IN & AROUND SUVA

PMGY volunteer in Fiji participants are based on the east coast of Fiji in Suva around 4-hours away from Nadi Airport. Suva is not only the capital city of Fiji, but it is also the largest city in the whole of the South Pacific.

 

The city is perched on a hilly peninsula between Suva Harbour and Laucala Bay. With everything you’d expect from a modern day city – shopping malls and farmers markets, restaurants and entertainment. Suva has been the capital of Fiji since 1882, and many buildings date back to the colonial era. With this mix of history, combined with the amenities of a modern city – parks, museums and a vibrant nightlife – you’ll find plenty of things to do.

 

Participants generally volunteer on a Monday-Friday basis and the weekends are free to relax or travel further afield. As our volunteers will testify, the wider travel opportunities are extremely important to the whole experience and it is something we certainly recommend you get involved in. Our local team are able to arrange activities, transportation and accommodation but please note this is usually an independent experience outside of the core programme.

FIJI MUSEUM

The museum offers a great journey into Fiji’s historical and cultural and evolution. To enjoy the exhibits in chronological order, start with the displays behind the ticket counter and work your way around clockwise. The centre piece is the massive Ratu Finau (1913), Fiji’s last waqa tabus (double-hulled canoe), over 13m long and with an enclosed deck for rough weather. Other attractions in the main hall include war clubs, a gruesome display about cannibalism and the rudder from The Bounty.

COLO-I-SUVA FOREST PARK

Colo-i-Suva is a 2.5 sq km oasis of lush rainforest teeming with tropical plants and vivid birdlife. The 6.5 km of walking trails navigate clear natural pools and gorgeous vistas. Sitting at an altitude of 120m to 180m, it’s a cool and peaceful respite from Suva’s urban hubbub. Slipping and sliding through the forest over water-worn rocks is the Waisila Creek. Among the wildlife are 14 different bird species, including scarlet robins, spotted fantails, Fiji goshawks, sulphur-breasted musk parrots, Fiji warblers, golden doves and barking pigeons.

SUVA MUNICIPAL MARKET

It’s the beating heart of Suva and a great place to spend an hour or so poking around with a camera. The boys with barrows own the lanes and they aren’t afraid to mow down a few tourists to deliver their cassava on time! Besides the recognisable tomatoes, cabbages and chillies, look out for bitter gourds, jackfruit, dalo, cassava and yams. Produce is cheaper than in supermarkets and there’s no need to haggle – prices are clearly marked. If you need refreshment, try the fresh pineapple juice stands!

MHCC SHOPPING MALL

Morris Hedstrom City Center is a modern multi-storey complex which emerged from the ashes of the original building which was destroyed by fire in the late 90′s. Currently, it is known as the largest shopping mall in Fiji with over twenty different stores, fifteen variety food stalls and almost ten trinket stalls. These stalls are a boon for small business owners who want to showcase their merchandise to a mass market. Food outlets run the gamut of local and international selection with pizza, Chinese, Indian, Fijian and Middle Eastern available.

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FURTHER AFIELD

NADI

Nadi is the third-largest urban area in Fiji. It is located on the western side of the main island of Viti Levu. Nadi is multiracial with many of its inhabitants Indian or Fijian, along with a large transient population of foreign tourists. Along with sugar cane production, tourism is a mainstay of the local economy. Nadi has the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere called Sri Siva Subramaniya temple. There are a range of activities including the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool and the picturesque Garden of the Sleeping Giant.

ISLAND HOPPING – THE MAMANUCAS AND YASAWA ISLANDS

The Mamanuca Island group is a paradise of reefs with sand-fringed isles shared by traditional Fijian villages and modern island resorts. The arc shaped Mamanuca chain is situated well inside the outer reef whose protective barrier created ideal conditions for boating, scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing and other water sports. With their mountainous peaks, the Yasawa Islands are sure to impress, with fine white sand and crystal clear waters that are painted in a palette of blues. There are no shops, just an abundance of natural beauty, gorgeous beaches and glorious sunshine.

NAVALA VILLAGE

The charming little settlement of Navala welcomes visitors with open arms and wide smiles. Sat atop a grassy verge in Viti Levu’s highlands, this picturesque village is the last remaining example of traditional Fijian architecture, with a strictly preserved promenade of thatched-roof, bamboo-walled houses. Navala is very special because all their houses are the same size. All the bures have a metal post also known as a Bou in Fijian. Bous are mostly placed in a chief’s house. This shows Navala’s equality, and is one reason why Navala is a special village.

NUKULEVU ISLAND

Nukulevu Island Eco Resort nestles in the beautiful Natovi Bay. This is a firm favourite with our local team who are proud owners of this amazing, pristine and untouched island of Fiji. Offering budget, rustic accommodation and lush tropical forests, this retreat is ideal for a relaxing getaway and to be one with nature. Escape into total relaxation as you soak up the sun in the clear waters or sip from a coconut as you watch magical sunsets over the Natovi hills. There are beautifully landscaped open spaces designed to relax, unwind and enjoy the island’s natural charm.

 

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