Fiji is the world’s natural splendour in the southwest Pacific.
Thrill-seeking globetrotters escape to Fiji to experience its tropical opulence and exotic lifestyle. Soak in the sun at a five-star resort, relax in tropical seclusion in a garden bure (bungalow), explore the gorgeous rainforest on a day-long hike and scuba dive among rainbow-coloured reefs—Fiji has all this and more.
What does the Fijian traveller need to have and know beforehand? Along with a valid passport, adequate travel insurance and an adventurous spirit, here’s what to know and love about travelling to Fiji.
Quick Travel Notes
Etiquette & Customs: When visiting a village, it’s customary to present a drink called yaqona(also known as kava; it costs about $10) to the head of the village (the turaga ni koro). The presentation of this gift is called a sevusevu. So as to not insult the chief, avoid wearing hats in a village.
Remove shoes before entering someone’s house and never touch someone’s head. Speak softly and without an angry tone. Dress modestly outside of the resort or hotel (sulus and tapa clothes are Fiji’s modern national dress.) Don’t wear shorts or halter tops and make sure shoulders are covered.
Ecotourism: The island of Taveuni is Fiji’s eco-tourism destination, abounding with nature reserves. In Taveuni, eco-tourists can visit Waitabu Marine Park, Bouma National Heritage Park, Vatuwiri Plantation (a farm and wildlife preserve) and the village Baudua.
Transportation: Local transport in Fiji includes taxis and buses, as well as passenger ferries, boats and catamarans in areas with limited road systems. Buses are preferred for tourists because of the roads’ poor and dangerous conditions. Buses are also more affordable. Domestic flights connect travellers between towns and islands. Minibus and complimentary shuttles are available to and from certain airports.
Temperature & Weather: Temperatures typically remain the same throughout the year, usually in the high 20s. Peak season is between the dry and sunny months of July and September, but keep in mind prices skyrocket. November through April brings tropical storms.
- Viti Levu: Viti Levu is one of Fiji’s largest islands, where aquatic adventurers can raft down the Navua River or snorkel in the Nananu-i-Ra reef. Fiji’s capital city Suva is also located on this mountainous and tropical island.
- Vanua Levu: Vanua Levu, also one of Fiji’s largest islands, is known for the natural rainforests of the Wasali Nature Reserve, Snake Temple tours and coral dives. Vanua Levu, an old outpost for Aussie sailors and escaped convicts, has evolved into the cornerstone of the sugar cane industry.
- The Mamanucas: This string of 20 stunning islands is an established resort spot. Ride the waves in the famous surf spot Cloud Break or let loose on Beachcomber Island, where those who like a bigger party scene will want to hit. Visitors can also dive from the Big W, parasail, windsurf and watch dolphins play.
- Yasawa Islands: The Yasawa Islands are a backpacker’s nirvana. This escape from civilization offers secluded beaches and affordable resort bungalows, known as bures. The Yasawas also attract flashpackers, a word for an affluent backpacker, who mingle with the locals and travel with other adventurers from North America, East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
- Pacific Harbour/Beqa: Adrenaline junkies flee to the Pacific Harbour for heart-racing land and water adventures. Known as the adventure capital of Fiji, Pacific Harbour is a playground for adventurers who want to experience it all, from ziplining and diving to shark-feeding and riding world-class waves at Frigates Passage.
Do, See & Explore
Laying beachside isn’t the only way to get lost in Fiji’s magnificent beauty. Fiji offers aquatic activities and land adventures for any type of traveller, from the sightseeing kayaker to the shark-diving adrenaline junkie. These spots make itinerary highlights:
Soak in the Sea
Fiji is a destination for any type of water activity imaginable: surfing, parasailing, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, windsurfing, dolphin-watching, fishing and more.
- Pacific Harbour: Live life on the edge and head to Pacific Harbor for shark-feeding dives and jet skiing.
- Kadavu: Scuba dive in the Great Astrolabe Reef, where you’ll see pristine hard corals and steep coral dropoffs. Underwater adventurers can also swim with manta rays and explore dive wreckages.
- Mamanuca Islands: Soar into the water off world-renowned diving points Big W and Gotham City. At the Big W dive point, you may even be able to spot the ominous bronze whale shark.
- Viti Levu Highlands: Raft along the Upper Navua River to experience the deep rainforest, majestic waterfalls and formidable rapids.
