If there is one place that is central to much of the excitement in Viti Levu, it's Pacific Harbour. It's not known as "the adventure capital of Fiji" for nothing.
While many people still think of, and refer to this area as Pacific Harbour, it has in fact been recently rebranded with a new name. Pacific Coast. This initiative by the Fiji toursim board is part of an overall rebranding strategy. The well known slogan, FIJI ME will no longer be used, Air Pacific will revert back to their old name Air Fiji, along with a host of other changes. But for locals and many repeat visitors, the name Pacific Harbour will likely remain for some time to come.
Only a 30 min drive west of Suva (around 3hrs east of Nadi), the area has been growing in leaps and bounds within the Fiji tourism market.
That really isn't a big surprise, to those that know what this area has to offer. From backpacker to luxury accommodation, and more adrenalin filled activities than you can do in a week.
The main center is to the left of the main road (when driving from Nadi to Suva). You can't miss it. There is a big complex that has restaurants, a supermarket and banks, arts and cultural center, an internet cafe, laundromat, etc. During a recent visit, the weather was less than kind to us. Rainy and poor light conditions (yes, even paradise does get inclement weather sometimes). Not ideal conditions for photography.
So unfortunately, due to adverse conditions, the images on this page don't really do justice to the place. But on our next trip (and there will be one) I should be carrying a decent SLR camera, and hopefully, we will get good weather. It really is a beautiful place when the sun is shining. Actually, there are images from two different trips on this page...and it was overcast and raining both times. Third time lucky perhaps.
There is actually a backpackers right in the heart of Pacific Harbour. The name of this place is Tsula Luxury Backpackers, although from reviews that I have read, I'm not entirely sure where the luxury bit comes in.
Still, if you are only looking for a place to lay your head at night, this might just be suitable. It's quite cheap, very central with eateries, bars, cafes, supermarket, internet cafe etc only a short stroll away. Do note however, that Pacific Harbour is not right on the beach. You will need to cross the Queens highway and walk another 400 meters to get there.
Unfortunately, they don't have a website, so if you book it will need to be through one of the hostel sites. However, from all accounts, it is never even close to full (perhaps that is due to the non beachside location), so you might take a chance and just turn up. Or give them a ring first, their ph is (679) 345 0065.
Definitely worth a visit. All sorts of displays, and they run shows as well...you really need to call in to find the times for these, as attractions are always changing. The "offical" name to this area is now the Arts Village though I still think of it as "The Cultural Center". I need to get with the times ;-)
You will find the center in the main part of town, it's impossible to miss. They have a traditional village reacreation in behind the center, where they hold night shows...highly recommended!
This area is probably most well known for it's diving opportunities. Just offshore in the Beqa lagoon (pronounced mben-gah), is the island of Beqa, home to Fiji's famous firewalkers. They perform regularly at the cultural cen....oops, I mean the Arts Village.
While the astrolabe reef near Kadavu is probably the most well known of Fiji's diving spots, the Beqa area comes pretty close.
And one of the most popular dives, is the shark dive. Definitely not for the faint hearted, this is something you will always remember...hand feeding large, wild sharks. The waters around Fiji tend to be clearer during the winter months (or what passes for winter in Fiji) with 100-150' visibility. It's still good at other times, but if you want the absolute best, then consider having your vacation during the months of June-August.
A few miles offshore, is the best surfing in the area.... Frigates Passage (a left hand reef break).
The only Pacific Harbour resort specializing in surfing and diving, is
Waidroka Bay Resort. Rates start at
fj$230 pp a night, putting it outside the budget range. However, the location, facilities, range of activities, and experienced staff might
make the extra costs worthwhile. This is actually no more than you would pay for a Coral Coast resort like Rydges Hideaway,
but with superior rooms/bures, and access to much better diving and surfing.
Read, or download the Waidroka pdf brochure.
I'm a keen golfer (which unfortunately doesn't mean a good one), and while I haven't played here myself, I have talked to people that have. The general consensus is that because it rains so much here, the course tends to suffer. Long grass on the fairways, very boggy in the rough, and not an easy course to score well on.
I've also heard it's a little run down compared to it's glory days. Cart hire is a must (it's a long energy sapping course, and weather can be very humid). A round with cart hire will supposedly cost you somwhere in the vicinity of fj$100, although I can't verify the exact price.
This is probably not to the standard of the world class Denarau course, but then again, you can't compare apples to oranges. This is a championship course, whereas the Denarau one is a resort style (traditionally resort will be easier).
Even if the green fees are a bit steep for your budget, you can go to the driving range to hit a few balls, before having a cold beer and perhaps something to eat in the club house.
Those that stay at the Pearl resort get discounted green fees. But as room prices at that resort start at over fj$330 a night, it's probably a false economy to stay there just to get a cheaper round of golf ;-)
As I get sweaty palms standing on a chair to change a lightbulb, this really isn't for me. And it's just a bit on the pricey side as well. But if a bit of "soft adventure" and excitement is your thing, and you're okay with heights, then perhaps think about giving this a try.Visit the zipline website