There's no doubt Bali and Fiji offer incredible scenic views, beaches, adventure activities and culture. When you have flight deals available for both, deciding which to visit can be a tough (but fun) decision.
That's where our comparison comes in handy. It details which is better for your budget, travel style and activity and cuisine preferences so you can make a quick and easy decision then be on your way.
TL;DR: Our verdict
The winner: It's a super tough decision here but we're leaning towards Fiji as the better option. It's generally cheaper to get to from the big smoke (Sydney and Brisbane, though marginally more expensive from Melbourne) and saves you hours in flight time compared to flying into Bali. Prices are higher in Fiji, but luxury abounds, as do unsurpassed beachfronts. It's also better for honeymoons and families.
Prices obtained on 9 April 2019. Food and meal prices obtained from Numbeo.
Winner: Bali is more expensive to fly to from cities like Sydney and Brisbane but makes up for it with cheaper accommodation, meals and tour costs.
How do flights compare from Australia?
Cost: Flights are generally cheaper to Fiji from Australia's most populous cities. Most set you back around $700 to $800 return.
Airlines: A good mix of budget and full-service airlines fly direct to Bali and Fiji. Airlines that fly non-stop to Bali include Jetstar, Qantas and Garuda Indonesia. Airlines that fly non-stop to Fiji include Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia and Fiji Airways.
Airports: Bali has one main international airport (Denpasar) while Fiji has two (Nadi and Suva).
Flight duration: Flights to Bali from Australia's north and west (Darwin and Perth) are under four hours. However, if you fly from the east (Sydney or Melbourne) flights creep closer to the seven-hour mark. The opposite applies for flights to Fiji with journeys out of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane taking 4–5 hours and flights from Perth taking almost 10 hours.
Flight times and frequency: Numerous flights take off throughout the day to both Bali and Fiji. There are slightly more flights to Bali out of Sydney, with up to five flights per day as opposed to three flights per day to Fiji.
Winner: From cities like Sydney and Brisbane, Fiji takes the cake with cheaper flights, shorter flight times and more airports to land into. Melbourne could go either way with more-expensive flights to Fiji, though a much shorter flight time, compared to flying to Bali.
Compare flight prices to Bali or Fiji:
Both Bali and Fiji offer budget hostels, homestays, cheap hotels and luxury resorts. Fiji has the added bonus of camping as well, though this is mostly run by hostels and cost the same.
Which is better for hotels?
However, Fiji again is more expensive with budget dorm rooms starting at $27. Budget hotels start at $60 a night, mid-range hotels at $160 and luxury resorts from $300 per night.
In Bali hostels are common and generally start at $10. Homestays can be as cheap at $15, hotels start at $30 and villas at $100. Luxury hotels can range from $250 to $1,000, depending on the level of luxury you want.
As an aside, Fiji has overwater bungalows while Bali doesn't.
Winner: Bali offers more consistent and generally better prices for accommodation across the island while Fiji may be cheap in some areas, but accommodation can be quite costly in others.
Fiji is famous for its white sand beaches in just about every part of the country. Scoring a fine resort along the beach isn't an issue in Fiji and marine life is typically available for you to spot just off of the clean and not-too-busy beaches.
Bali, unfortunately, has beaches and waters that are notoriously dirty and often but not always busy. Many of the beaches are black sand beaches but white sand beaches exist too. If you want great beaches in Bali your best bet is on the shores of Uluwatu.
Winner: Fiji easily takes this round, winning because of its cleaner and quieter beaches.
Which is better for food?
Balinese food is rich in flavour and consists of noodles, rice and fried dishes. As Bali is popular with Australian tourists, you won't be short of options for Australian/Western cuisine with many cafes and hotel restaurants offering familiar dishes, some even with a hipster atmosphere.
Fijian food heroes seafood, coconut, rice and cassava. As there are many Indian and Chinese Fijians, you'll discover a wide variety of cuisines or fusion meals that incorporate these cultures' palates. Resorts in particular offer a wide mix of cuisines, including your standard high-end Western restaurant and mixed buffet options.>
Winner: For Australians, Fijian food is more exotic than Balinese. There's also a greater variety of cuisines to try while on holiday.
Chicken satay skewers in Bali
Expect endless seafood options in Fiji
Which is better for night-life?
Fiji offers a number of bars on the main island of Viti Levu in Nadi and Suva, as well as the famous Beachcomber Island, which is known for partying. The bars are typically laid-back with surfer vibes.
