Denarau, Fiji

Fiji Travel Guide: Tips and Advice for Holidaymakers

March 4, 2020

Fiji, South Pacific: a country made up of more than 300 islands, rugged landscapes and beautiful beaches.

For the majority, it’s a place that’s too far away to visit. But for some, they’ll happily travel across the ocean to experience the warm hospitality of Fijian culture and endless days of sunshine.

If you’re a holidaymaker looking for an island getaway that will make even Truman from The Truman Show green with envy, my Fiji travel guide has got you covered.

Fiji Travel Guide

How to Get to Fiji

First things first, getting to Fiji can be tricky due to its remote location.

Are you currently travelling around (or living in) Australia or New Zealand? Good news – this country is only a few hours away from you. You can take a direct flight to Nadi International Airport with Fiji Airways, just like I did from Wellington.

You can also hop on a direct flight from the following countries:

However, if you’re a fellow Brit, be prepared for a long journey with multiple stopovers before you reach your final destination. Eek.

Fiji Airways

Where to Stay in Fiji

Similarly, working out where to stay in Fiji can be challenging due to the overwhelming number of islands.

Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are the major islands where you can find most of the Fiji population.

In addition to the capital of Suva, Viti Levu provides access via a causeway to Denarau, which is a man-made island home to some of the best hotels in Fiji.

(When my sister, fiancé and I visited in August 2019, we stayed at the Sheraton Denarau Villa Resort and it was just lovely!)

Plus, Denarau Island is just a 10-minute drive from the airport.

That said, if you’d rather get back to nature and opt for somewhere more secluded, try one of the following:

Still struggling to decide where to stay? No worries – just pick the place you’d rather spend the most time in and then you can day-trip to the others.

Sheraton Denarau Villas

Fiji Itinerary Denarau Island Fiji

How to Get Around Fiji

Even though most of the islands tend to be spread out, there are a few different ferry companies that allow you to hop from one to another with minimal fuss.

However, beware that the prices of ferries soon add up when you want to visit as many islands as possible in the time that you’ve got.

As our trip to Fiji was only a few days long, we decided to stay on Denarau and then day-trip to the Mamanuca Islands via South Sea Cruises.

We then used local taxi companies and buses to get around Viti Levu.

There are rental cars available, but they tend to be costly. There are also motorbikes and scooters available on Viti Levu only, but a lot of people will advise you against renting one.

Why? Well, locals aren’t used to seeing them on the road. If you decide to go down this route, proceed with caution.

You can also travel to the other islands via seaplane or helicopter but, again, these methods of transport can be super expensive.

Castaway Island

Fiji Itinerary: What to Do in Fiji

What’s a Fiji travel guide without some recommended activities? Exactly – nothing.

Even though many travellers prefer to use their holiday to Fiji to chill out and unwind on the beach or around the pool, there are a few other things you can do.

1. Explore the Capital

Suva is the largest city in Viti Levu, which also happens to be the capital of Fiji.

Here you can explore Fiji Museum within Thurston Gardens and marvel at the British colonial buildings.

You can also check out Suva’s lively Municipal Market and shop until your heart’s content in one of the city’s countless complexes.

2. Visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant

A 15-minute drive from Nadi, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is in the foothills of the Sabeto Range and features some gorgeous greenery.

Its 30 to 40 varieties of Asian orchids and Cattleya hybrids make it the perfect hotspot for garden lovers around the globe.

3. Take a Dip in the Mud Pools

Just a short drive from the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pools.

Here you can take a dip in the therapeutic mud pools (or geothermal hot pools) and then treat yourself to a traditional massage.

Bliss.

4. Check Out Port Denarau Marina

Approximately a 20-minute drive from the airport, Port Denarau Marina is a popular tourist hub for eating, drinking and shopping.

(And if you’re staying on Denarau Island, it’s just a 10-15 minute walk to get there. Bonus!)

We loved Cardo’s Steakhouse. It’s outdoors on the edge of the water, which made it a really pretty place for dinner. There was also a live band playing there almost every night with an amazing female singer.

Great food + great atmosphere = what more could you want on holiday?

5. Watch a Cultural Show

Finally, you can’t visit Fiji without learning more about the traditional Fijian culture.

There are plenty of shows that you can go to around the country, but we went to the one at The Westin Denarau Island Resort.

You get to try kava, watch tribal singing and dancing and then experience lovo (underground cooking). Win-win-win!

Fiji Travel Guide Fiji Cultural Show

My Two Cents on This Fiji Travel Guide

Fiji is a fun place to visit for the first time and can supply you with a relaxing holiday – but only once you get there.

After all, travelling to Fiji is a hardship if you don’t live in Oceania.

Travelling around Fiji can be equally as tough if you’re on a budget. In my opinion, it’s best to tag it onto other trips (like Australia or New Zealand) to make it completely worth the journey (and money).

Having said that, Fijians are some of the most friendly people I’ve ever come across. And you can’t beat being amongst innumerable palm trees, white-golden sand and rich blue water.

Bula!

Castaway Island Fiji

Have you ever been to Oceania? Do you have anything to add to my Fiji travel guide? Let me know in the comments! 

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