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Budget Holiday Packages Australia

Holiday / October 20, 2018

If willing to give up a few home comforts, getting around Fiji's main islands is pretty easy and cheap using local buses, ferries and carriers. Air-conditioned express buses run on major routes and car hire is available, however is expensive. The main towns have an oversupply of taxis – just be sure to agree on a price first.

Taxis in most rural areas don't use their meters so ask locals for the standard rate. If a taxi is returning to its base expect to pay FJ$1 per person or less, however you may have to share a ride. In most towns FJ$2.50 will get you to most places. Have small change handy.

Although a good way to explore the islands if sharing, renting a car is somewhat limiting as most agencies don't allow their cars to be driven on unpaved roads. Be aware that the shorter the hire period, the higher the rate, with a day's hire costing twice as much as you would expect to pay daily for a week.

Small local boats will take you between most islands and daily ferries run from Viti Levu to Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Ovalau. Timetables are notorious for being inconsistent, sometimes leaving at odd hours and with long waiting periods at each stop. In which case, you might prefer hiring a charter boat or yacht depending on your budget.

Top Tips

The local currency is the Fijian Dollar with four international banks operating in the islands: ANZ Banking, Westpac, Colonial Mutual and Bank of Baroda. Branches and ATMs can be found in both Nadi and Suva. Most credit cards and travellers cheques are accepted at a charge in major urban areas. On more remote islands, this is not the case, so try to plan ahead.

Overall, Fijians are quite easygoing, however, if invited into a village along your travels, dress modestly and take off any hat as wearing one is considered an insult. Like many cultures, leave your shoes outside the door if entering a home and to avoid insult, don't touch anyone on the head, even if children approach you with curiosity.

The best time to visit Fiji is March to November when the temperature is between 26-30 degrees. November to April can get hot and humid with hurricanes, while May to October experiences cooler, drier weather. Rainfall can be brief but heavy. Each island has its own climate, Suva often wet and cloudy while Viti Levu and Mamanucas are envied for their sunshine.

Although hitchhiking is never recommended when travelling, in Fiji it is common among locals to hop on board small carrier trucks. Similar to bus services, these are run by locals and will cost the equivalent. Be wary of hitchhiking around Nadi and Suva however, as crime is more common and it's recommended to stay in pairs.

Flight Advice

Nadi International Airport, 9km north of central Nadi serves most visitors to Fiji, however a few international flights also land at Nausori Airport near Suva.

Various airlines fly to Fiji from Australia. Among them are Qantas, Air Pacific, Pacific Blue, Jet Star and Virgin Australia.
From Sydney: A direct flight to Fiji takes around 4 hours.
From Melbourne: A non-stop flight to Fiji will take around 5 hours and upwards of seven with at least one stopover.
From Brisbane: A direct flight to Fiji takes around 3hours, 30 minutes.
From Perth: Flights from the east coast can take upwards of eight to ten hours with a stopover usually at a west coast capital city like Brisbane or Melbourne.

Transfers

Not all taxis use their meters so make sure you agree on a price before getting in. Yellow airport taxis are easy to spot outside the arrivals hall with room for four passengers. Seven-seaters are available at extra cost. For discounted rates, book your taxi transfer in advance through your resort as drivers will often overcharge.

Vanua Levu and Taveuni, the Mamanucas and Yasawa Islands can be reached during daylight hours with Pacific Sun, Pacific Island Seaplanes, Turtle Airways or Island Hopper Helicopter Transfers. Suva, certain Coral Coast Resorts and Pacific Harbour can also be reached. If you hate long journeys by boat or bus, air transfers can get you to your destination in minutes.

Island Hoppers (heli & Sea plane)

Pacific island air and sea planes

Turtle Airways

From Nadi Airport, a 24hr water taxi service operates to the Mamanuca Islands where a driver can meet you at the airport, taking you to Port Denarau. Transfer time is 30-80 minutes depending on your island destination and subject to weather. Rates are on a charter basis per boat for four people from FJ$570 to FJ$880 depending on the region.
For public ferry transfer please take a private shuttle or taxi to Denarau marina (20 min). All public ferry transfers leave from Denarau marina.

For private transfers with air conditioning, Airport Shuttle Fiji offers transfers to any resort on the main island of Viti Levu with drop offs to private properties also available. Operated by Tourist Transport Fiji, with rates from FJ$20 to FJ$160 (depending on the distance), this offers you peace of mind without burning a hole in your wallet.

  • Destination (Region)
  • Nearest Airport
  • Ground
    Transport

    (from Nadi
    Airport)
  • Public
    Ferry
    Transfer
    (South Sea
    Cruises)
  • 24 Hour
    Water Taxi
  • Expedia
    Flights
  • Sea
    Planes
  • Helicopter

Things to do

Sail the tall ship 'Ra Marama' – with departures daily – to Tivua Island from Denarau Marina. Snorkelling is a must among the 500 acres of coral reefs or simply dip your toes in the white sand as you lie back and drift off. Taking only 8 minutes to walk around, Tivua is a great day trip destination but offers complete solitude at night.

Discover Fiji's capital, Suva, at your leisure without the usual 'follow the leader' package tour. From around AUD$69 a round-trip coach ride will take you to Suva from your hotel with plenty of time to shop the flea markets, take a stroll through Thurston Botanical Gardens and Albert Park or watch the changing of the guard outside the President's residence.

With over 400 species of coral and an abundance of exotic marine life, Rainbow Reef between Taveuni and Vanua Levu is considered to be one of the best dive sites in the world. July and September offer the best visibility however with water temperature as cool as 22 degrees rather than a potential 30 degrees in the summer months.

For stunning views of waterfalls, lush rainforest and the chance to cool off in natural pools, head to Taveuni Island where the National Heritage Park covers 80% of the island. For keen walkers take the Vidawa Rainforest Trail past ancient village sites and discover some of the best areas for bird watching. A great trip for those in search of adventure.

Restaurants

The creation of Chef Eugene Gomes, originally from Goa, India, this restaurant is popular among locals and tourists alike, arguably the best in town. Renowned for its quality seafood and exotic international fusion cuisine, try the pan fried pakapaka with sweet brown apple sauce and without any need to elaborate: Fiji coconut cream pie.

Source: www.expedia.com.au