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Yasawa Island Plane

Getting Around in Fiji: Transportation Tips

May 28, 2021 No Comments

A reader once emailed me with a hint of panic in his words. “How do I get around Fiji?” He asked, “Do I just find a dolphin and grab on?”

I get it. With over 300 islands in Fiji, the thought of getting from point A to point B can be quite overwhelming. But fear not, you don’t have to manhandle sea creatures to travel to and fro in Fiji. I’ve lived in Fiji for over three years and have traveled to all of the major island groups. In this guide, I’ll cover all major Fiji transport options including car rental, taxis, buses, planes, and boats.

The Best Ways to Get Around Fiji

By Plane

Best for if you’re traveling from Viti Levu to any island that’s not in the Mamanucas, Yasawas, or Ovalau.

There are two international airports in Fiji, one in Nadi and one in Suva. Almost all international travelers arrive in Nadi on the island of Viti Levu. The only other international airport is located in Fiji’s capital city of Suva, also on Viti Levu. You can use either of these airports as a springboard to travel to other domestic airports in Fiji.

There are two major airlines that service Fiji, Fiji Airways (and it’s subsidiary airline, Fiji Link) and Northern Air.

Fiji Airways (Fiji Link): The largest airline in Fiji. It’s domestic airline, Fiji Link, services major domestic airports. If there’s a public airport in Fiji, Fiji Link will connect to it from Nadi, Suva, or both.

Northern Air: Fiji’s only other public domestic airline is Northern Air, servicing most major domestic airports. Northern Air planes tend to be smaller than Fiji Link planes, and fares are often cheaper.

Private plane or helicopter: Some of the best luxury resorts in Fiji are only accessible by private plane (sea planes are popular) or helicopter. Each resort tends to work with one private charter company, or has their own dedicated aircraft.

By Taxi

One of the most popular ways to get around the larger islands, like Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, and Taveuni, is by taxi. Taxi fares start at $1.50 FJD ($2.00 FJD) and cost around $1.00 FJD per kilometer after that. You can hire them from a nearby taxi stand, or flag one down from the road. Taxis at Nadi International Airport start their fare at $5.00 FJD.

LT license plates on taxis means their taxi is metered.

LH license plates on taxis will charge a flat fare, so be sure to clarify what it is before you get in.

It’s very rare for taxis outside of Nadi/Denarau area to rip you off. However, taxis in Denarau/Nadi don’t always turn on their meters or might demand a flat fare. The taxis in Suva are much more reliable, and rarely try to rip off tourists. As a general rule, act like you’re a frequent visitor to Fiji and you’re less likely to get overcharged.

By Car

The larger islands in Fiji are easy to navigate by car. On the larger islands, one road usually loops around the coast and will range from freshly paved to filled with potholes. Rental car agencies are available at Nadi International Airport, inside the arrivals terminal. If you’re renting a car in Suva, one of the most reliable companies is Central Rentals.

Hitchhiking is quite common in Fiji, though I wouldn’t recommend doing it as a solo traveler. Simply stand on the side of the road and stick your hand out whenever a car drives by. It’s polite to offer around $5-10 FJD per ride.

By Bus

Riding the bus is one of the most popular ways to get around Fiji–and a cultural experience in itself. Before I got a car, some of my fondest Fiji memories involve meeting people on the bus. Bus passengers can also get quite protective over tourists who board the bus, often offering drinks, snacks, or to look after a seat while the tourist goes to the restroom. Bus fares are purchased in advance, so buy your ticket at the airport or ticketing station prior to boarding. There are open-air buses (public buses) that are okay for short trips. If you’re traveling longer than 30 minutes, catch one of the air conditioned busses run by Sunbeam, Pacific Transport, and Coral Sun (Viti Levu). These connect Nadi to Suva.

I don’t recommend taking the minibuses/vans for safety reasons.

By Boat

Boat is the best way to get from Nadi to the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands.

The Yasawa Flyer from Awesome Fiji connects Port Denarau to major resorts within the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands. SeaFiji also offers connections to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands.

Water taxis shuttle travelers from one island to the next, and are best arranged through your resort. You can occasionally find them connecting Port Denarau to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, and from Pacific Harbor to Beqa Island.

Large ferries and cargo ships are a budget-friendly, but often uncomfortable, way to see Fiji’s outer islands. They connect Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and Ovalau. These ferries are typically offered by Goundar Shipping. As these are very weather dependent, I would only recommend taking the ferry if you have quite a flexible itinerary.

Private boat charter is my favorite way to explore Fiji. You can charter a private catamaran or motor yacht and venture to whatever island catches your eye! A liveaboard scuba trip, like the Nai’a, combines a scuba holiday and transport in one.

If you want to travel all the way to the Lau island group, one of Fiji’s most remote island chains, book an 11-day trip onboard MV Reef Endeavour from Captain Cook Cruises.

What questions do you have when it comes to traveling around Fiji?

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Chantae Reden

Chantae is the Coconut in Chief at Tropical Go. She is the author of Moon Bali & Lombok and lives in Suva, Fiji. She is a freediver, scuba diver, and surfer who is scared of big waves. Her drink of choice is a mojito--mostly because it's fun to say.

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