GARDEN OF THE SLEEPING GIANT
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.
The Garden of the Sleeping Giant sits at the foothills of the Nausori Highlands about 10 minutes drive north of Nadi. The attractive landscaped gardens specialize in Fiji's native plants as well as housing an impressive collection of orchids, some native. A jungle walk takes visitors past a large lily pond and through native forest. Located about half an hour from Nadi, The Garden of Sleeping Giant is a beautiful orchid range started in 1977 by the late Raymond Burr, star of Perry Mason and Ironside.
Originally designed to house Burr's private collection of tropical orchids, the gardens have developed into a popular attraction after years of flourishing. Raymond Burr loved these orchids just as much as he loved Fiji.
The gardens showcase more than two thousand different kinds of orchids, covering 20 hectares. For an entry fee of just $16, you can wander through the lush and fertile plantation to your heart's content.
Whether you are into gardens or not, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is sure to take your breath away. The exquisite beauty of the garden is unsurpassed by most, housing one of the world’s largest orchid collections plus beautiful cultivated greenery and enchanting lily ponds, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is not to be missed. Take a picnic and enjoy the peace and serenity of some of the most stunning gardens on earth. The gardens are open Monday to Saturdays – 9 am to 5 pm and Sundays 9am to 12pm.