I'm a mother to three, living in and loving Fiji since 2001. I also do wedding and portrait photography under my business, Island Encounters Photography, based in Nadi, Fiji. www.islandencountersphotography.com
Published January 9th 2013
When you arrive in Nadi, Fiji, you'll be greeted by our iconic "Sleeping Giant", a gargantuan, snoring green monster whose belly is often blanketed in the clouds.
If you're tired of the beach and want to see another side of Fiji, take a taxi ride from your hotel to the base of the mountains, to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant.
The gardens were originally started in the 70's by the late actor Raymond Burr, to house his private collection of orchids. The gardens have since grown to include over a thousand varieties of orchids, and showcase many other examples of Fiji's beautiful vegetation as well (spread over 20 hectares). You'll find a fish pond, shady cool walkways and boardwalks, and plants that make you feel like a midgit.
The gardens are open Monday to Saturdays – 9 am to 5 pm and are about a 10 minute drive from the airport. There is a admission fee, which entitles you to an entire day to enjoy the footpaths and flowers, and includes a refreshing glass of tropical juice at the end of your experience. Sit in one of these wicker lounges and relax in one of the most tranquil environments around.
This is the perfect activity for a hot day, as most of the pathways are shaded by a cool canopy of lush jungle and trees. My little one had no problem walking the short loop, but there are many more paths and trails to explore if you're keen. You can even climb the hill to experience stunning vistas of the ocean on one side and the interior highlands on the other.