SUVA

Fiji

Suva is the capital and the second most populated municipality of Fiji, after Nasinu.It is on the southeast coast of the island of Viti Levu, in the Rewa Province, Central Division. In 1877, it was decided to make Suva the capital of Fiji when the geography of former main European settlement at Levuka on the island of Ovalau proved too restrictive. The administration of the colony was moved from Levuka to Suva in 1882.

Info Suva

introduction

Suva is the capital and the second most populated municipality of Fiji, after Nasinu.

It is on the southeast coast of the island of Viti Levu, in the Rewa Province, Central Division. In 1877, it was decided to make Suva the capital of Fiji when the geography of former main European settlement at Levuka on the island of Ovalau proved too restrictive. The administration of the colony was moved from Levuka to Suva in 1882.

Suva is Fiji's political and administrative capital. It is the largest and the most cosmopolitan city in the South Pacific and has become an important regional centre; students from the Pacific region and a growing expatriate community make up a significant portion of the city's population.

info
POPULATION : City: 88,271 / Urban: 175,399
FOUNDED : 
TIME ZONE : 1200 GMT (UTC+12)   
LANGUAGE : English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
RELIGION : Christian 64.5%, Hindu 27.9%, Other 7.6%
AREA : 790.5 sq mi (2,048 km2)
ELEVATION :
COORDINATES :
SEX RATIO : Male: 50.94%  
 Female: 49.06%
ETHNIC : Fijian, Indian, European, Chinese
AREA CODE :
POSTAL CODE :
DIALING CODE : +679
WEBSITE : www.experiencesuva.com

Tourism

Unfortunately, there are no tourist-quality beaches in Suva. The closest tourist-quality beach to Suva is at Pacific Harbor. The beach at Apted Park (at the bottom of Laucala Bay Road) and the kitesurfing-friendly beach (on Queen Elizabeth Road, near the National Stadium) are often frequented by locals despite the high levels of trash and fecal coliform found in the water.

Local rugby and soccer matches can be exciting events and are free of riots. Rugby matches are most often held in Albert Park, across from the Suva Lawn Bowls club. Soccer matches are often in the National Stadium on Laucala Bay Road. International hockey (field hockey) matches are at the National Hockey Stadium, near The University of the South Pacific and the National Stadium.

Shopping and fashion

Suva is one of the most shopper friendly cities in the Pacific and has long been known for its affordable and unique offerings, often duty-free. The city offers its shopping paradise in a cluster that is referred to as Suva Central. Areas like Cumming Street and Marks Street are for clothing, jewellery, food, electronics, pharmaceuticals and more. Terry Walk and the Flea Market offer handicrafts and local ware. Close by, huge, new shopping complexes dominate the canal area, such as MHCC, Tappoo City and Suva Central. The general outer areas of this radius are telecommunication and electronic stores, tourist favourite - Jack's and sporting gear stores.

Every year, Suva plays host to Fiji Fashion Week (FJFW) usually held in Suva and a condensed version in Nadi over consecutive weeks in late October. The shows offer the creations of local and overseas designers as well as shows focused on wearable art.

Parks and gardens

Suva has a number of parks and a few gardens. Albert Park, in the City centre, is famous as the stage for many national-historical events such as the Independence of Fiji, the landing by Kingsford Smith on the Southern Cross and many parades and carnivals. Sukuna Park, also in the CBD is a popular recreational park and has many performances and events on a weekly basis. Thurston Gardens is the city's main botanical garden and the location of the Fiji Museum. Queen Elizabeth drive is popular as a scenic walk along Suva's foreshore. Many city residents go to the Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve, a short drive from the city center, to swim under the waterfalls.

Music

Many concerts are held in Suva, some coming from other countries to enjoy world-class performances. Concerts and shows are usually staged at one of the above-mentioned venues on a monthly basis. Some of the famous music artists to hold shows in Suva include UB40, Lucky Dube, O'Yaba, Sean Kingston and many others.

