Visitor Information For The Fiji Islands

Bula! You won’t be able to escape this friendly greeting. The family and I once made up a game of trying to get from our bure to the restaurant for breakfast without coming across someone greeting us. It’s impossible. We would have had to tunnel our way there, and even then, maybe…

Malaria tablets aren’t necessary or recommended and you don’t need vaccinations against exotic tropical diseases (unless you are travelling from a country where there is Yellow Fever) but you should take a small first aid kit with hydrogen peroxide in case of coral cuts and take medical insurance. While there are good doctors and regular flights out, you shouldn’t travel anywhere without insurance. Hospital patients who are not Fijian citizens are charged a minimal fee.

The climate is hot and can be very humid (it is the tropics!). While historically November to March is the ‘wet’ season, over the last couple of years El Nino has sort of reversed the seasons. Yes, there can be a very occasional cyclone but they come, they go and they are also part of the tropics (even in Australia). The main island of Viti Levu has distinct wet and dry zones – the wet zone is on the southeast (Suva).

The currency is the Fijian dollar and the exchange rate is stable. All major credit cards are accepted and there are ATM’s outside the ANZ and Westpac banks. Normal banking hours are from 9.30am-3pm (Mon-Thurs) and 9.30pm-4pm on Friday.

Here are a few things that may swing you to Fiji… the resorts are very good, the scuba diving can be excellent and ‘Fiji time’ where things happen slowly and it’s this atmosphere that really makes you unwind… The coconut will fall when it is ripe!

The population is around 51% Fijian and 44% Indian. It’s a curious blend – there’s no bargaining or tipping in Fijian culture but if you want to buy something from an Indian vendor – halve the price you are asked and work your way from there. While there’s no tipping, some resorts have a Christmas box for staff if you wish to make a donation. In your resort, you will more than likely only mix with the Fijian people (the Indian staff will be busy inside looking after the accounting and logistics). The official language is English but Fijian and Hindu are also spoken.

There’s the availability of luxuries and necessities – everything you get at home, you’ll find in the shops, supermarkets and chemists. While these things will be a bit more expensive than at home, things you won’t find at home include fresh produce from the markets, duty free shopping and cheap baby-sitting.

For guidebooks as a travelling companion Lonely Planet is, as always, reliable. Moon Handbooks Fiji, written by David Stanley, is an excellent publication. Visit the Fiji section of David’s website, The South Pacific Organiser.

Tropical Holiday Deals information site is Fiji A-Z and if you have any specific queries, drop us an email and we’ll do the best to help you out.