While I was in Fiji for a family wedding, my grandson suggested we go to see the orchid garden. So we all piled into the minibus and off we went to see the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. This lovely garden was cultivated by the American actor Raymond Burr, whom I remember well for his roles in Ironside and Perry Mason. He had many hobbies and cultivating orchids was just one of them.
He developed his interest in cultivating and hybridising orchids into a business with his partner Robert Benevides, and their company ‘Sea God Nurseries’ had nurseries in Fiji, Hawaii, the Azores and California. The company hybridised an estimated 1,500 new orchid varieties before he left Fiji in 1983. One of the orchids was named the ‘Barbara Hale Orchid’ after his co-star in the Perry Mason series.
The group is welcomed at the reception area and we are each given a map of the gardens. Then we enter the garden through a mesh covered walkway that is lined with cultivated orchids in an array of colours.
We take our time and admire the orchids and other flowers on display, meander across bridges over lily ponds and stroll up the winding paths into the cool tropical jungle. The paths go off at angles and some of them are a little steep and slippery. Tim navigates each twisty roundabout, but I am happy to stay on the main path up the hill.
There are areas where you can sit in the cool and relax, once you climb the stairs. I thought the tree huggers were a cute feature.
And you need to be careful, you never know what is likely to jump out at you.
On returning to the reception area we are handed refreshing ice cold tropical drinks, so we take these out to the lawn area to sit and sip. It was a pleasant finish to our visit as the day was rather warm.
It’s a lovely way to while away some time, just take your time to enjoy it.
And there is always time for a bit of fun.
So where can you see the Garden of the Sleeping Giant?
- It’s located on Wailoko Road, 6.5 km (4 miles) north of Nadi Airport.
What Does it Cost?
- It cost us $18.00 each to go in. Children 6-15 years are $9.00 and families are $45.00.