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Transport in Fiji

What is the best way to get around Fiji?

Made up of over 300 islands and set in the beautiful turquoise waters of the South Pacific Ocean, Fiji is the hub of the South West Pacific. It offers many transport options to cater for the budget conscious adventurer, those seeking a little more luxury and everything in between.

While only the largest islands, being Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Ovalau and Kadavu, have their own road networks, Fiji is also home to 28 airports and has a multitude of land, air and sea options to explore each island group and island hop to your heart’s content.

Although, be prepared to slow down and embrace ‘Fiji Time’. Timetables can be merely a suggestion rather than actually followed, particularly for ferries, buses, taxis and drivers. You’ll still get to where you’re going, but on Fiji Time you’ll also and have the time to slow down and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

Depending on your transport needs and where you’re going, there are many to choose from, including:

Traveling Over Land

  1. Public Buses
  2. Express Coach Services
  3. Domestic Flights
  4. Hop-on, Hop-off Buses
  5. Minivans & Carrier Vans
  6. Tours & Transfer Services
  7. Taxis
  8. Driver Hire
  9. Car Hire
  10. Resort Transfers
  11. Motor Bikes & Scooters
  12. Walking

Getting to Island Groups

  1. Domestic Flights
  2. Chartered Seaplanes
  3. Chartered Helicopters
  4. Ferries
  5. Water Taxis
  6. Cruises

Island Hopping within Island Groups

  1. Ferries (Mamanuca & Yasawa Islands)
  2. Water Taxis (Mamanuca & Yasawa Islands)
  3. Boat Transfers
  4. Cruises

Travelling Over Land

As mentioned, only the larger Islands in Fiji (Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Ovalau and Kadavu) have their own road networks to cater for visitors.

Public Buses are local services available in Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Ovalau and are the most affordable mode of transport in Fiji (and probably the most adventurous too!). They’re older vehicles, sometimes without glass in the windows (or windows covered in canvas), that don’t really seem to keep to a set schedule, generally stopping wherever and whenever they like. They will, however, get you to your destination safely.

For a little more money, Express Coach Services are more modern, comfortable and air-conditioned and definitely a more pleasant way to get from one side of a main island to the other. Express services run every half an hour along the Queens Highway and the main road of Viti Levu. Taveuni buses aren’t as regular, but there’s also not a lot of traffic.

A quicker way to get from one side of the largest island, Viti Levu, to the other is to hop on a Domestic Flight. These operate regularly and connect Nadi and Suva in approximately 35 minutes.

Enjoy Fiji at your own pace and at a set price with a Hop-on, Hop-off Bus, which also offer optional add-ons and tours to experience Fiji how you want to. Passes do not expire until you’ve finished your trip so there’s no rush to start or finish, everything is on Fiji Time. On Denarau Island, you can take advantage of the open-air Bula Bus, a cost effective hop-on, hop-off option that runs every 10-15 minutes, stopping at all the main resorts and key tourist spots on the island.

Minivans & Carrier Vans are most common in Viti Levu and Taveuni and most popular with the locals. Hitchhiking is not common in Fiji, so these minivans and carrier vans pick up passengers instead from the roadside to travel between Fiji’s main towns or to and from rural locations.

Tours & Transfers Services offer a good alternative to get to and from your resort and the airport. These services are also great for sightseeing and exploring and, if you’re not keen on self-driving in Fiji, you have the option to book private drivers as well.

Taxis in Fiji can be found on Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Tavenui, and Oval and are identified (obviously) by their ‘Taxi’ signs and also by their registration plates, which all start with ‘LT’. Taxi depots are located near bus stations and in the more built up areas tend to be in over supply. Taxis are generally metered within towns, but it is appropriate to negotiate a better, set fare to be taken a further distance or to go sightseeing. In rural locations, they are not metered. A great tip is to contact your resort ahead of time to get an indication of the fare price from the airport you should expect to pay so you’re not overcharged.

If you’re not overly comfortable driving in a foreign country, but would still like the flexibility to choose where you go, Driver Hire might be the best option for you. Prices for a driver for a day start at around FJ$100 which makes this way of getting around Fiji great value for money.

Car Hire provides the most flexible option is available in Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Drivers do need to be over either 21, 23 or 25 depending on the company with a full valid driver’s licence. Fiji drives on the left (same as Australia) and an Australian drivers licence is acceptable. Also keep in mind care hire can be quite expensive and the roads are not generally in the best condition with self-driving discouraged by embassies.

Some resorts offer Resort Transfers for guests to get to / from the airport. It’s a good idea to check with your accommodation ahead of time before making other transfer arrangements.

Motor Bikes & Scooters are available only on the largest mainland, Viti Levu. While not the most recommended form of transport, if this is what your heart desires, they are an option. It is interesting to note locals are really not used to seeing two wheel vehicles on the road, not even bicycles!

