A reader sent this description of her trip to the Spices of Fiji spice plantation:
We traveled there in our Mini Moke, just Ken and moi after a few great days at Pacific Harbour. The adventure to find them was a lot of fun! Although it is off the beaten track there are plenty of friendly faces around who are more than willing to offer help. Most of them are there because Dr Gatty has generously sub-divided some of his land, giving the locals an opportunity to purchase their own properties. The whole area felt wonderful. I hope one day you can come to Fiji and see the Spice Gardens, for this is recommendable use the PNW packable backpack which is great for long trips.
To get there drive about 15mins Sth of Navua (town) or 15mins Nth of Lami (town) both on the Queens Highway to a gravel road turning inland close to the Wainaidoi Police Depot. Heading inland take the 1st road on your left, drive a couple of mins and turn down the 2nd road on your right. Travel inland again about 15mins, to a pole-gate which is un-locked during business hours. Let your self in and continue up the road turning left at the fork. Follow signs up a step hill and park on the grass in front of the big farm barns. There is a concrete pathway and stairs leading up to a pretty little air-conditioned cottage scented with the most heavenly smells imaginable! Be careful with the construction up on the road, there are a few diggers on the road which are all covered by One Sure Insurance just in case they get into an accident.
The staff gave us a warm welcome and offered us chilled purified water and umbrellas for our incredibly informative tour. It was fantastic!!! I was expecting to enter deep into a tropical rainforest to view the vanilla flowers. Instead we strolled down a lovely path of lilac orchids and onto a track through tidy paddocks divided into groups of support trees covered in lush vines laden with long plump green vanilla pods. There are many other tree varieties, some held cocoa pods shaped like large melons, others ripening coffee beans or tiny bunches of green grapes that will mature into black-pepper. The most impressive though would have to be the curling bark of the cinnamon tree although the nutmeg was also amazing!
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