Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park is an area of great significance as an example of an amazing natural phenomenon with a rich archaeological history. Located west of the town of Sigatoka on the main Fijian island of Viti Levu, the impressive dune system covers an area of 650 hectares.
Formed over millennia due to hinterland erosion and the formation of coastal dunes, the fine sand is peppery grey in colour with their windblown peaks reaching between 20 to 50 metres in height and up to one kilometre in width. The geography of the area includes a diverse mixture of native and introduced species of plants as well as providing a home to 22 species of bird plus lizards, geckos and fruit bats. The views from the park are simply stunning around the mouth of the Sigatoka River and out over the ocean. There are one-hour and two-hour hiking courses around the undulating dunes which are considered quite challenging and best avoided during the midday heat.
What is most remarkable about the park was the discovery of an ancient burial site in the late '80s. Over 50 individuals have been excavated and dated back to around 2,600 years ago making it one of the largest burial sites in the South Pacific. Shards of Lapita pottery, pieces of which have also been found at an archaeological site in New Caledonia, and other cultural remnants such as stone tools have been unearthed in the area as well and continue to be uncovered by the natural processes of the dunes.
The journey from Sigatoka town to the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park takes four minutes by car or taxi straight down Queens Road. Guided tours are also available of the area or as part of a day trip tour. The entry fee to Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park is FJ$10 for adults.