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Postcard view ... Sunset on the renowned strip on the Korotogo back road along the coral coast.

Years ago, the sunset strip was just another busy stretch on the Queen's road, albeit a very exclusive coastal stretch, with private villas of the well to do and hotels nestled in the hills.

It wasn't until the construction of a new bypass that diverted traffic away from this road that it developed an ambience of its own.

Hence its present day incarnation. Today, the quiet, dreamy stretch is home to a number of hotels and motels, a couple of cafes, an art gallery and mini mart, all set 30 metres from a gorgeous beach.

For tourists staying on the Coral Coast, the sunset strip and its immediate surrounding areas are where most of the excitement and action lies.

Firstly there is the quaint little Marau Motel, just a few metres before entering the strip. Most of the accommodation offered on the strip lies on the smaller side with only a few rooms and prices in the budget range.

This makes staying here a very warm and cosy experience. Whatever the sunset strip lacks in scale, it more than make-up for in character.

The Marau Motel has eight self-contained, two-bedroom apartments and a backpacker's dormitory that houses up to seven people.

Facilities include a bar with pool table, barbeque area, restaurant, free water sports equipment such as snorkelling and canoeing, and 24 hours security.

The first stop on the actual strip is the adorable Namana Craft Arts Gallery. Artist and proprietor, Tessa Miller turned her 'humble abode' into a gallery and cafť.

Opened in March this year, the gallery carries 100 per cent Fiji art and craft by nine artists primarily based in the West.

The works are a blend of the traditional and contemporary: that is, traditional materials interpreted in a contemporary way.

Many of the artists that are featured in hotels along the way are showcased here. There is even a workshop at the back of the gallery where visitors can try their hand at making art.

Artists are also often on site, so customers are able to speak to them first hand.

Tessa's home baked goodies such as coconut scones and oatmeal and raisin cookies alone make it well worth the visit.

After having purchased some art, you can sit outside in the sun or shade and enjoy a cup of tea and a treat. The health conscious can opt for one of the fresh fruit juices instead.

There's also an internet corner, where you can get up to date on your emailing. The Gallery also rents paddle bikes, ideal for getting around the area...





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