Food

Suva offers a varied and interesting culinary experience where almost every if not all major cuisines are represented. Particularly popular cuisines are Chinese, Indian, Fijian and Italian. At nights, especially on weekends, food stalls and outlets cater to the city's nightlife.

Festivals

During the course of the year, arts, music and trade festivals are held in Suva, albeit on a small scale. There are a few large and notable festivals that occur annually and these include the Hibiscus Festival (largest carnival in the South Pacific islands), the New Years Street Party, and the Fiji Show Case tradeshow that includes carnival rides, food as well as magic and circus performances.

Night life

Suva has a vibrant nightlife where most nightclubs and bars open in the late afternoon and remain open till 5 am. Suva's nightlife caters to all tastes, moods and likes. Food stalls are open throughout the night and the city is well policed at night. Apart from nightclubs, there are lounges and bars that cater to those seeking low-key entertainment

The seedier side of Suva is Victoria Parade where night clubs such Signals Night Club, East Court Restaurant, Angel Night Club are located in the same stretch.

Cinema

Downtown Suva has one main cinema complex, Village Six, owned by the Damodar Brothers. The Regal and Phoenix theaters, once prominent cinema/theatre haunts before the new millennium owned by the Sharan Brothers, have since closed down. A development expected to be finished at the beginning of 2013 is the Damodar city complex (also owned by the Damodar brothers), in the shopping area of Laucala Bay, which will have a further six screens, along with shopping and eating outlets and cafes.

Sports

Suva plays host to many regional and national sporting events. A special highlight is the Coca-Cola Games, the largest secondary school athletics meet in the world. The Capital City is represented in major sporting events by its respective rugby, netball and soccer teams.

Suva was the host of the first Pacific Games, in 1963. Forty years later in 2003 the Games returned to Fiji's capital, with a full program of 32 sports introduced for the first time. Suva held the games for the second time in 1979. Having hosted the event three times, Suva has held the Pacific Games more often than any other city.

History

In return for a promise to pay off debts owed to the United States by the Bauan chieftain, Seru Epenisa Cakobau, the Australian-based Polynesia Company was granted 5000 km² of land, 575 km² of it near what was then the village of Suva, in 1868. The original intention was to develop a cotton farming industry, but the land and climate proved unsuitable.

Following the annexation of the Fiji Islands by the United Kingdom in 1874, the colonial authorities decided to move the capital to Suva from Levuka in 1877, as Levuka's location, between a steep mountain and the sea, made any expansion of the town impractical. The transfer was made official in 1882. Colonel F.E. Pratt of the Royal Engineers was appointed Surveyor-General in 1875 and designed the new capital, assisted by W. Stephens and Colonel R.W. Stewart.

Following the promulgation of the Municipal Constitution Ordinance of 1909, Suva acquired municipal status in 1910. The town initially comprised one square mile; these boundaries remained intact until 1952 when the Muanikau and Samabula wards were annexed, expanding its territory to 13 square kilometers. In October that year, Suva was proclaimed a city — Fiji's first. Tamavua was subsequently annexed; the most recent extension of the city boundaries has been to incorporate the Cunningham area to the north of the city. Urban sprawl has resulted in a number of suburbs that remain outside of the city limits; together with the city itself, they form a metropolitan area known as the Greater Suva Area.

The city hosted the 2003 South Pacific Games, being the third time in the event's 40-year history that they had been held in Suva. As part of the hosting of the event, a new gymnasium and indoor sports center, swimming pool, and stadium; field hockey pitch; and stands were built in the area around Suva, funded by the government and a $16 million People's Republic of China aid package.

Climate

Suva features a tropical rainforest climate.

The city sees a copious amount of precipitation during the course of the year, with no true dry season due to no month having an average rainfall below 60 mm (2 in). Suva averages 3,000 mm (118.11 inches) of precipitation annually with its driest month, July averaging 125 mm (4.92 in). In fact, during all 12 months of the year, Suva receives substantial precipitation, such that the term "fine weather" in a weather report simply means "not actually raining".

