How to Backpack Around Fiji Like a Pro

Published 03/11/2018

Backpacking and Travelling Around Fiji

Fiji is the ultimate playground for any traveller. It’s made up of around 333 islands – all of which offer something special. Backpacking around these beautiful islands is the perfect way to spend a gap year or trip abroad.

Backpacking around Fiji is perfect for both solo travellers or teams and groups. It provides the setting for incredible adventures to be had and lasting memories to be made. You will be surrounded by some of the most picturesque beaches and environments in the world. Once there, you can get stuck into activities like diving coral reefs, unearthing hidden waterfalls, joining tribal communities and pretty much enjoying one of the coolest places on earth. So what are we waiting for? Let’s start planning the best backpacking trip ever!

But planning a backpacking trip around Fiji can be a time-consuming and a confusing task, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be if you follow this guide. We’ve mapped out all you need to know regarding transport, accommodation, food, places to stay, things to do and some safety tips and recommendations. We’ve been working out of Fiji for almost a decade and know these islands like the back of our hands. Let us show you how you can get the most out of the Fiji Islands.

So grab a cuppa and let’s plan your adventure around Fiji 🙂

Transport

Transport is very backpacker friendly in Fiji. Fiji includes a main island called Vitu Levu, which includes the international airport and capital city. Most backpackers will enter Fiji through the airport in Nadi on Vitu Levu so it’s a good idea to plan your journey from here. If you have booked accommodation before you arrive, it is highly likely your accommodation will offer to pick you up at the airport. This makes for a very easy and straight forward start to your time in Fiji.

If you need to organise your own transport you can catch a bus, van or taxi from the airport to pretty much all accommodation in Nadi and the surround areas.

You might want to travel from Nadi to another place as soon as you arrive. It is easy and cheap to get around the mainland via bus or taxi. If you are planning to island hop in the Yasawas then you’ll probably be looking to get to the port to catch a boat.

You’ll also soon notice that Fijians are extremely friendly and willing to help. If you get lost or confused, you can be very confident someone will offer to help you even before you try and ask them.

Transport Price Guide

Transport costs may vary slightly but below is a rough guide to help you factor in costs. Taxi’s do tend to be slightly more expensive from the airport than ones you see around the rest of Fiji’s mainland but they are still very cheap.

Bus prices

  • Nadi airport to Nadi town – $3
  • Nadi airport to Savu – $15
  • Nadi airport to the port – $5
  • Nadi airport to Coral Coast -$8

Taxi prices 

  • Nadi airport to Nadi town – $15
  • Nadi airport to Savu – $180
  • Nadi airport to the port – $15
  • Nadi airport to Coral Coast – $90

Accommodation

There are lots of different types of accommodation to choose from in Fiji. If you’re on a budget, then there are lots of affordable hostels and even camping options. If you’re thinking of splashing out, then Fiji has some pretty spectacular hotels and luxury accommodation to.

Both luxury hotels and budget accommodation can be enjoyed while island hopping around the Yasawas and off Nadi’s coast. This part of Fiji is probably the most touristy part of the country, so it has a good backpacking infrastructure already set up so you can travel hassle free. This does however mean that it doesn’t carry some of the special characterises of adventuring in the remote areas of Fiji as we do on a Think Pacific expedition.

Although it’s easy to find a 5* hotel with all the gadgets and gizmos, in our humble opinion, the best accommodation for people travelling and backpacking around Fiji is living in a real Fijian home, in a real Fijian community. You can enjoy the luxury lifestyle all over the world, but very few countries have such welcoming and friendly communities, that’ll welcome you in like a son or daughter.

For all the fancy accommodation we’ve stayed in, our favourite times and lasting memories have always come from staying with a Fijian family. If you think this sounds like more your thing than hotels and hostels, we’d definitely recommend checking out our volunteering expeditions, in which you’ll live in a remote Fijian village alongside our team and achieve extraordinary things.

Food

Fijian food is heavily influenced by the local environment. Expect lots of sea food and root crops as these types of foods can be caught or grown locally. In the towns, western food has started to prevail and hotels/hostels will usually serve western food as well.

Meal plans and “all-inclusive” deals can result in you paying a lot for your food in hotels. If you want to backpack Fiji on a budget, then look at the option of going to supermarkets and buying snacks or visiting the markets to find cheaper food. This will avoid needing to go to restaurants for every meal.

Traditional Fijian food is amazing and you should definitely try and make sure you try some of the local dishes.

