Nestled in the cool shadows of the big man himself, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is one of the more pleasant discoveries you'll make during your visit to Fiji. In fact, this garden could well be one of the best kept horticultural secrets in the whole of the South Pacific.
The Garden, which contains a vast collection of 30 to 40 varieties of magnificent Asian orchids and Cattleya hybrids, was once the private collection of the late American actor Raymond Burr.
Now open to the public, the garden is a wonderful spot to spend a day just wandering along the canopy-covered boardwalk, through gorgeously landscaped lawns, across calm lily ponds complete with trickling fountains and croaking frogs and finally into the heart of a dense rainforest.
But the highlight of the tour has to be the orchids themselves. Carefully tended and well displayed, these fragile flowers are breath-takingly beautiful when seen in the golden light of early morning.
A visit to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant begins with a greeting from member of the staff, a brief description of the property and a little history of how this mountain valley was transformed into the fantasy garden it is today. Guides are available at no additional cost, to walk you through the grounds and put names to the floral faces you’ll find around any corner.
While flowers are the focus of the garden, this is not a place enjoyed only by the horticulturally inclined. The walk along the path cut through a tropical rainforest at the base of the Sleeping Giant Mountain is alone worth the trip and kids of all ages will love the romp across the expanse of manicured lawns.
And when you have explored the garden to your heart’s delight, a cool complimentary fruit drink awaits you as you leave.
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