MHCC (Thomson Street, Suva, Viti Levu) – “the “MH” in MHCC stands for Morris Hedstrom, a Fiji-based retailer that’s been around since 1868 (mushrooming since then into a chain of supermarkets and variety stores). Located in downtown suva, this mall has various retailers covering everything from apparel to electronics, toys, and even automobiles. There’s also a food court with a variety of dining options.
Cloud 9 (Roro Reef, off Malolo Island, Mamanuca Islands) — If there is one bar to visit in Fiji, this is it. It is the only two-level platforms floating bar that is fully stocked with amazing cocktails, beers and wine as well as a wood fire pizza oven. Considering it’s in the middle of the ocean, you will have to plan ahead to visit here.
Daily departures are available via boat ride by booking directly through the bar/restaurant, which depart Denerau at 9 am and return by 4 pm. You will find sun loungers, benches, chairs, tables and hanging chairs to relax in while sipping cocktails and listening to a DJ spinning hits. There are also lots of pizza options for vegetarians and gluten-free food for guests here. For the most unique and happening place on the islands, head to the floating Cloud 9 bar.
B26 Bomber Wreck (Beachcomber Island) – this small island located off the west coast of Fiji Island has an unusual offshore site. Scattered across the sea floor near this island are the remains of a downed B26 bomber aircraft. Tourists conducting diving excursions in this area will come across pieces and entire wing sections & propellers of this World War II aircraft.
Albert Park (Victoria Parade, Suva) – it was named after Prince Albert, the Consort of Queen Victoria of Great Britain, to whom the country was ceded to in 1874. It was originally constructed as a cricket ground back in the 1880s. It has since hosted sporting events, national celebrations, visiting dignitaries, and was even the site of the first airplane landing (in 1928). Albert Park can currently hold four rugby matches at one time.
Beach Cocomo Vakacegu (Lot 1, Navoto Sovi Bay, Sigatoka, Viti Levu) — this quaint cafe offers delicious food and quality service to its diners. Meals are prepared at this restaurant using traditional earth oven-cooking method named, lovo in local Fijian traditions. If you are craving for traditional Fijian specialties, then this café is a great find.
Bilo Gun Batteries / Bunkers (Lami, Fiji Island) — an important part of the Fiji Defence Force during this time was the Bilo Battery Gun Site. The Bilo Battery, located at Lami (in the outskirts of Suva) was constructed in January of 1941 to defend Suva Harbour from any Japanese military attacks. The Bilo Battery was a key part of the defense of Fiji, being one of only four gun positions protecting Suva. The others were located near the Parliament House, Veiuto, at the Forum Secretariat/Nasonini area, and at Flagstaff Reservoir Hill. Other gun batteries in Fiji were on the western side of Viti Levu, at Momi and Vuda. The Bilo Battery was home to two 6’’ guns and two 4.7’’ guns. While there are no guns remaining at the site, the underground ammunition storage is still there.
During the war years the New Zealand Army replaced the Fiji Defense Force and they were in turn replaced by the United States Army, before the U.S. Army pulled out of Fiji in 1944, to head to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea as the battle continued in the Pacific further north. Fortunately for the locals, the Japanese never got around to attacking the island. Today, the Bilo Battery stands as a physical reminder of World War 2. Hours: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm (Monday – Saturday)
Fiji, a country in the South Pacific, is an archipelago of more than 300 islands. Historians note that Fiji was originally settled by Austronesians and later by Melanesians, with some Polynesian influences. The first European contact with Fiji was during the 17th century (when Dutch explorer Abel Tasman came across the islands during his voyage through the South Pacific in 1643). The islands’ ruler Seru Epenisa Cakobau declared himself King of Fiji in 1871. A short time later (1874), he ceded sovereignty of Fiji to the British, making it a Crown colony of the British Empire. This happened at a time when other European powers and even the then isolationist USA competed for outposts in the Pacific.
British rule continued until 1970, when Fiji became independent. Since then, Fiji has gone through occasional periods of political instability, particularly in 1987 when a series of coups occurred. Another coup occurred in 2006. Even though Fiji is currently a republic, there’s still on and off debate on whether Fiji should return to British rule and recognize Queen Elizabeth once again as its monarch.
Fiji is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economies, though it remains a developing country with a large subsistence agriculture sector. Agriculture accounts for 18% of gross domestic product, although it employed some 70% of the workforce as of 2001.
In recent years, tourism and sugar have been Fiji’s main sources of income. About 40% of Fiji’s visitors come from Australia, with large contingents also coming from New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Pacific Islands. Tourist arrivals grew by 7% in 2011 and reached the 680,000. Fiji’s gross earnings from tourism in 2011 totaled $1.051 billion, more than the combined revenues of the country’s top five exports (fish, water, garments, timber, and gold).
The direct contribution of tourism to Fiji’s GDP is measured through the accommodation & food services activities sector (which includes short term accommodation activities of hotels & resorts as well as food & beverage serving activities), which has increased from an average of 3.0 percent in the 1980-1990s to 6.4 percent of GDP in the 2011-2016 period.
What brings tourists to Fiji is obvious: its location in the South Pacific (which enjoys enviable tropical weather all year round). The tourism industry’s combined direct and indirect contributions to GDP averaged above 30.0 percent, over the past seven years. Additionally, the industry provides direct and indirect employment to an estimated 45,000 people. All this, despite the fact that Fiji must compete with other South Pacific destinations for tourists, such as Samoa, and French Polynesia (Tahiti and Bora Bora), along with Hawaii.