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Fiji travel guide | Everything you need to know to live the island life

Unwind on the whitest beaches and explore the most colourful reefs with the help of our all-encompassing Fiji travel guide.

It’s time to switch off, rejuvenate and unwind, because within moments of landing in this tropical paradise you’ll understand what they mean when they say "Fiji time".

This nation of luxury resorts and private islands offers a diverse range of activities to suit every travelling style. From the sunset-seeking honeymooners to the adventurous family unit, one moment you could be sipping cocktails on the beach, the next you could be snorkelling with turtles and whale sharks. The choice is yours.

With frequent direct flights from Sydney and Brisbane, Fiji is also one of the most accessible tropical nations for Australians.

Fast facts about Fiji
  • Main airport: Nadi International Airport (NAN).
  • On-ground transport: Bus, taxi and boat.
  • Weather: Tropical. Rainy season lasts from November to April, and the dry season runs from May to October.
  • Visas: Not required for Australians.
  • Top 10 must see: Denarau Island, Mamanuca Islands, Turtle Island, Sigatoka Sand Dunes, Yasawa, Sri Siva Subramaniya temple, Kula Eco Park, Mount Tomanivi, Taveuni Island and Beqa.
  • Plugs: Type I (same as Australia).
  • Currency: Fijian dollar (FJD).

Fiji.LikulikuLagoon.StockImage: Likuliku Lagoon just off the coast of Nadi

Best places to stay in Fiji

Whether you’d prefer to stay near the main beach in Nadi or opt for your own quiet piece of heaven on a less frequented island, Fiji has an option perfectly suited to your needs. Here are the best places to stay for everyone from couples and families to honeymooners and budget backpackers.

Viti Levu: The main and largest island in the archipelago, Viti Levu is home to Nadi and the country’s main airport, which makes it a great base for travellers. Choose to stay in the tourist town of Nadi or work your way along the coast to beach resorts like the Coral Coast in the south, marine adventure hub Pacific Harbour in the east, the rugged area around Mount Tomanivi in the island’s interior or the off-the-coast islands Denarau and Malolo in the west.

The Mamanucas: This honeymoon and couples capital is a group of tiny islands off the coast of Viti Levu. It is also the epitome of paradise. Think superb beaches, coral cays, surfing breaks and an endless amount of wildlife. Day trips from Nadi are popular but longer stays are recommended for those romantic sunsets and sunrises. For fanboys and fangirls, the Mamanucas island of Monuriki is the same that Tom Hanks landed on in the movie Castaway.

Beqa: When seeking adventure, Beqa has the answer. This island offers world-renowned shark dives as well as white water rafting, jet-ski safaris, surfing, snorkelling and kayaking. Scuba divers can see its soft coral and are likely to spot blue ribbon eels, ghost pipefish and seahorses. Even if you’re not the adventurous type, Beqa lagoon is a paradise on its own with its turquoise waters, soft sands and rejuvenating spas.

The Yasawas: Situated on the western border of the Fijian archipelago, the Yasawas are a series of volcanic islands dressed in a layer of green and fringed by pure white sands. Accommodation is geared toward the budget-friendly backpacker with hostels, villas or bures (a hut made of wood and straw) being the most common stay. Water-based sports such as sailing, snorkelling and kayaking are popular activities.

Taveuni: Known as Fiji’s "green island", Taveuni is a hiker’s dream. There are numerous hiking trails to follow which feature hundreds of native birds as well as prehistoric tree ferns and cascading waterfalls. The one to see? Tavoro waterfall. It’s an 18-metre drop that meets an emerald pool that you can splash in. As half of Taveuni is national park, resorts and hostels are few, although campsites and cottages are common.

Kadavu: The world-famous Great Astrolabe Reef makes Kadavu a mecca for scuba divers. It’s one of the largest reefs in the world and stretches along the south of Kadavu island across to other islands in the Kadavu Group including Ono and Buliya. The beauty of these islands is that they are still relatively untouched. Only one town exists on its main Kadavu island and only a few guest houses, resorts and hostels dot the other islands.

Vanua Levu: Fiji’s second largest island is the quieter sister of Viti Levu. Its main town Savusavu is a sailing anchorage often dotted with yachts. The island boasts forest hiking trails, a snake temple, dolphin watching in Natewa Bay and snorkelling and is a great option for families.

