Vacation rentals in Rest of Europe, Asia, Australia etc. (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Islands of Fiji in the South Pacific
We have been living in Suva, the capital of the Fiji islands, for just over 6 months and hope to be here a while longer (there is a big Australian expatriate community). All the recommendations in this article are places we go in Suva. Suva is not really geared towards tourists; many tourists do not come here at all.
Language: English is spoken everywhere.
People: Fijians are some of the friendliest people on earth.
Telephone: International area code for Fiji is 679.
Money: Currency is the Fiji Dollar (FJD)
There are over 300 islands. The largest is Viti Levu, where Nadi and Suva are located; the second largest Vanua Levu to the North East of this island, where Savusavu and Lobasa are located. Most international visitors arrive in Nadi, but Nausori, Suva's airport, handles some international flights, but not jumbo jets.
Suva and the areas close to it are the wettest. Temperatures are mild to warm to hot all year round - you can basically live in shorts and t-shirt all year. My husband does -as he is not working.
The main areas visited by tourists are:
There are a number of other places beside these:
Generally accepted to be Lonely Planet Fiji. Current edition is 6th.
Eating and Drinking
Ashiyana, Victoria Parade
Malt House, Jerusalem Road
Daikoku, Victoria Parade
Holiday Inn, Queen Elizabeth Drive
Republic of Cappucino
The main shopping for clothes, souvenirs, electrical goods (cheaper here than in Australia), shoes, makeup, perfume etc. is in Suva City. There are also several supermarket and places selling home-wares in the city.
Food Shopping in Suva
Food shopping tends to take longer here. It is unlikely you will find everything you need in the one shop. There are good supermarkets but not the size and range of products you would see at home. And just because you have seen something in a shop (or you think it logically will always be available there) don't expect it to always be there.
There are markets which sell a range of produce from meat to herbs but we tend to frequent the roadside stalls (less crowded etc.).
Most meat and chicken tends to be on the tough side, due to freezing we suspect. Fresh fruit and vegetables are plentiful and cheap if you want local produce, expensive if you want imported.
Most common are Morris Hedstrom.
Fresh Meat and Fish
Two of the best places are:
Cakaudrove Fish, Samabula
Whalley's Meat, Flagstaff
Easy to buy and quite reasonably priced. Not the range that you would find in larger countries (e.g. light beer is not available very many places - light beer is also rarely available in bars and restaurants).
Places To Go - Suva
Colo-i-suva is a wonderful rainforest with natural swimming holes only 20 minutes drive from Suva. Very popular with locals but not generally crowded. Some of the movie Anaconda 2 was made here, the remainder at the Navua river, outside Suva.
Diving is very popular in Fiji and some of the best diving spots in the world are here. Beqa Divers is 10 minutes from Suva and takes divers to Beqa Lagoon, as can Aqua-Trek, based in Pacific Harbour.
Pacific Harbour is about 45 minutes from Suva, on Queens Road heading towards Nadi. It is the closest beach to Suva.
Multiplex cinemas in Suva, Nadi, Lautoka and Labasa show latest movies for $5FJD. Latest Hollywood releases (no art house or foreign films unfortunately) and Bollywood movies. Fijians do tend to talk throughout movies and laugh a lot so Sundays when they are in church is good time to go.
Quite a number in Suva and other major towns.
There is one free to air television station - Fiji One (yes the name does imply there are more but sadly no).There is SKY cable which currently has 4 channels but more are coming. Sports channel is primarily American sports. SKY is generally available in major hotels and some of more expensive will have huge satellites which give them a 100 channels or some such.
A number of local radio stations, BBC World Service and some Australian stations.
Places to Go and Stay
There are so many places to go in Fiji, ranging from the super expensive islands (Turtle and Vatulele islands just to mention two) and very up-market resorts to backpacker type places. Just remember that sometimes a 5 star accommodation will be adjacent to the backpacker accommodation, so you will have the same beach and the same snorkeling for very different prices. We tend to favor the lower to medium end of the market and are also interested in self catering (vacation rentals) if only to take breakfast makings and snacks etc. Vacation rentals do not exist here in the same sense as in Europe, I suspect partly as tourists do not tend to stay in the one place in Fiji for more than 4 - 5 days normally.
This is a small beautiful island off the coast from Rakiraki. It has a "skinny" middle at which point you can walk across it in minutes, giving you access to two of the most beautiful beaches. Snorkeling is fantastic. We are told Nananu-i-ra has some of the best wind surfing in the world, so it can get a bit windy! Accommodation is basic but clean and comfortable.
Musket Cove Resort: www.musketcovefiji.com
Sandy Point Beach Cottages: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other places we can recommend:
Lawaki Beachhouse: www.lawakibeachhouse.com
Nanuya Island Resort: www.nanuyafiji.com
Octopus Resort: www.octopusresort.com
Naigani Island: www.naiganirsort.sitesuite.com.au
www.bulafiji.com: Fiji Islands Travel Guide by Fiji Visitors Bureau. Travel information, accommodations, etc.
www.fijiguide.com: Rob Kay's Fiji Guide, travel information, accommodations.
© Liz Johnson, 2005
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