On winter days, Fiji is where you dream of. Made up of over 300 islands, Fiji’s palm-dotted sandy beaches, turquoise waters and warm weather are the stuff of Monday morning fantasies. Popular with Antipodeans, this South Pacific archipelago is perfect for beach lounging.
Blessed with pristine coral reefs, it’s also a major snorkelling and diving destination and the breaks are good for surfers too. When you tire of kicking back, you can hike, sea-kayak or river raft before falling back once more into the easy laid-back rhythm of the islands.
The dry season is between May and October. Fiji is especially busy with holidaymakers from Australia and New Zealand in June and July.
Summer is from November to April when you can expect biblical downpours in the afternoon.
The island is particularly lush during this rainy season when it’s a great time for scuba divers.
Cyclones can be a risk between December and April.
Nadi International Airport (NAN) – 10km from Nadi
Island hopping isn’t as easy as it looks in Fiji.
Nadi and Suva on the main island of Viti Levu are the main transport hubs.
Buses and vans plough the biggest islands, elsewhere you’ll need to rely on cargo boats and passenger ferries to get around.
Domestic flights can be expensive and are not for nervous fliers.
Cars can be rented at Nadi Airport or in Suva.
Staying in Fiji isn’t cheap.
Beach resorts are everywhere and smaller boutique style resorts are becoming more popular.
Budget travellers should look for guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, hostels and village homestays.
Camping is frowned upon.
Fijans often skip lunch and have dinner very early – late eaters beware.
Local specialities include various variations on fish with coconut served with yams. Try kokoda, fish marinated in lime and chilli, seasoned with coconut cream and served up cold.
Bananas, pawpaw and coconuts are available year round.
Expensive buffets in resort hotels might be your only option on smaller islands.
Speak to your GP about vaccinations for Fiji. Protect yourself from mosquito bites – dengue fever outbreaks do happen.
Petty theft can be a problem – don’t leave clothes, money or jewellery lying about.
Sexual harassment has been reported so female travellers should take extra care and avoid walking alone at night.
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