Where is it?: Oceania, island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Why do people go here?: It’s a free stopover on your way to Australia or New Zealand! Why wouldn’t you go there? In all seriousness, Fiji gets a majority of its backpacker traffic from those just heading out – or ending – RTW or multi-continental adventures. If you’re not into the backpacker scene, try the honeymooner scene instead. Think: white beaches, coconuts and sitting under the shade of palm trees, and lots and lots of money.
What are the main entry points?: Most travelers arrive in Nadi, which is NOT the capital, but is the largest city. Those who have a yacht connection will find themselves among like-minded company.
Currency used: Fijian dollar (FJD)
Country Code: 679
Religion: Christian 52% (Methodist 37%, Roman Catholic 9%), Hindu 38%, Muslim 8%, other 2%
Ethnic Breakdown: Fijian 51% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture), Indian 44%, European, other Pacific Islanders, overseas Chinese, and other 5%
Languages: English (official), Fijian, Hindustani
Major Cities: Nadi, Suva
Attractions: Tropical Paradise, Kava, Sea
Tourism Office locations and links: Fiji Visitors Bureau Thomson St., P.O. Box 92 Suva, Fiji +679-302433; FAX +679-300970
Health Issues: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age entering Fiji within 10 days of having stayed overnight or longer in infected areas.
Tips for Visiting
When to go: The summer months can be hot and sticky, try for May through October, during the dry season, and your clothes won’t cling quite so much.
Common Phrases: Bula! Bula! (Welcome)
Specific Events/Holidays: Independence Day, second Monday of October (1970)
Getting Around: Buses in the cities and around the main islands are cheap and numerous. Private, unscheduled motor boats are your best bet for getting to smaller islands, the more remote, the more expensive. Ferries will take you between the bigger ones.
Good to know: Nadi is a little more than a run-down town with lots of handicraft shops. Get out ASAP!
Cheapest airport to fly into: The two main airports for travellers taking flights to Fiji are the Nadi Airport and Suva Airport. Simply choose the airport that serves cheaper flights.
Need more information?: Check out the Fiji travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.