Nestled in a vast harbour, Suva is the steamy political hub of Fiji. With an intriguing jigsaw of colonial buildings and modern industry blended with a concentrated mishmash of culture and ethnicity, Suva will pique your interest in more ways than one.
Wander through the dense floral amalgamation in the charmingly haphazard Thurston Gardens, then delve into the unique boat-shaped interior of the captivatingly Fijian Holy Trinity Cathedral. For the thrill-seekers out there, raft, canoe or trek your way into adventure at the Wilderness Ethnic Adventure Fiji.
One of the jewels of the South Pacific, Fiji epitomises the relaxed approach to life that is synonymous with living in paradise. Some visitors find ‘island time’ off-putting, but in Suva you learn the meaning of feeling chilled, man.
Suva’s Top 10
10. Beqa Lagoon Strap on your goggles and explore the deluxe Fijian coat with a diving lesson and picnic lunch.
5. Albert Park Once the landing strip for famous aviator Charles Kingsford Smith on his journey across the Pacific.
9. Shree Laxmi Narayan Temple Check out this bright orange and blue temple just east of Downtown. You can’t miss it!
4. Fiji Museum Discover Fiji’s archaeological, political and cultural evolution here.
8. Roman Catholic Cathedral Built from sandstone shipped from Sydney, this gorgeous cathedral is one of Suva’s most prominent landmarks.
3. University of the South Pacific Wander the beautiful outdoor park and botanical garden – and then see how you can enrol.
7. National Stadium Depending on when you’re there, don the Fijian colours (white) and go check out a rugby match.
2. Colo-i-Suva Forest Park Explore Suva’s vivid wildlife in this lush rainforest park.
6. Parliament of Fiji Easily one of the world’s most striking political centres. Call ahead to arrange a tour of the grounds.
1. Mariamma Temple Watch traditional Fijian firewalking. It’s known as Vilavilairevo, which literally means ‘jumping into the oven’ (or ‘crazy’).
- Albert Park - This was the makeshift landing strip for Charles Kingsford Smith, the first aviator to cross the Pacific on 6 June 1928.
- Parliament of Fiji - Opened in 1992, the architecture of the Parliament depicts traditional Fijian cultural values.
- Roman Catholic Cathedral - This landmark cathedral built in 1902 is constructed with sandstone imported from Sydney.
- Centenary Methodist Church - You will love the rousing chorus of song on a Sunday morning.
- Suva City Library - This colonial building constructed in 1909 is also known as the Carnegie Library.
Suva Art & Culture
- Mariamma Temple - The fire-walking festival is held here in July and August, where barefoot men display the feat of walking over blazing embers.
- Fiji Museum - This museum gives a glimpse into Fijian history, art and culture.
- Old Mill Cottage - This is Suva’s best spot to enjoy traditional dishes in a gracious old timber cottage.
- Holy Trinity Cathedral - This unique cathedral has a boat-shaped interior beautified with colourful Fijian tapestries.
- Shree Laxmi Narayan Temple - This magnificent Hindu temple coloured orange and blue is mesmerising.
- Suva Curio and Handicraft Centre - A series of stalls selling all kinds of objects, but be wary of fakes.
- Free Shop - The shop supported by UNDP sells crafts, clothing and jewellery by local artists.
- ROC Market - A small market on every third Sunday of every month sell arts, crafts and homemade food.
- Pure Fiji - Exquisite creams, soaps, oils and natural extracts are sold here every Saturday morning.
- Boom Box - The music store with the latest Western and Fijian releases.
Gay & Lesbian Suva
- O’Reillys - A great place to relax, enjoy, dance and celebrate with choicest wines.
- Malt House Brewery & Restaurant - This bar andrestaurant is known for homemade brew and exotic foods, including creative seafood.
- Purple Haze Nightclub - This highly vibrant nightclub with high-decibel Fijian and Hindi pop is also gay friendly.
- Signals Night Club - This gay-friendly dance club plays decent dance tracks.
- Royal Suva Yacht Club Bar - A popular watering hole for yachties and locals welcomes local and overseas visitors.
