Albert Park was named after the royal consort to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and has always been a general recreational park complete with a cricket pitch and tennis court. This land was obtained through a grant by the Polynesia Company as inducement to move the capital to Suva. The grounds are the site for the yearly Hibiscus Festival with a pavilion erected for various musical and competitive events, and an assortment of fun rides and food stalls.
It is also the site for Suva’s New Year’s Eve celebrations with hundreds of revelers enjoying the warm tropical air, loud music, dancing and general festivities. The event is promoted as a family event and alcohol is banned.
The Government Buildings is one of the most prominent buildings in Suva. It is a magnificent example of colonial architecture with its imposing portico and pillars. It contains various government departments including courthouses and the Department of Lands and Survey which has maps and city plans for sale to the general public. The Department of Information is also based here and airs the news bulletin ‘Fiji Today’, everyday on the free to air channel “FBC TV”. The public is free to sit in on any court hearing and the building is open to visitors.
The National Archives of Fiji is a Government owned entity which maintains records of events in Fiji. It has an archive of newspapers, videos and books maintaining an impressive record of Fiji’s past and present history. The records are maintained in a controlled atmosphere to ensure preservation and are available for all to view. If you are a history buff or just intrigued by what you’ve heard of Fiji’s history thus far, come and have a browse. Don’t be surprised if what was intended to take an hour turns into an all-day event.
Parliament of Fiji
The Parliament of Fiji has not sat since the overthrow of Laisenia Qarase’s Government. However, it is permitted to tour the beautiful structure based on the concept of a traditional Fijian ‘Bure’ (Fijian house).
Suva City Library
Situated next to the Old Town Hall in Victoria Parade and built in 1909 the Suva City Library is a magnificent building, built in the standard design and funded by philanthropist and US steel magnate Dale Carnegie who has donated to libraries all over the world. Take time to breathe in the historical and quiet atmosphere and peruse the library’s shelves of books and if time permits take a seat and avail yourself of a quiet read.
Suva Flea Market
Suva Flea Market located along Rodwell Road features a wide range of souvenirs, clothing and wooden artifacts and woven handicrafts at reasonable prices. It’s a fun place and the perfect place to get to know the locals.
Grand Pacific Hotel – ‘the Grand Old Lady’
The Grand Pacific Hotel was built by the Union Steamship Company in 1914 on a stretch of foreshore land that used to be called Vu-ni-Vesi so named because of a group of Vesi trees growing there.
The design was to give passengers the impression they had never gone ashore with rooms designed similar to first-class staterooms on the second floor so guests could step outside on a 4.6metre wide verandah overlooking the harbor and walk right around the building similar to that of a ship boardwalk.
In its hey-day it boasted famous guests including Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Somerset Maugham, James A Michener and Queen Elizabeth 11.
Unfortunately ‘the grand old lady’ has been closed since 1992 and has languished ever since. Several attempts at restoration failed however she is now undergoing reconstruction to her former glory through the efforts of the current Fiji Government and Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF).
Suva Olympic Swimming Pool is always bustling with locals and visitors alike and is a giant outdoor oasis for those feeling the heat on a hot Fijian day. Entry to the pool is very reasonable with an area for children, formal lap lanes and changing cubicles.
Child: $0.80 (13 Years and Under)
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm
Address: 22 Victoria Parade, City Centre.
Old Town Hall
The Old Town Hall located on Victoria Parade, was constructed just after the turn of the century and is a fine example of Victorian architecture. Not only does it serve the requirements of government, it is also a centre for the performing arts and hosts concerts, vaudeville acts and amateur shows. It is also available for private functions.