When all else fails, what better way to discover a new place than Walking? Fiji boasts countless walking trails and treks to experience pristine beaches, hidden coves, lush forests and even villages on foot. Join a guided tour to truly experience some local treasures and get some fresh air and exercise at the same time.

Getting to Island Groups

With eight different island groups in Fiji to explore, overwater travel is required to get between the larger island groups, Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Kadavu, the Mamanuca Islands, Yasawa Islands, the Lomaiviti Islands and the remote Lau Islands.

Home to 28 airports, Fiji has plenty of Domestic Flight options to get you to where you want to go and show case the stunning waters, pristine beaches, lagoons and island scenery as you travel to your next Fiji destination.

If your next Fiji destination is more remote, you may need to look at a Chartered Seaplane to get you to where you’re going. Just a little bit of calm water to land is all you need to arrive in style (and a little bit more money too… it’s a good idea to check the landing fees of your destination as they can be quite expensive on top of the hire fee).

For the ultimate luxury method of travel though, you can’t go past a Chartered Helicopter for your Fijian holiday. Take off and land from pretty much anywhere for 4 to 6 people to truly experience the scenic beauty of Fiji and view from above remote areas not accessible by any other means.

If taking to the skies is not your thing, water travel offers another scenic (and affordable) travel option with Ferries transporting passengers between various island groups to get you from one island to the next. There are plenty of connection services to the main island, Viti Levu to other island groups departing out of the Port of Denarau regularly each day. It is about a 45 minute to an hour trip from Port Denarau to the Memanuca Islands and a few hours out to the Yasawa groups, which is further north. High speed catamarans only operate between Denarau and the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, with boat transport between the smaller island groups available, albeit not as regular.

Water Taxis also depart from the Port of Denarau and operate 24 hours a day to get to, from and around the Mamanuca Islands. Transporting up to 8 people, Water Taxis offer a more flexible mode of transport that can be booked at any time from around FJ$575 to FJ$1,240 depending on group size out to the island groups and from FJ$730 to FJ$1,000 between islands.

Aside from the ferries and water taxis, Cruises offer another alternative to water travel and a little more luxury while exploring the Fiji waters and islands. With cabins, restaurant and other facilities, small ship cruises offer multi-day itineraries mostly around the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. There are also some sailing options to the smaller island groups, Vanua Levu, Lomaiviti Islands, Taveuni and the Lau Islands. If being on water for days at a time doesn’t interest you, there are plenty of day cruise options on offer as well, mainly departing Port Denarau. Island hop, snorkel, taste the local cuisine, partake in local traditions and kava ceremonies and, most importantly, relax as you cruise through the Fiji waters. Blue Lagoon Cruises specialise in adult-only cruises to immerse yourself in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, while Captain Cook Cruises offer a wide variety of cruise options to all the Fiji island groups.

Island Hopping

Now that you’ve got to your Fiji island group destination, it is time to island hop between the group and some of the best ways to do that is by water. In addition to regular Ferries and Water Taxis operating in and around the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands and daily passenger ferries service to Vanua Levu and Ovalau, fortnightly ferries also operate to the northern and southern islands.

A daily inter-island ferry service is run by South Sea Cruises throughout the Mamanuca resorts, which are reasonably priced.

Many Fiji resorts located in more remote areas also offer guests Boat Transfers, if no other public or easily accessible transport options are available. It’s a good idea to contact your resort ahead of time to pre-book this service, which will often include a pickup from the airport as well – a real ‘door-to-door’ service!

Lastly, Cruises again offer a relaxing alternative to staying at a resort with countless all-inclusive island-hopping holiday options. Whether it’s cruising for one day, a few days or a couple of weeks, a Fijian cruise is a perfect retreat to immerse yourself in multiple islands without having to pack and unpack each day. Discover hidden gems, Fijian culture and idyllic islands and the majestical underwater world of the Fiji islands.

Quick Tips:

  • If you need a baby seat for your airport transfer, be sure to call a head to request one before arrival.
  • It is also a good idea to contact your resort ahead of time to get an indication of the taxi fare price from the airport you should expect to pay, so you’re not overcharged.
  • For the budget conscious, buses are by far the most affordable option to experience Fiji by land.
  • Again, if you’re on a budget, consider resorts on the mainland that are easily accessible by land transport rather than the outer islands as over water travel can be quite expensive in Fiji.
  • The national road speed limit is 80 km/h.
  • Australian driver’s licences are acceptable when hiring a car in Fiji, although it is not recommended for tourists to self-drive if you can avoid it as some roads are not in the best condition.
  • An alternative to hiring a car to tailor your sightseeing is to hire a Private driver.

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