Updated: Monday, February 18, 2008
The Suva Botanical Gardens occupy the site of the original Fijian town of Suva, whose former inhabitants moved across the bay in about 1882.
The clock tower in Thurston Gardens - Three Loose Coconuts
Colman Wall, first Curator of the Fiji Museum in 1919 states: 'Twenty five years ago the moat and rampart were practically intact, but there are now no traces of them left, nothing to tell the visitor that this was once a busy fortified town, nor that in 1843 it was burned and was the scene of one of the fiercest and bloodiest fights in Fijian history'.
Today there is even less sign of that proud and bloody history. The Thurston Gardens now cover the area and are maintained by the Suva City Council. But the area has been in need of some loving attention in recent times. Spread throughout the grounds are varieties of palms, gingers, water lilies and other local flora.
The fountain where many people would once cast a coin to make a wish has become dilapidated, and though the Clock Tower at the Museum end of the gardens has been restored, this too is a shadow of its former self.
It is nonetheless an oasis of peace in the City of Suva and continues to draw people on their lunch-hour, and is filled with the sound of laughter on most afternoons as children play in its small park.
A word of caution, though - the park does draw homeless people who sometimes spend the night on its benches. So daytime is probably the best time to stroll through here.