- Colo-i-Suva Forest Park - This lush rainforest park teems with lively tropical flora and fauna.
- University of the South Pacific - With picturesque lawns, botanical garden and the Oceania centre for arts and culture, this is a place to visit.
- Thurston Gardens - Wandering through these compact beautiful gardens will transport you to a heavenly world.
- Suva Olympic Swimming Pool - The outdoor swimming pool attracts children and adults alike on a hot day but is rarely crowded.
- Beqa Divers Fiji - About a 10-minute drive from Suva, it has two open-tank dives.
- Enjoy rafting or canoeing with Wilderness Ethnic Adventure.
- Contact Rucksack Club for trekking and weekly walking adventures.
- Watch a rugby match, if there’s one going on.
- Catch players training hard at Albert Park.
- Join a boat looking for crew at the Royal Suva Yacht Club.
For a riot of colour, make a splash in Suva at Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colours, in February.
Pick up some handicrafts and dance among the flowers at the annual Suva Hibiscus Festival in August.
For a veritable mixed bag of cultures, October’s Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture cannot be beaten.
Share in Fijian pride, and enjoy Suva’s spectacular celebrations, for Fiji Day in October.
Pray to the goddess of wealth and prosperity and bask in the glow of the Festival of Lights at Diwali in November.
When To Go
Summer Suva is hot and steamy, but the occasional afternoon rainstorm will cool things off.
Winter is very pleasant, averaging 26ºC (79ºF), and is a great time to explore the city.
May to September is when you will find the perfect conditions for an outdoor adventure.
Buses in Suva are very cheap, and run all over town.
Taxis are also plentiful and inexpensive, a short trip costing no more than three Fijian dollars.
Most of Suva’s attractions are relatively close together, so most visitors explore the sights on foot.
With a metropolitan population of over 160,000, the capital of Fiji is the urban centre of record outside Australia and New Zealand in the South Pacific. As the municipal and commercial heart of Fiji, Suva plays an enormous role in the overall administration of the country.
While the city is the business heart of the South Pacific islands, with numerous international corporate headquarters and associations, Suva still heralds much tourist appeal. Cultural, traditional and historical attractions that illustrate the diversity of Fiji offer visitors to the capital city a surplus of alternatives. The immediate landscape around Suva is rather nice as well.
The Fiji Museum is a wonderful facility with relics and cultural exhibits that exemplify the rich heritage of the islands and the South Pacific as a whole.
The Suva City Library is one of the most historical landmarks in the country. Built in 1909, the colonial-era structure was the result of a generous gift by famous industrialist and tycoon Andrew Carnegie.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Suva is a majestic spiritual base for the 10% of the national population that follows the faith. The church was built in 1902.
The Government House and Parliament complex are popular attractions in the city. Once the austere home for colonial Governors, the President and national government now dwell and conduct business here.
The botanical gardens of Fiji, known as Thurston Gardens, house a splendid collection of typical native flora. The central location between the Government House and Albert Park is quite idyllic.
With over 70 parks, the peninsula and port city outshines most. The best of the lot are Takashi Suzuki Garden and Suva Point, where locals and tourists alike jostle for prime sunrise and sunset views.
The University of the South Pacific campus in Suva is the main hub of the large institution, with other posts in Samoa, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru and more. A tour of the grounds is worthwhile.
The Suva Reef offers scuba fans a chance to check out the underwater splendour of Fiji.
Bird lovers will want to flock to the nearby rainforests around Suva, where they can view a wide variety of parrots, doves, broadbills and more.
Rainforest hikes into the rocky highlands that serve as a dramatic backdrop to the city are a popular ecotourism activity. Bush trails lead to beautiful waterfalls and forest pools.
Champion golfer Vijay Singh, the most famous face from Fiji, spent time in his formative years at the Suva Golf Course. The public club offers superb views of the peninsula landscape.
While Suva has a typical climate for Fiji, with temperatures between 20°C and 32°C throughout the year, the humidity and rainfall exceeds other areas and towns in the country. Typical levels range from 78% to 83% for the former, with about 20% more annual precipitation than the town of Nadi.
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