A jewel-toned river, towering sand dunes, dramatic marble cliffs and adventurous outdoor activities are just some of the highlights of Sigatoka, Fiji, located on the country’s Coral Coast.
Nicknamed the ‘salad bowl of Fiji’, about 70 per cent of the island’s produce comes from this valley’s fertile lands, which is also home to the nation’s first national park and the Sigatoka River–Fiji’s second longest, thanks to its 120 kilometre span.
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Sigatoka is on the main island of Viti Levu, and despite the small town being a bit off the beaten path it’s still a popular day trip from Nadi which is only a one hour drive away. Sweeping coastlines and nature hikes await, as well as Fijians happy to welcome visitors to their rural villages with a friendly ‘bula!’
From high-octane jet boat rides to a waterslide that snakes through the jungle, here are some of the most unique things to do in Sigatoka, Fiji.
Sigatoka River Safari
The Sigatoka River Safari is one of the best things to do in Fiji for those craving a bit of adventure along with cultural immersion.
This tour combines a fun boat ride past spectacular scenery en route to a local village, where you’ll get a glimpse of what life is like here with the opportunity to meet the villagers, eat a traditional meal and even do some dancing.
A quick drive from Sigatoka town brings you to the mouth of the river, where you’ll get suited up with life jackets and ponchos (on rainy days) before loading up into a jet boat. Whizzing along at top speeds the Sigatoka River, you’ll pass by thick jungle, the rock fortress of Matanavatu (‘the eye of the rocks’) and fishermen pulling in their daily catch.
The captain eventually pulls up to a village (they rotate which one, depending on the day), and everyone disembarks and is led into the community gathering spot to meet literally everyone who lives here. Fijians are a friendly, welcoming bunch!
Take part in a kava ceremony, enjoy a tasty traditional lunch, get the chance to chat with the villagers and learn about their customs, and even do some singing and dancing.
This unforgettable experience ends with a high-speed ride back to Sigatoka, and if you’re brave enough you can stay on board while the captain performs some spinning maneuvers on the jet boat for an exhilarating finale. Click here to book
Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park
The Sigatoka Sand Dunes are the largest dunes in the Pacific islands, rolling over 650 hectares along the waters’ edge.
Fiji’s first national park has ecological and archeological significance, providing a barrier between the ocean and nearby communities which are lower than sea level which helps protect them.
Another reason this area is being preserved is due to the ancient treasures that have been unearthed here, like centuries-old pottery shards and human bones from burials.
The most common way to explore the national park is by doing one of the hikes, which take one to two hours. The dune forest is home to banana trees and a canopy of mahogany trees to help stabilize the area, as well as wildlife like fruit bats, butterflies and snakes.
Some spots have panoramic views of either the valley or water, and you might even see the national rugby team running sprints!
One of the most unique things to do in Sigatoka is riding along the old sugar cane railway (a ‘velocipede’) to cruise through mangroves, rainforest and the coast on an eclectic assisted bicycle.
EcoTrax Fiji operates tours almost every day, and since the bikes are mounted to a carriage there’s no skill or balance required which makes it the perfect activity for all ages.
Tours last a few hours, and include stops in a village to pick up fresh coconuts, photo-ops, and lounging on pristine Vunabua Beach before riding back to base. This unique excursion is consistently rated as one of the top Fiji tourist attractions, so be sure to slot this in if time allows.
Flyboarding along the Coral Coast
Hit the water on a flyboard, for a thrilling ride along the Coral Coast.
Hydro Sports Fiji offers activities like jet skiing, tubing and yes, flyboarding in the area, which are a fun way to cool off after a day of exploring Sigatoka. The company operates out of a number of resorts around Fiji, including the InterContinental Resort and the Shangri-La which are both a short drive from Sigatoka town.
Kula WILD Adventure Park
A fun spot to visit near Sigatoka for those travelling with kids is the Kula WILD Adventure Park, which combines natural attractions and thrilling activities.
Home to the only captive breeding centre for Fiji’s endangered species, guests can see the likes of parrots, fruit bats, iguanas, Kula birds and herons. There’s a coral display and turtle reef pool (feedings are three times per day), elevated boardwalks that wind through the forest canopy and an environmental education centre.
The park also has a kiddie splash park, and the main attraction is the 100 metre-long Splash Mountain Jungle Waterslide. The force of the water makes it feel like you’re plunging down a waterfall, and it twists and turns through the forest for an unforgettable ride. Click here to book
Book a tour to Kula Eco Park:
While accommodations in the actual town of Sigatoka are quite modest, some fantastic resorts are only about 20 minutes away along the Coral Coast. Top picks include:
Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort: Tropical gardens, traditional bure bungalows and panoramic views await at the Outrigger, a family-friendly resort with a kids club, multiple restaurants and butler service. On-site activities include kava ceremonies, firewalking, water sports and coral planting, and amenities like a spa, laundry and nanny service. Click here to book
Shangri-La Yanuca Island: This resort on a 109-acre private island is surrounded by lush foliage, sparkling water and a white sand shoreline.
Inspired by a traditional Fijian village, there are 400-plus guest rooms and suites along with on-site dining and a spa. It’s also family friendly, with babysitting services, an inflatable water park and weaving lessons to entertain little ones. Click here to book
Need a java jolt? Be sure to drop into Bula Coffee, a co-operative started in 2011 that works directly with local villages to teach them how to handpick, process and roast the organically-certified beans.
Packages of the beans can be purchased online and in stores throughout Fiji, and there’s also a cafe near Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park where you can enjoy a fresh-brewed cup and book a guided tour of the farm to learn about the coffee harvesting process.
Book one of these day trips in Sigatoka:
Globe Guide explored Sigatoka as a guest of Tourism Fiji
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