Located around ten minutes from the city, Colo-i-Suva is a national park that boasts a crystal clear river set in serene and peaceful surroundings amidst a spectacular rainforest making this a perfect spot for a cool dip followed by a picnic under the canopy of trees. Colo-i-Suva is one of the national heritage parks in Fiji. Apart from day tripping, it’s the ideal place to go bird watching especially when you have fellow friends accompanying you. The weather is much cooler than Suva city with temperatures falling to as low as ten degrees at altitudes of 120-180m accompanied by frequent rainfalls. The air is clean and crisp with only the calls of local birdlife penetrating the atmosphere. It is truly a special place that will sooth your soul as you immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.
There are two car parks at the entrance of the park. One will lead to the upper pools and the other to lower pools. Choose your hike or trek and make a start into your rainforest experience. There are two pristine and clear waterfalls in the park, one being the famous Waisila Falls which is around fifteen metres deep making for a great place to do a spot of swimming and diving.
At times you will pass a four wheel drive carting mats and crates of food intended for a waterfall/pool side day of fun. However there is also the option of walking across the road to Raintree Lodge, a popular, secluded lodge with great food and natural ambience. The lodge is frequented by locals and tourists alike who are either staying in-house or on a day trip with friends and family. The lodge is also a popular destination for international backpackers.
However at certain times of the year, particularly in the low tourist season, you may find yourself the lone participant on the hiking tracks in the middle of the week. The average time for a hike in the park is around one hour. However there are usually some local children who, for whatever reason are not in school, diving and having a carefree day. Their joy and happiness is infectious and you’ll soon be laughing along with them in no time.
There are numerous pools scattered around the rainforest park interspersed with zigzagging tracks making some hesitant to proceed further into unknown areas. That is until you hear shrieks of laughter and splashing around. There are no diving boards as these are natural pools but by steadying yourself on boulders on either sides of waterfalls or pools you can take the plunge. And for those with a penchant for more risky and adventurous dives, try the ‘Tarzan’ approach by grabbing onto the nearest hanging vine and swing till you drop!
If you are not a local be aware if you wander around too much on unmarked tracks it could get difficult to find your way back. It’s also wise to have a water bottle handy as hiking can be a thirsty exercise.