Top Things To Do In Suva
Dig a little deeper and you’ll find there’s more to Suva than great retail and restaurants. Here’s a few ideas to help you fill your downtime in Fiji’s multicultural capital.
If you’re a history buff with time on your hands, head over to the Fiji Museum in its leafy haven at the end of town. The modest building is packed with interesting exhibits that date back some 3,700 years to the Lapita age, when sea-faring people first settled the Pacific islands. Take your time to explore the little rooms and you’ll discover a treasure trove of information on Fiji’s tribal warfare, early European contact and the origin of Fiji’s multicultural populace. There’s a little giftshop to browse when you’ve had your fill of cannonballs and canoes, and a small café overlooking Thurston Gardens that serves up some decent coffee. The Museum opens 8.30am – 4:00pm daily but is closed on Sundays.
Colo-i-Suva Forest Park
Trade the city’s hustle and bustle for the cool, rainforest vibes of Colo-i-Suva Forest Park, about 15mins drive outside the city centre. The 90-hectare Park is part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy – a network of preserved forests in Commonwealth countries. It’s laced with walking trails, picnic spots and a freshwater creek that feeds the popular Upper and Lower swimming holes. It’s also one of the best places on the island to go bird spotting – 30 of Fiji’s 57 land bird species have been found there. Grab a few friends or call ahead to organise a Park Ranger to guide you to the best spots. You can also pick up lunch and a great little guide book to the Park’s birds at the Colo-i-Suva Rainforest Eco Resort right opposite the Park.
Food & Handicraft Markets
Suva’s lively food market near the main wharf is the beating heart of the city. Vendors sell seasonal fresh fruit and veg there all week but it really brims with colour, variety and bargains on Fridays and Saturdays. Get there early to avoid the crowds and catch the freshest deals.
When you’re done, take a stroll to the nearby Suva Handicraft Centre for cultural treasures like printed masi, kava bowls, war clubs or drums. Lots of stalls sell similar items so take your time to wander around and compare prices. Don’t be afraid to haggle with vendors for a fair price too – it’s all part of the experience and you’ll get a better deal! All markets are closed on Sundays.
Hidden in plain sight on a hilltop opposite Suva city, the WWII Bilo Battery silently watches over the reef entrance to the Suva Harbour. The Battery was built in 1941 to defend Suva – an Allied stronghold - against invasion as the ‘War in the Pacific’ raged. The Battery’s massive guns along with 3 other locations on the Suva Peninsula and two on Viti Levu’s western coast, formed a key part of Fiji’s wartime defense. Thankfully WWII ended before it reached Fijian shores and the guns were never used. A small fee ($5/adult and $2/child) paid at the Fiji Museum, will buy you entry and a Museum guide to accompany you to the site but you’ll need to book at least 1 day ahead and your own transport to get there. Closed Sundays.