Located on the island of Viti Levu, Suva is Fiji’s capital city and is the largest metropolitan city in the nation. Suva was not the original capital of Fiji, however. The original capital was Levuka on the island of Ovalau. In 1877 it was determined that Ovalau was not large enough nor did it offer enough of the natural resources so in 1882 the capital was relocated. The urban population of Suva is around 330,000 people representing roughly a third of the entire Fijian population. As such you can imagine that it is quite a change from the small cities and villages in the rest of the country. You might even experience a little sensory overload after months of traveling the islands.
For us Suva is northing more than a place to provision….a roadsted of sorts. Yes, there are museums and other touristy things to do here but we tend to prefer the peace and quiet of a remote anchorage and village to the hustle and bustle of a busy commercial port. And busy, oh yes it is very busy. You see this is the main commercial port for the entire country so it is working 24/7. And when we were here in July 2022 we could hear and see the police sirens throughout each night as they raced up and and down the roads.
Suva harbor is inside of a reef that lies about 1.5 km away. As you make the entrance which is quite wide and well marked, you will see many shipwrecks which can be a bit unnerving for some but we never had any issue here. The anchorage itself is located just outside of the yacht club. You can anchor in about 6-9 meters of muddy bottom that holds quite well. It’s also fairly well protected and makes a good spot to anchor as you go into Suva to get provisions.
Your views will range from the cruising yachts to tankers and cargo vessels to the rusted and dilapidated Chinese fishing vessels. I can’t imagine eating any fish that came off of one of these things nor would I ever even consider riding on one across the anchorage. But, once you get settled in you may just find them interesting to look at…at least for a short time.
The Royal Suva Yacht Club
The Royal Suva Yacht Club is the place most yachties go in the area. It’s not an overly large place and we did not stay in the marina so we can’t give good information as to what is or isn’t available or the costs. It does appear that most of the yachts in the marina have been here a very, very long time. There’s even a catamaran here called SV Exodus. Dan knows the previous owners of it. The new owner lives on it and from the looks of it he has never even taken it out of the slip since he bought it several years ago. Many boats here look exactly the same.
The yacht club itself is a quaint little place. The club has been located in the current building since the 1940s. It’s got a great nautical themed bar and nice outdoor seating and grass area as well. Whenever we’ve been here there have been a lot of people milling about and kids playing ball in the grass.
The beers are ice cold and the food is pretty good as well. We had fish and chips here and it was outstanding. Some of the best we’ve had in the islands.
You can pay $50 FJD to become a member which entitles you to use the showers and also to discounts on food and drink. We have never stayed here long enough to make that worthwhile so we didn’t take advantage of it. Even without the discount our beers a meager $8 FJD so we weren’t complaining.
Being a big city you can find just about anything here. At the RSYC they will help you get a taxi or tell you how to pick up the bus. Here, unlike in Denarau, the taxis are all metered so the prices are fair and to us it just seems easier to use them.
When we go to Suva it’s about getting to the local Cost-U-Less. It’s a big box store similar to Costco or Sam’s in the USA. What we look for is the American products you can’t find elsewhere. Kirkland paper towels and Smokehouse Almonds are always on the list and the never seem to let me down.
Finding meat in this store is a little tricky as you have to hit it at the right time and we’ve yet to figure that out. Both times we’ve been in they didn’t have a big supply but what is there looks to be very good quality. They also have a nice selection of veggies and fruits but you will pay a much steeper price than in the outdoor markets.
Just down the street from Cost-U-Less in a Fresh Choice Supermarket that is really nice. It will remind you much more of something you’d see in a first world country. There is also a liquor store attached that sells beer and liquor at pretty good prices.
Of course there are many other stores and shopping you can do here but like we said…for us it’s just about getting some provisions and getting back to the remote island life.