The islands of Fiji are broadly categorised as North Fiji and South Fiji. The northern islands include Vanua Levu and Taveuni Island. These outer islands are less tourist- orientated, home to boutique resorts catering to more adventurous couples and families.
Vanua Levu is Fiji’s second largest island. Less tourist-oriented than Viti Levu, there’s still lots to see and do for the more adventurous traveller. Taveuni Island is known as the Garden Island and is an eco-tourist’s dream with nature reserves harbouring an abundance of native plants and wildlife. It is also known for dive sites such as Eel Reef and the Great White Wall, an amazing drop-off covered in white soft coral, a Marine Park was established at Waitabu in 1990, which teems with fish and coral.
The southern Fijian islands are where most people holiday. Nadi is the main gateway to Fiji, and there are many resorts around Nadi Bay, which are excellent as a base to explore the rest of Fiji. Denarau Island is where you’ll find a plethora of well-known international resorts such as the Sheraton, Westin, Hilton and so on. Be warned – the beaches on Denarau have dark coloured sand and the water can appear to be murky, they are nowhere near as nice as our beaches in Australia. The resorts, however, more than make up for this with beautiful pools and various water sports to keep you entertained. You need to venture to the Coral Coast to experience good quality beaches.
The Coral Coast is a stunning part of Fiji with its unspoilt beaches, lush forests and warm waters. The Mamanuca Islands are a group of 20 volcanic islands, which are surrounded by excellent snorkelling sites and beautiful beaches.
Best Time To Go
Fiji’s tropical climate means just about any time is a good time to visit, but you may wish to avoid cyclone season, which runs from November to April. Humidity is lowest May to September, with October to April experiencing some tropical rain and higher humidity and heat.
Cruising & Sailing
Explore the islands at a leisurely pace on a catamaran or cruiser. There’s plenty of secluded bays and pristine beaches to discover.
There are several places to indulge in a spot of golf, including Denarau Golf & Racquet Club, Natadola Bay Championship Golf Club and The Pearl South Pacific Championship Golf Course & Country Club. These courses offer gorgeous views and stylish clubhouses.
There are several famous surf breaks in Fiji making it popular for a range of surfing experience levels. Top places for a surf are Swimming Pools, Cloudbreak and Restaurants. Many surf breaks are only suitable to visit at high tide due to reefs, so ask a local or your concierge for details.
The people of Fiji are an attraction in themselves. Welcoming, friendly and always smiling, the locals will add to your holiday experience. Everyone here is on ‘island time’ so don’t expect anything to be done quickly!
Tips & Tricks
Fiji is a ‘flop and drop’ destination. Unless you’re staying in Denarau, it is likely you’ll stick to your resort for the length of your stay. In Denarau you can catch the Bula Bus into town.
Currency is the Fijian dollar. Bank notes are 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50, and coins are issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 dollar. Currency exchange is available at most hotels and banks and credit cards are widely accepted.
Tipping & Etiquette
Tipping is not encouraged in Fiji, but it is up to you if you would like to provide a tip. A conservative style of dress is required when visiting villages or in town, but beach gear is the norm at the resorts.
Australian passport holders are issued a tourist visa on arrival, free of charge. Always check with the relevant government authority before travelling. Make sure you have a minimum of 6 months validity on your passport from the date of arrival.
English is widely spoken and understood, but the official language is Fijian and Hindustani. Bula!
Tap water is safe in Nadi, Suva and in most resorts. Use bottled water on more remote islands.
The best restaurants tend to be in the resorts, with a limited range of restaurants in the Denarau area. Prices tend to be similar to dining in Australia. European, Chinese, Indian, and of course, local Fijian food are easily found at Fijian restaurants. Typical Fijian fare consists mainly of seafood, meat and fresh, tropical fruit. Many of the resorts will offer meal plans of half board, or all inclusive, and these can be great value for money if you want to pay for all of your meals and drinks in advance.
Shopping isn’t a major attraction of Fiji. You’ll find some local crafts, traditional art and the like, but better to do your shopping before you leave home! Major credit cards are widely accepted. If you do want some retail therapy, the main island, Viti Levu, is the place to find “western-style” shopping experiences: Mid City Mall, Suva; Port Denarau Shopping Centre. If you’re heading to Suva, other places for shopping include: Suva Curio & Handicraft Centre; ROC Market; Suva Municipal Market – for fresh fish, fruit and vegetables.
Travelling with Kids
There are many resorts that cater very well for kids. The locals love children and your little one will be treated like a king or queen. Our favourite resorts when taking the kids are Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji, Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sonaisali Island Resort, The Naviti Resort, Castaway Island, Plantation Island Resort and Treasure Island Resort. All of these resorts offer great kids clubs, plenty of activities and child-friendly menus. Many resorts offer children eat free deals, and some offer children stay free specials.
Weddings & Honeymoons
Fiji is a popular destination for both weddings and honeymoons, and many resorts cater for this. Wedding packages start at around $2000 including a celebrant of minister, marriage licence, wedding coordinator and wedding set-up and decoration. Resorts that offer a wedding service include Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, Sheraton & Westin Resorts, Outrigger on the Lagoon, Tokoriki Island Resort, Vomo Island, Mana Island Resort & Spa and the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa.
Many resorts offer excellent honeymoon packages and this is a perfect location for a romantic getaway.
Made it a Combo
You can fly direct from Fiji to Vanuatu, Samoa and Hawaii. So why not consider a multi-island holiday?