Check out what accommodation is like in these areas:


Top things to do in Fiji

  • Watersports: Whether you’re diving in the world-famous Great Astrolabe Reef, snorkelling through soft coral reefs or sailing from island to island, watersports are a must in Fiji.
  • Hiking the national parks: Fiji has six national parks each offering a different experience. For example, Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park has over 6 kilometres of sand dunes to comb, Bouma National Park on the island of Taveuni has waterfall, coastal and rainforest hikes and the Nausori Highlands of Viti Levu boasts incredible views of the Yasawa and Mamanuca islands.
  • See firewalking in Beqa: Beqa is home to the Sawau tribe, who are known for their tradition of firewalking. Many resorts host firewalking demonstrations where warriors skillfully tread over burning embers shouting "O-vulo-vulo".
  • Drink kava: This narcotic sedative drink is popular in Polynesian countries and is a must for anyone visiting Fiji. Bottoms up!
  • Visit Navala Village: Culture vultures can visit this picturesque village in the highlands of Levu island. It’s home to over 200 handicraft bures.
  • See the old capital: For something a little different, spend a day in Levuka. Located on Ovalau island, it’s the former capital of Fiji and is not heavily touristic.

Fiji.Coral.Stock

  • Marvel at the Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami TempleAround a third of Fiji’s population is Indo-Fijian, that is, Fijians of Indian descent. Hindu temples are rife on the islands and are a stunning display of colour amidst the blues and greens. Sri Siva Subramaniya temple is the largest Hindu temple in the southern hemisphere and is easily accessed from Nadi.
  • Book a stay in Likuliku Lagoon's overwater bungalow: These are Fiji’s only overwater huts and are absolutely brilliant for that couples getaway… or to pop the question (hint-hint).
  • Smell the flowers in the Garden of the Sleeping Giant: Created by the late actor Raymond Burr, this is a tranquil sanctuary of orchids and lily ponds just outside of Nadi.
  • Find a room for two on Turtle Island: Turtle Island is home to a couples-only private resort. It’s also where the movie Blue Lagoon was filmed. A-listers have been known to frequent the spot and with your own private bure and "bure mama" to cater to your every whim and fancy, you’ll be living the celebrity life in no time.

Best events to attend in the year:

  • Hibiscus Festival: Established circa 1956, the Hibiscus Festival is the oldest charity festival on the islands and culminates in a beauty pageant where the Hibiscus Queen is crowned. Other activities include amusement park rides, live music and market stalls. Viti Levu, August school holidays.
  • Bula Festival: This is a week-long celebration that features themed nights, food stalls and amusement park games and rides. Nadi, annually in July.
  • South Indian Fire Walking Festival: In this Hindu ritual, devotees dressed in yellow bathe in the sea near Suva Point before having their tongues, cheeks and bodies pierced by three pronged skewers. After having their faces smeared with yellow turmeric, they dance to the Mariamma Temple where they will walk on a bed of hot ash and coals. This is a symbol of their self-sacrifice and devotion to Draupadi Amman. Suva, annually in July or August.
  • Lautoka Sugar Festival: Located in the heart of the nation’s sugar cane region, Lautoka is often referred to as Sugar City. Every year it celebrates its sugar trade with a festival of food, games and live performances. It also includes a beauty pageant where men, women, teenagers and kids are crowned Mr Sugar King, Lady Sugar, Miss Sugar Teen and Miss Sugar Princess. Lautoka, annually in September.
  • New Year’s Eve: Sitting close to the international dateline, Fiji is one of the first countries to ring in the new year – so celebrating it here is something quite special. Traditional dance and music, sumptuous dining options and New Year’s Eve cruises are all on the cards. Various locations, 31 December.

How much will a trip to Fiji cost?

Accommodation

  • Budget: Campsites, hostels, villas and bulas: From AUD$10 per person, per night.
  • Moderate: 3-star hotels, serviced apartments and resorts: From AUD$12 per room, per night.
  • Luxury: 5-star hotels and luxury resorts: From AUD$180 per room, per night.

Typical meal

  • Main: A traditional meal of kokoda with fried cassava starts at FJD$10.50.
  • Beer: A Fiji Bitter at a resort starts from FJD$3.
  • Coffee: A regular cappuccino averages FJD$4.89.

Getting around

  • Taxis from the airport: From FJD$25. Taxis are metered. Yellow taxis are the only taxis allowed to pick you up from the airport.
  • Local transport from the airport: Express airport shuttles to a Nadi hotel start from FJ$18 one-way.

Ready to island hop in Fiji? Check out our top Fiji travel deals

Fly to Nadi with Fiji Airways from $521 return

Valid on select dates. Sample fares include Sydney to Nadi for $521 and Melbourne to Nadi for $651.

Cruise to Fiji for up to 49% off

Book a cruise around the Fijian islands from Australia for up to 49% off with CruiseAway.

5-night Fiji holiday packages from $1030pp

Check out the best all-inclusive holiday packages to Fiji with Virgin Australia Holidays. Prices start from $1030 for 5-nights including flights and baggage. Prices based on twin share and for select dates only.

Return flights to Fiji from $491

Book a flight to Nadi or Suva with Fiji Airways starting at $491 return. Flights available from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on select dates until December. See site for details.

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is a journalist, avid traveller and all-round bargain hunter. If there's an online coupon code, deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

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