Two kilometres east of Sigatoka Town, the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park makes for an inspiring outing. The dunes cover an area of 650 hectares, stretching for 3km and petering out to a sand spit at the mouth of the Sigatoka River. In places they rise to 80m with fantastic views of the crashing surf along the beach.
The visitor centre has an informative display highlighting the fragile ecology and archeological importance of the region, and can also provide guides. There are two designated walking trails from here: an hour’s stroll through forest to the beach; and a two- to three-hour walk which takes you along the ridge of the dunes. Along the beachfront you’ll find plenty of driftwood and, if you look carefully, you’ll come across small shards of Lapita pottery, evidence of human settlement from over two thousand years ago. Unusually large human bones are regularly found here, suggesting that the fish diet and lifestyle of the early settlers was very healthy. Circling back round to the forest you’ll encounter “treehuggers” sculpted from dead wood, symbolizing the need to protect the environment, and there’s a clearing just beyond noisy with flying foxes.
Good surfing can be had around the Sigatoka River mouth at the southern end of the beach, although the sea can be ferocious at times with strong currents – locals can advise the safest entry points for both surfers and swimmers. You can rent boards at the Sand Dunes Inn.