Pacific Harbour, Fiji, is a sprawling South Florida-style condo development and instant culture village, 148 kilometers east of Nadi Airport and 49 kilometers west of Suva. Pacific Harbour’s imposing Arts Village presents tours and shows Wednesday to Saturday. The one-hour Island Temple Tour visits a re-created Fijian village, featuring a small “sacred island” dominated by a 20-meter-tall Bure Kalau (Spirit House). In the Vale Levu (Chief’s Bure), you get to meet a pagan priest. On the Island Boat Tour, a tour guide “warrior” carrying a spear gives a spiel to visitors seated in a double-hulled drua, and Fijians attired in jungle garb demonstrate traditional canoe making, weaving, tapa, and pottery at stops along the route. The highlight of the day is a performance of Fijian firewalking. A combined ticketis available for all three activities, and you should arrive by 1030 if you want to see and do everything. The adjacent marketplace (open daily) mixes mock-colonial boutiques with assorted historical displays, and even if you don’t take any of the tours, you’ll be able to see quite a few of the Arts Village’s attractions for free from the catwalk. The Arts Village may sound like a mini-Disneyland but this should not discourage you from visiting as the introductions to all aspects of Fijian life are authentic and the guides are both entertaining and informative.
(Text excerpted from page 114 of the ninth edition of Moon Fiji, published by Avalon Travel of Berkeley, California. Reproduction prohibited.)