The Port of Suva is the capital and commercial center of the Pacific Ocean paradise of Fiji. The port is on the southeastern shores Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. The Port of Suva is a free port and an important tourist destination. In addition to tourism, the local economy relies on the port, light manufacturing, and government activities. In 2007, the city proper was home to more than 86 thousand people, and the urban area contained almost 220 thousand.
One of the South Pacific’s largest urban areas, the Port of Suva was founded in 1849. It became Fiji’s capital in 1882, and the Port of Suva received status as a city in 1952. Fiji lies at the center of the world’s busiest ocean-based transportation routes, and it is a regular stopping point for transpacific shipping.
Today, Fiji’s newspaper, publishers, and broadcasters are based in the Port of Suva. The city’s diverse population is reflected in the media’s use of three languages (Fijian, Hindi, and English). The Port of Suva is also home to educational institutions that serve much of the South Pacific region.
The Kings Wharf was first constructed in 1912, and it served Fiji for the next 50 years. In 1961, the old wooden wharf was replaced with concrete deck and piles and expanded with cargo sheds. The Suva Wharf handled containers and roll-on/roll-off traffic by the early 1970s.
As modern ships grew in size and cargo volume, the Port of Suva embarked on efforts to modernize and enhance port technologies and configurations in 1982. In the late 1990s, the port authority began plans for additional infrastructure improvements to keep pace with the evolving shipping industry. Upgrades of Kings Wharf were completed in 2005.
In 2003, the Port of Suva was host for the South Pacific Games for the third time. To support the games, the city created a new indoor sports center and gymnasium, a swimming pool, stadium, field hockey field and stands.