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10 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, Fiji

10 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, Fiji

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Considered one of the best-kept secrets of the South Pacific, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is an incredible display of Asian orchids and native Fijian plant life. More than just a garden, the area has walking paths that take you through the countryside along the base of Sleeping Giant Mountain. 

The first time we visited the garden on our honeymoon in Fiji, we fell in love with its well-maintained grounds and the chance to walk through this beautiful place. Since then, we have gone back many times and think it’s one of the best places to visit in Fiji! In this blog, we have put together the 10 things you need to know about the Garden of the Sleeping Giant for a perfect day and the best tours you can take to see it for yourself!

Don’t have time to read the full article? No trip to Nadi is complete without visiting the Garden of the Sleeping Giant! You can walk through the jungle and marvel at its collection of over 2,000 orchids. The best way to visit is on this half-day guided tour that visits the garden as well as some other Nadi highlights such as mud pools and a local village!

1. About the Garden of the Sleeping Giant 

Vines growing off of trees in the jungle at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
So much jungle!
A pink and red flower at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
There are lots of flowers

Originally a private collection of Asian orchids cultivated in 1977 by Hollywood actor Raymond Burr, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is now open to the public and one of the most popular stops for visitors staying in Nadi and the surrounding area.

So, why is this garden named after a “Sleeping Giant”? Well, it’s because of the mountain behind it! If you look at the right angle, it looks just like a giant lying down sleeping.

The grounds at the base of Nadi’s Sabeto Mountains are filled with over 2,000 orchids and hundreds of other Fijian flora and fauna. Although its highlight is the orchids, many people find the leisurely walk through the jungle to be one of the most memorable parts of their day there. 

If you want to get your blood pumping, you can choose to do the short hike up the mountainside to a viewpoint where you can see Nadi and the ocean. There is something for every level of fitness here, and even children will enjoy running around and looking at the giant trees. Even though many people visit Fiji for its incredible beaches, it can be a nice change of scenery to escape inland and experience the natural beauty of the jungle instead!

2. Where is the Garden of the Sleeping Giant Fiji? 

An area with a bench and covered area with lush jungle plants everywhere at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
A lovely area to rest along the path

Tucked into the foothills of the Nausori highlands on the main island, Viti Levu, the gardens are a 10-20 minute drive from Nadi on the western side of Fiji. When coming from Suva, the drive is much longer taking from 3.5 – 4 hours to reach one way. I definitely recommend making the trip to see it, but consider staying in Nadi, Denarau, or Wailoaloa if you do!

Related Read: We loved going to Malamala Beach Club the last time we visited Fiji. It is one of the best day trips out to the pristine Fijian islands off the coast!

3. How much does it cost to visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant Fiji?

A tree in the jungle with a sign that says watch your step at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
Watch your step!
A bright red flower at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
So pretty!

Entrance fees into the garden are around $11 USD for adults, $5.50 USD for kids aged 6-15, and children under 6 are free. They also offer a promotion for families (2 adults and 2 kids) for $28 USD. This includes your admission into the garden as well as a refreshing fruit drink at the end of your walk. You would also need to pay for a taxi to/from your hotel to get there.

Another option is to do a guided tour to the garden like this one, which covers the cost of admission as well as transportation to and from your hotel. We have found tours to be more cost-effective and convenient since they go to multiple stops, (most) pay entrance fees, and take out the stress of planning your day. Keep reading for some info on our favorite tours below!

4. When is the Garden of the Sleeping Giant open? 

A walkway surrounded by plants and a woman enjoying them at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
Lots of things to see!

It’s open from 9 am to 5 pm every day, so you can visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant year round! Even during the rainy season (November to April), it is open regularly and is even more lush.

We found that it takes about 1-2 hours to experience everything the garden has to offer. Most tours will go in the morning to take advantage of the trails before the sun gets too hot.

5. When is the best time to visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant Fiji?

A pond filled with lillies at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
The area is very peaceful

We recommend going first thing in the morning when they open. Fiji can get hot and you don’t want to be hiking in the afternoon sun! While the gardens are beautiful year-round we think the dry season (May to October) is the best time to visit. The views from the mountain are usually better and it is less humid making for an overall more comfortable experience – plus there is less of a chance of getting rained on!