Places to Visit

We’d recommend seeing as much of Fiji as possible. It can be easy to just follow the tourist tracks and visit the same places as everyone else but we’d recommend getting familiar with some of the more unusual and remote parts of Fiji.

Look into the Lomaiviti islands and Lau Group as well as the mainland interior.

Some of the more popular places to visit include:

  • Nadi
  • Yasawa Islands
  • Mamanuca Islands
  • Vanua Levu and Taveuni
  • Suva
  • Coral Coast

Things to Do

There is so many different things to get up to in Fiji – so many in fact, that it’s very hard to think what to include in this section. From spear fishing, diving, surfing, trekking, and sports, to dancing, singing and teaching in Fijian villages, it really does provide the perfect setting for an adventure. If there’s a certain activity you want to do in Fiji, feel free to get in contact and we’ll help guide you in the right direction 🙂

Generally speaking, the tourist activities are located in easy-to-access locations with good transport links. Whether this is on Vitu Levu or on Vanua Levu, these spots are easy for backpackers to get stuck into. This includes things like diving, snorkelling, waterfalls, trekking, zip lines, sunbathing, etc. Meanwhile, experiencing some of the more cultural and unique parts of Fiji, involves going to more remote places, either in the outer islands or in the interior villages on the mainland. This includes things like living in a village, spearfishing, coaching sport abroad, teaching and volunteering in schools and kindergartens, embracing tribal culture, farming, and much more.

You can’t really just turn up to a village on your own without prior organisation, so it’s best to organise it through our projects, where we work alongside the government to achieve community development objectives through volunteering. This ensures the villages and communities benefit from your visit.

Sundays are seen as a day of rest so you may notice that many villages/towns go very quiet on a Sunday. If you are intending to travel on a Sunday, make sure you have doubled checked everything is still running as usual.

Safety/Health

Fiji is a remote country in the South Pacific so does involve being slightly more prepared than what you might be used to it UK/Europe. It is a very peaceful country though and to stay safe and healthy is just about being prepared.

We’d recommend you visit your local health centre as soon as possible once you’ve decided Fiji is the place for you and to have the essential vaccinations for Fiji, which are: Hepatitis A and Typhoid. You’ll also want to make sure you have travel insurance.

It’s worth bringing lots of insect repellent as mosquito bites are more likely to lead to infection and further problems in a climate like Fiji.

It’s also highly recommended to keep hydrated, drinking water regularly throughout the day. Carry a water bottle with you during the day, especially if you’re doing lots of activities in the sun. Being de-hydrated is the major cause of backpackers suffering from stomach infections and diarrhoea.

Backpackers who decide a Think Pacific project is for them, are treated to 24/7 access to our on-the-ground team in Fiji who can be the first level of support for any issues that arise. If you travel on your own, make sure you have all the contact details for hospitals, high commissions and other useful places.

Personal First Aid Itinerary

Be prepared and bring the following to Fiji:

  • A large supply of assorted plasters.
  • Several roles of band aid / thick plaster tape (which is strong and can be cut to different lengths)
  • Antihistamine tablets
  • Antiseptic cream.
  • Suncream
  • Sanitising hand gel (take several small bottles and use this daily.)
  • A large supply (30-50 ml per week) of Mosquito repellent, which contains DEET.
  • Anti-diarrhoeal, anti-constipation and ibuprofen.
  • A small box of re-hydration salts and water purification tablets

Other Useful Info

Language

Although you’ll often hear Fijians talking in Fijian, English is the official language of Fiji so you’ll get by fine speaking English (although talking with locals in Fijian is a sure way to impress them!) There are lots of different dialects of Fijian so you may notice some differences from place to place.

To get started, try out some phrases below:

  • Hello – Bula (mboola)
  • Goodbye – Ni sa moce (nee sa mo-they)
  • Good morning – Ni sa yadra (nee sa yandra)
  • Yes – Io (ee-oh)
  • No – Sega (senga)
  • Please – Yalo vinaka (yalo vee-nahka)
  • Excuse me – Tolou (too low)

Climate

The dry season is roughly from March-October and offers slightly cooler temperatures (although still very hot). November-February is the wet season and sees an increase in temperature and precipitation. One the islands, you’ll be lucky to get a sea breeze that’ll help make those very hot days seem more pleasant.

Backpacking The Real Fiji

For those who prefer a little adventure and excitement as well as something that little bit different on a backpacking trip, we may have something that’ll interest you, here at Think Pacific. Check out the video below that showcases what we mean when we talk about backpacking around Fiji! Download our brochure and discover the ultimate backpacking experience you could possibility want.

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