Things to see and do in Fiji
Attractions in Fiji
Church of Saint Francis Xavier: A fascinating blend of cultures
Perched atop a mangrove forested hill on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, The Church of Saint Francis Xavier overlooks the King’s Road. Its architecture is a unique marrying of European and Fijian culture with a traditional stone façade, concealing three beautiful frescos, flanked by straw mats instead of pews. The murals were originally commissioned by the former chaplain to Austria’s famous Von Trapp family (of The Sound of Music).
Diving: Explore Fiji’s magnificent underwater world
Fiji has been called “the soft coral capital of the world” and few seasoned divers will deny that Fiji has some of the finest scuba diving in the South Pacific. Less touristy than the Great Barrier Reef, Fiji still boasts a relatively untouched diversity of habitat and marine life which some divers call paradise. Diving is possible all year, with the best sites including Beqa Lagoon, Rainbow Reef or the Somosomo Straits with the famous Great White Wall. Wherever you end up, you can be sure to have your pick of underwater caverns, swim throughs and the 390 coral species that spread out for thousands of miles around.
Fiji Museum: Spend the day exploring Fiji’s melting pot past
Located in Thurston Gardens in Suva, the Fiji Museum houses an extensive archaeological collection, which dates back 3,700 years and includes cultural objects representing both Fiji's indigenous inhabitants and other communities that have settled in the islands. Of particular note is the rudder of the HMS Bounty, which was destroyed by mutineers.
Garden of the Sleeping Giant: A tranquil retreat
For peace and tranquillity, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant on the road between Nadi and Lautoka, at the foot of the Sabeto Mountains is the place to go. With dreamy lily ponds, forested boardwalks and pristine lawns, this garden soothes the senses and feeds the soul. Formally a private orchid garden, the site is now open to the public, housing a dazzling array beautiful orchids and flowering plants.
Kadavu: Keep an eye on the wildlife
This paradisal wonderland of Kadavu is a veritable bounty of native flora and fauna, untouched by intrusive animal and reptilian species. Small villages scatter the lush vegetation, just waiting to be discovered by a network of forested footpaths. Along these paths you can discover an abundance of native birds and jungle flowers. It is also a world-renowned diving spot with the Great Astrolabe Reef, a sensory feast for divers and snorkellers alike. This reef is one of the largest on the planet and contains a deluge of coral, fish, manta rays, turtles and fish species.
Meke: Witness traditional Fijian dancing
Witnessing a meke, the traditional dance of indigenous Fijian people, is almost unavoidable, particularly if you’re staying at an island resort. Mekes are performed by women, who cover themselves with fans, and men, who dance with spears or clubs. It is a heady combination of dancing and storytelling with rhythmic clapping and chanting. Typically, the performers dress in the national costume of flower leis, grass skirts and tapa cloth. Other traditional dances include the Poi Dance, which is typically performed at fire-walking shows.
Mount Batilamu: Climb the sleeping giant
Fiji isn’t short of spectacular vistas, but for unparalleled panoramas take a day trip from Nadi or Lautoka to scale the “sleeping giant”, also known as Mount Batilamu. The ascent winds through the Koroyanitu National Heritage Park, through small villages, past watering holes and up vertiginous summits. From the top, panoramic views stretch all the way to the Mananuca and Yasawa island groups and the ascent offers a chance to dip into one of the many waterfall pools.
Naihehe Caves: Explore the world of tribal tradition
Situated deep in the Sigatoka Valley lies a wondrous natural cave linked with Fiji’s last cannibal tribes. Once a fortress of Fiji's last pagan priest, the caves contain a priest chamber, sacred pond and great Cathedral Chamber. The caves are still considered sacrosanct today and locals frequently go there to pay tribute to their ancestors.
Rewa River Delta: Cruise through mangrove forests
Mangrove forests can be found along Viti Levu’s gorgeous coastline and are extremely rich in wildlife. Take a boat trip along the meandering corridors of the mangrove forests, up the Rewa River Delta, for a chance to see myriad bird species and remote fishing villages.
Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool: Relax in a natural spa
The hot springs of Nadi are believed by locals to have healing properties. We can’t qualify that, but we do know the three pools, warm mud baths and lush backdrop make for a seriously relaxing experience. Located in Sabeto Valley, the springs are run by friendly locals who will help you get muddy.
Sigatoka Sand Dunes: Explore a unique eco-system
One of Fiji's natural highlights, the spectacular sand dunes lining the Sigatoka River have been in the making for millions of years. Windblown and rugged, these dunes are a far cry from those of the Sahara – the sand is grey-brown in colour and covered with vines and shrubs. They are also one of the largest burial sites in the Pacific.
Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple: Find your inner peace
A must-see for culture vultures, Nadi’s Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple is the largest Hindu temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Illustrating the architectural diversity for which Fiji is well known, the temple is dedicated to the deity Murugan whose statue, specially carved in India, is housed in the main temple.
Surf’s up: Hit the waves in Viti Levu
The largest of the islands that make up Fiji, Viti Levu offers some quality waves for surfers of all levels. A number of surfing camps are springing up off the southern and western regions of the islands, offering lessons, day trips and excursions to the best breaks. There's surf throughout the year with the best swells out of the south from March to October. Fiji's waves typically break on coral reefs and a small day trip could take you to some seriously fantastic surfing spots. Most of the well-known spots are off Viti Levu and can often only be reached by boat.
Taveuni: Hike the garden island
Taveuni has hiking trails all over the island, but the Lavena Coastal Walk is considered one of the best. Start on the soft, sands of Laverna beach and let yourself continue through a black volcanic sandy enclave, through to lush jungled inclines and a plunging waterfall. Serious hikers can test their mettle on the Vidawa Forest Walk and enjoy remarkable coastal views. The trek up to Lake Tagimaucia and the Des Voeux ascent are also challenging climbs.
The Arts Village in Pacific Harbour: A slice of Fijian hospitality
A fusion of historical fantasy and contemporary arts, Pacific Harbour’s quaint Arts Village is well worth a visit. Take a boat tour around the lagoon, wander around the temple and explore the market, where you will be treated to various cultural performances including traditional displays of Fijian fire walking. The village also houses Fiji’s largest swim up bar, from where you can sip a tropical cocktail and watch Fiji’s talent perform on the nearby stage.
The Mamanuca Islands: Take to the wind
Ideal water conditions, big waves and a year-round breeze conspire to make Fiji an amazing windsurfing destination. Most resorts offer the sport – with instruction too – but if you’re a pro and are looking for something special, the best windsurfing can be found in the Mamanuca Islands. With incandescent waters, unspoilt beaches and swaying hammocks, these islands are the perfect spot to hone your talent.
Water sports: Take to the water
The warm, crystalline waters surrounding Fiji are a playground for watersports enthusiasts. It’s possible to try your hand at diving, swimming, snorkelling, surfing, sailing, fishing, wakeboarding, kayaking and much more on most of the islands. You can also swim in the base of numerous waterfalls found in the forest, coastal parks and reserves. Those in search of a quintessential Fijian seascape may try Castaway Island, a world-renowned dive spot, with a PADI Five Star Gold Dive Centre nearby.
Tourism Fiji in the USAAddress: Suite 220, 5777 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90045
Telephone: +1 310 568 1616
Mon-Fri 0800-1700 (times may vary).
Tourism Fiji in the UKAddress: Lion House, 111 Hare Lane, Claygate, KT10 OQY
Telephone: +44 1372 475772
Mon-Fri 0930 – 1730.