We love booking our tours with Viator because you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance, so if the weather isn’t looking so great on the day you are planning to go, you have the flexibility to cancel or reschedule for another day!

6. What are the best tours to visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant Fiji?

Mud Pools, Garden of Sleeping Giant, and Village Half-Day Tour

A large beautiful tree at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
So many beautiful plants and flowers!
A woman laughing as she puts mud on her body at Sabeto mud pools fiji
Mud pools are so much fun!

This Half-Day Tour is a great way to experience the garden as part of a guided tour as well as visit Fiji’s mud pools and a local village. It takes several of the most popular things to do in the area and combines them into one great package. 

You visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant first thing in the morning before it gets hot and follow it up with a relaxing dip at the mud pool hot springs. Afterward, you make a stop at Viseisei village (one of the oldest villages in Fiji!) for some cultural activities before returning to your hotel.

With all entrance fees, round-trip transportation, and a knowledgeable guide included, this tour costs $105 USD making it one of the best day trips to do from Denarau and Nadi. It is a great way to not only see the gardens but experience some other highlights in the area as well! You can book this tour here in advance.

Fiji Local Village, Market, Temple & Garden of Sleeping Giant Tour

A local family walks into Hindu temple Sri Subramaniya Fiji
Sri Subramaniya Hindu temple
A woman stands by a large plant smiling at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
So big!

This multi-experience half-day tour is one of the best tours in Fiji and takes you to several locations over 5 hours meaning you can check off everything on your Nadi to-do list! While it doesn’t cover the cost of admission to the destinations it visits, this just means you don’t pay a convenience cost to the tour provider and instead just pay for it yourself.  

The day starts at Veiseisei village ($2 USD entrance fee) for a morning of cultural activities and meeting friendly locals before you visit the colorful Hindu temple Sri Subramaniya ($2 USD entrance fee) dedicated to the Hindu deity Murugan.

By late morning you will arrive at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant ($11 USD entrance fee) and your guide will take you through and explain all the different plants and flowers you see along the way. Finally, one of my other favorite things to do in Nadi, the Sabeto Mud Pools and Hot Springs ($13 USD entrance fee). You will spend the bulk of your day here as you rejuvenate from a day of fun!

With round-trip transportation to your hotel and a local guide included this tour is only $51 USD for adults. All of the entrance fees only add an additional $28 USD to the tour price, making this tour great for those visiting Fiji on a budget. Make sure to secure your spot here in advance!

Garden of The Sleeping Giant and Mud Pool Tour Combo 

A pond filled with lily pads at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
Everything is well-maintained
People getting into a hot spring to rinse off mud at Sabeto Mud Pools and Hot Springs fiji
Where you rinse off

Unlike the other tours I’ve listed so far this half-day Garden of the Sleeping Giant and Mud Pool Combo Tour only goes to two locations meaning you get more time at each instead of rushing off to the next stop. While entrance fees aren’t included, the convenience of this experience lies in the provided return transportation, your local guide, and the ability to spend more time exploring each stop.

There are two start times at either 9 am or 2 pm and the experience lasts about 4 to 5 hours in total. You will visit both the Garden of the Sleeping Giant ($11 USD) and the relaxing Sabeto Mud Pools ($13 USD). If you don’t have a towel to bring you can rent one for $2 USD from the staff at Sabeto. You can also get a massage while at the mud pools for an additional cost.

This half-day tour only costs $41 USD and is great for those who don’t want to feel rushed and want the convenience of transportation taken care of for them. You can reserve your spot here now, and not pay anything until 48 hours before the tour!

Wonders of Nadi Tour – Hindu Temple, Sleeping Giant Gardens, Markets & Shopping  

Walking into Hindu temple Sri Subramaniya with a sign that says no shoes inside temple fiji
No shoes inside!
A purple flower at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
Look at those colors!

If you’re looking to have a guided tour of temples, gardens, and an opportunity to snag some souvenirs before heading back home this Wonders of Nadi half-day trip is a perfect choice for you.

Your day starts with hotel pickup and you will be brought to a local produce market to enjoy the hustle and bustle of where Fijians source the fruit and vegetables for their meals. From there you’ll be taken to the nearby handicraft market where you can get to know the locals selling unique and beautiful crafts and buy some of your own to put on display when you return home!

