Best things to do in Fiji: The ultimate Fiji holiday guide

Bula not only means ‘hello’, but also ‘life’, and the good life is exactly what you’ll find in Fiji. Cobalt lagoons, balmy island temperatures and friendly locals (both in and out of the water) make Fiji the perfect destination to satiate your tropical fantasies. Only a few hours away from Australia’s East Coast, this archipelago has been a cherished holiday destination for years.

Fiji is a cluster of volcanic islands in the South Pacific nestled between the islands of Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Tonga. The nation is made up of 332 islands, of which only around 100 are inhabited. Read on to discover essential visitor information, the best things to do in Fiji and hotel recommendations for your stay.

Underwater photography fish in Fiji with palm trees
Fijian reefs are home to almost 2000 fish species © Adobe Stock

Contents…
Travel facts
The best things to do in Fiji
How to get to Fiji
How to get to your accommodation
What is the weather like in Fiji? 
When is the best time to visit Fiji?
How many days do you need for a holiday in Fiji?
Where is the best place to stay in Fiji?
The best resorts and hotels in Fiji
Cultural customs in Fiji
Fiji map

travelfacts

Travel Facts

What language do they speak in Fiji?

English, Fijian and Fijian Hindu are the three official languages of Fiji.

Where is Fiji?

Fiji is located in the South Pacific Ocean, lying about two thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. Its nearest countries include New Caledonia, New Zealand, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

What is the capital of Fiji?

The capity of Fiji is Suva, which is located on the east coast of the island Viti Levu. Also Fiji’s largest city, Suva is known for its museums, markets and historical sites.

What is Fiji known for?

Fiji is recognised for its pristine beaches and reefs, rainforests and warm local culture.

What currency is used in Fiji?

In Fiji, the Fijian dollar (FJD) is the local currency.

What is the approximate exchange rate from Fiji dollar to AUD?

One FJD is equivalent to around 0.68 AUD. That means you should divide the local price by roughly 1.5 to work out the price in AUD.

Traditional house of Navala village, Viti Levu in Fiji
Traditional house in Navala village, Viti Levu © Adobe Stock

Do Australians need a visa to enter Fiji?

Not for stays under four months.

Is there a risk of disease in Fiji?

Cases of Typhoid, Zika and Dengue are present in some parts of Fiji. Visitors should consult medical professionals prior to arriving in Fiji for advice about vaccinations.

Timezone in Fiji:

The timezone in Fiji is GMT+12. Fiji is one hour ahead of AEST and one hour behind New Zealand.

Emergency numbers in Fiji:

For emergency services in Fiji, including the fire brigade and ambulances, call 911. The police line is 917.

Powerpoints in Fiji:

Fiji uses 240-volt, three-pin power points, the same as in Australia and New Zealand.

activities

11 of the best things to do in Fiji 

Wildlife encounters

Dolphins? Turtles? Manta rays? Fiji is teeming with marine life, so why not hop in the water to experience these incredible animals firsthand? Drift alongside majestic manta rays in Kadavu with Mantaray Island Resort or Paradise Cove Resort or find Nemo on a two-hour snorkel tour from Port Denarau. For those partial to a little adventure, you can dive with sharks with companies like Beqa Adventure Divers.

A beautiful manta ray swims above a cleaning station on a coral reef in Fiji.
A manta ray glides above a feeding station in Fijian waters © Adobe Stock

Hit the beach

Exploring the beaches is one of the best things to do in Fiji and it’s easy to see why. With thousands of kilometres of unspoilt coastline shared between 300 islands, pristine white sands and aquamarine waters are found in abundance. Take things easy, open up a book and relax under the shade of a palm tree. There’s no hurry – you’re on island time!

