Suva, the capital city, is not like the Fiji of picture postcards. It's more of an industrial and Government centre and, on a Sunday, we quickly discovered that every shop is closed. The malls and a few outlets opened especially to extract tourist dollars from us cruisers – and fair enough. Opportunities to capitalise on tourism dollars in this part of the country are rare as tourists flock to the more popular resorts on the other side of the island. It's quite surreal to realise that your cruise liner has more storeys than any buildings in the CBD; its presence in the harbour is obvious.
|Overlooking Suva harbour|
We set off in an air conditioned van – pure luxury on a 28°C day. (Yes, we kiwis are only used to highs of 15°C at this time of year.) We stopped for photo opportunities and sunshine at various sites before making our way to a traditional Fijian village, Orchid Island. This village was hit pretty hard by Cyclone Winston earlier this year but they've done a fantastic job cleaning up the damage. The village lives independently of government funding and tourism helps generate some income.
|Thatched village hut|
|Hand woven roof over a walkway|
|A traditional Fijian temple|
|Weaving and carvings. The tiny white shells represent dead chiefs' wives' fingers.|
|Looking up towards the temple roof|
|Home to two horn billed turtles|
|Orchid Island cultural centre|
|Waterfall and watering hole|