In contrast to the dense rainforest and wild tropical foliage of the Fijian Islands is the landscaped arboretum of the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. Located outside the city of Nadi on the main island of Viti Levu, these attractive gardens are a showcase of native plants and Fiji's largest collection of orchids.
Originally founded in 1977 to house the late actor Raymond Burr's personal collection of orchids, the garden covers an area of 20 hectares and contains over 2,000 different examples of these delicate and exotic flowers including some rare Fijian species. Set among a lush verdant plantation, the gardens are exquisitely beautiful and a must-see destination.
With the Nausori Highlands as a backdrop, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant takes its name from a nearby mountain in the shape of a snoozing man. There are several scenic wooden walkways within the grounds to wander around and take in the carefully cultivated flora at your leisure. Tables and chairs are also dotted around the area providing the perfect location for a picnic in stunning surrounds. There's also a tranquil lake within the gardens boasting thriving multi-hued waterlilys and fish to gaze upon.
Entrance to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is FJ$10, which includes a glass of tropical juice in the reception area. For an extra FJ$8, you can also visit Raymond Burr's holiday home next door, which still contains some of his personal effects, and enjoy afternoon tea (included in the entry price). Some tours include the garden in their itinerary but to visit on your own, it's a 16-minute taxi or car ride from Nadi with the Garden of the Sleeping Giant located just off Queens Road. Local buses also run along Queens Road.