Suva : The Tropical Metropolis of Fiji

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Suva : The Tropical Metropolis of Fiji

Suva is the largest city in Fiji and also serves as its capital. It is a lush green city with many parks, broad avenues, many parks, and historic buildings. It was the seat of British colonial power since 1882 and is therefore the best place to learn about the history of the country. Many historic buildings in the city such as the Suva City Library offer a glimpse into the past while newer modern facilities and amenities give the town a modern touch. This sublime mix of the old and new ensures that you’ll find plenty of things to do and enjoy while in Suva. The residents of the city are friendly and welcoming, making a visit to the city all the more inviting. As one of the most cosmopolitan centers of the Pacific, Suva is a worthy entrant onto any tourist’s itinerary, and rightly so.

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Suva : The Tropical Metropolis of Fiji

1. Fiji Museum

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The Fiji Museum is located in Thurnston Gardens not far from the city center. It is home to a vast collection of cultural and archaeological objects depicting the history of the island group’s indigenous inhabitants and settlers. It opened its doors in 1955 at a ceremony presided over by the governor of Fiji at that time. Two adjacent sections were added in the 1970s to accommodate the increasing collection, and together these three buildings provide an in-depth insight into the history of the nation and its peoples.

2. Thurston Gardens

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Thurston Gardens were founded by a renowned botanist called Sir John Bates Thurnston in 1881 and have since then been a natural and historic landmark of Suva. The gardens are located in the heart of the city and are a popular attraction welcoming thousands of domestic and foreign tourists all year round. It is a peaceful public park where visitors can relax surrounded by the serene beauty of the island. There’s also a stationary locomotive dubbed the Thurston Express that is popular among kids as a play tower and a clock tower dedicated to G.J. Marks, a former mayor of the town who drowned in the early 1900s. One can also reserve the beautiful gardens for weddings, birthdays, and other private functions. The tranquility of the gardens make them an ideal venue for a family outing and given their strategic location; they are a must visit while in Suva.

3. Albert Park

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Albert Park is a public park and historical site in Suva. Most of the major historic events in Fiji were held on this ground making it a treasured site in the city. It was in the park that the new flag of Fiji was hoisted on 10th October 1970. It was also the site of the famous landing by Sir Charles Smith during his pioneering trans-pacific flight. The grounds are a popular relaxation and sporting venue among locals and foreigners alike as they can accommodate many groups at the same time. The park is also used as a venue for major occasions such as welcoming dignitaries and the annual Fiji Day celebrations.

4. Sacred Heart Cathedral

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The Sacred Heart Cathedral of Suva was built in 1902, and it serves as the main building of the Roman Catholic Church in Fiji. It is a treasured landmark, and also an architectural masterpiece that is a must visit while in Suva. It is covered with ornaments and stained glass and also has a crypt in the basement. The cathedral was built with sandstone brought from quarries near Sydney, and its architecture is reminiscent of the churches of Rome in Italy. The church serves as the headquarters of the Metropolitan diocese of Suva that was created by Pope John Paul VI in 1966.

5. Tappoo City Complex

Tappoo City is a relatively new complex in Suva that has quickly garnered praise as a top international shopping destination. The six-story building is easy to get to courtesy of its stunning architecture that is impossible to miss while in Suva. The complex is a fine example of Tappoo stores which are recognized for their elegant ambiance, superior service, and the exclusive range of products available. There are also a couple of dining establishments offering the very best of local and international cuisine while offering patrons stunning views of the Suva Harbor through the panoramic glass windows. There is also a gaming area ensuring the kids are not left out on the fun.

6. Colo-I-Suva Forest Park

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Colo-I-Suva Forest Park is located in the outskirts of Suva and is one of the national heritage parks in Fiji. A crystal clear river runs through the park which also has natural pools making it a popular swimming spot among locals and tourists alike. The spectacular rainforest makes the air much cleaner and cooler than that of the city making it an ideal spot for a picnic under the canopy of the trees. It is a nature lover’s paradise where one can engage in a myriad of fun activities surrounded by the tranquility of the island. Bird watching is also popular as many species of birds call the park home and filling the air with their beautiful calls.

7. Suva Municipal Market

The Suva Municipal Market was established in the 1950s and has grown to become the largest market in the country. It has often been referred to as the beating heart of Suva, and as such, you shouldn’t pass up the chance to poke around while in Suva. The best days to visit are Thursday and Saturday when the village farmers bring their produce into town offering you a wider range of produce to choose from. Goods are sold at relatively lower prices than in the supermarkets and even if you do not intend to make a purchase, the sights, smells, and sounds of the market make for a memorable experience.

8. Curio Handicraft Center

We all love a memento and a local handicraft to remind us of a visit to a foreign land. In Suva, such wares can be found at the Curio Handicraft Center located in the Central Business District near the seawall. The Center has a vast assortment of Fijian and Indo-Fijian souvenirs to choose from all at affordable prices. It is also a great opportunity to mingle with the artisans and learn more about their crafts and culture. The Curio Handicraft Center also stocks a selection of items from other Pacific countries. The center has ample parking space which comes in handy as the assortment of wares will keep you here for a while.

9. Kila Eco Adventure Park

Kila Eco Adventure Park is a relatively new development in Naimosi in the outskirts of Suva that has become the adventurer’s playground in Suva. It features giant swings, zip lining, abseiling, and high and low rope courses. All these activities are supervised by seasoned professionals upholding safety standards ensuring that all visitors have an experience of a lifetime. It is also home to Fiji’s sole linear botanical garden. Visitors can also enjoy the experience of swimming under waterfalls or relax at the many picnic spots in the park. One can also take a walk through the jungle marveling at the incredible abundance of indigenous flora and fauna.

10. Government House

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The Presidential Palace is the official resident of Fiji’s president. Also known as the Government House, it was originally erected in 1882, but the initial building was destroyed by lightning in 1921. It was rebuilt in 1928 for the then British Governor, and it has undergone several restoration and renovation works over the years. It is usually guarded day and night by sharply-dressed Fijian soldiers whose change of guard ceremony each month attracts scores of spectators. The historic significance of the building coupled with its stunning looks makes it a worthy stop on your tour of this glamorous city.

◎ Closing

Suva offers everything you would expect from a vacation in an island nation and much more. From the history and culture of its people, the natural beauty of the land, to the modern dining and recreational facilities, you name it, and Suva has it all. The city also has a vibrant nightlife and together with the many attractions in the city it is without a doubt a jewel in the South Pacific that you ought to visit. Trust me; it is worth every dime.