The island’s botanical refuge, Thurston Gardens, next to the Fiji Museum, is well worth visiting, and not just for the shade it provides. As with many Pacific islands, most of Fiji’s original ecology was destroyed long ago, with native plants pushed out by invasive species and tropical birds eaten by rats that had hitched rides on ships. This is not to say the gardens and forests aren’t beautiful; they are. But we’ll never know what we missed or exactly what Fiji looked, smelled and sounded like before Cook arrived and the edges of Eden began to fray.
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