Located in the heart of the Pacific, Fiji is blessed with a collection of 330+ tropical islands and 500+ islets. Although it’s a popular vacation spot for Australians and New Zealanders due to its location and proximity, Fiji still remains as an undiscovered gem to many. Here’s a quick guide for you to learn about what Fiji has to offer.
Official name: Republic of Fiji
Currency: Fijian Dollars
1 Fijian Dollar (FJD) = approximately 1.88 United States Dollar (USD)
Fiji is located in the South Pacific Ocean with a number of island countries such as Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Samoa and Tuvalu as its neighbors. Close to 90% of Fiji’s population reside in two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Its capital Suva is located in Viti Levu and serves as the country’s urban business district, hosting diplomatic missions and international businesses.
Flying into Fiji
Fiji’s international airport is located in Nadi (pronounced Nandee), a smaller town about 4 to 4.5 hours from Suva by bus or 30 minutes by air. Nadi is both the international and domestic gateway for travelers and also a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to a number of beautiful islands. Some main airline providers to Nadi International Airport include Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand, Korean Air, Virgin Australia and so on. You also have the option to fly directly to Suva from Sydney on Sundays.
Fiji enjoys a warm tropical climate with its temperature ranging from 26 to 31 degrees Celsius (79 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. March to October is dry season, when the weather gets a bit more chilly than the wet season from November to April. Wet season is also known as the cyclone season with higher possibility of occurrence in January and February. Weather in Fiji is generally difficult to predict and you can expect showers all year round.
Fiji is home to different racial and ethnic groups. Therefore, you can easily find traditional Fijian, Indian and Chinese cuisine. Meat such as chicken and lamb are widely eaten with rice and vegetables. Fresh fish and seafood are also popular and easy to find. Taro, breadfruit and cassava are common staples and coconut is almost always incorporated into their cuisine. People in Fiji enjoy morning and afternoon tea breaks with snacks on a daily basis. You can read more about Fijian food here.
Taxi is fairly cheap in Fiji, with the base rate starting from 1.5 FJD (approximately 70 US cents). Buses within Suva cost 70 FJ cents or 35 US cents but you need to purchase an e-transport card as you can’t pay with coins or cash to take the bus anymore. A one-way bus trip from Nadi to Suva (or vice versa) takes around 4.5 hours and costs 17 to 20 FJD. The road is bumpy and the bus can fill up quickly so it’s better to arrive at the bus terminal early to acquire a decent seat. You can also take or share a cab, which would cost around 100 FJD one-way (so for four passengers it’d be 25 FJD per person). There is also the option of flying but its cost can vary greatly from 80 to 300 FJD depending on the date and time of the flight.
English, Hindi and Fijian are the three official languages in Fiji. Most people (especially in Suva and Nadi) speak English fluently and they’re always happy to help you out. Make sure to say bula (hello) and vinaka (thank you) to them!
This guide is brought to you based on the information available online as well as from my personal experience as an expat in Suva. Please treat this guide as a living document as more details will be added in the future.