Fiji Travel Tips
Banking and currency
The Fijian dollar is the basic unit of currency, available in denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, $50. Coins: 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c and $1. There is no limit to the amount of money to be brought in. Visitors are allowed to take out currency up to the amount imported. Approximately 2 Fiji dollars equals 1 US Dollar.
Major credit cards are welcomed by most hotels, restaurants, shops, rental car agencies, tours, cruises and travel agents in Fiji. American Express, Diners Club, Visa, JCB International and Mastercard, are represented in Suva. American Express and VISA can replace lost credit cards and travellers cheques.
Fiji enjoys an ideal South Sea tropical climate and can get hot in the summer but seldom reaches above 35°C (96°F). Trade winds from the east southeast bring year long cooling breezes late afternoon and early evening. The season for our tropical rains is from December through February coinciding with our warmest summer months.
For stays not exceeding 30 days, visas are not required by nationals of Commonwealth countries, EU countries, USA or Japan. However you must have a valid, ongoing or return airline ticket and your Passport must be valid for six months beyond your intended stay in Fiji.
Fiji is free from malaria, yellow fever and major tropical diseases that are endemic to most tropical countries. It has an effective medical system in place although local people still believe in the efficacy of age-old herbal remedies. Fresh water reticulated in Suva, Lautoka and the other major towns has been treated and is safe to drink from the tap. This also applies to hotels and resorts. Some resorts use artesian water for bathing, but provide drinking water separately. If this is the case, visitors will be advised.
Yellow Fever and Cholera vaccinations are only required if coming from an infected area as designated by the World Health Organisation. Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers over I year of age coming from an infected area.
Almost everyone in Fiji speaks English - as it is the official language, but the Fijian language is preserved and widely spoken in many different dialects. Almost everyone is bilingual and many Fijian terms are included in everyday English usage.
Whether shopping or just browsing, here's your opportunity to become acquainted with some of the savviest Fijians as well the best barterers around. In Fiji, you'll discover unique cultural and historical artefacts, stylish international boutique fashions as well as budget gift and souvenir shops. Most stores are open 8am to 5pm or 6pm, sometimes later at hotels and resorts. Most stores are closed on Sundays. All of your major credit cards are widely accepted.
Dining in Fiji offers a multiethnic culinary experience. Whether dining at your hotel, island resort or "in town", you'll find a palate painted by flavours from India, China, Korea, Japan, Italy and the best of Europe as well as Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific waters.
Restaurants run the gamut from five star international to 24-hour air-conditioned coffee shops. Steaks and local seafood can be found in most restaurants as can the specialities of our own Fijian cooking heritage. Most hotels and resorts also offer specific culinary themed nights, magiti (Fijian feasts), beach or poolside BBQ's, as well as Fiji's best known and pervasive outdoor cooking experience-the lovo, an underground oven of heated rocks cooking a variety of foods wrapped in banana leaves. covered with earth and coming out after several hours of cooking with a faintly smoky flavour, lovos, produce succulent, tender meats, chicken, seafood, and given the proper occasion, a whole suckling pig!.
Stay a week in Fiji and you're sure to come across a lovo followed by a meke, our colourful evening of traditional Fijian song and dance by nearby villages or resort island staff members. Everyone deserves a lovo and meke, and it's a reward you'll only get in Fiji.
You also shouldn't leave Fiji without having experienced other traditional Fijian dishes. Kokoda, Fiji's most popular speciality, is portions of fresh fish marinated in lime juice and served in a half coconut in lolo - a word that sounds as sweet as it taste- made from the sweet cream of the coconut, a staple in Fijian cooking. Or savour a palusami, meat wrapped in taro (dalo) leaves and cooked in lolo.
Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Fiji's two International airports are Nadi, on the western side and Nausori on the east coast of Viti Levu near Suva. Nadi and Nausori provide air connections to all of the world's major cities, with direct flights to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Korea, serviced by eight international carriers. Fiji national airline, Air Pacific, provides many of those flights with a fleet that includes Boeing 747s and 767s. Getting around Fiji by air is easy with most places being served by an Airport or Airstrip.
Tipping is not encouraged in Fiji and it is left to the individual to determine whether to make a gratuity. In lieu of daily tipping, some resorts operate a staff Christmas fund where "tips" are shared.
Fresh water reticulated in Nadi, Suva, Lautoka and other major towns has been treated and is safe to drink from the tap. It tastes good too!
Fiji Public Holidays
New Year's Day - Monday 3rd January
Good Friday - Friday 25th March
Easter Saturday - Saturday 26th March
Easter Monday - Monday 28th March
Prophet Mohammed's Birthday - Monday 25th April
National Youth Day - Friday 6th May
Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day - Monday 30th May
Queen's Birthday - (to be confirmed by the British High Commission)
Fiji Day - Monday 10th October
Diwali - Tuesday 1st November
Christmas Day - Monday 26th December
Boxing Day - Tuesday 27th December