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The Gap Year Blog

Capturing Capital Cities: Suva, Fiji

17 Jan 2019 15:30 PM
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Photo Credit: Frontier Fiji

This humid city of Suva is the largest metropolitan in Fiji– not to mention being the cultural hub and largest city in the South Pacific. Towards the southeast coast of Fiji, the city was made the capital back in 1877 (after replacing former settlement of Levuka on Ovalau island). So, what can you find in this vibrant city?

Alongside housing half of the country’s urban population, Suva has a political atmosphere with its colonial buildings and grand architecture. By being an important home for Pacific communications, you can find many of the Pacific’s massive agencies and international corporations lingering here. Take a look at the Government Buildings (also known as Old Parliament) and stop off to see the Art Deco buildings that are home to many political faces such as the Prime Minister, the High Court, and parliamentary ministries. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Fiji Museum is one of the top sights to see in Suva. Get an eye into the history of Fiji and understand how the country has developed. The museum takes you through a chronological recalling of the history - so hopefully you shouldn’t get confused with the history! Don’t forget to check out the Ratu Finau, a famous piece in the museum known as Fiji’s last ‘double-hulled canoe’ (waqa tabus). These artifacts are a  key part at understanding the culture of a Fijian and the immigrants from the former British India who share more than a third of the country’s population. A small but important peak at the historical culture of Fiji. 

If you’re not one for politics or history, try out the fresh markets and gardens around the city. Seek out the markets to see the local produce and exotic foods of Fiji, from fresh pineapples to hot peppers and colourful flowers that landscape the country. When you’re done with all that eating, chill out in Suva’s famous Albert Park - as recommended by our staff out in the field - where the main festivals and parties are held. Typical park activities like rugby, football and tennis happen down at the park and don’t be surprised if you’re invited to play by a local Fijian! 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It's pineapple season!

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When you’re keen to explore the natural life of Fiji, head to Colo-i-Suva, a vibrant rainforest with the exotic wildlife and biodiversity of Fiji’s birds and tropical greenery. You can spend hours trekking through the waterfalls and tropical trees, and there are a few thick trails you can adventure through if you’re looking for a long hike. Although, go with an experienced guide or you might find yourself lost amongst the sheltered trees!

Another hotspot is the Mariamma Temple, a Hindu Site. The best time to visit this place is during the festival of fire-walking, a South Indian festival held in July or August. Quite obviously from its name, it includes a mind-blowing art of fire-walking as well as other Fijian cultural rituals. This festival holds up the culture of the Indigenous Fijis and Hindus which used to take place on the small island of Beqa. 

With exotic wildlife, vibrant produce and a cultural history to explore, why not take a chance at the capital of Suva on your next travel? Don’t forget to stop off here if you’re heading to the plush beaches, and if you’re still not sold, why not check out our ‘Things to do in Suva’ blog from our staff straight out on our Fiji project!

By Caitlin Casey - Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!