Fiji Travel Guide
Fiji is a collection of more than 300 islands scattered about the South Pacific. Like Hawaii, Fiji is one of the main travel hubs in this vast expanse of ocean. Most travelers fly into Nadi International Airport on the island of Viti Levu, although the Nausori airport near the capital of Suva also hosts a few international flights. Because of Fiji's location, it's serviced by a variety of air carriers, from Air New Zealand and Qantas, to the more destination-specific airlines like Air Vanuatu.
Airline and Airport Links.com. Airline and Airport Links.com has links to many of the world's airlines and airports. www.airlineandairportlinks.com.
Transportation Security Administration. Transportation Security Administration has answers for almost every question that might come up. www.tsa.gov.
Airports Fiji Limited Customer Service. Airports Fiji Limited Customer Service has answers regarding consumer service complaints at the islands airports. 672–5777 Ext. 6113. www.afl.com.fj.
Air Fiji offers a 30-day, four-flight air pass for $270. Additional flights are $90, children under 12 pay 75% of the fare, and children under two pay 10%. The passes are only sold overseas or via their Web site. Changes in reservations are free of charge, and some refunds apply before departure (visit the Web site for full details).
Nadi International Airport (NAN) is the major gateway airport in Fiji, about 6 mi north of the city center of Nadi. It has good facilities, including accommodation, travel agency, and car rental representatives, a 24-hour bank with currency exchange, cafés, a post office, shops, a small bookstore, and luggage storage (about $6 per day). As with everything in Fiji, airlines also experience delays and don't always run on time, so make certain that you arrive in plenty of time to sort out any potential problems, and then settle in for what could be a long wait. Transport between the airport and the center of Nadi is readily available, should you need to find lodging for another night or have a lot of time to kill.
Nausori Airport (NFNA), which is about 14 mi from downtown Suva, is smaller and less busy than Nadi, servicing mostly domestic transfers. Although the airport offers some creature comforts, plans are afoot for a major renovation to make it more of an international gateway airport, like Nadi.
There are domestic airstrips/airports in Mana Island, Vanua Balavu, Kadavu, Lakeba, Moala, Labasa, Savusavu, and Taveuni. These "airports" often consist of one building with a ticket counter, a soda machine, possibly a sandwich shop, a toilet, and an airstrip for the smaller planes used in domestic transfers. As Fiji Time prevails in the outer islands, it's best to come prepared: pack snacks, water, toilet paper, and a good book.
Nadi International Airport (672–5777 Ext. 6113. www.airportsfiji.com/nadi_aiport.php.)
Nausori Airport. Nausori Airport www.airportsfiji.com/nausori_airport.php.
Both Nadi International Airport and Nausori Airport are well serviced by taxis, buses, car rental agencies, and accommodation transport. If you're booking your accommodation in advance, ask about airport transfers, which can usually be arranged. Otherwise, approach any taxi or bus driver to discuss routes and fares. If you have questions or are facing difficulties, speak to the Visitors Bureau staff, who should be able to assist you.
Island-hopping by plane is usually affordable and fast. If you can handle the occasional light-plane turbulence, you'll be rewarded with scenic views of the islands and reefs. Note that your luggage may fly separately (due to space availability or weight issues), arriving just before or after you. Flights are usually reliable and more or less on time, but book in advance if you want to secure a seat.
Planes tend to be small, with one or two seats on either side of the aisle, specific weight requirements (you'll have to weigh yourself and your luggage before the flight), no bathrooms, and definitely no in-flight service.
Fiji, like Hawaii, is one of the major destination hubs in the South Pacific, and many people traveling from the U.S. to Australia or New Zealand prefer to stop in Fiji en route. Air New Zealand and Qantas fly direct from the west coast to Fiji, with a travel time of about seven hours. Air New Zealand currently operates three flights per week from L.A. to Fiji, although that might change in April 2008, when a code-sharing service with Air Pacific would see those flights upped to six times per week.
Air Fiji. 672–2521. www.airfiji.com.
Air Pacific (Nadi, Viti Levu. 672–0888; 800/227–4446 U.S. www.airpacific.com.au.)
Pacific Sun (Nadi, Viti Levu. 672–0888; 800/227–4446 U.S. www.airpacific.com.)
Air New Zealand (800/262–1234. www.airnz.com.)
Qantas (800/227–4500. www.qantas.com.au.)
United Airlines (800/538–2929. www.united.com.)
Travelers to Fiji like to island-hop and there are several charter flight companies to choose from. Island Hoppers has more than 30 years of experience in Fiji and an extensive knowledge of the islands. Pacific Island Seaplanes offers everything from island transfers to scenic tours and Turtle Airways, which has been operating for 25 years, was the first float-plane service in Fiji.
Scenic flights over Fiji's spectacular mountain ranges and gorges are offered by both helicopter and plane, usually around $200 for 20 minutes. Seaplanes and planes offer both scenic flights and island transfers for around the same price.
Island Hoppers (Nadi, Viti Levu. 672–0410. www.helicopters.com.fj.)
Pacific Island Seaplanes (Nadi, Viti Levu. 672–5644. www.fijiseaplanes.com.)
Turtle Airways (Nadi, Viti Levu. 360/944–1712 in U.S.; 672–1888. www.turtleairways.com.)