Bali is the polar opposite, boasting an abundance of night-life from relaxed beach bars and lounges to world-class bars and nightclubs. If you're in the right spot, such as Kuta, Canggu or Uluwatu in Bali you'll be able to dance the night away to world-famous DJs.
Winner: Bali easily takes this round with more night-life options and international venues.
Which is better for a honeymoon?
Deciding on where to visit for your honeymoon comes down to what type of honeymoon you want.
If you're craving adventure, exploration and culture then Bali is for you. If you prefer a romantic honeymoon on a beach resort where you just plan on relaxing or enjoying the waters, then Fiji is your winner.
Winner: For a relaxing honeymoon away, Fiji takes the cake.
Bali is not short on romantic novelties
Fiji is all about romance
Which is better for families?
Bali and Fiji both have plenty of entertainment for kids of all ages and resorts designed for families. For younger kids, both destinations have nannies and kids' clubs. For older kids, Fiji is excellent for water activities while Bali has water parks, shows and animal parks.
Fiji, though, is often regarded as safer and cleaner than Bali.
Winner: Fiji has all the makings of a family getaway, from its shorter flight time to its in-resort kids' clubs, right down to the number of marine activities that await.
Bali vs Fiji: Features compared
Bali has no public transport system so transport is limited to private drivers and some shuttles.
Travelling between the main islands is easy with a network of buses and ferries. Taxis, car hire, boat charters and small planes can also be hired.
Best months to visit
April to September
July to September
Type of scenery
Jungles, mountains, beaches and rice-paddies
Rainforests, mountains, beaches and clear ocean views
Airlines that fly there from Australia, non-stop
Average flight cost from Australia, according to Skyscanner
From Darwin: $273
From Sydney: $740
From Melbourne: $736
From Brisbane: $632
From Sydney: $705
From Melbourne: $857
From Brisbane: $755
Indonesian and Western
Fijian, Indian, Chinese and Western
Travel style best suited for
Bali vs Fiji: Which won?
As much as we love Bali and love to keep to our budgets, Fiji has a little more going for it. This includes shorter direct flights from Australia's east coast, the option to luxe it up in overwater bungalows, more pristine beaches and being geared toward families and romance.
Here are each destination's finer points:
Cheaper accommodation, food and activities
More adventure activities, including hiking and water parks
Wider variety of airlines that fly direct to it
Cheaper direct flights, overall
Shorter flight time
More romantic and relaxing atmosphere
Safer and friendlier for families
More public transport options
Wider variety of food options
Top Bali and Fiji deals:
AirAsia sale: Asia flights from $216 return
Valid for travel between October 2019 - February 2020. Destinations include Singapore, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City,, Bali, Shanghai, Delhi, Bangkok and more. Sample fare is Perth-Lombok.
Available cruises departing after 27 August 2019 to the Whitsundays, Queensland coast, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji and more. Onboard credit amount depends on the length of your cruise and cabin booked.
Valid for travel on select dates between 1 October 2019 - 29 February 2020 with AirAsia. Includes accommodation at Champlung Mas Hotel, return flights from Perth, welcome drink on arrival and more. T&Cs apply.
30% off hotels on 6-night Fiji tour with return flights
Valid for travel between 1 February - 31 March 2020. Includes return flights from Sydney to Nadi with Virgin Australia, 6-night stay at the 4.5 star Shangri-La, free access at the Resort's Waterpark, daily buffet breakfast and more. T&Cs apply.
Bali: 5-night luxury holiday with flights from $1,765
Valid for travel until 20 December 2020. Includes accommodation The Leaf Jimbaran, return flights from Brisbane, one 60-minute massage, two three-course dinner, private transfers, daily breakfast and more. T&Cs apply.
Bali villas, homestays, hotels and hostels from just $12 per night. Sample destinations in Bali include Jimbaran, Seminyak, Kuta, Denpasar, Legian and more. $12 sample price is for Vilarisi Hotel in Legian.
Destinations include Gold Coast, Port Douglas, Bali, Phuket, Fiji, Vietnam and Hawaii. Sample packages include a 5-night stay in Surfers Paradise for $299 (Regularly $579) and a 5-night package to Fiji for $999 (Regularly $2101),
Taylor Lorenz is a writer for Finder, focusing on travel content. She has previously written guides for World Nomads, Matador Network and the Huffington Post, and she also writes for her own travel blog, Taylor’s Tracks. Taylor makes her way around the globe writing and beach hopping and can usually be found with a book and a cup of tea in hand.
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