Five Things First Time Travellers To Fiji Should Know
- Respect the Fijian traditions when visiting a village. If you plan on visiting a village, make sure you dress conservatively and present a gift of kava root to the chief. As the head is considered sacred, you'll also need to remove your hat or sunglasses to avoid offending the locals.
- If you're visiting the outer islands, come prepared. Water, snacks and alcohol are much cheaper on the main island. So if you're on a tight budget and want to save money, buy your main essentials before you leave.
- Most Fijians are fluent in English. While locals do speak a dialect of Fijian and even some Hindi, you won't have a major language barrier in the central cities or towns.
- Asking for directions can be tricky. In Fiji, if someone tells you a destination is "that side" it's not an indicator of distance. This could mean it's 50 metres or even 10 kilometres away.
- Fijians rely a lot on nonverbal communication cues. With only 10,000 words in the Fijian language, body language plays an important role on the islands. For example, you can hail a taxi by rising your eyebrows once, but not if you do it twice.
Best Time To Visit Fiji
With temperatures rarely moving out of the 31°C to 26°C range, Fiji is a travel destination you can visit all year around.
If you want that perfect tropical holiday you've always been dreaming about, the best time to visit Fiji is during its winter months.
Despite being winter, temperatures from July to September are warm; rain clouds are rare, and diving visibility exceeds 50m. This time of year is also high the season in Fiji. You'll have to contend with high prices and crowds, as tourists from Australia and New Zealand flock to the island for winter break.
If you're looking to escape peak season, visit between May to June or October. These two shoulder seasons are the best time to visit if you want to save money, avoid Fiji's wet season and soak up the sun without fighting for a spot on the beach.
From November to April is Fiji's typhoon season. Temperatures are high and days have frequent short storms. But if you don't mind the occasional downpour, it's the best time to visit for budget travellers. Airfare, hotel and tour packages are at their cheapest, and the islands will be free from the high season crowds.
Suva is Fiji's capital city and the island nation's largest city. Situated on the main island of Viti Levu, it's one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Oceania and has a lot to offer the curious traveller.
From its rows of colonial architecture to its vibrant nightlife and curry houses, Suva's mix of cultures means there is an endless array of things to do. Take a walking tour to learn more about the city's role in Fiji's history, or escape the bustle and explore the beautiful treks just outside the city.
Suva is also the best place in Fiji to pick up supplies. With food being much cheaper than the more remote islands, use your stop here to save money by stocking up on a few essentials.
Nadi is the third biggest city and is the gateway to exploring Fiji's 332 islands. With accommodation options to suit any traveller, it's one of the best places to set up a home base.
Day trips to nearby islands are only 8km away, or you can explore famous attractions like the Garden of the Sleeping Giant and the Mud Pools.
City slickers won't be disappointed by Nadi either. This bustling multi-cultural town is filled with excellent restaurants, bars and enough retail therapy options to help you find the perfect souvenirs.
Lautoka is Fiji's second largest city and is known as the "Sugar City". It boasts the biggest sugar mill in the southern hemisphere and it's a must-visit for travellers who want to get off the beaten path and relax.
Nature lovers will love exploring the many hiking trails of Koroyanitu National Heritage Park as well as the city's Botanical Garden. While culture vultures can wander around the wide streets steeped in foliage, visit the city's mosques and enjoy a cup of coffee against the backdrop of Mt Koroyanitu.
Top Attractions in Fiji
Located an hour away from the coast of Nadi lies one of Fiji's top destinations. Home to 20 different islands, the Mamanucas rose to fame in the film Cast Away and has attracted visitors ever since.
This small chain of islands boasts world class surf spots like Cloud Break, beautiful coral reefs and incredible wildlife. Beachcomber is also known as Fiji's premier party resort island and is the ideal place for the young at heart.
While many travellers choose to visit as part of a day trip from Nadi, you won't regret spending a night or two at this pristine island getaway. Choose from budget-friendly resorts or splurge and stay at the luxury five-star hotels on Tokarski or Vomo Island.
Bouma National Heritage Park
If you've had your fill of sandy white beaches, head to Bouma National Heritage Park to experience another side of Fiji's natural beauty.
Established in 1990, the park covers 150 square kilometres of rainforest and is home to rare tropical plants, rich biodiversity and four villages. Entrance is only FJD 12, and if you time your visit right, you'll be able to see the rare Tagimaucia flower bloom at Lake Tagimaucia.
Spend a day exploring the ancient ruins near Vitawa, swimming beneath Tavoro Waterfalls, strolling along the Lavena Coastal Walk or summit De Voeux Peak for panoramic views of Taveuni Island below.
Great Astrolabe Reef
The Great Astrolabe Reef is the fourth largest barrier reef in the world and a diverse paradise. Located near the Kadavu island, the 100-kilometre reef boasts visibility ranging from 10 to 40 metres.
There's also no shortage of things to explore in this underwater wonderland. Put on your flippers and glide past underwater caverns, drop-offs, tropical fish, colourful corals and so much more.
But if you aren't a diver, you can still enjoy this side of Fiji's natural heritage. The reef has an abundance of snorkelling spots teeming with marine life. If you're lucky, you might even have the chance to swim alongside manta rays, mahi-mahi, and giant trevally.
Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple
The Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple is one of the top attractions in Nadi. It's the largest Hindu temple in the Southern Hemisphere and attracts devotees and tourists from all over the world.
It's renowned for its intricate carvings, Dravidian architecture and colourful exterior.
If you can, plan your visit to Fiji around one of the Hindu festivals. Go in January for Thaipusam or in April for Panguni Uthram Thirunal. But if those months don't work for your travel plans, try to be in Nadi for the monthly Karthigai Puja festival to witness the locals offering fruits and flowers to the gods.
Make sure you follow the dress code when visiting this important religious site. You'll need to cover your shoulders and knees and take your shoes off before entering the temple.
Beqa Island may be small, but it boasts more than 100 dive sites. Located off the southern coast of Viti Levu, this island and its surrounding Beqa Lagoon is the soft coral capital of the world.
You'll be able to spot seahorses, ribbon eels, ghost pipefish and more at depths above 50 feet. Plus dive sites are only a 5 or 20-minute boat ride from shore.
The island isn't just for diving enthusiasts. It's also home to the Sawau tribe and the traditional art of fire-walking. The practice started more than 500 years ago and watching a ceremony is one of the most fascinating cultural experiences Fiji has to offer.
Major International Airports in Fiji
- Nadi International Airport
- Nausori International Airport