of spectacular snorkeling. The area is also world renown in diving circles.

 All pictures
#1: On the dateline
#2: Close-up view of sign
#3: Map of Fiji
#4: On the island of Taveuni
#5: A little island just off the coast from the Date Line marker
ALL: All pictures on one page