Sigatoka (pronounced Singatoka) is a town on the southwestern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji.
Sigatoka is the western gateway to the Coral Coast, which continues all the way to Suva. The town overlooks the mouth of the Sigatoka River. Many of the good restaurants, views and resorts are located slightly southeast of town on a narrow, picturesque piece of land called the Sunset Strip.
Sigatoka was founded in the colonial sugarcane period of Fiji's history. Between 1912 and 1932, banana crops in the area were ravaged by a fungal disease which came to be known worldwide as Yellow Sigatoka. However, Black Sigatoka was named so due to its similarities with the Yellow Sigatoka fungus, not because the disease first occurred in the town.
Today, the town and the surrounding region is nicknamed the Salad Bowl of Fiji because of its valley shape and fertile land suitable for growing fruit and vegetables.
The two bus services that go to Sigatoka from Nadi and Suva are Sunbeam and Pacific Transport. Buses are by far the cheapest mode of transport but take a slightly longer time (even the expresses) than car or taxi. They stop at the 1 Sigatoka bus station.
It takes slightly over an hour to drive from Nadi to Sigatoka via Queens Road.
From Nadi International Airport, a taxi ride to Sigatoka will cost about $80.
The main town and markets are small enough to make moving around by foot the best option. However, you will need a car or taxi to get to the points of interest in the surrounding regions.
- 1 Tavuni Hill Fort, Naroro Village (5 km northeast Sigatoka along the Nayawa Road), ☏ +679 652 0818, email@example.com. Tavuni Hill Fort was built by 18th-century Tongan chief Maile Latumai and later destroyed. Since then it has been semi-restored and preserved by the people of Naroro Village. The guides at the fort provide a glimpse into Fiji's precolonial history, including tribal warfare and cannibalism.
- 2 Biausevu Waterfalls (Savu Na Mate Laya Falls), Biausevu. A fairly accessible, 20-metre high, tiered waterfall. The hike through the rainforest to get to the falls takes around 20 minutes. The waterfalls are at their grandest and most beautiful just after the wet season which ends in April.
- 1 Sigatoka River Safari, Main St, ☏ +679 650 1721, toll-free: 0800 6501 721, firstname.lastname@example.org. Jet boat ride in customer built boats through the scenery of the Sigatoka Valley. The ride incorporates visiting an authentic Fijian village and experiencing their culture.
- 2 Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, Queens Road, Yadua (4km southwest of Sigatoka), ☏ +679 652 0243. Daily 8AM to 6PM. The sand dunes are a geological, ecological and archaeological treasure. The dunes themselves stand between 20 to 60 metres tall. The park is rich in endemic wildlife, especially birds. In the 1980s, an ancient burial site was discovered which has been dated to around 2600 years old. Shards of pottery produced by the ancient Lapita people have been and continue to be found within the dunes.
- 3 Hot Glass Fiji, Sunset Strip, Korotogo, ☏ +679 909 3200, email@example.com. Tu-F 10AM-3PM. Watch and learn the art and science of shaping and designing molten glass at Fiji's oldest glassblowing studio. The head glassblower Alice is very informative and engaging. In addition to taking your back your own creation, there is a souvenir shop where you can buy a range of colourful glass art.
- 4 Lawaqa Park. Sigatoka's main rugby stadium with a capacity of 12,000. Hosts local football matches as well.
Sigatoka is the shopping hub of the Coral Coast. The local handmade pottery is renowned and an ideal souvenir to take back from your trip.
- 1 Sigatoka Municipal Market, Market Rd (enter via Sigatoka Valley Rd). M-Sa 7AM-5PM. A colourful market bringing all the fresh produce around to town. There is a variety of fruits, vegetables and seafood available along with other goodies like home baked cakes.
- 2 Fiji Tattoo's Bula Ink, Yadua, ☏ +679 904 0043, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tattoo parlour that specialises in Melanesian tattoos for travellers and locals.
- Lawai Pottery Village, Sigatoka Valley Rd, Lawai. Traditionally-made pottery where the money goes back to the local community. Buying pottery here is an experience as there is also a traditional kava and dancing ceremony as well as a step-by-step demonstration on how the pottery is made.
Eat and drinkEdit
- 1 Cuppabula Cafe & Bar, Tappoo Fiji Market Complex, Sigatoka Valley Rd, ☏ +679 650 0199, email@example.com. M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa Su 8AM-3PM. Varied international cuisine with a decent choice of cocktails.
- 2 Flying Fin Restaurant n' Bar Fiji, Sunset Strip, Korotogo, ☏ +679 650 2073. A classy restaurant with beach and ocean views. All kinds of food is served including pizzas, big burgers, pasta and fresh seafood.
- 3 Beach Bar & Grill (formerly Le Cafe), Sunset Strip, Korotogo, ☏ +679 652 0877. One of the best restaurants not within a resort. A mix of Fijian, French and Thai cuisine.
- 4 Shiva's Wine & Dine, Duabale Rd (opposite the fruit market), ☏ +679 995 6063. M-Sa 9AM-8:30PM. Serves Chinese and Indian food, with plenty of seafood options including crab and lobster.
- 5 The Ocean Terrace Restaurant, Bedarra Beach Inn, 77 Sunset Strip, Korotogo, ☏ +679 650 0476. The Ocean Terrace Restaurant offers seafood prepared daily. They also provide a selection of fine wines to go with your meal. If, however, you do not enjoy seafood or have shellfish allergies, The Ocean Terrace Restaurant offers more casual meals such as pizza and burgers.
- 6 Beenooz Wine & Dine, Market Square, ☏ +679 842 3040. M Tu Sa 10AM-5PM, W-F 10AM-8PM. Cheap Fijian-Chinese meals.
- 1 Gecko's Resort, Queens Highway, ☏ +679 6520200, firstname.lastname@example.org. A small 3-star resort that holds Polynesian dance and fire shows every Friday and Sunday night. Gecko's is wheelchair accessible.
- 2 Outrigger on the Lagoon Resort, Sydney Dr, ☏ +679 650 0044, email@example.com. This an a five-star hotel on Coral Coast of Viti Levu Island, with superb and friendly staff, great air-conditioned rooms, decent shops and lots of things to do. The beach is so-so, but the extra large pool is well maintained and makes up for it to some degree. There are daily activities for children travellers, and a good amount of regularly scheduled activities for everyone. Catch their amazing breakfast and attend the frog race if you get a chance, often on a Friday night. $250.
- 3 Bedarra Beach Inn, Sunset Strip, Korotogo, ☏ +679 650 0476, firstname.lastname@example.org. As the name suggests, this smallish hotel is right next to the beach and offers ocean views. The sea breeze around cools your skin. The hotel also has its own foot spa treatment.
- 4 Shangri-La's Fijian Resort, Yanuca Island, Cuvu, ☏ +679 652 0155. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. An air-conditioned resort overlooking Cuvu Harbour with free WiFi, a spa, lagoon pool and ftiness centre. It has 5 restaurants and bars. From $400.
- 1 Sigatoka hospital is on the southwest side of the town.
There is a paid toilet inside the Sigatoka Municipal Market.
- Head east, absorb the stunning views of the Coral Coast and stop at Fiji's adventure capital, Pacific Harbour
- Fiji's capital Suva is 125 km (78 mi) east of Sigatoka