Sigatoka

Travel Guide Oceania Melanesia Fiji Viti Levu Sigatoka

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Introduction

Sigatoka (pronounced Singatoka) is a town on the southwestern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji. Sigatoka is the western gateway to the Coral Coast, which continues all the way to Suva. The town overlooks the mouth of the Sigatoka River. Many of the good restaurants, views and resorts are located slightly southeast of town on a narrow, picturesque piece of land called the Sunset Strip.

Sigatoka was founded in the colonial sugarcane period of Fiji's history. Between 1912 and 1932, banana crops in the area were ravaged by a fungal disease which came to be known worldwide as Yellow Sigatoka. However, Black Sigatoka was named so due to its similarities with the Yellow Sigatoka fungus, not because the disease first occurred in the town.

Today, the town and the surrounding region is nicknamed the Salad Bowl of Fiji because of its valley shape and fertile land suitable for growing fruit and vegetables.

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Sights and Activities

  • Tavuni Hill Fort, Naroro Village (5km northeast Sigatoka along the Nayawa Road), ☎ +679 652 0818, e-mail: info@fiji-bure.com. Tavuni Hill Fort was built by 18th century Tongan chief Maile Latumai and later destroyed. Since then it has been semi-restored and preserved by the people of Naroro Village. The guides at the fort provide a glimpse into Fiji's precolonial history, including tribal warfare and cannibalism.
  • Sigatoka River Safari, Main Street, ☎ +679 650 1721, toll-free: 0800 6501 721, e-mail: safari@sigatokariver.com. Jet boat ride in customer built boats through the scenery of the Sigatoka valley. The ride incorporates visiting an authentic Fijian village and experiencing their culture.
  • Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, Queens Road, Yadua (4km southwest of Sigatoka), ☎ +679 652 0243. Daily 8am to 6pm. The sand dunes are a geological, ecological and archaeological treasure. The dunes themselves stand between 20 to 60 metres tall. The park is rich in endemic wildlife, especially birds. In the 1980s, an ancient burial site was discovered which has been dated to around 2600 years old. Shards of pottery produced by the ancient Lapita people have been and continue to be found within the dunes.
  • Hot Glass Fiji, Sunset Strip, Korotogo, ☎ +679 909 3200, e-mail: alice@hotglassfiji.com. Tu-F 10am-3pm. Watch and learn the art and science of shaping and designing molten glass at Fiji's oldest glassblowing studio. The head glassblower Alice is very informative and engaging. In addition to taking your back your own creation, there is a souvenir shop where you can buy a range of colourful glass art.

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Events and Festivals

  • Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day is celebrated every year on the last Monday of May. It commemorates Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna, a hero in the First World War, who was honored with France’s highest military award. He is considered the father of modern Fiji.
  • Christmas in the tropics is an experience in itself. Visit one of the Christmas Eve carol services to enjoy some fine Fijian singing.
  • Honoring the Founder of Modern Fiji Festival - The last Monday in May is a commemoration to the Father of Modern Fiji, Ratu Sir Lala Sakuna. The festivities last for an entire week, with many different towns and cities celebrating in their own way. The event concludes with a presidential speech relating to Fijian unity, and the statue of Ratu Sir Lala Sakuna is polished by locals.
  • Diwali Festival - Due to Fiji’s large Indian population, the Diwali Festival is one of the main events held on the islands. Celebrated in the month of October, Diwali (which is also known as the Festival of Lights) is characterized by fantastic light shows, traditional firecracker displays, and plenty of night-time fun. It isn’t just the Indian population that gets into the swing of things, as all cultures love any excuse to party.

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Weather

Navoti enjoys a mild tropical climate with year-round temperatures around 25 °C with a generally high humidity. Average highs range from around 26 °C in July and August to around 30 °C from December to April. Lows are between 20 °C and 23 °C. May to October is Fiji's dry season, also known as the "Fiji Winter". The weather is slightly cooler and less rainfall and humidity make it a good time of the year to visit. From December to April, the city gets a lot of rain!

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Getting There

By Car

It takes slightly over an hour to drive from Nadi to Sigatoka via Queens Road.

