Oceania

How to Travel Around Fiji: Travel Guide


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Fiji is a bucket list destination, known for its beautiful white sand beaches surrounded by turquoise waters. Many consider it a luxury honeymoon destination, too much of an extravagance for a standard holiday, however, Fiji is actually a great place to travel around.

Whilst Fiji certainly isn’t a budget destination (it’s probably on a par with Australia and New Zealand), you certainly don’t have to have thousands to enjoy a holiday here. If you’re willing to put in the time and money getting there (flights are also unavoidably expensive given Fiji is kind of in the middle of nowhere) you’ll be rewarded with a trip like no other. You’ll also find that Fiji is super easy to travel around, has some amazing adventure activities, and is just as stunning as you’d imagine.

Below you can find our travel guide for visiting Fiji, including when to go, getting there, where to go, getting around and more.


When to go

Fiji has a tropical climate so is warm all year round with the rainy season being from November to March. However, this usually just consists of a downpour in the afternoon with plenty of sunshine otherwise, meaning Fiji can pretty much be visited at any time.


Where to go and where to stay

Fiji may be small, but it has many options for areas to stay. There’s the coral coast along the main island (Viti Levu), Vanua Levu (the second biggest island of Fiji) or one of the island archipelagoes.

If you want to see the picture postcard images of Fiji but want more than just a single resort holiday, we would suggest island hopping around the Mamanuca Islands and the Yasawa Islands. These are groups of islands on the northwest coast of Viti Levu, the Mamanuca Islands being closest to the mainland and the Yasawa Islands coming after. They are easy to get to and easy to travel around, have great accommodation options and awesome activities on offer.

Mamanuca islands in Fiji
Photo via Dreamstime.com

Getting there

Fiji has two main international airports: Suva (on the southeast coast of Viti Levu) and Nadi (on the west coast). For the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands you will want to arrive in Nadi, which is just a short 25-minute drive to Port Denarau where you will depart to the islands.

Chances are you will need to stay on the mainland for at least one night at the beginning and/or end of your trip. If so, you’ll want to stay in Nadi being close to the airport and the port. There are plenty of options here ranging in price, but for a budget option check out Bamboo Backpackers. At only FJD $20 (~$9) per night for a dorm bed, it’s far from the prices you expect in Fiji, and it also has a great outdoor bar and restaurant which is great to meet people.


Getting to and around the islands

Fiji has an amazing boat service which runs at the same time every day from Port Denarau to the tip of the Yasawa Islands (stopping at every island along the way) and back down again. It’s aptly titled “Awesome Adventures Fiji” and it makes travelling around extremely easy.

You can buy tickets online, at their shop at Nadi Airport, or at Port Denarau (although be warned if you arrive early morning at the Port the queue will be long). Their boat is called the Yasawa Flyer (although they stop at the Mamanuca Islands too) and you can find their schedule and the Islands they stop at on their website. So you simply buy a ticket to the island you want to go to (or a hop-on/hop-off pass if you’re planning on travelling to more than one island), then jump on board and watch as you set sail to paradise.

The Yasawa Flyer will stop near each island, and then smaller boats from the island will pull up beside the Flyer and drop off passengers who stayed on the island the night before, and pick up new passengers who will stay on the island that night. It’s all very easy, and the hardest part is choosing which islands to actually stay on.


The Mananuca and Yasawa Islands

Unless you have at least a month worth of travel time set aside for Fiji, you won’t be able to visit every island in the Mamanuca and Yasawa’s. You will therefore have to make a decision about which of the islands you do want to visit. First, note that there is usually only one “resort” on each island, which is called the same as the island. So when you pick an island you are really picking a resort to stay at. Second, given the nature of the islands and the fact that everything needs to be imported, the resorts charge a fixed fee which includes all your meals and soft drinks.

Generally, every island has nice beaches and clear water for swimming, good clean rooms (either dorms or private bungalows), a swimming pool, a restaurant and bar and amazing staff (Fijian people are known for being some of the friendliest in the world). Below is a quick summary of some of the most popular islands:

South Sea Island

  • A tiny island which you can walk around in 5 minutes
  • Offers free non-motorised water sports like kayaks.
  • First drop-off point only 30 minutes from Port Denarau.
  • Although note that as it’s the closest island to the mainland it gets lots of day visitors so it can be busy until they leave at 5pm.

See location

Barefoot Kuata

  • Stunning island with amazing dorm tents just steps from the beach.
  • Swimming pool with swim-up bar
  • You can dive with bull sharks here! Experience multiple, 4-metre-long bull sharks swimming within touching distance. It’s reason alone to come to Fiji!

See location

Barefoot Manta

  • Has various different beaches you can choose from, one for sunrise, one for sunset, and Manta Ray Beach which overlooks the channel which is visited every year by manta rays.
  • Amazing snorkelling right off the beach and the chance to snorkel with manta rays between May and October.

See location

Mantaray Island

  • Another island where you can snorkel with Manta Rays.
  • Two white sand beaches.
  • A restaurant and bar on a hill in the middle of the island with amazing views.

See location

Octopus

  • Known for its good food and excellent facilities.
  • Communal tables and events are great for meeting other travellers.

See location

Blue Lagoon

  • Known for having the most turquoise clear water in all of Fiji, and that’s saying something when the water everywhere in Fiji is ridiculously blue!
  • Generally regarded as being one of the best resorts on the islands.

See location

Fiji Blue Lagoon
Photo © Martin Valigursky | Dreamstime.com

Accommodation

In terms of booking your accommodation on the islands, you can do this as part of a package with Awesome Adventures or you can do it yourself through the usual booking channels. Booking yourself works out slightly cheaper and ensures you definitely stay at the island you want (whereas with Awesome Adventures packages you pick a region and then are allocated an island/resort depending on capacity), but obviously, this takes more planning than simply booking the package.

Below are some options that you may want to consider.


Summary

Whilst Fiji is undoubtedly a bit more expensive than your standard backpacking trip around South East Asia, it is definitely worth the extra cost. With gorgeous beaches, the clearest blue water and amazing activities on offer, it’s one place you certainly won’t regret visiting, and if anything will want to return to.


Tours and activities for Fiji

Discover top activities, tours and experiences below:

Author

Written by

Sophie Small

Sophie has been travelling around the world since September 2019. Originally from London, she lived and worked in Vietnam for 4 years before deciding to pursue her passion for full time travel. She loves exploring new destinations, adventure activities and sampling local cuisine. Sophie has travelled all over Central and South America, Asia, Europe and many other regions. She shares her pictures on her Instagram and her portfolio sophiesmall.contently.com. [Read full bio]

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Image credits
Article main photos via Dreamstime and other sources. Read more about where we source images.

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