By Kite Pareti
The Navua-Deuba/Pacific Harbour area is an hour’s drive from Suva and Sigatoka. It has a thriving community of nearly 20,000 residents and is home to veteran soccer legend Patrick Wise and rugby star Waisea Nayacalevu.
It is a place of pilgrimage for many local families and friends looking for a welcoming beachside picnic spot.
For many years, the crowning glory of the area was the Pacific Harbour Arts Village. If you’re an avid Fiji Traveller of a certain age, you would recall seeing the iconic Dance Theatre of Fiji, led by cultural icon Manoa Rasigatale in the late 1970s and 80s, perform here.
While the Arts Village is no longer the centrepiece of the area, Pacific Harbour and Navua have emerged as one of Fiji’s adventure capitals. Here are some local highlights.
Take a longboat ride up the Navua River into the Namosi Highlands. The tour by River Tubing Fiji includes a village visit, picnic by a waterfall, and of course, tubing down gentle rapids.
Chicken and Ice Cream Shack
This newly established venue has quickly become a popular stop-over for people travelling the Queens Road. Their burgers in particular taste amazing! Open Mondays-Sundays from 8am-11pm.
Pacific Ocean Culture
To learn more about food security in Fiji, take a trip to Fiji’s largest aquaculture facility in Navua. Visitors can take giant blue prawns, eels and tilapia from the pond, into the cooking pot! It doesn’t get any fresher than that.
Based at the Arts Village, Adorn Pacific produces stunning handmade jewelry using quality metals, saltwater pearls, and hand-collected shells. If you are looking for delicate local gifts for yourself or a friend, this is the place to find them.
The Pearl Golf Course and Country Club
Whether you’re a pro or an amateur golfer, this international standard 18-hole course is a great way to spend a day out under the Fiji sunshine. The course also has a decent country club surrounded by tropical gardens, so you can unwind on the 19th hole.
Beqa Adventure Divers
Dive deep into Fiji’s protected shark reef reserve and encounter different shark species amongst shipwrecks in the pristine blue waters off Beqa Island. An educational and fun-filled adventure, with transfers from Pacific Harbour.
The Pearl Resort
The Pearl is one of Fiji’s longest running resorts. It’s popular amongst Suva-ites for events, conferences and weddings, due to its proximity to the capital and beautiful view over the Pacific Harbour seascape.
Nanuku Auberge Resort
Nanuku Auberge is a multi-award-winning, luxury 5-star private resort known for its food, the professionalism and warmth of their staff and cultural experiences.
Uprising Beach Resort
The Uprising Beach Resort is best known for its super laidback vibe, its annual Music Festival and as the home ground for the Fiji Rugby 7s team that won gold at the 2016 Olympics. Since then, many international and local rugby teams have stayed and trained at the resort, making use of the special facilities there.
Jimbo’s Ice Cream
This photogenic ice-cream caravan is a nice little pitstop, providing an escape from the Fiji heat with its variety of old-school ice-cream flavours at old-school prices. The serves are generous- try and nab a spot under the nearby tree to enjoy your mega sundae.
Soak in the picturesque view of the Suva Harbour as you zipline across the lush Namosi rainforest. Kila World also offers eco-walks and team-bonding rope courses. Check out their organic garden while you are there.
Go back in time and witness a cultural showcase on Beqa Island where men of the Sawau tribe walk on dangerously hot ‘lovo’ stones unfazed and without injury.
This guide first appeared in Fiji Traveller, January 2023.