The rest of your day is split between guided tours of the beautiful Hindu temple Sri Subramaniya and the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. This tour does cover the cost of admission for all locations making for a seamless experience from start to finish when you are dropped off at your hotel.

This guided tour is $73 USD per person and requires two people minimum to book so it’s perfect for couples or families. Click here to book this fantastic experience!

Vuda Lookout, Vesisei Village, Market, Temple & Garden of Sleeping Giant

Massive leaves and flowers in the jungle at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
Wow!
A man praying at a shrine outside at Hindu temple Sri Subramaniya Fiji
There are lots of shrines here

If you’re traveling in a group of 4 or fewer this Half-Day Nadi Highlights Tour is an all-inclusive experience that brings you to each of Nadi’s top destinations (and then some) for a convenient and fun-filled day. 

Starting the day with your friendly local guide picking you up from your hotel you head to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant first thing in the morning. After an hour of experiencing its beautiful grounds, you will go to Fiji’s first established village, Viseisei, to learn all about Fijian tradition and history. 

The afternoon is spent with your guide on a walking tour of a local market where you can buy handmade crafts and visit the colorful Sri Subramaniya Hindu Temple to learn of the many gods worshiped within. Something this tour offers that many don’t is a visit to Vuda Point which offers stunning 360-degree views of the area. You’ll get some tropical juice and fresh fruit here to enjoy with the spectacular view!

From Nadi or Denarau this half-day experience costs $283 USD per group of 4 people or less. Meaning if you had 4 people, it would only be about $71 USD per person, which is a great deal! Make sure to book in advance here to secure your spot!

7. What are the highlights of the Garden of the Sleeping Giant Fiji?

Large plants in the jungle at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
A botanical paradise!

Asian Orchids – there are over 30 varieties of Asian Orchids on display here and over 2,000 individual flowers. It is one of the largest and most diverse collections in the world.

Walking Trails – While the orchids are the main draw of the gardens, the walking trails that go along the base of the mountain take you through the jungle and to incredible overlooks. It is a great way to see the native flora in its natural environment.

Lilly Ponds – Located in the heart of the garden are lily ponds that you can sit by and enjoy. Gardeners go through every day and care for the plants making this a great spot to relax.

Related Read: Another great experience to have while you’re in Nadi is the Fiji Culture Village. You get to learn all about Fiji’s unique history and even participate in a Kava ceremony!

8. How long do you need to visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant Fiji?

A couple smiles as they sit on a swing in the jungle at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
Everyone loves a good swing
A woman smiles as she walks down a path at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
Time for a walk!

While the garden is 20 hectares (50 acres) you only need 2 hours to explore everything it has to offer including its walking trails and to take some time to sit by the lily ponds. If you don’t stop to smell every orchid and are a fast hiker you can easily do this in an hour or so. Most of the tours give you an hour here which we think is perfect.

9. What to bring to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant

Tons of vines growing off of trees in the jungle at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
The jungles are so lush here!

Bug spray – Regardless of the time of year bugs can always be around. And where there are flowers there are bugs. We recommend bringing bug spray so they don’t bother you, or wear longer clothing to keep them off. When I’ve gone in the dry season they haven’t bothered me much – but you don’t want to chance it!

Enclosed shoes – While the trails are maintained there are still rocks, tree roots, and various other things you can stub your toes on. I recommend wearing good shoes to make walking easier and protect your feet.

Hat and sunglasses – Even if you go in the morning the sun can still be strong and make it difficult to see or possibly burn your skin. A good hat and sunglasses solve these issues ensuring you have a good time!

Water – Again, it can get hot in Fiji so bring plenty of water! Most tours provide bottled water but it’s always a good idea to bring your own so you aren’t thirsty when walking around.

Food – We recommend bringing some snacks or a picnic lunch to enjoy in the garden. There are many areas where you can have a seat and eat while enjoying the beautiful scenery! Plus most tours do not include lunch, so you will save money by bringing your own.

10. Is visiting the Garden of the Sleeping Giant Fiji worth it?  

A man poses for a picture surrounded by large plants at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
Yes!

The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is 100% something you should see during your visit to Fiji. It is absolutely breathtaking to see all of the orchids on display and it is such a well-maintained area.

