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Nadi Area Attractions

Nadi Area Attractions

Set in the heart of Suva's historical Thurston Gardens, the Fiji Museum is unrivaled in the islands for the extent of its collection of anthropological and historical material, having been founded much earlier than other Pacific Island Museums. It holds a remarkable collection which includes archaeological material dating back over 3,500 years and cultural objects representing indigenous, Indo-Fijian and other communities that have settled in the island group over the past 200 years.

Prehistory Gallery
Archaeology shows that Fiji was first colonized by people who used the distinctive and intricately decorated pottery known as 'Lapita', dated between 1736 and 1266 BC. This gallery leads us through the future migrations of people to the early 1900s and introduces us to Vitian life, including tribal warfare, cannibalism, and Ratu Finau - the last waqa drua (double-hulled ocean going canoe) made in Vulaga in 1913.

History Gallery
From western awareness of the Fiji Islands in 1643 to the arrival of bêche-de-mer, copra and sandalwood traders, 1800-1850, to the colonials and indentured labor, 1879-1920. See the infamous remains of the sole of Reverend Baker's boot, the only non-Fijian Missionary known to have been killed and eaten; and the rudder of HMS Bounty - subject of the famous mutiny in 1789. The Bounty was burned by the mutineers at Pitcairn Island, its remains being recovered in 1932. Also on display is a copy of the Deed of Cession when Fiji became a colony of Great Britain, the medals of the great statesman Ratu Josefa Lalabalavu Vanaaliali Sukuna, and the figurehead of the Siria - a vessel that brought many indentured laborers to Fiji and was wrecked on Nasilai reef with the tragic loss of many lives

Temporary Exhibition Space
This space contains rotating exhibitions of items in the Fiji Museum collection. Please phone the museum for details of the exhibition currently on display, or if you would like to use this space for your own exhibition.

Masi Gallery
Masi beaten into a 'cloth' from the bark of a paper mulberry tree, is an integral and traditional part of life in Fiji. Its manufacture is still a regular part of village life and its uses are many and varied. Masi was once used for clothing, in worship, warfare and ceremonial duties and for all manner of chiefly and family celebrations. Today it is particularly important in marriage and funeral ceremonies, and is used as a decorative item by both Fijians and visitors alike.

Indo-Fijian Gallery
From 1879-1920, 60,000 Indians came to Fiji under girmit - an agreement of five years servitude on a plantation in Fiji. Two-thirds of the Indians remained in Fiji after their girmit and their descendents now make up nearly half the population. This gallery tells the story of the indentured laborers and their families, and the customs and traditions they brought with them from all over the Subcontinent.

Art Gallery
The art gallery contains rotating exhibitions of items in the Fiji Museum collection and the work of local artists - professional and amateur alike (sometimes available for purchase). Please ask for details of the exhibition currently on display, or if you would like to use the gallery for your own exhibition.

Fiji Museum Gift Shop
Contains a wide selection of historical and cultural publications - many printed by the Fiji Museum, exclusive handmade replica artifacts, carving, jewellery, handicrafts, masi, pottery and weaving. Plus books, cards, charts, clothing, paintings, posters and more.

Verandah & Mosamosa Cafe
An elegant, covered area available for exhibitions, functions and demonstrations - local potters work on the verandah regularly. The museum and the Friends of the Fiji Museum use this space for social evenings of a historical or cultural nature, quiz nights and the annual fundraising ball. Please contact the museum for details of the next function, or if you would like to use this attractive space for an event yourself. The café serves a wide range of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks and cakes.

Pottery-Making Demonstrations
The two main pottery-making areas for traditional potters in Fiji today are Sigatoka and Rewa. Most Thursdays and Fridays Traivina Wati, a skilled potter from Nasilai in Rewa Delta demonstrates her pottery making skills at the Museum. She is joined by Daiana Tuqea from Nakabuta in the Sigatoka Valley on the first week of every month.

Reference Library
The library contains a wealth of material on a diverse range of subjects especially Pacific culture and history. Many of the 12,500 plus books and periodicals are not held in any other library. There is also a unique collection of over 10,000 historical photographs, copies of which are available to view. Reprints of these photographs can be ordered for personal and limited commercial use.

