Fiji is an important centre for Melanesian culture and history and is preserved in living form within the many villages and visitor centres as well as historical museums and sites. Away from the all-inclusive resorts and beach boutiques is the fascinating world of the ancient Fijians. Here are some of our favourite cultural attractions in Fiji:
Flavours of Fiji Cooking School
Learn to cook the Fijian way with fun, interactive half day cooking classes where you’ll learn how to prepare a Fijian feast, Indian thali as well as tropical sweets. There’s even a kids’ kitchen. You have a proper cooking station and you’ll get a glimpse of the food culture too.
Nakabuta Pottery Village
Many hundreds of years ago, before the modern Fijians, a culture known as Lapita from Asia colonised Fiji, bringing with them the art of pottery. At Nakabuta Pottery Village, you’ll learn a little about this mysterious people and how they made their signature pottery.
Nakavu Village & Waterfall
Fiji village visits and tours follow a common pattern in that you will receive a formal greeting and kava ceremony then be welcome to interact with the residents in dance and meals. Nakavu, near Pacific Harbour, want you to cool off and enjoy their iconic waterfall.
Near modern Denarau you might be surprised to find this authentic Fijian-style village complete with thatch roofed huts in a beautiful highland location. Your tour includes the welcome ceremony and a visit to the school with your guide who will help you interpret the customs and protocols.
Lautoka Botanical Gardens
On its own, Lautoka isn’t the tourism magnet, but the city really has pride in the Botanical Gardens which provide a hub of tranquility in this bustling little business centre. You can talk to the horticulturalist during the week or just relax under a shady tree.
Fiji Museum, Suva
Set amid the expansive botanic gardens in downtown Suva, is this classic natural history and cultural museum. Recently refreshed, you'll gain insight into the Fijian and colonial history of this country. Ancient artefacts are mixed with modern relics and there is a decent little gift shop.
Momi Gun Battery, Nadi
In the heat of the Second World War, it was clear Fiji was an objective of the Japanese and these two 6in guns were installed as some token defence against the foreseen naval invasion. Fortunately they were never used in anger and now house an interesting museum.
Near Sigatoka are the Naihehe Caves, Fiji's largest cave system with substantial cultural and historical significance. Recommend you take a properly conducted tour with experienced guide for this adventure as you will need torches and gear as well as informed interpretation to get full value.
If modern culture is more your scene, why not see Fijians play a game of rugby? These boys are something to watch. Powerful, fast and agile, you can easily see how even for a small nation, Fiji competes with the world’s best. Big games are played in Suva, but locals play everywhere.
This is quite the spectacle and not to be missed. Even though today this ancient and solemn ceremony is mainly only performed for tourists the fire walkers still walk as they always have, barefoot across a pit of red-hot stones. Probably best not try this at home.