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The popular South Pacific archipelago of Fiji is known for its volcanic mountains, coral reefs and crystal-clear waters. With well-established road networks across the main islands, visitors are able to make the most of their time in Fiji and explore the main cities, such as Nadi and Suva, while also experiencing the tranquillity offered by the more remote coastal and inland areas.
With around 2050 miles (3300km) of roads across Fiji, hiring a car is a great way to discover all that these paradisiacal islands have to offer. Roads are typically well-constructed and the national speed limit is generally adhered to. Village roads are characterised by speed bumps, which have increased road safety in these areas.
Driving licences: driving licences from English-speaking countries are valid in Fiji. Drivers from other countries must obtain an International Driving Permit.
What side of the road should you drive on?: the left.
National speed limit: 50 mph (80 km/h)
Residential areas: 30 mph (50 km/h)
Alcohol limits: Zero tolerance, it is illegal to drive after drinking any alcohol.
Driving age: 17 years old, but you usually have to be over 21 years old to hire a car.
Seatbelts: Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory for all front and rear passengers. Children should always be strapped in. Fines are issued for those not adhering to this rule.
Mobile phones: the use of a mobile phone while driving is prohibited unless used in conjunction with a hands-free kit.
Cost of fuel in Fiji: petrol is approximately the same price as it is in the UK.
Car hire and fuel payment: the main towns have more than enough petrol stations. Many petrol stations take cash only and it is also possible to buy cans of fuel from remote village stores. Due to its size, it's often possible to organise one-way car hire in Fiji.
Insurance: although all hire cars will come with third party insurance, you may want to take out excess insurance as excesses on hire cars can be as much as £2000.
Traffic and parking: there are no tolls in Fiji and parking tickets must be displayed where applicable. Meter wardens operate in Fiji and can issue tickets for any infringements; however, there are many free parking spaces available.
Taxis can be booked by your hotel or can be found at one of the many depots in any of the main towns. They offer a relatively inexpensive way to get from point A to B, but remember to ask your driver to turn on the meter before you start your journey or you may have to negotiate a price.
It costs around £7 to get from the airport to Nadi and in Suva a taxi to the other side of town will cost approximately £3.
There are regular bus services between the main towns and cities. Buses tend to be basic and offer the opportunity to mingle with locals and hear some of the driver's favourite Fijian music.
A four-hour bus journey along the Queens Highway on Viti Levu will cost approximately £7. Local timetables and fare information can be found at www.airportsfiji.com
Ferries connect the main island of Viti Levu to the other island groups and offer a relaxed and slow-paced way to see some of the sights. Most ferries are able to accommodate cars and depart several times a day.
Ferries may offer economy, sleeper and cabin tickets depending on the journey and a typical trip from Suva to Taveuni can cost between £22 and £50. Local timetables can be found at www.ssc.com.fj.
The main airport in Fiji is Nadi International Airport, this handles most of Fiji’s international flights to and from the Island. It has all the usual facilities like Duty free, restaurants, ATM’s and car rental desks. In Suva you will find Nausori airport, this does handle a few International flights but mainly operates domestic flights and flights to Australia & New Zealand.
Fiji is friendly and welcoming with something on offer for all ages and tastes. Just over 100 of Fiji's islands are inhabited and the diverse cultural influences can be seen in the number of Far Eastern restaurants, traditional South Pacific fire-walking ceremonies and strong Christian principles instilled by early European missionaries.
For those seeking peace and solitude, it's possible to explore the smaller and more remote islands and enjoy the native flora and fauna. The small island of Monuriki offers secluded beaches and the Sabeto Hot Springs, while neighbouring Kadavu boasts turquoise lagoons and stunning panoramas across the archipelago.
In the capital city of Suva you will find the Fiji Museum and an opportunity to learn about the country's heritage and culture. Other highlights on the main island of Viti Levu include Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park and the Hindu Sri Siva Subrahmaniya Swami Temple on the west coast of the island.
Those who enjoy outdoor pursuits can hike in Koroyanitu National Heritage Park and view the sacred Dakua trees before stopping off at the eco-tourism settlement of Abaca. Diving amidst the coral reefs and sea kayaking between islands are popular activities and after a day of exploring you can enjoy some traditional pumpkin curry and yaqona, a drink made from kava root, back in Nadi.
- New Year's Day (1 January)
- Birth of the Prophet Muhammad (4 February)
- Easter (March/April)
- Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day (25 May)
- Queen's Birthday (14 June) - Bula Festival (July)
- Sugar Festival (July)
- Fiji Day (11 October)
- Diwali (13 November)
- Christmas Day (25 December)
Fiji has a tropical climate with little variation throughout the year. Temperatures range from 31.1°C (88°F) in the summer to 28.8°C (84°F) in the winter. Fiji experiences its warmest weather between December and April, which can also be very humid. The arrival of the trade winds between June and October reduces the humidity and this is the most popular time to visit the country.
Visitors to Fiji can enhance their experience by taking some time to prepare for the cultural shift they will encounter. Fiji is a safe country to visit and tourists will encounter few problems in a place that has managed to balance tradition and modernity.
Fiji contact numbers
Country code: +679
International access code: 00 (FINTEL) or 052 (Telecom Fiji)
Emergency services: 911
Fiji uses the Fijian dollar as its official currency, with one dollar being made up of 100 cents. There are several local and international banks spread across the islands and most have ATM machines that accept Visa cards.
Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops and restaurants and traveller's cheques can be exchanged without a fee at most private exchange outlets.
Health and safety
It's not necessary to obtain vaccination certificates for travelling to Fiji, but typhoid and hepatitis A and B immunisation is considered sensible for those travelling to any remote areas. Visitors should drink bottled water and ensure food is thoroughly cooked.
Fijians are very welcoming to visitors of any nationality and the islands themselves are made up of a diverse range of people from every corner of the world. As a predominantly Christian country, locals tend to keep their shoulders and knees covered and it's advisable to keep beach wear on the beach. Fiji embraces its multicultural community by holding religious and cultural celebrations throughout the year and visiting during a festival ensures you will experience local culture at its best.
Visas for Fiji
Visitors from the US, Europe, Australia and Canada can visit Fiji for up to four months without a visa.
Electricity in Fiji is 240 volt, 50Hz. Plugs have three prongs, with plug adaptors widely available.
Shops typically open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday. Many shops close between 1pm and 2pm for lunch and most businesses are closed on a Sunday.
Welcome / Hello - Bula
Good morning - Yadra, Ni sa Bula
Good afternoon - Bula, Ni sa Bula
Good night / Goodbye - Moce, Ni sa moce
I don't understand - Au sega ni taura rawa
Do you speak English? - O(ni) vosa vakavalagi?
Thank you - Vinaka, Vinaka vaka levu
Where's the toilet? - E vein a vale-lailai?