Travel with Jane Fiji Travel Insurance for Australians
Destinations

Fiji Travel Planning Roundup

8 October 2015

Prepping for your trip to Fiji? We’ve done the research for you with our essential list of top sites for Fiji travel information and inspiration.

Bula! That’s one word you’ll need to brush up on, as plenty of friendly locals will want to say hello to you. Fiji might as well mean “relax” as that’s the image that comes to mind when you say the country’s name. Families visit Fiji in droves to let the kids swim and play for days on end, away from the routines of day-to-day life, while parents indulge in some sunshine and peace. Many a kids’ club is utilised for just that purpose as the littlies’ energy levels heighten and mum and dad take a deep breath and, well, relax.

If you’re on your honeymoon you can escape life and the kid-filled resorts by sailing away to Turtle Island or even your very own private island (ooh la la!). Fiji is the perfect place to stop and reconnect as a couple, starting your married life quietly after the fast pace of organising a wedding.

You don’t have to drop and flop, however, with options for water sports and cross-island adventures like walking and rafting. Many resorts also offer shuttle buses into the towns and villages so you can experience life outside the big tourist attractions.

To help you plan your trip we’ve scoured the internet for the best Fiji travel tips.

ORIENTATION

Fiji, officially the Republic of the Fiji Islands, is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean about 2,000 km (1,200 mi) north of New Zealand’s North Island. Its immediate neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand’s Kermadec to the southeast, Tonga to the east, Wallis and Futuna to the northeast and Tuvalu to the north. The country comprises an archipelago of more than 332 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 km2 (7,100 sq mi).

The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population of almost 850,000. Fiji’s capital and largest city is Suva, located on Viti Levu.
Typically, tourists enter Fiji via Nadi International Airport before making off  to an island resort or the Coral Coast, an 80km  stretch of beaches and bays along the Ocean Road between Nadi and Suva. Fiji’s official tourism website offers a roundup of all the available transport options to get you to your accommodation.

FIJI AIRPORTS

Fiji has two international airports. Nadi International Airport is Fiji’s main international airport as well as an important regional hub for the South Pacific islands. It’s located by the coast on the western side of Vitu Levuin island, 10km from the city of Nadi. Nadi is 192km northwest of Fiji’s capital city Suva.

Nausori International Airport is on the south-Eastern side of Viti Levu. Also known as Luvuluvu, Nausori Airport is about 23 km from Fiji’s capital city, Suva.

GETTING THERE

Fiji is close, like really close to Australia, especially when you’re jetting off from the east coast. Suva is but a casual 4h10 minute hop from Sydney, while Sydney to Nadi is a breeze in 3h55 minutes.

The flight options are plenty, with, Fiji Airways and Jetstar servicing the Suva route out of Sydney, and Fiji Airways out of Brisbane.  To get to Nadi, Virgin Australia and Fiji Airways fly daily from Brisbane and Melbourne, while Virgin AustraliaJetstar and Fiji Airways fly direct from Sydney. Connecting flights are available for Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Hobart and Gold Coast.

FIJI VISAS

The Aussie government’s Smartraveller site is our go-to for the really important stuff on all foreign travel, including Fiji. On tourist visa rules for Australian’s visiting Fiji on holiday, Smartraveller says:

Australians do not need to apply for a visa before travelling to Fiji for tourism. For more information, see the Fiji High Commission in Australia website.

Because entry and exit requirements can change, contact your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Fiji for the most up-to-date information.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Smartraveller lists opportunistic crimes as a risk to watch out for in the list of potential Fiji safety risks.

Robbery, theft, violent assault, including sexual assault, and home invasions occur in Fiji. Most crime is opportunistic, and incidents occur more frequently in urban areas and at night. Expatriates and tourists have been victims. Be particularly careful in the downtown Suva area at night. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t wear or carry valuable items that could make you a target for criminals. Credit card fraud and the use of card skimming devices occurs in Fiji.

Mossies can be a problem as outbreaks of endemic mosquito-borne illnesses (including dengue fever) are common. Insect repellent is a must.  Also know that that illness caused by naturally occurring seafood toxins such as ciguatera, as well as scombroid (histamine fish poisoning) and toxins in shellfish can be dangerous (see Queensland Health’s factsheet). Other food related risks to look out for relate to Kava ceremonies (read this factsheet first).

