“ The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is an orchid garden in Fiji started by Raymond Burr / Destination Type: Attractions / Sightseeing Type: Parks / Gardens / World Region: Australasia / Pacific „
THE GARDENS OF THE SLEEPING GIANT
This is an orchid and tropical garden set up by Raymond Burr of 'Ironside' and 'Perry Mason' fame. It cost us $12 Fijian each to enter the gardens and this fee included an ice cold tropical fruit juice as you finished your visit. You could chose to have a guided tour or just wander around by yourself. We decided on a self guided tour and not only enjoyed the wonderful orchids but also went part of the way round a jungle walk. As we only had about half an hour here we didn't take the full walk around as it was quite a lengthy walk and Tom suggested that half an hour here would be enough.
These beautiful gardens get their name from the mountain or hill which looks like a sleeping giant; the hills are actually the Nausori Hills. The gardens are quite a reasonable size and cover about 20 hectares planted with lush tropical vegetation. Many of the trees and plants in the garden have medicinal or health improving qualities according to our guide.
It was a lovely peaceful place to enjoy some truly beautiful orchids as well as water lilies and while we were walking around we also saw a number of different birds which were attracted to the tropical flowers on the bushes.
The highlight for me was the beautiful orchids as I think they are simply stunning flowers. The plants themselves are not that attractive but the flowers have to be some of the loveliest ones you can find. There are about two thousand different ones in this collection which was Raymond Burr's private collection at one time. This is reputedly the world largest collection but i am not convinced that there were more orchids here than there are in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, maybe it is the world's largest private collection.
The covered area with the ferns was also a bit like a fairy grotto but we did notice a few mosquitoes in that area so we didn't hang around too long in there. The gardens are open from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5 pm so basically closed on Sunday.
It is possible to enjoy a picnic in the gardens and we were reliably informed that it was possible to have your wedding in the grounds too which sounded rather exotic to me. We were not told that Raymond Burr's old holiday home was next door and that this was also open to visitors but obviously Tom, our taxi driver/guide didn't fancy visiting that or maybe it wasn't open at that time. It would have been interesting to see but never mind, he gave us a really good look at a number of sites around the Nadi area on our trip with him so I can't complain.
If you are in the area it is certainly worth a visit and is a lovely tranquil garden to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet after a morning in Nadi. If you are in to orchids then definitely visit as they are stunning. I'd give this 4 stars ,knocking one off as I would have been interested in a few informative labels around the plants to let us know what some of them were.
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