Scattered amid the azure waters of the South Pacific, sailing is undoubtedly one of the best ways of navigating Fiji’s 300 or so islands, with the best season being between May and October. But if you don’t have your own boat, never fear, there are plenty of other ways to get around this paradisiacal archipelago.
Viti Levu is Fiji’s main and largest island and it is also where you’ll start your journey after landing at the international airport just outside the city of Nadi. If you’re wondering what’s the best mode of transport to go from there, here is a selection of options to get your Fijian adventure underway.
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Navigate bigger islands by car or motorcycle
If you want to go at things at your own pace and you’re confident at being behind the wheel in a foreign country, one of the best ways of touring Viti Levu is by hiring a car.
Driving is on the left – the same as the UK – and the main roads are tarmacked care of years of investment. The road network is also largely devoid of traffic other than some minor congestion in the cities and during bad weather.
Avis and Europcar are two of the best-known car hire providers in Fiji and you’ll be able to find outposts at Nadi International Airport, Denarau Island down the road, and the colorful capital of Suva on the southeast coast.
The main road on Viti Levu makes for a scenic ride, meandering along the coast through patches of lush jungle, and by grasshopper green sugar-cane fields. You’ll also pass through characterful cities and towns as you do the circuit.
Local tip: If you’re a keen motorcyclist and feeling particularly adventurous Go Dirty Tours – based in Nadi – has a selection of scooters and Harley-Davidsons for rent.
Splash out with a helicopter charter
Land at your next point of call in style or celebrate a special occasion by chartering a helicopter. Along with being speedy, a ride on a chopper will afford you magnificent views of the Jurassic Park-like scenery below.
Heli-Tours Fiji and Island Hoppers are two companies offering helicopter tours, transfers and charters around the region. Private plane transfers are another top luxury option, especially if you’re travelling with bulky gear such as surfboards, fishing rods and diving gear. If you don’t have the cash to splash, Fiji Airways serves as the main domestic airline in the region.
Save money with public transport
If you’re traveling on a budget or fancy getting a taste of local life, buses are the best way of getting around Fiji’s main islands. Around 95 percent of the country’s roads are found on Viti Levu and the neighboring island of Vanua Levu with frequent bus services running around both.
Fares start from just 70 Fijian cents and run up to around $20 (US$10) for the longest multi-stop journey on offer.
Minibus services also run on Viti Levu via Viti Minibuses, while Sunbeam Transport, Pacific Transport, and Coral Sun have air conditioned coaches for a more comfortable experience.
Local tip: prices the world over fluctuate with the cost of fuel. What’s quoted today may not be true tomorrow, so keep an open mind when it comes to transport costs.
Upgrade for more comfort with a taxi
There are a variety of taxi companies operating across the Fijian islands of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and Ovalau. Taxis can usually be found next to bus depots in the main towns, and hotels will be able to help you arrange transfers for excursions or airport services. Some taxis run on meters, while others do not so it’s wise to agree on a fare before setting off.
Get on a ferry and hop over to beautiful remote islands in the Fiji archipelago © Denis Burdin / Shutterstock
Soak up Fiji’s paradisiacal scenery by hopping on a ferry or boat
Hop off the main island and explore the Fijian archipelago by traveling via a ferry or boat. One of the best places to pick up services is from Port Denarau on Viti Levu, which is just a 15-minute drive from Nadi.
There are two main ferry companies running to the Yasawa islands, with boats stopping at around 12 or the outcrops in the ruggedly beautiful archipelago. The Yasawa Flyer serves as a high-speed modern catamaran with refreshments available on board, while South Sea Cruises has some equally comfortable vessels providing island to island transfers.
Local tip: Once in the islands, ask around about getting a lift over to nearby islands. Often these are local motorboats are in varying stages of disrepair (and with scant regard for safety equipment… you’ve been warned…) however, these boatmen so know the water, reefs and weather like the back of their hand.
The pavements around Fiji are generally not friendly to wheelchairs, mobility scooters, or pushchairs as high curbs and rough unpaved surfaces are common. Finding accessible transport options on land and at sea is also a struggle, so it’s best to call operators beforehand to discuss what arrangements can be made to facilitate your journey.
Tourist Transport Fiji is one of the only transfer firms with a wheelchair accessible vehicle and its customized minibus includes an electric lift. On the accommodation front, most upscale hotels feature disabled-friendly rooms and thoroughfares.
If you’re traveling through the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, grab a Bula Pass to get around. This travel pass allows you to hop on and hop off boat services. Passes can last up to 15 days and they include bus return transfers to Port Denarau from most Nadi, Wailoaloa, and Denarau resorts.