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Fiji’s larger islands have extensive and inexpensive bus networks. Local buses are cheap and regular and a great way to mix with the locals. While they can be fairly noisy and smoky, they are perfect for the tropics, with unglazed windows and pull-down tarpaulins when it rains.

  • There are bus stops but you can hail buses along the road, especially in rural areas. Most drivers prefer to go downhill at the maximum speed their vehicle allows to make up for the excruciatingly slow speed they travel going uphill. It’s a lot like being on a roller coaster, only cheaper.
  • Reservations are not necessary for local buses.
  • On Viti Levu, there are several companies with comfortable air-conditioned express buses: Pacific Transport, Sunbeam Transport and Coral Sun. Timetables can be checked online.
  • Pacific Transport also operates services on Taveuni. Local companies operate buses on Vanua Levu but they can be slow and their timetables are often erratic.
  • If you are on a tight schedule or have an appointment, though, it’s a good idea to buy your ticket in advance, especially for bus trips and tours over longer distances (eg Suva to Nadi).

The Feejee Experience

Feejee Experience offers coach transfers with or without accommodation for budget travellers. The transfer-only passes are valid for a year and you can hop on and off anywhere you like along a set route as long as you don’t backtrack. The four-day Hula Loop ($449) starts at Nadi and incorporates stops at Mango Bay, Pacific Harbour and Volivoli Beach. Sandboarding down the Sigatoka Dunes, village visits, the mud pools at Sabeto and snorkelling at Volivoli (Rakiraki) are included, but accommodation and food isn’t. The 11-day Big Kahuna ($799) also includes the Viti Levu circuit plus seven days travel through the Yasawa islands.

The accommodation-inclusive deals cost $279/449/799/854/1399 for 3/4/6/8/10-day packages.

These tours are popular with the 20-something crowd who do not want to use the public buses. Nightly activities are catered to this age group and are very social, fortified with alcohol and lots of fun. Feejee Experience has a stellar reputation and those who sign up for a tour rave about their experiences. Before you book, however, it is worth keeping in mind that a perfectly comfortable Sunbeam Bus will also take you around the island for $38.45.