Most who visit Fiji want little more than a white-sand beach, a cloudless sky and the opportunity to fall into a sun-induced coma under a palm tree.
On this score, Fiji doesn’t disappoint.
Visiting on your own vessel however opens up a whole new world to explore – from the scenery to her lovely people, Fiji offers a world where time stands still and as the locals say, a place where happiness finds you.
Fiji has been in the tourism business for decades and the centrally located Port Denarau Marina with the Yasawa and Mamanuca itinerary has proven to be a winning formula. Northwest of Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu, is the Yasawa Group, a chain of volcanic islands set to rival the better-known Mamanucas in the popularity stakes. The Yasawas are sparsely populated and the rainless dry spells that once made life so difficult for villagers is proving to be their greatest asset now. The underwater scenery is spectacular and some of the finest, and most accessible, dives in the Pacific can be found here. Its reputation as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’ is well justified.
The Mamanucas and Yasawa islands arc north like a stingray’s tail from the body of Viti Levu and are Fiji’s movie stars, dangled in front of the world as idyllic South Sea Edens – their reefs and cobalt blue waters providing cinematic eye candy for films such as Tom Hanks’ Cast Away and Brooke Shields’ vehicle to stardom, The Blue Lagoon. But the Yasawas and Mamanucas – as lovely as they are – are only part of the equation and with a total of 330 islands there’s more to Fiji than can ever be seen on a short trip. Recently opening to the public, The Lau Group, located to the East of Viti Levu is a spectacular untouched maritime wilderness, so unique, it must be seen to be believed.
A destination offering everything from world class diving, surfing, water sports and unrivalled scenery and culture, Fiji offers those that visit a vast arrange of cruising options. The hardest decision will be spreading your time around Fiji waters. We suggest avoiding a common mistake and ensure you leave a large allocation of your South Pacific time to explore this island group over multiple trips. The main cruising season is between May and November but Fiji is cruised year round.
We have two seasons: warm and even warmer. It’s a sunny, tropical climate that’ll wash the winter chills from your bones. That doesn’t mean it never rains here, but you can expect May to November, our cooler months, to range from 19° to 29°c. And from December and April, the temperatures register from 22° to 33°c. For more information please see our weather page.
Fiji is a very hospitable land of blue-green lagoons, lush rainforests, pine forests, mountains and 1,666 kilometres (1000 miles) of white sand beaches spread over 330 islands scattered across 709,660 square kilometres (200,000 square miles) of ocean.
Straddling the 180th meridian, Fiji has frequently been called “the crossroads of the Pacific”. In fact, the International Date Line has been adjusted so that the entire archipelago falls into the same time zone, 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
From November to February Fiji moves one hour ahead with its own daylight savings
Population and Language
Fiji’s population is approximately 837,000 made up of indigenous Fijians, Indians, Chinese, Europeans and South Pacific Islanders. English is the official language with Fijian and Hindustani also spoken.
Fiji is a multi-cultural nation with many religious beliefs. The people are primarily of the Wesleyan persuasion. Various protestant denominations, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism and Islam are also represented.
It is important to dress modestly when away from hotels and resorts and particularly when visiting a Fijian village. Avoid wearing a hat in a village, it is considered an insult to the village chief. It is also insulting to touch someone’s head. It’s best to not wear shoes if visiting someone’s house. When visiting a village it is customary to present an inexpensive gift of ‘yaqona’ or kava to the “Turaga Ni Koro”, the traditional head of the village. Be prepared to shake hands and answer personal questions as to where you are from, whether married; and, if so, how many children.
Fiji is free from malaria, yellow fever and major tropical diseases. Inoculations are only required if travelling from an infected area. There is an effective medical system in place with government and privately run hospitals, clinics, surgical centres, dental service and pharmacies.
Phone calls and Internet
Fiji’s country code is +679. Many hotels and resorts have direct dialling facilities (IDD), and card phones are available in many shops and stores. Look for the Telecom call card signage on display. Fiji is well serviced by local mobile networks including Vodafone Fiji Limited, Digicel and Inkk Mobile. You can also arrange roaming status before travelling here as well as on arrival.
Access to the internet and email is available in most parts of Fiji. In addition to sites at all major hotels, internet cafes are abundant in major cities and towns. Port Denarau Marina has at berth WiFi and sell mobile dongles in the office for when you are cruising.
Currency and Banking
The Fijian dollar is the basic unit of currency, available in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2.
Normal banking hours are 9:30am to 4:00pm, Monday – Friday and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays at selected areas. There is a 24 hour currency exchange service at the arrivals concourse at Nadi Airport. ATMs are located around the country and at larger resorts and hotels. The Marina has A ANZ, Westpac and BSP ATM as well as a Credit Union Money Exchange.
You’ll find many sophisticated retail outlets here, suitable for traditional tourist shopping. And if you venture a little further, you’ll discover fruit and vegetable markets, overflowing with produce, curio and handicraft vendors, Indian merchandise and speciality gift stores. It’s here that you might find yourself in a bargaining session over price. It’s all part of the experience, so go ahead and enter into the spirit of it.
We don’t encourage tipping, but you may, if you wish, offer extra payment for an outstanding service.
The electric current is 240 volts AC 50Hz. Fiji has three-pin power outlets, which are identical to Australia and New Zealand. Leading hotels and resorts offer universal outlets for 240v or 11v shavers, hair dryers and other electrical appliances.
As at the 1st of January 2016 a 9% Government Value Added Tax (VAT) is applicable to all goods and services in Fiji. Visitors staying in hotels, eating in restaurants etc are subject to a 16% Service Turnover Tax (STT).