The Garden of the Sleeping Giant
The Garden of the Sleeping Giant sits at the foothills of the Nausori Highlands about 10 minutes drive north of Nadi. The attractive landscaped gardens specialize in Fiji's native plants as well as housing an impressive collection of orchids, some native. A jungle walk takes visitors past a large lily pond and through native forest.
Located about half an hour from Nadi, The Garden of Sleeping Giant is a beautiful orchid range started in 1977 by the late Raymond Burr, star of Perry Mason and Ironside.

Originally designed to house Burr's private collection of tropical orchids, the gardens have developed into a popular attraction after years of flourishing. Raymond Burr loved these orchids just as much as he loved Fiji.

The gardens showcase more than two thousand different kinds of orchids, covering 20 hectares. For an entry fee of just $10, you can wander through the lush and fertile plantation to your heart's content. Right next door is Raymond Burr's holiday shack, which is also open to visitors.

The shack still contains a few items that belonged to the superstar, including photographs, his favorite chair and even his walking cane. It costs about $8 to see the house, and the entry price includes a delightful afternoon tea.

Whether you are into gardens or not, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is sure to take your breath away. The exquisite beauty of the garden is unsurpassed by most, housing one of the world's largest orchid collections plus beautiful cultivated greenery and enchanting lily ponds, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is not to be missed. Take a picnic and enjoy the peace and serenity of some of the most stunning gardens on earth. The gardens are open Monday to Saturdays - 9 am to 5 pm.

National Parks

  • Koroyanitu National Park, Nadi Area, Viti Levu
  • Sigatoka Sandunes National Park, Viti Levu
  • Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve, Suva, Viti Levu
  • Bouma National Park, Taveuni, Northern Islands
  • Nausori Highlands, Nadi Area, Viti Levu
  • Lovoni Trail, Ovalau, Lomaiviti Group

The Church of Saint Francis Xavier
High on the hill overlooking the dusty Kings Road on the north-western side of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu is a theologian's enigma.

Astride a village green and unable to be seen from the road is a stone church of distinctly European design that looks a little worse from wear from the outside but houses one of Fiji's most surprising modern treasures.

The Church of Saint Francis Xavier at Navuibutu was officially dedicated in 1917 after a decision was made to shift from the original mission site in 1895. This followed the arrival of the Marist missionaries to the area in 1889, and the establishment of a Catholic presence in the Ra province in 1870.

While the church looks traditionally European from the outside, the use of mats instead of pews for parishioners gives it a Fijian village flavor.

What makes the Navuibutu church so unusual is the murals, a series of frescos originally commissioned by one time chaplain to Austria's famous Von Trapp family, Monsignor Fanz Wasner.

The murals, done in true fresco style by painting on top of wet plaster, were created by Frenchman Jean Chalot, assisted by his wife Zohman and son Martin, between October 1962 and January 1963.

Nadi Area Activities

Hotels; Denarau island, Visit beaches, inland tours, boatrides to outer islands, shot over jet rides, paradise balloons, helicopter rides, sea planes, water skiing, parasailing and snorkeling.

A striking feature is the Hindu temple at the southern end of town. A half-hour drive south will bring the visitor to Natadola beach, one of the outstanding beaches in Fiji. Visitors to Nadi have many options for tours to villages, to orchid gardens, cultural centers, cruises to islands and along rivers to remote villages where they will be treated to a yaqona ceremony, traditional entertainment, a village meal and in some cases also have the opportunity to witness pottery being made in a time-honored way. They can also visit an old fort site and take a road tour of the highlands.

Shopping/Business and shopping hours
Handicraft, jewellery including traditional and souvenir, souvenir garments and other duty free items.
Shopping hours are from 8.00a.m. to 7.00p.m. Sunday and public holiday trading is also permitted.

Shopping facilities
Handicrafts shops, drapery shops, supermarkets, shopping mall, pharmacy. Shopping facilities are also available in major hotels within the Nadi area on a 24-hours basis.

Although many hotels and resorts have shopping on site, Nadi town is a popular shopping destination. Jewellery, cameras, high fidelity audio equipment, clothes, handicrafts, artefacts, souvenir items, original artworks are among the many items on offer.

Sporting facilities
Available at Nadi Sports club, Denarau Golf and racquet club, Nadi Airport golf club and Prince Charles Park for more organized sporting events.

Entertainment facilities/services
Night clubs, cinemas and hotel - dance and Karaoke

Upcoming events/orgainzed activities
Nadi Bula festival, Voualevu Horse races and the Inter District Soccer Tournament.

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