The Ultimate First Timer's Guide to Fiji

An empty hammock swinging between two palm trees on a white sandy beach in Fiji with crystal-clear water in the background

If you ask us, Fiji is about as close as you can get to heaven on Earth. Pristine waters, abundant marine life, lush greenery, white sandy beaches and the most friendly people you’ll ever meet… yeah, it’s definitely paradise.

But if it’s your first time to Fiji, you’d be forgiven for getting a little overwhelmed. After all, the country is made up of over 300 gorgeous islands (only 110 of which are permanently inhabited), so relaxation-seeking tourists are positively spoilt for choice.

So, to help you plan the perfect beachy escape, we’ve prepared the only Fiji travel guide you’ll ever need, from accommodation to activities. All aboard!

The Basics

If you’re an Aussie, you should be pretty familiar with Fiji - after all, it’s just under 3,500km east of Cairns! Over half the population speaks Fijian, however the official language is English, so you don’t have to worry about becoming lost in translation.

One Aussie dollar will typically get you around $1.50 Fijian, however, a few luxury resorts also accept AUD or USD. That being said, it’s always best to double check with your accommodation, and you should have some FJD just in case.

Best Time to Go to Fiji

With balmy temperatures all year ‘round, there’s no such thing as a bad time to go to Fiji. However, each season (wet and dry) has its pros and cons.

The wet season (from November to April) is hot, humid and prone to some serious downpours. Sometimes they last just a couple of hours and clear up to reveal beautiful sunshine, sometimes they settle in for days. Either way, there’s still plenty of reasons to visit during this time - namely, the lack of crowds, potential savings on flights and accommodation, spectacular waterfalls and lush, blooming forests. Just try to avoid December and January - despite the weather, it’s an incredibly popular time for Aussie holidaymakers.

In addition to the Christmas and New Year period, the dry season (May to October) is a peak tourism period. After all, it coincides with our chilly winters, and who wouldn’t rather spend their days on a beach? Days during the dry season are filled with sunshine, blue skies and minimal rainfall. Of course, staying in Fiji at this time doesn’t come cheap, and resorts can get particularly crowded during school holidays. That said, we reckon the sunsets at this time of year are totally worth the extra expense!

How to Get to Fiji

Getting to Fiji is easy! Flights to Nadi International Airport depart most major cities daily, with direct flights from Sydney taking just four hours.

If you’re staying on the main island of Viti Levu, you can simply drive to your destination from Nadi. For transfers to other island, your best bet is by boat, or, if you’re feeling like a bit of a baller, do it in style with a seaplane.

Where to Stay in Fiji

Fiji is home to around 50 resorts and hotels, which may not sound like a lot, but rest assured, there’s somewhere for every budget and type of traveller.

For the budget traveller: Anchorage Beach Resort is perfect for relaxation-seekers on a shoestring. Located on the main island of Viti Levu, the resort is just just 15 minutes from the airport and makes the perfect base for day trips to surrounding islands. Plus, with prices from under $70 a night, you can get a solid few days of bliss without returning home with an empty bank account.

For the mid-range traveller: Serenity Island Resort couldn’t be more aptly named. For as little as $162 a night, you can stay in your own traditional Fijian bure on this beautiful, secluded 48-acre island nestled within the Mamanuca Islands. Boasting pristine white sand, beautiful warm waters and some of the most awe-inspiring sunsets you’ll ever witness, you’re sure to come back feeling like a new person.

For the luxe traveller: Yasawa Island Resort & Spa is located a 30-minute flight from Nadi, on one of Fiji’s most remote islands. There, you’ll find the ultimate five-star luxury accommodation, which doesn’t come cheap at around $1,000 a night, but includes all meals and non-alcoholic drinks, plus SUPs, kayaks, village visits, snorkelling trips and more. Yep, everything is covered. All you need to do is enjoy it!

For families: Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is the perfect place if you’ve got some little tag-alongs. Located on Viti Levu’s glorious Coral Coast, this five-star resort has won countless awards, including Best Family Resort Fiji 2018. There’s both an adults-only zone and Kids’ Club, so all ages can enjoy their dream holiday, plus plenty of cultural experiences and activities.

For couples: Tropica Island Resort Fiji is a peaceful, four-star, adults-only resort nestled amongst the Mamanuca Islands. Intimate, secluded and incredibly romantic, this boutique resort is perched on a picturesque private bay that looks like it’s been plucked right out of a postcard. You can do as much or as little as you like, but one thing’s for sure - you’ll fall head over heels in love with this place.

What to Do in Fiji

Relax! Seriously, Fiji isn’t a destination for people who like to spend all their day hiking, shopping and eating at different restaurants for each meal - the number one activity for most visitors is simply to chill out.

Of course, if you get sick of frolicking in crystal-clear water and lounging in the sun (if that’s even possible), there are loads of day trips you can take. You can visit nearby islands for a change of scenery, or drop into a traditional Fijian village for the real island experience. There are tours for literally every thing, from chasing waterfalls to swimming with turtles - do a bit of research and you’ll find the perfect one for you.

What to Pack

Even at the most luxe resorts, Fiji is pretty casual, so leave those fancy dresses and suits at home and pack for comfort. Remember, it’s hot all year round and crazy humid for half of it, so stick to light colours and fabrics. Oh, and don’t forget cozzies!

Like most tropical areas, Fiji is a magnet for mozzies, so if you are too, you’ll want to bring some strong insect repellent. Sunscreen is also essential, and while you should be wearing it every day no matter where you are, it’s especially important somewhere as exposed to the sun as Fiji. It won’t hurt you to pack some electrolytes, either. Fiji isn’t quite as prone to gastro bouts as Bali (and its notorious ‘belly’!), however it never hurts to have them on hand - just in case.

Feeling ready to start planning your own escape to paradise? Keep an eye out on Scoopon - you never know when your perfect Fiji holiday package could pop up!

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