From Nadi International Airport, a taxi ride to Sigatoka will cost about $80.

By Bus

The two bus services that go to Sigatoka from Nadi and Suva are Sunbeam and Pacific Transport. Buses are by far the cheapest mode of transport but take a slightly longer time (even the expresses) than car or taxi.

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Getting Around

The main town and markets are small enough to make moving around by foot the best option. However, you will need a car or taxi to get to the points of interest in the surrounding regions.

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Eat

  • Cuppabula Cafe & Bar, Tappoo Fiji Market Complex, Sigatoka Valley Rd, ☎ +679 650 0199, e-mail: sig_city1@tappoo.com.fj. M-F 8am-5pm Sa-Su 8am-3pm. Varied international cuisine with a decent choice of cocktails.
  • Flying Fin Restaurant n' Bar Fiji, Sunset Strip, Korotogo, ☎ +679 650 2073. A classy restaurant with beach and ocean views. All kinds of food is served including pizzas, big burgers, pasta and fresh seafood.
  • Beach Bar & Grill (formerly Le Cafe), Sunset Strip, Korotogo, ☎ +679 652 0877. One of the best restaurants not within a resort. A mix of Fijian, French and Thai cuisine.

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Sleep

  • Gecko's Resort, Queens Highway, ☎ +679 6520200, e-mail: sales@geckosresort.com. A small 3-star resort that holds Polynesian dance and fire shows every Friday and Sunday night. Gecko's is wheelchair accessible.
  • Outrigger on the Lagoon Resort, Sydney Drive, ☎ +679 650 0044, e-mail: reservations@outriggerfiji.com.fj. This an awesome place to stay, with superb and friendly staff, great air-conditioned rooms, decent shops and lots of things to do. The beach itself is so-so, but the extra large pool is well maintained and makes up for it to some degree. There are daily activities for children travellers, and a good amount of regularly scheduled activities for everyone. Catch their amazing breakfast and attend the frog race if you get a chance, often on a Friday night.
  • Bedarra Beach Inn, Sunset Strip, Korotogo, ☎ +679 650 0476, e-mail: admin@bedarrafiji.com. As the name suggests, this smallish hotel is right next to the beach and offers ocean views. The sea breeze around cools your skin. The hotel also has its own foot spa treatment.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are available in cities and towns and popular tourist areas and more and more places have (free) wifi nowadays. Sometimes you need to pay a fee or usage is for a limited amount of time or customers only.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The international phone code for Fiji is 679. Emergency numbers include 917 for the police and 911 for ambulance and fire department.

You will find payphones in all post office branches as well as in the booths situated on streets throughout the country. They only accept Fiji Telecom phone cards which can be purchased in post offices and many shops and come in denominations up to F$50. A digital display will tell you how much money you have left on your card at all times. You can also use a TeleCard which is a pre-paid calling card that can be used from any telephone in Fiji, not just pay phones.

Calling is done by calling the card's issue center, entering the code (found on the card) and entering the destination number. To call outside Fiji, dial 05 first, then the country code and phone number. Foreign calls start at about F$0.50 a minute, but are usually around F$1 or more for European destinations for example.

Avoid high roamaing charges with your phone and turn your data services for outside your home country off at all times. Instead buy a local SIM card (you have to have an unlocked phone of course). There are a few mobile phone companies operating on the island (Vodafone, Digicel). A sim-card is inexpensive, but you need to register your sim to keep it active and to get access to data. Buying a sim-card gives access to cheap data-packages for easy internet access using your phone as a hot-spot.

Post

Post Fiji offers services in the country and to other countries. It's fairly reliable, not expensive, but it can take a while for letters or postcards to arrive at your destination. All major towns have post offices which are operated by Fiji Post. There is also a branch at Nadj International Airport. Connections are pretty quick, particularly with North America, but if you use surface mail, your letter could take over two months to reach its destination. Post offices are open between 8.00and 4.00pm from Monday to Friday. For sending packages overseas, you might better use international courier companies like DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx, as they offer fast, competitively priced and reliable services.

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This is version 3. Last edited at 10:34 on Aug 30, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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