Fijian Dollar - Travel Money Saving Tips
Fiji is viewed as a far-off and exotic getaway, and rightly so. There are two main islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, and nearly 900 smaller islands and inlets. If you’re looking for privacy, chances are you’re sure to find a secluded spot somewhere in the country. Contrary to popular belief, a vacation here doesn’t need to break the bank. Yes, there are pricey resorts but there are also budget guesthouses. Inexpensive accommodation and food, combined with the fact most Pacific flights include a stopover here, makes the islands an affordable and easy place to visit.
What currency to use in Fiji?
The Fijian dollar is the basic unit of currency, available in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2. Normal banking hours are 9:30am to 4:00pm, Monday – Friday and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays at selected areas. There is a 24 hour currency exchange service at the arrivals concourse at Nadi Airport. ATMs are common in Fijian cities, but you'll need to plan ahead and make sure you have enough cash if you're heading to rural areas. Australian banks such as Westpac and ANZ have a presence in Fiji, so these cardholders can access ATMs cheaply on their island holiday However, US dollars are widely accepted and carrying a supply of American money saves visitors from having to deal with banks and moneychangers.
Getting around in Fiji?
Getting around Fiji is easy and cheap. There’s a good network of buses, carriers (trucks) and ferries for travel within Fiji’s main islands, and taxis are common. Hiring a car is a good way to explore the two largest islands – which contain 90% of Fiji’s roads – or charter a boat or small plane to get between islands. Fiji is well-served by two domestic airlines which operate between many of the islands, although services are less regular to the outer islands. Yachting and cruising are also great ways to explore the country.
Many locals drive around minivans and small trucks which they use to transport tourists around for a fee. They generally pick up as many as possible so it's not always comfortable. You will find taxis on Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Ovalau. The bus stations in the main towns usually have taxi depots and there is often an oversupply of taxis, with drivers competing for business.
Travel tips for Fiji.
Some of the islands are quite cheap and others expensive. There is something for everyone's budget and the islands have the best beaches and snorkeling. Denarau is the most commercialized part of Fiji with lots of hotels, restaurants and bars at the marina but beaches are not as pristine as elsewhere.
Viti Levu is the main island in Fiji and is home to the International airport. Coral Coast is a popular tourist area on Viti Levu known for expansive ocean views, breathtaking sunsets and great snorkeling. For the best beaches and water activities head over to Mamanuca and Yasawa islands by ferry from the main island or by seaplane or helicopter from the airport. Resorts on the Fiji’s Northern Islands (a short flight from the main island) are set among lush rainforest and beautiful waterfalls and provide an easy access to some of the best diving in the world.
Tap water is not considered safe in Fiji so be sure to stock up on bottled water.
There are two seasons: warm and even warmer. It’s a sunny, tropical climate that’ll wash the winter chills from your bones. That doesn’t mean it never rains here, but you can expect May to November, our cooler months, to range from 19° to 29°c. And from December and April, the temperatures register from 22° to 33°c.
Also see our full Foreign Exchange Guide to Fiji for more money saving tools and information on Fijian Dollar Transfers and Travel Money.