The sun had just risen and the farmstead was already a hive of activity. The women are preparing the breakfast for the men who have been out in the field since dawn. This is the morning ritual especially during the harvesting season.
Laado! Laado! (Loading! Loading!) The Sardar, Suruj Narayan Sharma started yelling out to his men who were gathered around the pani walla (water carrier). The truck had just arrived to take the first load to the mill.
Suruj is 67-years-old and is a third generation cane farmer. All his life he has known nothing else. He has been the Aralevu 2A gang number four Sardar for the last 20 years or so.
"Nadi is a good place to stay. I have been here all my life. My lease has just been extended another 30 years," was all Suruj could muster.
He was flustered from all the morning work but it is obvious he belongs to the old school. Cane farming is his world and he doesn't concern himself with whatever changes the Queens Highway, which is just metres from his house, brings.
On the same morning, just a few kilometres down the road at the Denarau Marina, Zahid Khan was helping tourists board the Ra Marama, a brig which takes tourists out on day trips to the Mamanuca Islands.
Zahid is the marketing manager for Captain Cook Cruises, a major tourist tour and cruise liner operator in Nadi's tourism industry.
Himself a son of the cane fields, he migrated to Nadi from Ba with an academic qualification and has spent the last 20 years working in the tourism industry.
"People who are usually involved in the agriculture sector are leaving it and are coming into the tourism industry," Zahid says.
Zahid's assessment is based on observations he had made in the last 20 years where he says the movement of people coupled with other factors have drawn many to the service industry.
"The migration from rural to urban areas is increasing and Nadi is one of those towns that has seen a large influx of people coming in to look for work in the tourism industry. Even other people from other parts of Fiji have moved to Nadi," he adds.
Further down the road, 20-year-old Manish Kumar was busy welcoming visitors to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant.
Manish comes from a cane farming family at Korovuto, but along with his father, they had opted to seek employment in the tourism industry.
Straight after high school, Manish worked at a hotel before going back to school, while the cane farming business was left to his grandfather and uncles to run.
"When I was growing up, the tourism industry was already here, and so it is only natural that I get into the tourism industry and also I don't think it's (sugar industry) doing too well," he says.
Nadi tourism migrant worker, Josefa Vakasukavono hails from Nakavu Village in Namosi and has been working in the town in the last six years as a salesman.
Through the money he earned from his job, Josefa has managed to secure a 100 year residential lease on a piece of land just outside of Nadi Town for his wife and son.
"I heard about Nadi after reading in the newspaper one day that there are jobs available in the tourism industry and so I came down and gave it a try," Josefa says.
"Before that I was just farming in the village because straight after high school I went back to the village until I came down here."
After Zahid had safely seen the 12 Russian travel agents board the Ra Marama, he sat down and gave me a history of the Nadi Town tourism industry.
"It started off with just the airport, Vomo Island Resort and the Regent and some other two three small hotels, but from there it has grown tremendously in the last 20 years, and at a very fast pace too," Zahid says.
The relocation of the Air Pacific headquarters to Nadi as well as the establishment of Denarau as a major tourist development apart from other developments of hotels and resorts on the main land as well as the Mamanuca Islands.
"Nadi is the hub of Fiji's tourism industry. Everybody arrives here."
The town fathers have realised this and are working hard to ensure that the town lives up to the expectations of the visitors as well as the country.
Nadi Town Council chief executive officer Nemia Taginasedrau succinctly puts it when he was approached with Zahid's take on the importance of the town.
"The international airport is the main gateway to Fiji where people travel in and out of the country. What they see outside of the airport is Fiji. That is why Nadi is so concerned about this. When people see Nadi, they see Fiji. That is a privilege that other towns don't have."
"All these put together makes us to be different from the rest of the other towns," Nemia says.
The town council has put in place many initiatives to make its environment and surroundings very eco friendly.
All these initiatives come under the Green Nadi policy the council had adopted into its town planning processes.
"Our business community is designed for the tourism industry and the development of the semi commercial areas on the other side of the river (Nadi) is something that is ongoing and the direction that the business community has been heading towards."
"All we're asking them, the property owners and the landowners is to include us in their planning process because the town council wants to ensure uniformity especially with the new town planning scheme that it has," Nemia says.
And one important aspect of this new town planning scheme is to declare Nadi a city.
Nemia says this issue is currently under discussion with the national government and he hopes the status will add more prestige to Fiji's tourist hub.
Apart from tourists, locals too have been drawn to Nadi's charm and partying lifestyle and also a destination where everyone gets away from the rat race and the political stresses that is synonymous with the capital.
"Suva may be a city, but it's a corporate world. For locals, to get away from it, they have to come down this way," Zahid says.
He has had locals block book cruises or come on their own to enjoy the sand and sun of the Mamanucas and the Yasawas.
Later that afternoon, I sat on a ridge on the edge of the Nausori Highlands, watching the panorama of the Nadi coastal plain sprawled out below.
The tapestry of sugarcane farms and pine forests below is bordered by the Sabeto Mountain Range and the Sleeping Giant to the West. Rising smoke from the valley below marking out cane farmers busy harvesting their crop.
Suddenly a Boeing 747 drops from the cloudy skies making its approach to land at the black asphalt of the Nadi International airport.
Zahid's words rang true and clear when he said, "Tourism gets into your blood. Anything other than that then, I don't think I would think of working anywhere else. The passion is in it."
Surely the Americans who built this airstrip as part of their forward supply line during World War Two did not think that it would one day be bringing the whole world to Nadi.