Like many other cities with a tropical rainforest climate, temperatures are relatively constant throughout the year, with an average high of about 28 °C (82 °F) and an average low of about 22 °C (72 °F).

Climate data for Suva, Fiji

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)35.0
(95)
36.0
(96.8)
37.0
(98.6)
34.0
(93.2)
34.0
(93.2)
32.0
(89.6)
32.0
(89.6)
32.0
(89.6)
32.0
(89.6)
34.0
(93.2)
34.0
(93.2)
36.0
(96.8)
37.0
(98.6)
Average high °C (°F)29.0
(84.2)
29.0
(84.2)
29.0
(84.2)
29.0
(84.2)
28.0
(82.4)
27.0
(80.6)
26.0
(78.8)
26.0
(78.8)
27.0
(80.6)
27.0
(80.6)
28.0
(82.4)
29.0
(84.2)
28.0
(82.4)
Average low °C (°F)23.0
(73.4)
23.0
(73.4)
23.0
(73.4)
23.0
(73.4)
22.0
(71.6)
21.0
(69.8)
20.0
(68)
20.0
(68)
21.0
(69.8)
21.0
(69.8)
22.0
(71.6)
23.0
(73.4)
22.0
(71.6)
Record low °C (°F)19.0
(66.2)
19.0
(66.2)
19.0
(66.2)
16.0
(60.8)
16.0
(60.8)
14.0
(57.2)
13.0
(55.4)
14.0
(57.2)
14.0
(57.2)
14.0
(57.2)
13.0
(55.4)
17.0
(62.6)
13.0
(55.4)
              
Source: www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/

Geography

Suva is the capital of Fiji and is a harbour city built on a peninsula reaching out into the sea. It has a mix of modern buildings and traditional colonial architecture.

The city is perched on a hilly peninsula between Laucala Bay and Suva Harbour in the southeast corner of Viti Levu. The mountains north and west catch the southeast trade winds, producing moist conditions year round.

Suva is the commercial and political centre of Fiji, though not necessarily the cultural centre, and the largest urban area in the South Pacific outside of Australia and New Zealand. It is Fiji's main port city.

Although Suva is on a peninsula, and almost surrounded by sea, the nearest beach is 40 kilometres (25 mi) away at Pacific Harbour and the nearby coast is lined by mangroves. A significant part of the city centre, including the old Parliament buildings, is built on reclaimed mangrove swamp.

Economy

Unlike most cities and towns in Fiji and indeed many around the world, Suva did not grow around one industry but has gradually developed as a hub and one of the largest cities in the Pacific Islands. Suva is the commercial centre of Fiji with most banks having their Pacific headquarters here, including ANZ and the Westpac Bank. Most national financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and government ministries and departments are headquartered here. At one point both Air Pacific (now called Fiji Airways and Air Fiji were headquartered in Suva.

A large part of Fiji's international shipping is conducted at Suva's Kings Wharf as well as docking of international cruise ships, which has led to a growth in Suva's tourism industry. Many services are provided in Suva and is the basis of Suva's industrial and commercial activity.

There are large industrial areas, the largest being at Walu Bay, where there is a saturation of factories and warehouses and import and export companies. This area contains many shipyards for ship building and repairs as well as container yards. There is a brewery and many printeries. Other notable industrial zones are located in Vatuwaqa, Raiwaqa and Laucala Beach.

There is a large commercial and shopping scene in Suva with streets such as Cumming Street and Victoria Parade being popular. There are many shopping complexes to visit and many markets.

Subdivisions

The city's six wards beginning from the city centre, then north, then clockwise rotation.

  • Central: city centre, CBD, nucleus of the city.
  • Tamavua: residential and urban area.
  • Cunningham: semi-urban and residential area.
  • Nabua: military base, Southern Division Police Headquarters, urban, residential, separate town centre, and industrial zone.
  • Samabula: urban, residential, separate town centre, university, and large industrial zones.
  • Muanikau: residential, urban, large sporting venues, university, and recreational areas.

