Fiji is a place to escape, slow-down and take time to appreciate a stunning destination and some of the friendliest people on earth. When you’re on “Fiji Time”, there are some things that you should know to make your visit more enjoyable and a little easier.
Normal banking hours are from 9:30am to 3:00pm Monday to Thursday and to 4:00pm on Friday. All banks are closed on public holidays.
Most hotels have direct dialling facilities. For inbound calls, the international IDD country code for Fiji is 679 and there are no area codes. Outbound international calls from Fiji use a dial out code of 05 followed by the country code and telephone number for the number being dialled. Mobile customers are advised to check with their network operators for their roaming status before travelling. Some areas of Fiji still do not have a reliable mobile reception.
International cards are welcomed by most hotels, restaurants, shops, car rental companies and tour operators.
The Fijian Dollar has standard decimal denominations. Anything below $2 is a coin and $2 and above is a note. There is no limit to the amount of money to be brought in and visitors are allowed to take out currency up to the amount imported. As of November 2011, FJD1 was worth approximately AUD0.54.
Fiji has two international airports - Nadi, the principle gateway and Nausori, near Suva. Fiji Customs operates a Duel Channel System - the Red (for any prohibited or restricted goods, or dutiable goods exceeding your duty/VAT free allowance) and Green (no prohibited, restricted or commercial goods, or dutiable goods exceeding your duty/VAT concessions) Channels - for clearance of air travellers.
Generally, the dress code in Fiji is casual for both night and day. Pack t-shirts, shorts, light cotton dresses and swimwear. For cooler evenings or out on the water, a jacket is recommended. Sunscreens and hats are a must and joggers or sandals are good protection for walking and swimming around coral. If you do happen to cut yourself on coral, lemon or lime juice will relieve the pain - as will hydrogen peroxide.
"Sulus" (known also throughout the Pacific as pareau, lavalava or sarong) are a must for both men and women. The wrap-around sulu is Fiji's most distinctive and versatile form of dress. For women there are at least ten different ways it can be used, even for evening wear. Ask your hotel staff for hints on tying and wearing your sulu. Visitors are asked to be careful not to offend local sensibilities by wearing bikinis and ultra-brief swimming costumes when visiting villages or shopping in town. This is where a sulu comes in handy.
Driving and Car Rental
Major car rental companies operate throughout Fiji.
The Kings Road links Suva to Lautoka around eastern and northern Viti Levu. It is 265km from Suva to Lautoka on the Kings Road, and 221km along the Queens Road. The Queens Road follows the western and southern perimeter of the island and is sealed. About 50km of the Kings Road is corrugated and unsealed from Korovou towards Rakiraki.
The current in Fiji is 240 volts AC 50Hz with three-pin power points - the same as in Australia and New Zealand.
Passports & Visas
Passports must be valid for at least 3 months after your return to your country of origin. Most visitors who intend to stay for less than four months do not require a visa.
Fiji's population of around 800,000 people is made up of indigenous Fijians (50%), Indians (47%) with Europeans, Chinese and South Pacific Islanders making up the remaining 3%.
The following items must be declared:
Tipping is not encouraged anywhere in Fiji. Tip with a smile and 'vinaka', which is Fijian for 'thank you'. Though tipping is not local custom, you may see examples of what looks like tipping. Fijians ritually exchange gifts of food, clothing, kerosene, and even money during important social occasions but it's more an act of sharing.
Pacific Transport and Sunbeam buses operate a continuous bus service 7 days a week between Nadi and Suva. They also continue around the island via Lautoka, Ba and Rakiraki. The service is less frequent on Sundays.
Suva has and excellent bus service with departures to most suburbs every 15 - 30 minutes.
Taxis in Suva are plentiful and relatively cheap. Flag fall is $1.50 and $2.00 after 10pm.
The cost of hiring a taxi between Suva and Nadi can vary as can the number of passengers they take but should cost somewhere between $25-35 or a Viti Mini Van will cost you $20 one way to Suva.
Viti Mini Buses operate between Suva to Pacific Harbour, Sigatoka, Nadi and Lautoka on a 'once full basis’ and will cost you between $7 and $30 to those destinations.
Comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended for health and property.
Information with thanks to Tourism Fiji.