Garden of the Sleeping Giant Visit
A couple of years ago I took a bus tour around Nadi and one of the places we visited was the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. This garden displays Fiji’s largest orchid collection, unfortunately we had less than 30 minutes which wasn’t enough time to soak up the unique atmosphere of this beautiful location so I vowed to visit this lovely garden in Fiji again…
Second Visit to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant
Recently we stayed at the Novotel Nadi a few kilometres down the road from the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, what’s special about this accommodation is the view. The first time I stayed at the Novotel Nadi I arrived on a hot, humid and dark night. Tired and a bit over it all after a busy day I went straight to bed wishing I was back home.
First light reveals paradise in Fiji
Opening the curtains and balcony window to get some fresh morning air, I was astounded by what I saw. I felt like I was in Jurassic Park and any moment a T Rex would emerge from the tree line. The Nausori Highlands were laid out before me in all their splendor, mysterious and veiled in low cloud. When the cloud eventually lifted the mountain range resembled a sleeping giant, you can come to your own conclusions about what body part it features. It’s like interpreting clouds, different shapes and images revealed with the changing light. This is where the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is in these majestic highlands nestled in the Sabeto Valley around 6.5 km/4miles north of Nadi Airport.
While travelling along the Queens Hwy heading towards Lautoka you could easily miss this sign. You can be distracted avoiding the potholes, although during my last visit they were upgrading the road.
Turn into Wailoko Road which is a dirt track; however take it easy the road is rough and sections are honeycombed with large holes. It’s very picturesque a photographer’s delight every turn reveals an interesting scene;
- Local Fijians
- Mountain cliffs
- Buildings new and in disrepair
- Animals – goat herders
You never know what might appear, I just loved the place.
Garden of the Sleeping Giant on your left
It’s only a couple kilometres along a dirt track to the entrance. After entering the gates of the Garden of the Sleeping Giant the driveway to the garden wets your appetite for things to come.Upon arrival you will see the reception area which features dozens of high backed white cane chairs with dark red and green cushions, for a moment you might think you have drifted back in time. My thoughts turned to Raymond Bur that large man wandering around admiring his beautiful garden full of orchids.
The garden beckons you forward
The humid warm air signals you to start walking, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining it adds to the mystic of this location a garden nestled in the beautiful Sabeto Valley. There is a shade cloth covered walkway, heavy with leafage from the rainforest. On both side of the walkway are beautiful orchids perched on shelves in every colour shape and size a must for orchid lovers.
The boardwalk meanders up through tropical rainforest, there are lily ponds and benches where you can sit and enjoy the surrounding gardens, birdlife is prolific.
After you have completed your walk, return to the reception area and enjoy a complimentary refreshing fruit drink.
If you are visiting Nadi the Garden of the Sleeping Giant should be on your to do list. We did travel further along this dirt track past the garden and the scenery was captivating; however time, weather and the condition of the road didn’t permit us to continue.