Airports & Airlines
The national carrier is Fiji Airways (formerly Air Pacific). As well as offering international connections, it codeshares flights with Qantas, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and Etihad.
Most visitors to Fiji arrive at the small but well-organised Nadi International Airport (NAN), situated 9km north of central Nadi. Nausori Airport, about 23km northeast of Suva, is used primarily for domestic flights, but receives a small number of regional international connections.
- High-season travel to Fiji is between April and October, as well as the peak Christmas and New Year period.
- Airfares peak between April and June, and in December and January.
- Fiji is a popular destination for Australian and New Zealand families; school holidays in these countries are considered high periods in Fiji.
The only direct flights to Fiji are from Seoul (South Korea) with Korean Air or with Air Pacific (Fiji Airways) from Hong Kong.
Most flights to/from Southeast Asia go via Australia or New Zealand.
Australia and Fiji are well connected. Qantas, Air Pacific (Fiji Airways), Virgin Australia and Jetstar all operate routes out of Australia and competition is cutthroat, making it possible to pick up bargain flights if you shop around and wait for specials. There are direct flights from Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast and Brisbane to Fiji. The flight time is about four hours from Sydney and 4½ hours from Melbourne.
If you’re collecting air-miles on Qantas, read the fine print carefully, as code-sharing agreements mean that Air Pacific operates some Qantas flights.
Kiwis have three options: fly with Air Pacific (Fiji Airways) from either Auckland or Christchurch or fly with either Air New Zealand or Qantas out of Auckland.
Air New Zealand has at least one flight a day to Nadi. The flight time between Nadi and Auckland is three hours.
In the past it was possible to buy air passes for travel within the South Pacific. The terms and conditions varied from pass to pass, but the general idea was that you could work your way around several island nations provided that you met certain mileage requirements. It is worth keeping an eye out for such passes should they ever be reinstated as they offered good value to those wishing to explore the Pacific.
Currently the only flights between Fiji and its Pacific neighbours are Air Pacific (Fiji Airways) flights to Samoa, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Hawaii, Tonga, Vanuatu and Kiribati.
Pacific island nations’ airlines that fly directly to Fiji are Air Vanuatu (from Port Vila, Vanuatu), Aircalin (from Noumea, New Caledonia), Solomon Airlines (from Honiara, Solomon islands) and Air Niugini (from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea).
UK & Europe
Generally there is not much variation in airfares for departures from the main European cities, but sometimes deals can be had – particularly in London, the travel-discount capital of Europe.
Broadly speaking, when travelling from the UK or Europe you have two choices; to fly via either Honolulu or Los Angeles in the US where you can pick up a connecting Qantas or Air Pacific (Fiji Airways) flight, or via Hong Kong or Seoul in Asia and pick up a connecting Korea Air or Air Pacific flight. Another popular route is to buy a Qantas or Air Pacific (Fiji Airways) flight to either Australia or New Zealand with a stopover in Fiji.
US & Canada
Fiji is a possible stopover between the west coast of the US and Australia or New Zealand. Fares from the US vary greatly depending on the season and ticket restrictions. Air Pacific (Fiji Airways) flies direct from Fiji to Los Angeles and on to Vancouver thanks to a code-sharing agreement with Alaska Airlines. It also flies between Nadi and Hawaii, as does Qantas.
Fiji is about six/12 hours from Hawaii/west coast US.
Fiji Airways serves the following Pacific capitals: Port Vila (Vanuatu), Honiara (Solmon Islands), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Nuku'alofa (Tonga), Apia (Samoa), South Tarawa (Kiribati), Funafuti (Tuvalu), as well as Honolulu in Hawaii.
Airlines serving the Pacific region from Nadi International Airport:
Air Vanuatu Flights to Port Vila,Vanuatu
Air Niugini Flights to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, via Honiara (Solomon Islands)
Solomon Airlines Direct flights to Honiara, Solomon Islands, or via Port Vila (Vanuatu)
Travelling to Fiji by sea is difficult unless you’re on a cruise ship or a yacht.
Few of the shipping companies will take passengers on cargo ships and those that do will usually charge hefty rates. It is virtually impossible to leave Fiji by cargo ship unless passage has been prearranged. A useful American company is Freighter World Cruises, which can organise travel on a freighter ship around the South Pacific. You could also try asking your local shipping agents, or go to the docks and personally approach the captains.
Fiji doesn't feature in many cruising itineraries and few cruise ships call here. A notable exception is P&O Cruises, who call into Fiji as part of a larger South Pacific circuit from Brisbane or Sydney.
Strict laws govern the entry of yachts into Fiji and skippers should immediately make for one of designated ports before exploring Fijian waters. Fiji's five designated Ports of Entry are: Suva, Lautoka, Levuka, Savusavu and Oinafa (Rotuma). Advance applications must be made to request Port Denarau as a port of entry.
The Pacific Puddle Jump (also sometimes known as the Coconut Milk Run) is a popular route cruising from California to French Polynesia (and sometimes on to New Zealand) via Hawaii, Tahiti, Rarotonga, Vava’u and Fiji. To make the most of the weather, most yachts depart California in February and reach Fiji in July or August.
Boats from New Zealand often time their departure to coincide with the Auckland-to-Fiji yacht race in June. By the end of October most yachts head south to Australia and New Zealand via New Caledonia to spend the summer there.
Yacht Help Fiji provides a useful online guide to sailing to and around Fiji.
- Vessels must be cleared by immigration and customs, and are prohibited from visiting any outer islands before doing so.
- 48 hours' notice must be given in advance of arrival. Failure to do so attracts heavy fines. Download and complete an Advanced Notice of Arrival Form (C2C) from the FRCA.
- Fees payable on arrival are $150 (quarantine) and $172.50 (health). There is no charge for immigration or customs.
- Border facilities operate Monday to Friday 8am to 4.30pm. Arrival outside these hours incurs extra fees and must be arranged in advance.
- To complete customs formalities when you arrive you will require a certificate of clearance from the previous port of call, a crew list and passports for everyone on board except children travelling on their parent’s passport.
- If you wish to visit any place beside a port of entry, a cruising permit from the Ministry of Fijian Affairs is required. These are easily obtained and free of charge.
- On arrival contact Port Control on VHF channel 16 to be directed to the quarantine area and await the arrival of customs officials.
- Before departing you’ll need to complete clearance formalities (within 24 hours), providing inbound clearance papers, your vessel’s details and your next port of call.