Hidden Gems for Visitors to Suva

Aside from many usual big tourist destinations in Suva, it turns out there are a few hidden gems that the people of the capital city may not realise, are great
06 Jul 2017 23:38
Hidden Gems for Visitors to Suva
Fiji Museum. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Aside from many usual big tourist destinations in Suva, it turns out there are a few hidden gems that the people of the capital city may not realise, are great places for visitors to visit.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun, Grand Pacific Hotel general manager Peter Gee was able to name a few places in the capital that he feels locals often overlook, but may be considered interesting for those who visit Suva for the first time.

Naming his top places in Suva, he said he considered the Suva Market to be among them.


Suva Market

“Now the most interesting part of Suva Market is on a Saturday with the fish market.

“Now you go there at 5 o’clock in the morning, you’ve got every sort of fish under the sun just about.” Mr Gee said.

“You’ve got these glorious colours, these different shapes and colours of the fish there.

“That’s a kaleidoscope of colours, and you can walk through there, you can talk to the vendors, you can try and find out about the fish, ask them how you cooked different things; it’s a visually exciting experience.”

He also named the fruit and vegetable part of the market to be a great place for visitors to have a look.

“You walk through there, you look at the shapes, the colours, the market ladies there, you go across to the fruit and vegetable market, then you go upstairs to the spice, and kava market.

“A lot of people don’t know, even people who’ve been living here for a while, don’t know that the kava market is upstairs.

“You’ve got a really broad, vibrant different Fiji south seas experience at the Suva Market.”


The Nasese seawall

Mr Gee also mentioned that a walk along the Nasese seawall along Queen Elizabeth Drive was another place that visitors would love to visit.

“Because Suva is on a peninsula, when you walk, you’re facing to the west, then to the south, then to the east.

“You go around in this big curve. You, walk past Thurston Gardens, you walk past the bowling club, you walk past State House, now if you time it on the last Saturday of every month, you’ve got the changing of the guards at State House at noon.

“So that’s a free attraction. You’ve got the Police or the military, marching up and swapping over.

“This is a really neat thing to look at, and the sea.

“You continue on, you go past Veivueti House, but on the other side, you’ve got these views of Suva Harbour, again with different directions and looking towards Joske’s Thumb, you’re looking over Beqa, then you go further around, you got Nukulau, looking towards those islands, you go up along Seabreeze Walk, you go to My Suva Park.”

He also said that if visitors choose to walk up past the ANZ Stadium, they would be able to see an old drua being constructed.


The Fiji Museum

Next on his list of places for visitors to travel to in Suva was the Fiji Museum.

“They’re having more temporary exhibitions, so right at the moment, they’ve got one, which is called kamunaga, the story of tabua,” he said.

“That’s explaining how tabuas, white tabuas, are so important within the Fiji culture, how they got here, how they were traded, how they came with the Tongans, and things like that, how they’ve been used.

“And since it has been relevant to all Fijians to understand the culture. It’s also interesting to the visitors.

“Upstairs, I think in Suva, the exhibition that was in Norwich, the one where the Queen (Elizabeth II) went along to see. The treasures of the Fiji Museum, they were sent over specially for this exhibition. They’ve got some of those on display.

“Downstairs, down where the drua is, they’ve got the rudder from The Bounty. Now everybody knows the mutiny on The Bounty; that’s got to be one of the most famous ships, one of the most famous stories, a really epic story. So there’s the rudder of The Bounty, at the Fiji Museum.

“Then of course, you’ve got a lot of broader exhibitions, they’ve got one on masi, they’ve got one on the Indian community, on what they’ve done, of course the old colonial side and then a lot about the old Fijian side,” he said.


Suva City

An unexpected gem he named was town area itself.

“Suva has the biggest collection of heritage buildings probably, not just in the Pacific, probably more broadly.

“There’s 24 Category A heritage buildings classified by the Fiji National Trust. And there’s another 22 Category B buildings and a lot of those are in town.

“These reflect the early history of Suva. So as you walk around, you can see this history of the South Pacific.”


Grand Pacific Hotel

Last but not least, the Grand Pacific Hotel itself as a place that visitors to the capital city would enjoy visiting.

“Built in 1914, it was absolutely the best hotel in the Pacific. Then in 1992, it closed down for 20 years. And no one expected to see it again, I’m sure.

“It rose out of the rubble like a phoenix, out of fire. It’s been a catalyst for the redevelopment of this area.”

Mr Gee said that GPH visitors could sit on the balcony, have a cold drink there and watch the sunset over the Suva Harbour.

Visitors could also be able to see Albert Park and other buildings from the hotel.

Mr Gee’s comments makes one think, what other places do we locals overlook, that visitors might find interesting?

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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