Tour Guide for Mum

You know things aren’t looking good when TripAdvisor includes three shopping centres in the top things to do in Suva. Which, when you’ve come from Australia isn’t such a big draw card.

Here’s what the list currently looks like:

  1. Fiji Museum
  2. Colo-I-Suva Forest Park
  3. Suva Municipal Markets
  4. Tapoo City
  5. Government Buildings – Parliament
  6. Albert Park
  7. MHCC
  8. Hiking & Camping Tours
  9. Eco Tours
  10. Municipal Handicraft Centre
  11. Sacred Heart Cathedral
  12. Orchid Island
  13. Damodar City Centre
  14. Suva Flea Market

In the space of a morning drive you can tick off the majority of the items listed.

Over the first couple of days Mum was in Suva we ran some errands out around Damodar City and did a bit of a tour around the city centre. Crucial to note is that Suva’s city centre was not designed with cars in mind. It can take 45 minutes depending on the time of the day to get from one end of the city centre to the other (which in a car without air-conditioning is unbearable).

On the city drive we drove past the Fiji Museum, Municipal Markets, Tapoo City, Government Buildings – Parliament, Albert Park, MHCC, Handicraft Centre, Sacred Heart Cathedral and the Flea Market. We went back later in the trip and did the Municipal Markets on the Saturday for my weekly fruit and veg shop. After living in Darwin for three years, nothing beats being able to by fresh produce directly from the villagers who grew it and to know that the money you pay is going directly to helping their livelihoods.

On the Sunday we decided to tackle Colo-I-Suva (pronounced Tholo-ee-Suva) Rainforest Park. A short 10 minute drive down the road from us the park is filled with different walking tracks and heaps of waterfalls. We chose one of the walks that we’ve done before and would bring us out at the biggest waterfall (which has a swing rope). The puppies loved the walk, poor Nero learnt the hard way how to walk nicely on a lead but by the end of the 1.5 hour walk he’d pretty much mastered it.

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One thing J & I hadn’t thought of was the impact the weather might have on our visitors. We moved here after living in Darwin for three years so we are quite acclimatised to the wet/dry season tropical climate that Darwin and Fiji seem to share. What we had forgotten was that Mum had come from the end of the Australian winter and the heat and humidity were not something that she had adjusted to quite like we had. In saying that it’s scary to think that we could go six years without a proper winter!

Having ticked off most of the TripAdvisor things to do in Suva Mum was scheduled to fly home again. I had hoped that we would have a nice sunny day to dry from Suva back to Nadi the day before her flight. Rather than the brilliant sunny days that you see in the brochures it was overcast the whole drive and rained for parts of it. Despite this we made the mandatory stop at EcoCafe for a pizza lunch and relaxation by the seaside.

We stayed a Tokatoka Resort for the night on Jared’s recommendation as that’s where they get put up when they have to overnight in Nadi, and its also opposite the airport. Our grand plans for dinner fell through as the entire main street is undergoing roadworks and with no lighting and no visible access to get to the restaurants we opted for room service instead.

I dropped Mum off at the airport in plenty of time for her flight and even did a quick tour of the domestic terminal (shed) so she’d know where to go if they chose to fly through to Suva on their next flight.

I made the drive back to Suva solo and most frustratingly the weather cleared up when I was 40 minutes out of Nadi and stayed that way until I got to Pacific Harbour. Mum also made it back home although slightly delayed on her domestic sector.

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It was lovely to have our first official visitor however given the limited number of things to do for tourists in Suva I may need to spend my days hunting for points of interest to show anyone who visits in the future.

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