FIJI Map Capital City Fast facts Suva Time Zone GMT/UTC +12 () Languages Fijian (official) Fijian dialects are spoken by the indigenous Fijians (Bauan is the most common). Currency Fiji dollar (F$) Electric Plug Details Australian-style plug with two flat angled blades and one vertical grounding blade Getting There Centrally located in the mid-South Pacific, Fiji is one of the main airline hubs of the region, and it's well serviced by international carriers. Although Suva is the capital, Nadi International Airport is where most travellers arrive and it is 9km (6mi) from the Nadi city centre. Nausori International Airport is Fiji's second international airport, 23km (14mi) north-east of Suva and accessible by taxi. A USD11.50 departure tax is levied on all international departees over the age of 12 years. Ferries Ferries are inexpensive, frequent, reliable and very seaworthy, and rubbing shoulders with the local people while travelling between islands is a pleasant and interesting part of the Fiji experience. Ferry routes connect most major coastal areas of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu with all the major islands. Getting Around Fiji Flights There are good transport connections in Fiji, making internal travel easy and relatively inexpensive. The easiest way to travel between islands is by plane, with Fiji Air and Sun Air between them servicing all of the island groups. (Island Hoppers, Turtle Airways and Pacific Island Seaplanes fly some routes too). Weather Overview Fiji enjoys a mild and stable climate most of the year. The prevailing winds are easterly and southeasterly; the mountainous spines of the larger islands produce clouds and greater rainfall on their windward sides. The wet season extends from November to April, but rain falls throughout the year. Daytime temperatures average around 25°C and humidity is generally high. Tropical cyclones can blow up between November and April, although they are rarely dangerous. Land Transport The larger islands have good bus networks, and outside the towns you can often just hail down a bus wherever you see one. Express buses travel between major centres and local buses seem to stop at every village they pass, but by either means bus travel in Fiji is a pleasant way to meet local people and an effective way to get around. What does it cost in Fiji? 1 NZ = 1.41Fiji Dollar movie ticket Fiji Dollar 4.00 Small bottle of beer Fiji Dollar 4.00 international postcard Fiji Dollar 0.25 loaf of bread Fiji Dollar 0.70 camp site per night Fiji Dollar 15.00 cheap restaurant price Fiji Dollar 15.00 bike hire full day Fiji Dollar 30.00 Average Room Prices Low F$18-45 Mid F$45-100 High F$100-150 Deluxe F$150+ Average Meal Prices Low F$10-18 Mid F$18-25 High F$25-35 Payment Fijian dollars are the easiest currency to use day by day: some places might accept US dollars but there'll be a bit of drama about it. Tipping is not expected or encouraged when paying for goods or services. Dangers & Annoyances Nadi or Suva muggings are not uncommon at night. Don't hitchhike; as a foreigner, you're a sitting duck for muggers. At the airport watch for touts who will do their best to get you into a shuttle van to their employer's resort. Being asked where you are staying can be a way of judging how much you're going to be charged for dinner. Contrary to Fiji's image promoted overseas, many beaches aren't that great for swimming. Avoid swimming or snorkelling alone and be very careful of currents and tidal changes. Always seek local advice on conditions. Some of the most beautiful sea creatures, such as the scorpion fish and lionfish, are also highly venomous. Avoid temptation and keep your hands to yourself! Events Overview Fijians celebrate New Year's Day with gusto and the festivities can last a week (or even a month!) in some villages. In February or March Hindu Holi (Festival of Colours) sees people squirt each other with coloured water. Ram Naumi (Birth of Lord Rama) is a Hindu festival held in March or April and includes a religious festival and party on the shores of Suva Bay. The Prophet Mohammed's Birthday is celebrated in May, and on the first Monday in June, the nation honours Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna with a public holiday. He is considered Fiji's greatest statesman, soldier, high chief and scholar, and the day is celebrated with regional cultural shows and games. The Constitution Day holiday falls in July. The Sugar Festival is celebrated in September at Lautoka, Fiji Day (Independence Day) falls in early October. During October or November Hindus celebrate the Diwali Festival (Festival of Lights). They worship Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, decorate their houses and settle up their business affairs.