Take a walk through Thurston Gardens as a prelude to your museum experience. It has European plant and tree life in abundance, a legacy of Colonial times, and sections that display the vibrancy of indigenous tropical flora. Savor the peace and tranquility of these beautiful surroundings whilst inhaling the fragrances of full blown blossoms in contrast to the tangy, salty smell of the sea.
Thurston Gardens are the botanical gardens of Fiji. They used to be known as the Suva Botanical Gardens but its name was changed in honour of the fifth Governor of Fiji, Sir John Bates Thurston, who was Governor from February 1888 to March 1897.
Thurston Gardens are built on the site of the original town of Suva that was burned in 1843 in one of the bloodiest fights in Fiji’s history. Many of the inhabitants were killed and eaten by the people of Rewa. The Clock Tower and band stand were constructed in 1918 in memory of the first mayor of Suva.
Things are a bit different nowadays. People stroll through the gardens taking in the sea air, children play under the historical fig trees, couples picnic in the cooling shade while historians check out the Clock Tower and bandstand. All in all the gardens instill a therapeutic feeling of peace and tranquility.