Photo by Ben Greenwood via Trover.com
Backed by the beautiful Sabeto Mountains, Nadi is most travellers first glimpse of Fiji. While the city itself is not brimming with ‘must-see’ sights, it is surrounded by a spectacular array of possibilities for those visiting this island paradise. Nadi is commonly mistaken as Fiji’s capital, but it is the country’s most established tourist hub with excellent cafes, restaurants, and accessible hotels located within launching distance of plenty of attractions. For those considering Nadi as their Fijian base, here are five of the top things to do in the surrounding region.
1. Soak in a mud bath at the Sabeto Hot Springs
Set within lush, tropical surroundings and just a 20 minute drive from Nadi, the Sabeto Hot Springs are home to a natural, therapeutic mud pool, perfect for an afternoon of indulgent cleansing. Locals claim that the sulphur-infused hot springs have healing properties, including age-defying benefits! Far from being a serious rejuvenation session, a visit to Sabeto involves being covered from head to toe in warm mud, surrounded by friendly Fijian locals doing the same.
2. Witness the orchids of the Garden of the Sleeping Giant
Home to more than 2,000 varieties of Asian orchids, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is one of the South Pacific’s most magnificent botanical secrets, not far from Sabeto Hot Springs. Its canopy-covered boardwalk meanders through beautiful landscaped gardens at the base of the Sleeping Giant mountain before delving into a lush, dense rainforest. It was once the private collection of American actor, Raymond Burr, but these stunning flowers are now on show for everyone to enjoy.
3. Cruise to the idyllic Savala Island
If you are looking for that quintessential piece of paradise, then take a day cruise to Savala Island, a 1 1/2 hour boat ride from Nadi. Not only is it ringed by pristine stretches of sand and turquoise waters teeming with marine life, but its interior houses an impressive array of bird life. Climb a palm for your own coconut, kayak the calm waters, and feast on a lavish barbecue lunch.
4. Experience a slice of authentic Fijian culture at Navala Village
Found deep within Viti Levu’s spectacular mountainous interior only a 1 1/2 hour drive from Nadi, Navala Village is one of the last remaining traditional Fijian villages on the island. The locals have opened their village up to tourists, allowing you an authentic glimpse into their peaceful, subsistence way of life. Join in the welcome kava ceremony, wander through the thatched bures and school, and take a swim with the locals in the cool waters of the Navala River.
5. Come face-to-face with eight different shark species
Located within the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, the Fiji Shark Dive is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to dive with up to eight species of shark, all within a safe and secure environment. Get up close to not only Black and White-tip Reef Sharks, but encounter the grandeur of Tiger Sharks, Eagle Rays, and Maori Wrasse. It’s a two-hour drive along Viti Levu’s beautiful Coral Coast to the aptly named ‘Shark Alley’.