Sometimes it is essential to leave the stress of the city behind oneself and embark on a little outdoor adventure. Suva visitors and residents have an excellent opportunity for that right in front of their city door – Mount Korobaba. The 400+ meter mountain provides an excellent hiking opportunity but does require a certain level of fitness and some solid shoes. Just past Lami’s town centre, at the turning of the cement factory (and easy to miss), there is a little path that leads past the factory towards the actual trail. There are no signs around, so best to ask one of the locals or factory workers that will be happy to point out the way (and if there is no one around, study the map below).
I have been up the peak three times and it was a fun challenge each hike. Although I see many locals wearing no shoes at all, it is probably easier to wear some solid ones. No need for elaborated hiking boots, some trainers will also do the job (if it is not too wet). Pack your cameras, some snacks, and plenty of water and let your taxi driver either drop you at the cement factory (right next to the Fisheries building in Lami) or – if you come by car – park it on teh Novotel parking space or right in front of the cement factory.
Once you are on the cement factory grounds make your way just behind the second building (again: look at the map) along the clay-laden paths and towards the first steep ascent. After a short while, the trek weaves through lush rainforest with plenty of bird calls to listen to. It’s hard to spot them in the thick bush, but with a little bit of luck and patience, you may observe barking pigeons, parakeets, and even parrots!
After a one-hour trek or so you will reach the last steep ascent that takes a good 20-30 minutes to complete depending on your fitness. But a reward will be waiting at the top with a magnificent 360-degree view! On clear days with blue skies you might even be able to make out hints of Kadavu in the distance. Just take your time at the top and relax while enjoying the incredible view of buzzing Suva and the impressive hilly inland landscape of Viti Levu – lush, green and healthy forest as far as the eyes can see!
The only downfall I witnessed on all three hikes is the plastic trash discarded by visitors. From flip flops to plastic bottles to all kind of food wrappings spoil the experience a little. I don’t understand while people are like that: if you come and hike here, then you surely enjoy nature and thus would probably like the path and mountain to stay clear of trash? Please, please, please: if you visit Mount Korobaba, make sure to leave nothing behind but your footsteps and take everything away that you brought.
The way back downhill feels much more comfortable than the way up and after a total time of around three and a half hours you will probably be back in your car. It is a fantastic way to stay the day and I am sure I will be standing on that top many more times!
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Tom Vierus is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist based in Suva, Fiji Islands. This blog is dedicated to his assignments and to sharing some behind-the-scenes footage.