Essential Travel Tips
Take the pain out of planning your holiday with these useful travel tips.
Fiji’s cluster of heavenly islands is located in the middle of the South Pacific, just west of Australia and north of New Zealand.
Scattered across 1,290,000 square kilometres of ocean, it’s a tropical paradise of palm-fringed white sand beaches and lush rainforests ringed by thriving coral reefs and fish-filled lagoons.
Roughly one third of our 333 islands are inhabited. Most people live in the urban areas of the two larger islands – Viti Levu & Vanua Levu.
Straddling the 180th Meridian, Fiji is exactly 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Daylight savings kicks in around November to January, when Fiji moves one more hour ahead.
There are two seasons here - warm and even warmer! It’s a sunny, tropical climate that’ll wash the winter chills from your bones.
From December to April, the temperatures are a comfortable 22° - 33°C. But expect May to November to be slightly cooler with temperatures range from 19°- 29°C.
People & Language
Fiji’s population of more than 880,000 is a melting pot of indigenous Fijians (i-Taukei), Indo-Fijians, Chinese, Part-Europeans and other South Pacific Islanders who call Fiji home. Despite their varied cultural backgrounds, locals are collectively referred to as Fijians.
English is Fiji’s official language but you’ll often find that most people are bilingual - speaking Fijian or Hindustani as well.
Fiji’s religious beliefs reflect its multiculturalism. Christianity, Hinduism and Islam are peacefully practiced alongside each other.
Local Customs & Etiquette
Outside hotels and resorts, people dress modestly - even more so when visiting a Fijian village. It’s best to visit one with a tour guide as there are many traditional protocols to be observed.
Fiji is free from malaria, yellow fever and major tropical diseases. Inoculations are required if you are travelling from an infected area.
Most towns have a medical system in place with government and privately run hospitals, clinics, surgical centres, dental service and pharmacies.
The local electric current is 240 volts AC 50Hz. Fiji’s three-pin power outlets are identical to Australia and New Zealand.
Most leading hotels and resorts have universal outlets for 240v or 110v shavers, hair dryers and other electrical appliances.
Multi-purpose adapters and/or voltage converters can be purchased at some major department or hardware stores but if you are travelling to a remote area, it is probably wise to bring one with you.
Wifi & Connectivity
Fiji’s country code is +679. Many hotels and resorts generally have direct dialling facilities (IDD).
International mobile networks like Vodafone Fiji Limited, Digicel and Inkk Mobile have a huge presence in Fiji making it relatively easy to connected.
Free wifi is available for 30mins at the Nadi Airport arrivals concourse and most major hotels also offer wifi. But you can also pick up a temporary local sim card from any of their outlets at the airport or in major urban areas.
Currency and Banking
The Fijian dollar is the basic unit of currency with denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2. There is a 24 hour currency exchange service at the arrivals concourse at Nadi Airport and in major towns.
Banks are open 9:00am to 4:00pm, Monday – Friday and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays at selected areas. ATMs are located around the country and at larger resorts and hotels.
To hire a rental, a valid driver’s license is required. In Fiji, cars are right hand drives on the left side of the road. Speed limits are 60km/h (approx. 40mph) and when passing residential areas such as villages, speed bumps reduce the rates to 40-50km/h and on the highway, motorists can enjoy 80km/h drive.
Professional drones must be pre-registered with the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF). They’re restricted within 5km of an aerodome and it’s only courteous to notify a property before using one.
Tipping is not encouraged but feel free to reward someone for outstanding service.
With a few exceptions, most retail shops are closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Islands are vulnerable to the introduction of foreign pests and diseases. To protect our natural environment, we prohibit the importation of vegetable matter, seeds, or any animal product without a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests.
Customs Duty and Duty Free Concessions
You are entitled to the following duty and VAT free concessions:
- Dutiable goods accompanying passengers (other than alcohol and tobacco products) not exceeding F$1,000.00 in value.
- Personal goods and not intended as gifts or for sale - personal effects, household effects for returning residents or intending residents, articles taken out of Fiji on departure on which duty and tax have been paid.
Adult passengers may bring the following goods duty and VAT free, provided they are for personal use.
- Cigarettes, not exceeding 200 sticks or
- Cigars, not exceeding 200 grams net weight or
- Tobacco not exceeding 200 grams net weight or
- Any combination of (1) to (3) above, provided the total net weight does not exceed 250 grams
- Spirituous liquors not exceeding 2.25 litres or
- Wines, not exceeding 4.5 litres or
- Beer, not exceeding 4.5 litres or
- Any combination of the goods in paragraph (5) to (7) above, provided that the combination does not exceed the equivalent quantity under any one paragraph
- Other dutiable goods, not exceeding F$1,000.00 in value.
A 9% Government Value Added Tax (VAT) is applicable to all goods and services in Fiji. Visitors staying in hotels and resorts are subject to 6% Service Turnover Tax (STT) and Environment & Climate Adaptation Levy of 10%.
You can claim a Tourism VAT refund at the airport and be sure to have your original purchase receipt.