Best beaches in Fiji:

  • Natadola Beach, Viti Levu
  • Horseshoe Bay, Matangi Island
  • Liku Beach, Totoriki Island
  • Malamala Beach, Mamanuca Islands
  • Tivua Island, Mamanuca Islands
  • Long Beach, Nacula
  • Volivoli Beach, Suncoast

Take part in cultural festivities

While Fiji is well-loved for its translucent waters and stunning resorts, it’s the people that make up the heart and soul of this island nation. Attending a cultural event like the Fiji Culture Village showcase is a great way to show respect for the community and discover local legends, fire lighting, singing, dancing and mat weaving. If you find yourself in Fiji in June, make sure to swing by the Hibiscus Festival on Viti Levu, a multi-day festival filled with food, rides, entertainment and music. 

Visit the Yasawa Islands

The Yasawa Islands boast a variety of incredible nature activities and cultural things to do in Fiji. You can explore the ancient limestone Sawa-i-Lau Caves, hike to volcanic summits, attend Fiji cooking school or take part in a crab race. 

Pristine beaches and palm trees on Yasawa Islands
Escape to the pristine beaches of the Yasawa Islands © Adobe Stock

Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple

The Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple is the grandest Hindu temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Patterned with vivid colours and intricate carvings, the temple’s Dravidian architecture is a spectacle not to be missed. If you plan on adding this to your list of things to do in Fiji, note that visitors should remove shoes before entering and wear modest attire. 

Plant coral

Coupled with the effects of rising sea temperatures, the damage that occurs to coral structures during storms mean that Fijian reefs have suffered greatly. The InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa‘s coral restoration program is one of the best things to do in Fiji for those passionate about the environment. It allows you to help rebuild local reef structures, serving up education and excitement in equal measures. 

Coral reef nursery
Coral nurseries can help restore damaged reefs © Adobe Stock

Bathe in therapeutic mudpools

Bathing in mud is more pleasant than it sounds. Heated by geothermal springs, the two mudpools you can visit in Fiji are called Sabeto and Tifajekan. Both are an easy 20-minute drive from Nadi. This ancient practice is one of the most popular things to do in Fiji among tourists and locals for cleansing the skin and body. The mud contains high amounts of sulfur, which are said to have healing properties.

Try the local cuisine

Is there any better way to experience a culture than through its food and drinks? A lovo is a traditional underground oven used to cook meats, vegetables and dishes like palusami (beef, onions and coconut cream wrapped in taro leaves). Lovo feasts are one of the must-try things to do in Fiji and have deep roots in Fijian heritage. When you get thirsty, try niu (fresh coconut water) or kava, a national drink made from yaqona root that is typically served in a communal bowl. 

Traditional Fijian lovo oven.
Lovo is a traditional Fijian cooking technique © Adobe Stock

Take to the currents

The sun is shining and the waves are calling. Watersports are one of the best things to do in Fiji, and if whitewater rafting with Rivers Fiji isn’t quite your speed, try your hand at surfing or stand-up paddle boarding on one of Fiji’s wonderful beaches. 

Support local businesses

While Fiji has no shortage of tourists, a lot of the money ends up going to large hotels and tourism companies, which don’t always support the local economy. To help keep smaller businesses alive, spend a few dollars at local shops and markets, or perhaps take a local-guided tour. Lawai Pottery Village, Savusavu Farmers’ Market, Lautoka Market and the Levuka Handicrafts Market are some of the most popular markets in Fiji and one of the more culturally enriching things to do in Fiji.

Venture into the highlands

Fiji’s lush greenery and mountainous landscapes are well worth exploring. Spend the morning hiking the Mt Korobaba Range near Suva, chase waterfalls on Taveuni Island or zipline over treetops in Nadi with ZIP Fiji

Waterfall in Fiji.
Discover magnificent waterfalls in the lush forests of Fiji © Adobe Stock
gettingthere

How to get to Fiji 

Fiji is a three to four-hour flight from Australia’s East Coast. Flights to Fiji tend to be frequent and affordable thanks to a selection of cheap flights offered by leading airlines. Jetstar, Fiji Airways, Virgin Australia and Qantas fly between Australia and Fiji. 

transfers

How to get to your accommodation 

Most flights will land at Nadi International Airport on Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu. Going through customs once you arrive will usually take around thirty minutes. From there, you can take a shuttle transfer or taxi to your accommodation in Denarau or the Coral Coast. These are best booked in advance.