Prices in Suva

PRICES LIST - USD

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter$ 1.35
Tomatoes1 kg$ 1.45
Cheese0.5 kg$ 4.40
Apples1 kg$ 1.90
Oranges1 kg$ 2.30
Beer (domestic)0.5 l$ 1.70
Bottle of Wine1 bottle$ 10.00
Coca-Cola2 liters$ 1.50
Bread1 piece$ 0.65
Water1.5 l$ 1.15

PRICES LIST - USD

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2$ 16.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2$ 25.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2$ 42.00
Mac Meal or similar1 meal$ 4.80
Water0.33 l$ 0.70
Cappuccino1 cup$ 2.00
Beer (Imported)0.33 l$ 3.40
Beer (domestic)0.5 l$ 2.35
Coca-Cola0.33 l$ 1.10
Coctail drink1 drink$ 9.00

PRICES LIST - USD

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets$ 6.00
Gym1 month$ 20.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut$ 2.80
Theatar2 tickets$ 16.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.$ 0.20
Pack of Marlboro1 pack$ 3.70

PRICES LIST - USD

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack
Tampons32 pieces$ 4.80
Deodorant50 ml.$ 2.70
Shampoo400 ml.$ 2.20
Toilet paper4 rolls$ 1.60
Toothpaste1 tube$ 2.60

PRICES LIST - USD

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1
Leather shoes1

PRICES LIST - USD

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter$ 1.15
TaxiStart$ 0.70
Taxi1 km$ 0.70
Local Transport1 ticket$ 0.35

Tourist (Backpacker)  

41 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

161 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Suva is accessible by airplane, bus, car and boat.

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Fiji Airways (Fiji majority owned) provides national and international flights to Suva.

The closest airport is the Nausori International Airport , located about 23 kilometers (30 minute drive) away, in Nausori. Although Nausori International Airport caters mostly to the domestic market, connecting Suva with Fiji's other international airport in Nadi, it also serves some smaller international aircraft.

Transportation - Get In

By bus and car

Busses connect Suva to all major cities in Viti Levu. People can take normal busses or mini-busses. Tourists are strongly not advised to use the mini-busses.

Three major roads exit Suva and lead to different parts of Viti Levu. Kings Highway leads east from Suva; the next major towns to the east are Nausori and Korovou. Queens Highway leads west from Suva, passing Lami; the next major towns to the west are Navua, Pacific Harbor, and Sigatoka. Princes Highway goes north from Suva, through Colo-i-Suva Forest Park, and eventually connects to Kings Highway in Nausori at the Rewa Bridge, the longest bridge in Fiji and the longest bridge of its type in the South Pacific.

Suva is one of Fiji's major harbors and is home to a fishing fleet and major port. Cruise ships also stop in Suva. Several boat companies cooperate with bus companies to permit travelers to visit other islands by taking a bus from Suva, using a roll-on/roll-off (or RO-RO) ferry, and continuing to the town destination on the island. One example if this bus/boat combination is the trip from Suva to Levuka (Fiji's former capitol) on the island of Ovalau.

 


Transportation - Get Around

Tourists and residents often use taxis as they are affordable, plentiful and easy to access. People can also take a bus to travel around Suva and to major cities and towns for an even more affordable price.

Hotels

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Hotels

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Shopping

Suva is one of the most shopper friendly cities in the Pacific and has long been known for its affordable and unique offerings, often duty-free. The city offers its shopping paradise in a cluster that is referred to as Suva Central. Areas like Cumming Street and Marks Street are for clothing, jewellery, food, electronics, pharmaceuticals and more. Terry Walk and the Flea Market offer handicrafts and local ware. Close by, huge, new shopping complexes dominate the canal area, such as MHCC, Tappoo City and Suva Central. The general outer areas of this radius are telecommunication and electronic stores, tourist favourite – Jack's and sporting gear stores.