Even if you aren’t a horticulture enthusiast you will still enjoy seeing the hundreds of different plants along its grounds and taking in the views along a walk. Considering it’s so easy to visit from Nadi and accessible to all we don’t think you’ll want to miss one of the biggest collections of orchids in the world!

Where to Stay in Fiji

the private island of Beachcomber Island Resort
This place is just wow! Photo Credit: Beachcomber Island Resort

There are so many great areas to stay around Fiji. You can choose to stay on the main island of Viti Levu or venture out to the smaller surrounding islands. With so many choices, it can be hard to narrow it down. To help, these are my top picks for each area in Fiji that fit a range of budgets.

Nadi – The Ramada

Located right on Wailoaloa Beach, the Ramada Suites by Wyndham is the most luxurious hotel in this area. It features an exclusive pool and restaurant for guest use only. It is the tallest building in the area offering incredible views of the coastline and sunsets!

Because of its close proximity to the airport (only a 15-minute drive), many people stay here for a night before or after their flight. It’s a good place to spend some time before catching a ferry out to an island. A King Studio Room with a sea view goes for around $200 USD. Check availability and book a stay at the Ramada here!

Port Denarau – Radisson Blu Fiji Resort

The Radisson Blu Resort is just stunning, and for what you get, the price is very reasonable too. This resort is huge offering tons of activities for both families as well as couples. There is an adults-only pool as well as an area specifically for kids. It is beachfront and offers spa services as well.

Rooms here start from around $400 USD per night and range from standard hotel-style rooms with king beds or two queens, up to two-bedroom suites. Some rooms feature courtyard views while others have a view of the lagoon. All rooms have a balcony and minibar. Check availability and prices at the Radisson Blue Resort here!

Yasawa Islands – Barefoot Manta Island Resort

Barefoot Manta Island Resort is perfect for those wanting a real island getaway experience without paying huge amounts of money. Surrounded by a vibrant protected coral reef, this is the best place to go for ocean lovers. You can even swim with manta rays just off the shore from May-October!

You can easily get to Barefoot Manta Island Resort on the Yasawa Flyer ferry that departs Port Denarau regularly. The ride should take about 3 hours.

They offer dorm beds for only $29 USD a night. There are also private beachfront bungalows available starting at around $200 USD per night. Check prices and availability for Barefoot Manta Island Resort here!

Mamanuca Islands – Beachcomber Island Resort

Beachcomber Island Resort is one of the most popular island resorts to stay in Fiji. Its affordable pricing mixed with its close proximity to Viti Levu make it one of the best places to stay in Fiji. You can reach the Beachcomber Resort from Port Denarau by riding the Yasawa Flyer ferry. The ride should take about 2 hours.

There are many different rooms and bungalows to choose from – something for every budget! Remember all these prices also include ALL your meals. Dorm beds go for as little as $60 USD per night, whereas you can get a standard twin room for $225 USD. Check prices and availability at Beachcomber Island Resort here!

Coral Coast – Maui Palms

Mixing beach life and luxury, the Maui Palms is perfect for those wanting a bit of pampering on their holiday. There are lots of on-site activities and the snorkeling right in front of the resort is great. Expect an infinity pool, games room, bar, restaurant, and beautiful ocean-view villas with private balconies!

The location on the Coral Coast means you don’t need a boat to get there but can still experience some of the tranquility and beautiful beaches you might find on the smaller islands. There are also a few restaurants nearby, so you won’t be confined to the hotel.

Rooms and villas here start at around $250 USD and up. Check prices and availability for the Maui Palms here!

If you’re looking for more info about where to stay in Fiji, be sure to read our blog. It includes detailed info on each area, the best things to do nearby, prices, getting to hotels, and so much more.

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie on an island in Fiji
Thanks for reading!

There you have it, a complete guide on the Garden of the Sleeping Giant in Fiji! I hope this got you excited to go explore the lush jungle either on your own or on one of the amazing tours we talked about.

If you found this guide helpful, then take a peek at our other Fiji blogs, including some favorites below:

12 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting Seventh Heaven Fiji + Our Review

10 Tips for Travelling Fiji on a Budget

12 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting Tivua Island Fiji