If you aren’t staying on Viti Levu and need to get to another island, water taxis or ferry transfers are your best bet. These depart every two hours from Denarau Marina, which is situated 20 minutes from Nadi airport by car. The Malolo Cat ferries will take you to the Mamanuca Islands in around two hours, while the Yasawa Flyer’s transfer to resorts on the Yasawa Islands will take one to two hours. It might be worth booking a night at a hotel in Denarau if your flight arrives late at night. 

Fiji resort bird-eye's view
Plan hotel and resort transfers in advance © Adobe Stock
weather

What is the weather like in Fiji? 

Fiji weather remains relatively constant throughout the year, so tourists can benefit from balmy tropical weather year-round. May to October is the dry season in Fiji, when daily temperatures average 23°C to 25 °C. During the wet season, November to April, visitors can expect  26°C to 27°C and brief but heavy downpours on a daily basis. The nights can get a little cooler and mild winds will help you keep cool in the heat. 

whentovisit

When is the best time to visit Fiji?

 One of the reasons that Fiji is such a popular holiday destination is because it provides wonderful warm weather all year round. Visiting Fiji in the dry season from July to August will give you the best chance of avoiding wet weather. However, these winter months are also the busiest time of the year, besides the Christmas period. May is therefore a good month for a Fiji holiday, given that it is quieter than the upcoming dry season and the heavy rains have eased. 

If you’re not fazed by a little rain, travelling to Fiji in the wet season is a great option. Late January and February are generally the cheapest months to fly to Fiji as they lie outside the peak tourist seasons. March is the wettest month of the year, but provides some fantastic opportunities to see cascading waterfalls in full flow. 

Read more:
Learn why Fiji should be at the top of your travel wish list
The floating paradise in Fiji that you need to see

Water temperatures in Fiji tend to be pleasant no matter when you visit, making it easy to enjoy swimming, snorkelling and other water activities. For keen surfers, March to November provide the best conditions, while the best water visibility is from June to September for those interested in diving. 

howmanydays

How many days do you need for a holiday in Fiji?

Tourists typically spend five to ten nights in Fiji. Ten days is the optimal length of stay in Fiji if you’re looking to hop between islands as well as have time to lounge away on idyllic beaches. That being said, a five- or seven-day stay will give you plenty of time to relax at a resort on the main island and explore another nearby island group on a day trip. 

bestplacetostay

Where is the best place to stay in Fiji?

Fiji is home to a wealth of amazing resorts and hotels. Denarau on Viti Levu is the most conveniently located resort cluster in Fiji, just 20 a 20-minute drive away from Nadi International Airport. Nadi tends to be the most budget-friendly area to stay in. The Yasawa and The Mamanuca Islands, both easily accessible from Port Denarau, are popular choices for their luxury resorts and more secluded beaches. 

Read more about hotels and resorts in Fiji here:

20 of the best resorts in Fiji
The best Yasawa Islands accommodation

Fiji Marriott resort Momi bay
Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay suite © Adobe Stock
hotels

The best resorts and hotels in Fiji

Viti Levu accommodation:

Yasawa Islands accommodation: 

  • Beachfront Bures at Barefoot Kuata
  • Mantaray Island Resort
  • Paradise Cove Resort
  • Yasawa Island Resort & Spa
  • Turtle Island Fiji

Mamanuca Islands accommodation:

  • Six Senses Fiji
  • Castaway Island
  • Sheraton Resort and Spa, Tokoriki Island
  • Mana Island Resort & Spa
  • Nakelo Treasure Island Fiji
customs

Cultural customs in Fiji 

Fiji locals are typically very warm towards visitors. You’re bound to hear the word bula, literally meaning ‘life’ and ‘good health’ in Fijian, and a common way to say hello. Greeting locals with a big bula smile and saying vinaka (thank you) will go a long way. Tipping is not generally expected, but will be warmly received by servers.

When visiting a local village, it’s best to dress conservatively and take off your hat as only the chief is supposed to wear a hat. Touching somebody’s head is considered offensive. 

map

Fiji map

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