Every year, Suva plays host to Fiji Fashion Week (FJFW) usually held in Suva and a condensed version in Nadi over consecutive weeks in late October. The shows offer the creations of local and overseas designers as well as shows focused on wearable art. FJFW began in 2008, with a show at the Hilton Hotel in Denarau, with the 2009 show at Albert Park. In 2010, Fiji Fashion Week was a bigger extravaganza with a Fashion Film Festival as well. FJFW 2010 was held at Boron House (a state mansion) where the shows were broadcast internationally by world-renowned Fashion TV. In 2011, the show took on a distinct urban theme with the show held on the sixth floor of the Tappoo City building with the city of Suva as a backdrop and for the first time, included models from overseas (mostly, international models who were in Fiji for the World Supermodel Competition). Fiji Fashion Week 2012 brings together designers from France, USA, India, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Nigeria, Samoa, Cook Islands, Wallis & Futuna and Fiji. It will once again be shown on Fashion TV.

Restaurants

The Indian influence from the significant population in Suva is evident in the food. The Indian food in town is authentic, tasty, and good value.

For something upscale, try a restaurant inside one of the fancier Suva hotels, such as the Tanoa Plaza, the Southern Cross, or the Holiday Inn. For a quick economical meal in pleasant surroundings, go to the food court upstairs at the Harbour Centre and choose from a great variety of local and Chinese dishes (and you get to look before you buy) and sit and enjoy the view, or get a sack of fish and chips and sit by the waterfront or at the botanical garden.

  • Singh's Curry HouseCorner of Gordon Street & Victoria Parade, Suva. Sells cheap and delicious authentic Fijian curry. Eat in or takeaway.
  • AshiyanaOld Town Hall, Victoria Parade. A good Indian restaurant. $5-$10FJD.
  • Scott'sSouthern Cross Hotel. High-end European cuisine. The best steaks in town.
  • Palm Court BistroQBE Centre, Victoria parade (next o ANZ Bank building),9962251. 7am-5pm. Outdoor Cafe, relaxed atmosphere. Palm Court Bistro has an all day breakfast menu, however they are renowned for their freshly made sandwiches made to order from the sandwich bar. $7-$15fjd.
  • Suva does have several western fast-food outlets available including McDonald's and Nando's.

Coffe & Drink

  • Fr or Fringing ReefQueen Elizabeth Drive (Just down from Suva Grammar School). This bar and coffee shop is situated literally on the water and has a view that matches its location. Sometimes fish & chips and other food is available from the kitchen. The location is also accessible by walking along the sea-wall path.

Sights & Landmarks

A well-known landmark is the Suva City Library or the Carnegie Library, built in 1909 as well as many other colonial buildings.

The government buildings complex sits on what was once the flowing waters of a creek. It was drained in 1935 and over five kilometres of reinforced concrete pilings were driven into the creek bed to support the massive buildings to be erected. After the foundation stone was laid in 1937, the building was completed in 1939; a new wing was completed in 1967. Parliament, however, was moved to a new complex on Ratu Sukuna Road in 1992.

Government House was formerly the residence of Fiji's colonial Governors and, following independence in 1970, Governors-General. It is now the official residence of Fiji'sPresident. Originally erected in 1882, it had to be rebuilt in 1928, following its destruction by lightning in 1921.

The Suva campus of the University of the South Pacific (USP) occupies what was once a New Zealand military base. It is the largest of the many USP campuses dotted throughout the South Pacific and the largest university in the Pacific Islands outside Hawaii. It offers courses which are internationally recognised and endorsed.

The Fiji Museum, in Thurston Gardens, was founded in 1904 and originally occupied the old town hall, but moved to its present location in 1954. The museum houses the most extensive collection of Fijian artefacts in the world, and is also a research and educational institution, specialising in archaeology, the preservation of Fiji's oral tradition, and the publication of material on Fiji's language and culture.

