Sigatoka (pronounced as Singatoka) is a town in Fiji. It is found on the island of Viti Levu and is situated at the mouth of the Sigatoka River, after which it is named, some 61 kilometres from Nadi. In Fiji’s last census (2017) the population of Sigatoka was at 17,622. Sigatoka is the principal urban centre for the province of Nadroga-Navosa.
An ornate temple, open to public and built by Hare Krishna devotees, dominates the Sigatoka skyline. Major tourist attractions include the Sigatoka Sand Dunes near Kulukulu village two kilometres north-west of Sigatoka, and the Kula Eco Park, which houses some 500 birds of 100 species from many tropical countries. The town is also the principal centre for Fiji’s coastal tourism belt – the Coral Coast – which hosts many of the country’s leading hotels and resorts.
Sigatoka has a long history of settlement dating to 1000 BCE, when indigenous tribal chiefs occupied the area. In the period of contact, European settlers explored Sigatoka when they made it as part of Colonial Fiji.
Today, Sigatoka thrives as a agricultural hub of Fiji, which elected its democratic government in 2001.
Sigatoka was incorporated as a town in 1959, and is governed by a 10-member Sigatoka Town Council, elected for a three-year term. At the last municipal elections, held on 22 October 2005, all 10 seats were won by a coalition of the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) and the National Federation Party (NFP). The new council re-elected Ratu Isikeli Tasere as Mayor, a position held for a one-year term, renewable any number of times.
In 2009, the Military-backed interim government dismissed all municipal governments throughout Fiji and appointed special administrators to run the urban areas. As of 2015, elected municipal government has not been restored. The special administrator of Sigatoka is Aisea Tudiraki. The Town Council CEO is Anand Sami Pillay.
From 1912 to 1923, banana plantations in the Sigatoka Valley suffered severe episodes of a fungal infection known as the Yellow Sigatoka disease. The Black sigatoka, an even more ravaging plant disease, is related.
The Sigatoka Valley is known for its high production of vegetables, and thus referred to as Fiji’s “Salad Bowl”.