Fiji has a variety of public transport options, including buses, “share taxis”, and private taxis. Rates are very cheap: FJD1-2 from Colo-i-Suva to Suva bus station by bus, FJD17 from Nadi bus station to Suva by share-taxi (share-taxi’s are usually white mini-vans that congregate together and set-off when they reach their capacity of 6-8), or approximately FJD80 from Suva airport to Sigatoka by private taxi. On the main road circling Viti Levu buses run every half hour and taxis are a substantial proportion of traffic, while on western Taveuni buses make only a few runs per day and very little traffic is present. If taxi has a meter, ask the driver to switch it on – the ride will be lot cheaper than with negotiated price.
The current going rate from resorts on Nadi beach to Nadi downtown is FJD8 per passenger, and FJD12 to the airport — you should be able negotiate this price reasonably easily.
While there is rarely much traffic present, most vehicles run on diesel and pollution on major roadways can be severe. A national speed limit of 80km/h is usually observed; village speed limits are all but entirely ignored, but drivers slow down for several speed humps distributed within each village. Seat belts are advised on taxis but are rarely evident and apparently never used.
Road travel tends to be more dangerous than many people are used to, and many embassies advise their citizens to avoid pretty much any form of road travel. Pot holes, washouts and dilapidated bridges are commonplace. Buses are the best, unless you are truly comfortable and capable of renting and driving a car on your own – most people are not even if they think they are. Avoid travel at night, especially outside of urban areas. Another option is hop-on, hop-off bus passes which allow you to tour Fiji at your own pace for a fixed price. These are a more expensive way to travel but feature inclusions like tours and activities. However, some like Feejee Experience are limited to Viti Levu and trips to Beachcomber island and don’t include the more remote islands.
South Sea Cruises operates daily inter-island ferry transfers throughout Fiji’s Mamanuca Island resorts. Awesome Adventures Fiji provides daily ferry transfers out to the remote Yasawa Islands. Inter-island ferries are reasonably priced and the larger ones (especially those large enough to accommodate cars and trucks) have a good safety record, though they may be overcrowded at the beginning and end of school holiday periods. Ferries offer two or three classes (depending on the ship). Economy (FJD65 pp on Suva-Taveuni route) is the cheapest option, but requires you to sleep on chairs or on the floor. Sleeper (FJD104 pp, Suva-Taveuni) is dormitory-like accomodation. Cabin (FJD135 pp on MV Suiliven, FJD95 pp on SOFE, Suva-Taveuni) is not necessarily the best option, as the space is very limited, cabin can be shared (4 beds) and can have hords of bugs.
Do not attempt to take a car to another island unless you own it or have made clear special arrangements – most rental companies forbid it and they do prosecute tourists who violate this clause in the contract.
If you are looking to travel between islands as part of your holiday, it’s worth looking into cruises operating in the area. Captain Cook Cruises Fiji runs small ship discovery cruises around the Fiji islands ranging from day tours to 7 night cultural and adventure tours.
Bicycles are becoming more popular in Fiji in recent years for locals and tourists alike. In many ways, Fiji is an ideal place for a rugged bike tour. However, the motor vehicle traffic can be intimidating on well-travelled roads, and there is a lack of accommodation along secondary roads. Cycling is a great way to see Fiji but make sure you carry all your own spares and supplies as bike shops are scarce. It is a good idea to carry plenty of water, a camelbak is great, as it is very hot and humid almost year round.
The main Road around the largest island, Viti Levu, is sealed except for a 40 km section on the eastern side. A sturdy road, touring or hybrid bike is suitable.
Bike rental can be quite expensive comparing to other options: on Taveuni bike for full day costs FJD25. With two persons the cost is similar to renting a car.
It is possible to rent a motorbike and get it delivered to the airport. Expect to pay c. FJD100 for a day. They will confirm that you have a motorbike licence. The roads are’nt as safe as they may be at home, but its not bad at all – comparable to riding in rural Thailand.
English is an official language and is the language of instruction in education, and is spoken by most in Nadi, Suva and any other major tourist area. On a few of the less touristy islands, English may be spoken with some difficulty. Fijian or Hindustani (Hindi/Urdu) is spoken by most adults and children, and learning even a few key phrases will help you gain the respect of the locals.
Words and Phrases
- Bula!– A general greeting, pronounced mboo-lah.
- Vinaka– “Please” or “thank you”, pronounced vee-nah-kah.
- Moce– “Goodbye”, pronounced mow-they.
- Garden of the Sleeping Giant, Nadi, Fiji. Monday to Saturdays – 9 am to 5 pm.. The Garden of the Sleeping Giant was originally the garden of famed actor, Raymond Burr, and is located next to his house. The garden covers 20 hectares and is full of orchids native to Fiji and many flowers. With a beautiful lily pond and many exotic plants, this garden is sure to take your breath away. $10 (USD).
- Fiji Museum, PO Box 2023 Govt. Bldgs, Suva, Fiji Islands, ☎(679) 331 5944/ (679) 331 5043. The Fiji Museum is an excellent place for tourists to understand the historical background of Fiji. With artifacts dating back as far as 3,700 years it provides many exhibits that educate travelers on the nation’s traditions and culture. The museum is located in heart of Suva’s botanical gardens.
- Sigatoka Jet Boat Safari, Sigatoka, Fiji. Take a thrilling jet boat ride down the Sigatoka River. Stop in a Fiji village for a unique and rewarding tour.
- Heli-Tours Fiji – Scenic Helicopter Flights, Denarau, Nadi (Helipad before the Denarau Bridge), ☎(+679) 992 4940.Go for a world class Helicopter Scenic flight over Denarau, The Sleeping Giant Mountain Range and the Mamanuca Group of Islands. Watch the impressive waterfalls and see the bounty beaches from the air. Definitely a must do! Contact them directly trough firstname.lastname@example.org or call (+679) 992 4940
- Whitewater rafting, Rivers Fiji, P.O. Box 307 Pacific Harbour, Fiji Islands, ☎800-446-2411. Rivers Fiji operates whitewater rafting and sea kayaking trips six days a week
- The Pearl, Queens Road, Pacific Harbour, Pacific Coast, Fiji Islands, ☎679-773-0022. The Pearl Fiji Championship Golf Course and Country Club is situated in Pacific Harbour and surrounded by beautiful tropical forests. With 60 + bunkers, multiple water traps, and winding course, it provides a challenge for even the most experienced golfers.
- Tandem Skydive Fiji, Nadi, 11 Zahoor Rd Martintar, Fiji (Opposite to JetPoint at Martintar), ☎+679 672 8166. 7 Days. Skydive Fiji offers world class Tandem Skydiving over the Fiji Islands. First a great 15-25min scenic flight, then a thrilling one minute freefall, followed by a smooth 6-8 minute parachute ride. Operates Daily from Nadi/Denarau. Group bookings and special occasions possible. Book Direct. From F$495.
Inflation in Fiji has reduced in recent years and for the four months ended January 2015 was less than 0.3%.. Expect to pay prices similar to those of Australia in tourist regions.
In Fiji the currency is the Fijian dollar – symbolized as FJD placed before the amount with no intervening space. Bills include: FJD5, FJD10, FJD20, FJD50. Coins include: 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1, $2.
Be aware when going to local markets, often some of the stall holders family will be outside on the lookout for travellers, and will escort the travellers inside using the guise of “getting the best bargains”. Once inside they, and their relatives who own the stall, can become quite aggressive if the traveller does not buy their products. Be firm, tell them that you will report them to the authorities if they do not leave you alone. They will quickly change their tone and back down.