Suva has around 78 parks, these include the new Takashi Suzuki Garden, Apted Parkat Suva Point which is a popular spot for viewing sunrise and sunset, Thurston Gardens which was opened in 1913 and has flora from throughout the South Pacific.

Suva has many shopping and retail areas, notably Cumming street, which has since colonial times been a vibrant and colourful shopping area. Features of these streets include the original colonial buildings and narrow roads. More modern shopping malls, such as the Suva Central Shopping Mall, Mid-City Mall as well as MHCC are all part of the developments to give the city a modern and sophisticated look.

In December 2009, there was an addition to Suva's skyline with the opening of TappooCity valued at USD25.7 million (FJD50 million) a joint venture six-storey low-rise building project by FNPF & Tappoo Group of Companies as Fiji's (and South Pacific's) largest department mall at present outside Australia & New Zealand.

Construction work began in January 2011 for a FJD30 million mini-mall complex at Grantham Road behind the Sports-City Complex and close proximity to University of the South Pacific, which will house restaurants, retail outlets and cinemas. Although construction was scheduled for end 2011, this complex will now be ready mid-2012.

Municipal Handicraft Centre To the left of the fruit and vegetable markets are the Suva handicraft markets. Rows full of Fijian wooden carvings, straw goods and Fijian handicraft souvenirs. Don't be afraid to bargain with the shop owners for a better price!

Suva Municipal Market Right in Suva town are these fruit and vegetable markets. Sells all kinds of different tropical fruit and vegetables.

Museums & Galleries

  • Fiji MuseumPO Box 2023 Govt Bldgs,  +679 331 5944, +679 331 5043. The Fiji Museum is an excellent place for tourists to understand the historical background of Fiji. With artifacts dating back as far as 3,700 years it provides many exhibits that educate travelers on the nation's traditions and culture. The museum is located in heart of Suva’s botanical gardens. $7 FJ.

Things to do

Unfortunately, there are no tourist-quality beaches in Suva. The closest tourist-quality beach to Suva is at Pacific Harbor. The beach at Apted Park (at the bottom of Laucala Bay Road) and the kitesurfing-friendly beach (on Queen Elizabeth Road, near the National Stadium) are often frequented by locals despite the high levels of trash and fecal coliform found in the water.

Local rugby and soccer matches can be exciting events and are free of riots. Rugby matches are most often held in Albert Park, across from the Suva Lawn Bowls club. Soccer matches are often in the National Stadium on Laucala Bay Road. International hockey (field hockey) matches are at the National Hockey Stadium, near The University of the South Pacific and the National Stadium.

Festivals and events

During the course of the year, arts, music and trade festivals are held in Suva, albeit on a small scale. There are a few large and notable festivals that occur annually and these include the Hibiscus Festival (largest carnival in the South Pacific islands), the New Years Street Party, and the Fiji Show Case tradeshow that includes carnival rides, food as well as magic and circus performances.

Nightlife

Suva has a vibrant nightlife where most nightclubs and bars open in the late afternoon and remain open till 5 am. Suva's nightlife caters to all tastes, moods and likes. Food stalls are open throughout the night and the city is well policed at night. Apart from nightclubs, there are lounges and bars that cater to those seeking low-key entertainment

The seedier side of Suva is Victoria Parade where night clubs such Signals Night Club, East Court Restaurant, Angel Night Club are located in the same stretch.

Safety in Suva

Stay Safe

Suva is a friendly city, but there are some pickpockets and thieves. Avoid people who approach you asking for your name and country. They often want to lead you to a shop and then try to sell you overpriced souvenirs they might have hand-made themselves. Goods sold by these people are very overpriced -- tourists are strongly not advised to purchase anything from these places.

Do not let anyone lead you off to another location to see something such as a ship from your country as this is an scam to isolate you and put you in a weak position. You may later encounter something such as a robbery. Offers of anything free are probably not, even in friendly Fiji.

High / 7.5

Safety (Walking alone - day)

Mid. / 4.5

Safety (Walking alone - night)

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