Explore the Land
Dry off to experience the lush jungle lands of Fiji:
- Viti Levu: Hike the challenging 8.7 km steep climb of Mount Tomanivi, the highest peak in Fiji. During the ascent, hikers will encounter ridges, drops and heart-pounding views.
- Yasawa Group: Take a guided or solo tour of this trekking paradise at the Wayalailai or Kuata Natural Resort.
- Coral Coast: Check out Sigatoka Valley, also known as “Fiji’s Salad Bowl” due to the flattened crop fields along the road. The Sigatoka Valley drive passes through the villages of Lawai and Nakbuta and ends with a panoramic view of Fiji.
- Wasali Nature Reserve’s hiking trails, four-wheel drive tours, incredible bird-watching in Taveuni and Denarau Island’s 18-hole championship golf course all make up some of Fiji’s greatest outdoor activities.
Discover Island Life
Travellers have ample opportunity to experience island life in these cities and villages:
- Nadi: Main street is a tourist hub offering shopping and eateries serving up eclectic fare like Fijian, Indian and Chinese cuisine.
- Suva: Fiji’s capital city is a dynamic modern and multicultural city thriving with trendy shopping centres, farmers markets, places to eat and entertainment. Tourists can expect outdoor recreation, beautiful city gardens, walking tours and local markets selling jewellery, crafts and art.
- Sun Coast: This stretch of villages is filled with sugar cane fields and cassava patches along Viti Levu’s northern shoreline. Check out historic sites (Vuda Point and Navatu Rock) and learn more about the diverse Fijian culture by visiting mosques, temples and churches.
- Lomaiviti islands: Levuka, the first capital of Fiji and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a port town nestled among the Lomaiviti Group. Levuka was a former whaling settlement that grew during the cotton boom of the 1860s and the growth of the coconut and tea trades. Tour Levuka, its colonial buildings and other South Pacific villages to take in rich Fijian history.
Health & Safety
The smart and savvy traveller will be prepared for anything while in Fiji. No adventurer should travel overseas without considering the following:
Health & Medical Precautions: At least eight weeks before you travel, schedule a checkup with your doctor. Discuss necessary vaccinations, prescriptions and any existing medical conditions. Also, keep in mind public hospitals and medical facilities lack specialized equipment, pharmaceuticals and the level of service you receive in Australia. Facilities typically require a deposit or payment confirmation before admitting a patient. Thus, in the event of a serious illness, injury or emergency, a medical evacuation back to Australia may be necessary.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance can cover the cost of an emergency medical evacuation in Fiji, as well as any other steep expenses incurred from an unexpected situation. Thousands of kilometres from home, suffering a serious injury during a jungle excursion or getting food poisoning from undercooked food without Fiji Travel Insurance could be devastating (and quite costly).
An insurance policy serves as a safety measure, especially in a foreign place where mosquito-borne illnesses (e.g. Dengue Fever and Filariasis) and water or food-borne infectious diseases (e.g. typhoid and hepatitis) are common. Request a quote for a policy today to ensure your Fiji trip will be the vacation of your dreams.
- Denarau Island: Located on main island Viti Levu, Denarau is Fiji’s largest resort hub. Eight large resorts offer five-star designer suites, luxury villas, grand swimming pools and world-class dining.
- Coral Coast: This tourist destination pampers visitors with resort-style authentic homestay villages.
- Taveuni: Backpackers can retreat to budget-friendly campsites, cottages and holiday homes.
- Pacific Harbor: Travellers can choose from a range of accommodations for any budget, including less expensive basic apartments and bures, as well as Fiji’s finest hotels on the higher end.
- Kadavu: A number of guest houses and upscale resorts are only accessible by boat, which creates a truly exotic Fijian experience.
- Lau Group: For those who prefer to go into tropical seclusion, head to one of Lau Group’s affordable guesthouses on Vanua Balavu or Lakeba.
Fiji is a tropical paradise for every type of vacationer, no matter what time of year. From the jungle canopies and mountainous islands to the depths of the ocean, Fiji is a place for epic land and water adventures. Solo backpackers trek through jungle waterfalls and along mountain cliffs to high peaks. Tourists visit Fijian villages to learn rich island history and mingle with locals.
Of course, dream vacations require more than wanderlust and a sense of adventure. The most successful travellers research, budget, plan for the best and prepare for the worst. Safeguard your excursion with the proper vaccinations and reliable insurance coverage. Once your travel plans are in place, you are free to fully experience this wondrous destination.