30 January, 2006

The Suva Harbour

The Suva Harbour lies in a wide bay that runs from Waiqanake village on one side to the tip of the island of Viti Levu where most of the city centre is located. It is host to a large array of boats and ships from the little punts that carry small scale fishermen in and out of their day to day expeditions, the middle range boats and fishing vessels, to the large scale inter-island shipping vessels that service the other islands in the Fiji group. The Harbour also plays host to large cruise liners from time to time. Years ago, one could walk in or out of the wharf area, without much restriction, to see boats loading and unloading their cargo or passengers. However, with the increasing security focus over recent times, one now needs a pass from wharf security to get into most parts of the wharf. Much of the harbour side, though, is open to tourists and residents for leisurely strolls, for picnics or just to enjoy a take-away. The Harbour front starts from the Walu Bay area past the Suva Prison and goes right up to the National Sporting Complexes at Laucala Bay. Some of these areas are also fenced off as private property. The stretches that you can enjoy falls between the main Suva wharf and the Suva Civic Centre; and from the Suva Bowling Club to the National Sporting Complex. Suva Harbour is usually a bustle of activity with cargo and passenger ships coming in and going out after dropping their charges and picking up new ones. At times, there are canoe rowing competitions in front of the Suva Civic Centre with teams coming in from around Fiji and overseas to compete. One such event is being scheduled around April this year. A fews ago, the Auckland-Suva Yacht Race used to end up here with yachts making such a fine display of colours and sizes as they raced against each other to the finish line. The yachts would then end up moored at The Royal Suva Yacht Club at Walu Bay (just past the Suva Prison on the way towards Nadi) for a big celebration. The Royal Suva Yacht Club is open to members and to tourists. Harbour cruises are being planned. For those that may be interested to use this for sight seeing or leisure, please send a note to gilbert@connect.com.fj. For anyone that may need accommodation whilst in Suva, a two-bedroom home with sea views can be booked (at FJD95.00 a night) with clicks on the appropriate links at the right hand side of this blog.

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