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Introducing Suva

By Josh Hill

Posted: 16th December 2014 16:18

To see what happens when the western world meets Fiji, Suva is the place to go.  Suva, the capital of Fiji since 1882, is a convoluted mixture of modern structures and traditional Fijian values; you can enjoy all of your day to day amenities alongside a rich and unique culture with a long history and ancient traditions.  As the capital city of Fiji, not all of Suva’s history was peaceful; it was the starting point of an 11 year war which resulted in the Islands becoming part of the British Empire.  Today however it is a cheerfully eclectic mix of east and west, perhaps epitomised by the Thurston Botanical Gardens.

Suva is definitely a city you can’t get bored in; there are activities in abundance from visiting museums and parks to playing golf or tennis, so you will always be able to find something to do.  You can even escape the busy city centre and visit the Colo-I-Siva Forest Park which offers hiking trails, swimming and bird watching under the canopy of a sub-tropical rainforest.  For seaside lovers, you will find your haven 45 minutes down the road at Pacific Harbour, a hub for all things water based as well as a very attractive beach.

The friendly capital of Fiji is an influential city in many ways.  It is a city where tradition and modern life are found around the corner from each other and a place that is truly dynamic with what it offers.

Spending a Day in Suva

You could easily organise an extended itinerary just for Suva but with so much to fit in to your Fijian adventure you will probably want to spend one day exploring the capital.  If this is the case then time is of the essence.  You will not want to waste a minute second-guessing your plans so here is our top tips on how to spend your day in the capital.

Thurston Botanical Gardens

Previously known as the Suva Botanical Gardens, the site was renamed in 1976 in memory of Sir John Bates Thurston – the fifth Governor of Fiji – who originally founded the gardens.  Today it stands as a popular attraction enjoyed by tourists and locals alike, boasting beautiful tropical landscapes dotted with natural vegetation of all colours.  Read about the island’s unique flora including palms, gingers, water lilies and plenty more you won’t have seen back home.  Centred at the heart of the gardens is Fiji Museum, which bestows a remarkable collection of archaeological material left behind by different indigenous cultures over the past hundred years.  After the tour, tuck into a picnic under one of the grand fig trees and soak in the sun. 

Colo-I-Suva Forest Park

Colo-I-Suva Forest Park is a stunning nature reserve on the Western suburbs of Suva.  The 2.5-sq-km oasis of rainforest is a prime spot for adventurous tourists, offering hiking trails, swimming and bird watching.  Along the way you’ll spot all kinds of tropical wildlife in their natural habitat, including 14 different bird species ranging from colourful parrots to barking pigeons.  The Park is also home to a wide variety of Fijian flora and vegetation that’s waiting to be discovered.  One of the main attractions are the natural pools; which are great fun to splash about in after a long, humid day walking through the rainforest.  Rangers can show you around or you can grab a map venture out into the wild on your own, it’s up to you!

Suva Municipal Market

A full day of exploration is guaranteed to build up an appetite which can be best quelled by the mouthwatering delights of the Suva Municipal Market.  Situated in the beating heart of Suva, the Municipal Market is the City’s central food market and the epitome of Fijian cuisine.  Take your camera long and snap some photos of the colourful variety of local produce, spread across hundreds of stalls run by local farmers.  All types of fresh produce are on sale, from native fruit and vegetables to fish straight out of the landing net.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the best days to visit, when the traders offer their latest batch for incredibly discounted prices.  You may know tomatoes and cabbages, but why not try something different like home-grown kava or jackfruit.  The sights, sounds and smells - it all makes for a memorable experience.