Monday, March 8, 2021

How To Travel Around Fiji

Australia and Oceania Fiji How To Travel Around Fiji

There are a variety of public transport options in Fiji, including buses, “shared taxis” and private taxis. Fares are very reasonable: F$1 to F$2 from Colo-i-Suva to Suva Bus Station by bus, F$17 from Nadi Bus Station to Suva by shared taxi (shared taxis are usually white minivans that gather and depart when they reach their capacity of 6 to 8 people), or about F$80 from Suva Airport to Sigatoka by private taxi. On the main road around Viti Levu, buses run every half hour and taxis make up a significant portion of the traffic, while on the western road to Taveuni, buses make only a few trips a day and there is very little traffic. If the taxi has a meter, ask the driver to turn it on – the ride will be much cheaper than the negotiated price.

The current fare from Nadi Beach Resorts to Nadi city centre is $8 per passenger and $12 at the airport – you should be able to negotiate this price fairly easily.

Although there is rarely much traffic, most vehicles run on diesel and pollution on the main roads can be serious. A national speed limit of 80 km/h is usually observed; village speed limits are virtually ignored, but motorists slow down at several speed bumps scattered throughout each village. The wearing of seat belts is recommended in taxis, but is rarely seen and apparently never used.

Road travel tends to be more dangerous than many people are used to, and many embassies advise their citizens to avoid virtually all forms of road travel. Potholes, washouts and dilapidated bridges are commonplace. Buses are best unless you are really comfortable and able to hire a car and drive yourself – most people are not, even if they think they are. Avoid driving at night, especially outside urban areas. Another option is to get on and off buses, which allow you to visit Fiji at your own pace for a fixed price. This is a more expensive mode of transport, but it has included services such as tours and activities. However, some, such as Feejee, limit tours to Viti Levu and Beachcomber Island and do not include the more remote islands.

Inter-island

South Sea Cruises offers daily inter-island ferry transfers to resorts on Mamanuca Island in Fiji. AwesomeAdventuresFijioffers daily ferry transfers to the remote islands of Yasawa. Ferries between the islands are reasonably priced and the larger ones (especially those big enough to take cars and trucks) have a good safety record, although they can be crowded at the beginning and end of school holidays. Ferries offer two or three classes (depending on the ship). Economy class (F$65 p.p. on the Suva-Taveuni route) is the cheapest, but you have to sleep on chairs or on the floor. Dormitory (F$104 p.p., Suva-Taveuni) is dormitory-style accommodation. The cabin (F$135 p.p. on MV Suiliven, F$95 p.p. on SOFE line, Suva-Taveuni) is not necessarily the best option as space is very limited, the cabin can be shared (4 beds) and there may be hordes of insects.

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Denarau Marina on Denarau Island is the gateway to the Mamanuca and Yasawa island groups. Cruise ships and ferries serving these islands depart from here. Denarau Island is connected to the mainland by a small bridge and is only 20 minutes from Nadi International Airport.

Do not attempt to take a car to another island unless you own it or have made clear special arrangements – most rental companies forbid this and they prosecute tourists who violate this clause of the contract.

Bicycle

In recent years, bicycles in Fiji have become increasingly popular with both locals and tourists. In many ways, Fiji is an ideal place for a bike tour. However, car traffic on busy roads can be intimidating and there is a lack of accommodation along the back roads. Cycling is a great way to explore Fiji, but make sure you bring your own spares and supplies as there are few bike shops. It is a good idea to bring plenty of water, a Camelbak is perfect as it is very hot and humid most of the year.

The main road around the largest island, Viti Levu, is closed except for a 40 km section on the east side. A solid road bike, touring bike or hybrid bike is suitable.

Renting bikes can be quite expensive compared to other options: a full day of cycling in Taveuni costs 25 French dollars. For two people, the cost is similar to renting a car.

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