Weather wise, cyclone season in Fiji is November to April and can cause flooding and landslides. Earthquakes and tsunami’s are also a possibility. Register your Fiji travel details with Smartraveller to stay in the loop via their emergency email service.

LOCAL LAWS

Each country has its own laws and Fiji is no exception. Smartraveller’s Fiji advice reminds us that Australian visitors are subject to the local laws of Fiji, including ones that appear harsh by our standards. If you’re arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can’t get you out of trouble or out of jail. The police and military retain extensive powers of detention, arrest and search and there are limitations on judicial redress for decisions made by authorities.

It’s smart to research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay. Here’s what to look out for in particular:
The police and military retain extensive powers of detention, arrest and search and there are limitations on judicial redress for decisions made by authorities.

CULTURE AND LANGUAGE

TourismFiji.com offers a great intro and guide on Fiji customs, culture and ceremonies like the Lovo, the Meke and Kava ceremonies.

The Fijians are pretty easy-going, but if you are invited into a village, wear modest clothing and take off your hat (wearing one is an insult to the chief) when in the village. Leave your shoes outside the door when entering a home and keep in mind that it’s also insulting to touch someone’s head – which can be tempting when you are surrounded by wide-eyed, smiling children.

Along with Fijian and Hindi, Fijians speak English – with a twist. TourismFiji.com offers a word of advice on local pronunciation along with handy Fijian phrases:

Any word with a ‘d’ has an unwritten ‘n’ in front of it – Nadi is pronounced ‘Nandi’ and the delightful cold, marinated seafood dish kokoda, is ‘kokonda’. You put an ‘m’ before the ‘b’ in words like Toberua (Tomberua). Sigatoka is ‘Singatoka’, Naigani is Ninegani’. And a ‘c’ is pronounced ‘th’, as in the Mamanuca Islands.

WEATHER

Maximum temperatures in Fiji rarely move out of the 31C to 26C range all year round. A cooling trade wind blows from the east south-east for most of the year. It usually drops to a whisper in the evening and picks up again by mid-morning. Fiji has three distinct tourism seasons which correspond  to the weather, naturally!

Low season falls between November and April. This is Fiji’s ‘wet season’, with heavy rains and high humidity. The wet season is characterised by heavy, brief local showers and contributes to most of Fiji’s annual rainfall.  Typically the smaller islands in Fiji receive less rainfall than the main Island with various amounts according to their location and size.

The shoulder season in May and October includes the ‘Fijian winter’ or ‘dry season’, bringing low rainfall, low humidity, milder temperatures and less risk of cyclones.
The shoulder sits just before and after the high season of June to September, when the rain makes way for uninterrupted sunshine. December and Jan, while technically in the wet season, are also peak tourism times, to coincide with Australian and New Zealand school holidays.

Nadi is dryer than Suva on average. See monthly temperatures and rainfall here.

THE BEST OF FIJI

Sometimes you just want to cut to the chase and experience the big hitters, right? For an awesome range of top Fiji guides, we love Fiji.Travel.com for their concise recommendations and stunning photo galleries.

Here you’ll find their Cruising and Sailing Guide, Weddings and Honeymoons Guide, and Islands Guide.

FIJI PLUGS AND ADAPTORS

You’re probably travelling with an armload of devices, so keeping those gadgets charged will be a priority. The good news is, the current in Fiji is 240 volts AC 50Hz with three-pin power points – the same as in Australia and New Zealand. No adapters needed, win!

You’ll need travel insurance before heading to Fiji to ensure your dream island getaway stays as perfect as possible. Head here to check out our easy and budget-friendly Travel with Jane options.

Get a Quote

Understand your cover

Conditions and exclusions apply to every cover level and optional pack. View our Combined Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide for full details. Sub-limits apply. Not sure? Our friendly team are here to help. Get in touch

icon-pdf

Women save 14% to cover the Gender Pay Gap

Bring Travel with Jane travel insurance along for the ride and be covered when you need it most. Plus, enjoy a generous discount in line with the national Australian gender pay gap. More

 

Love cool stuff? Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our mailing list for exclusive invites to competitions and giveaways. Plus travel inspiration and tips for women who love to travel.