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Fiji occupies a vast region in the southwest Pacific, spanning over 1,300,000 square kilometers. On a map, the islands may look close enough to hop between, but because there is little infrastructure between them, this can take a long time and often means returning to Nadi or Suva.
The main island, Viti Levu is easy to navigate with plenty of transportation methods available. Getting to Denarau Island is a short drive from Nadi Airport via taxi, bus or shuttle service offered by your booked accommodation.
If you're keen to leave the mainland and venture towards the beautiful Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, you'll need to consider water transportation. In this article, we'll help guide you through all you need to know about navigating through the islands of Fiji.
Means Of Moving Around In Fiji
You can move around in Fiji by traveling via the following means of land transportation:
Buses are a cheap and easy way to navigate the mainlands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. They are also a great way to see the country's beautiful coastline and rough interior.
Older buses with tarp windows can be seen in cities, but express buses between major cities are more likely to be brand new and include air conditioning.
Here is what to know about using buses in Fiji:
- Around Viti Levu, express buses are a pleasant and economical mode of transportation.
- With one of Fiji's multi-day bus tours, getting across Viti Levu is a breeze; accommodations, transportation, and a few meals are all taken care of.
- Public buses are crowded, dusty, and windowless; they're a great way to move around for budget travelers, but they do require street smarts and a high level of caution to navigate.
- People say that public buses run on "Fiji time," so you should only take one if you are not in a hurry.
Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and Ovalau have many taxis available. The metered fares inside cities are pretty low. However, it is possible to bargain for transportation between cities and tourist expeditions.
Some taxi drivers also provide private driving services. Taxis in Fiji must have a license plate (number plate) that begins with "LT" to operate legally. A "taxi" symbol will usually be displayed on the top of the car.
Here is more on using a taxi in Fiji:
- Licensed taxis have license plates beginning with "LT."
- In Fiji, there are no central taxi numbers or Uber; therefore, if you enjoy a taxi driver's service and want to use them again, you must ask for their driver's card.
- In Fiji's urban centers, taxis have taximeters.
- Fares can be negotiated for journeys longer than 16 kilometers or in rural areas.
- You are not compelled to tip your taxi driver, although it is customary to round up your fare to the next dollar.
If you want freedom and wish to travel at your speed around Fiji's major islands, then hiring a car may be your best option. Even though it will cost you a lot, you will be free to explore Vanua Levu or Viti Levu, which are Fiji's two biggest islands.
You will need to find a car if you want to go to other outlying islands. Remember that Fiji drives on the left and that a driver's license in English or an International Driving Permit is valid in Fiji.
Here is what to know about car rentals in Fiji:
- Of Fiji's 333 islands, you can only rent cars on three of them: Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, and Taveuni.
- To rent a car from most Fijian car rental agencies, you must have a full, valid, English-language license (not a temporary one). An international driving permit must also be presented if it needs to be written in English.
- Renting a car in Fiji is expensive, so it's essential to know the daily rates and other fees that come with it so you can plan your budget well. Hiring a car in Fiji will cost you between $180 and $230 daily.
- Drivers must also be at least 21 and have a license that has been valid for at least three years.
Another option to explore is maritime transportation. You can access various parts of Fiji through the following means:
Ferries and freight ships
Fiji is made up of 333 islands. The Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands are perfect for island-hopping on fast catamaran boats, while Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and Kadavu, which are farther away, can be reached by slower cargo ships.
Even though the water in Fiji is usually pretty calm, people who get seasick can buy pills in the biggest harbor towns.
What to know about ferry and freight ship movements in Fiji:
- In terms of speed, quality, and cost, the Mamanuca/Yasawa boats and the other outer islands ferries provide better experiences.
- While most ferry tickets are one-way, hop-on, hop-off passes are available for the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands.
- Most times, ferry tickets also include bus transfers.
- Since ferries have "loose" schedules, it's best to get there early but also be ready for them to leave late.
Water taxis can only be found between Viti Levu and the island groupings of the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, except for a few tiny towns in Fiji's remoter areas. Water taxis provide on-demand transport to island resorts. Even though they are faster and easier to use than boats, they are much more expensive.
What to know about water taxis in Fiji:
- Make your water taxi reservation before you arrive in Fiji.
- Fiji water taxis only go between Viti Levu, the Mamanuca, and Yasawa Island when people ask for them.
- Water taxis are Fiji's most costly mode of water transportation.
Traveling by air is also an option, especially for those who are very time-conscious. You can explore the following air transport options:
With 28 airports and airfields spread across the country, you can quickly fly to your ideal location. Two local airlines offer flights between Nadi Airport and the airports of Labasa, Vanuabalavu, Lakeba, Taveuni, Koro, Cicia, Kadavu, Savusavu, Suva, Levuka, and Moala.
People love to fly because they can see beautiful sights like blue oceans, beaches with golden sand, and lagoons full of islands.
What to know about traveling via local flights in Fiji:
- Scheduled flights are the least expensive method of travel.
- On helicopters and regularly scheduled domestic flights, each passenger can usually bring about 15 kg (33 lb) of luggage.
- Unsuitable weather conditions are a common cause of flight cancellations. In such instances, flight times are rescheduled. If that does not work, it is essential to get travel insurance to get your money back. The airline will provide the insurance with a letter.
You can rent a helicopter for your trip to Fiji, so you can see the island from above and land almost anywhere. This expensive way to get around is only suitable for four to six people and costs a lot.
Flying in a helicopter is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially in a remote nation like Fiji. The ability to land practically anywhere and the time saved on travel are significant benefits.
What to know about helicopter charters in Fiji:
- Weather conditions affect helicopter flights.
- Remember that helicopters have a luggage limit of either 15 kg or 23 kg, so pack light if you're flying.
- Furthermore, certain airplanes have weight restrictions for passengers. Passengers weighing more than 100 kg are frequently subject to an overweight tax.
- Please inquire about child prices for helicopter transfers.
- Some helicopter firms provide filmmaking, photography, and medical evacuation services.
Consult A Travel Guide To Plan Your Itinerary In Fiji
In this article, we discussed some ways of getting around Fiji. The options presented for land, water, and air transportation will help you plan your route around the islands.
However, it is always wise to consult a travel guide to plan your movements. Whether in Fiji for tourism, work, or other reasons, consulting an experienced travel guide can help you save time and money and make your experience enjoyable and unforgettable.