Pacific Harbour Fiji Update

The Pearl South PacificSince the 7th edition of Moon Handbooks Fiji in September, 2004, there have been many changes at Pacific Harbour on Viti Levu's south coast. The former Cultural Centre and Marketplace of Fiji has become the Arts Village and there's now Fijian firewalking daily except Sunday (instead of only on Thursdays). A wing of the old Cultural Centre complex has been converted into Tsulu Beach Bunkhouse & Apartments. Several new shops and restaurants have opened and the old Marketplace is buzzing again.

Pacific Harbour's main resort has been relaunched as The Pearl South Pacific (pictured here) with 78 air-conditioned rooms starting at $310 Fijian single or double. The improvements since 2004, when it was the Pacific Harbour International Hotel, are very noticable. The Pearl manages Pacific Harbour's championship golf course, The Greens South Pacific, which has also been completely revamped. It's much cheaper to play here than on the Sheraton-managed course at Denarau Island, Nadi, and the scenery is better.

Quite a number of other new accommodations have opened recently. Waikeli Homestay and Hot Stones Villas are off River Drive, a short walk from The Pearl South Pacific. I inspected these premises on my latest trip to Fiji and am confident that they will satisfy the most demanding tourist. Fiji's newest flashpacker resort will open at Pacific Harbour this month: The Uprising Beach Resort is right on the beach (unlike all of the places mentioned above except The Pearl), and it offers a pleasing mix of thatched bure, a dorm, and a purpose-built camping ground (a Fiji first).

I recommend a night or two at Pacific Harbour to anyone traveling around Fiji (as opposed to those who prefer to stay put at one resort). There are three companies offering scuba diving (including shark dives), daytrips to offshore islands like Beqa and Yanuca, surfing, fishing, and Fiji's best whitewater river rafting. The beach here is no good for snorkeling as there's no coral, but it's still nice to walk along. Suva is only an hour away by bus.

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