Local Fijian Markets
Fiji markets are an overload on the senses and a great example of day to day in Fiji. When visiting a traditional marketplace in Fiji you’ll delight in complete sensory overload – the aromas of different herbs and spices, the sound of several languages being spoken at once, the sight of vibrant flowers and the freshest seafood straight from the ocean, plus the taste of the sweetest, fresh fruit and locally grown vegetables. When wandering around the markets you’ll be fascinated by the variety of goods on sale, including local raw tobacco. Markets are also a great place to purchase locally made handicrafts. The offerings on sale can differ around the country depending upon what handicrafts are produced in the region. Or why not take some time out to people watch from one of the local restaurants or cafes flanking the market stalls. Enjoy a cup of Fijian tea and sweet cream bun and enjoy the passing parade as people go about their daily lives.
Below are a few of the more popular markets in Fiji:
Fiji’s highest peak, Mount Tomanivi (formerly known as Mount Victoria), is an extinct volcano located in the northern highlands of Viti Levu and offers one of the best hikes in Fiji. Standing at 1,324 metres, it is classified as a difficult hike with steep terrain towards the top. Those who take on the challenge and conquer the summit will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Yasawa Island group on a clear day. Winter months of June, July and August offer the best climbing conditions compared to the wet season experienced in the Summer months.
Tip: Guides can be found from the village of Navai to take you to the summit and lead you along the steep terrain. Allow 5 to 6 hours to complete the walk.
Lawai Pottery Village, Sigatoka
If you are looking for a more traditional way to buy things in Fiji and want more than just a market or shop, head to the Lawai Pottery Village. This is more of an experience with a tour of the church and a production put on by the women of the village. There will be a traditional dancing ceremony, a Kava ceremony and a step-by-step demonstration on how to make the pottery. After all this, you are invited to browse the pottery and buy some to take home. Donations are also encouraged and welcomed as it all goes back into the village. Don’t be surprised to be asked to remove your shoes and hat, as it is customary in this village.
Take a tour of the Lawai Pottery Village and experience the ‘real’ Fiji. Enjoy a customary Fijian dance, Kava ceremony and pottery production demonstration. Meet the women behind the ceramics and browse the pottery on display, a great souvenir of your time in Fiji.
Curio & Handicraft Market, Suva
It is setup in an alley like section of stalls and just as well, because the eager sellers want your full attention on the selection of handicrafts, carvings, and jewellery at each of the 71 stalls. If you come by sea and by the waterfront sits an outstanding curio centre. If you are in the city, then behind the Post Office sits the carvers and traders come from Suva, though the goods come from as far as Lau and Vanua Levu, making this one of the mainland’s most authentic and least-expensive places to souvenir-shop.
Found in Suva’s CBD, this handicraft market features authentic Fijian textiles, jewellery, ceramics, carvings and miscellaneous curios. As a tourist mecca, it’s important that visitors take time to consider the authenticity of the souvenir their purchasing.
Savusavu Farmers’ Markets, Savusavu
Located in the Fijian Province of Cakaudrove, Savusavu is regularly touted as one of Fiji’s best-kept secrets, making it a great getaway to seek out. While in Savusavu, don’t miss the town’s farmer’s markets, which are known for their delicious, tuna, locally farmed coconuts, lobster, walu and prawns.
After experiencing the farmers’ markets in Savusavu, try heading over to the Island Fashion Handicrafts. This market features a brilliant range of locally treated wooden carvings, bowls, utensils and more, beautiful souvenirs to gift or hang on to as a holiday keepsake.
Lautoka Market, Lautoka
Lautoka has Fiji’s largest markets, Fiji’s sugar city and is known for its delicious fresh produce, local fruit and vegetables, and local seafood. Located away from the more tourist-centric cities of Suva and Nadi, Lautoka offers a quieter, more tranquil place to take in the Fijian life, with the market a sensory way to experience the town.
Lautoka is also home to a local flea market, held every Saturday and offers all manner of second-hand goods, food, jewellery, plants, books and authentic Fijian handicrafts. If the latter is on your shopping list, look for the Fijian Made stamp to support Fiji’s local trade and economy.
Handicrafts Market, Levuka
The Handicraft Markets held there offer several authentic art and carvings, and as you browse, you’re treated to prime views of tropical paradise, colonial relics, and the ancient, eroded volcano that forms the bulk of the island. Levuka is Fiji’s first world heritage site, representing the first seat of colonial power in the islands, making it a unique place to visit.
Lawai Pottery Village, Sigatoka
This is more than just a market, it’s an experience. Guests are treated to traditional kava ceremonies, Bula songs, dances, and pottery making demonstrations. After, there’s an opportunity to purchase beautiful handmade pottery, other traditional gifts and artefacts. Any pottery you purchase should be glazed, otherwise bringing it home due to Australia’s stringent customs laws may be a problem.
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