Fiji travel guide: what you need to do


Visas, vaccinations, phone and internet, power, money, travel insurance, handy apps and more.

Visas and passports

Australian passport holders do not need to apply in advance for a visa to visit Fiji for up to four months. You can get a visa on arrival in the country, provided you:

  • have a passport with at least six months validity
  • have a return or onward ticket.
  • have confirmation of accommodation for duration of your visit
  • have a copy of latest bank statement, to prove you have enough funds to cover the cost of your visit.

Visa rules may change. For up-to-date information check with the Fiji High Commission: fijihighcom.com.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be necessary before you travel to Fiji depending on your health, where in Fiji you're going, and what you plan to do there. Make sure your routine vaccinations are up to date, and you may need to consider shots for influenza, typhoid and hepatitis A and B. Speak to your GP or a specialist travel doctor to find out what's best for you.

Tip: Some vaccinations need to be given four to six weeks before departure, so get in early.

Mosquito-borne illnesses

Outbreaks of dengue fever and zika virus can occur in Fiji. These illnesses are transmitted by mosquito and you can't be vaccinated for them. Always ensure that you protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses.

  • Ensure accommodation is mosquito-proof
  • Use insect repellent and wear long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing.

Phone and internet

Global roaming and coverage

Can I use my Australian mobile phone in Fiji?

Australian phones that operate on a 900Mhz frequency will work on Fiji's GSM network, but coverage is likely to be patchy in remote areas and on outlying islands. The Mamanuca Islands, however, have quite extensive coverage thanks to Steven Spielberg, who paid for mobile towers to be installed while he was there filming the movie Castaway!

Mobile phone bills can skyrocket easily when you go overseas so check the rates with your telco before you leave and find out what you need to do to minimise bill shock.

Tip: Switch off data roaming on your phone before you leave Australia. Likewise, switch off your voicemail and ask friends and family to text you rather than calling (you'll be charged if you answer incoming calls).

Local SIM

A pre-paid Fijian SIM is a cheaper option if you're planning to use your phone often. You can buy a SIM pre-loaded with credit, or even rent a SIM or phone for the duration of your stay. You'll find phone shops at the airports and in the towns. Credit can be topped up online or bought at phone shops and convenience stores.

Vodafone and Digicel are on the GSM network, so they'll be compatible with Australian phones.

Tip: The Vodafone store at Nadi Airport sells SIM card starter packs which they will set up and register for you.

Vodafone is one of Fiji's major telcos, but you'll still pay international rates if you use your Australian Vodafone SIM there. Likewise, phones locked to the Vodafone Australia network won't accept Vodafone Fiji SIMs.

Travel SIM

If you'd prefer to be organised before you go, a travel SIM is an easy option, though the rates probably won't be as cheap as with a local SIM. Travel SIMs are available online and from some travel agents and post offices. Check that the SIM you're buying has coverage for Fiji.

Remember: Your phone will need to be unlocked to accept a SIM from another network.

Beat global roaming shock - our guide to using your phone overseas. 

Wi-Fi

Most hotels offer internet access, either free or paid, and with varying degrees of speed and signal strength. Internet cafes and Wi-Fi hotspots can be found in the major cities and some towns, but the further off the beaten track you go, the harder it will be to find.

Data

If you want internet access on the go, consider a pre-paid SIM with a good amount of data, or a data-only SIM if you don't need to make phonecalls. 

Power plugs

What type of power adapter do I need in Fiji?

Fiji's type I power sockets are the same as Australia's, so you won't need a power adapter.

Standard voltage: 240V
Frequency: 50Hz

Fiji's frequency is the same as Australia's and the voltage is only slightly higher than Australia's 230V, so you'll be able to use your Australian appliances without risk of frying them and without the need for a transformer.

Money

Currency: Fijian dollar ($FJD)

Important: Tell your bank about your travel plans two weeks before you leave. Card activity in a foreign country could be mistaken for fraud and you could find your account frozen.

ATMs

Available at the airports and in major towns and cities, as well as at some hotels. If you're travelling somewhere remote, particularly to a small or outlying island, stock up on cash (and hide it well). Remember you'll be charged a transaction fee and conversion fee every time you withdraw money.

Tip: Westpac and ANZ have ATMs throughout Fiji. Australian Westpac customers pay no ATM withdrawal fee at Westpac Pacific ATMs, just a conversion fee.

Credit cards

Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, high-end restaurants and tourist shops (again, you'll be charged a conversion fee) but expect to pay cash on the street and in taxis.

Money changers

Exchange booths be found at the airports, ferry ports, and in tourist areas and some hotels. You'll get a better rate if you wait until you're in Fiji to change your dollars, although exchange rates will likely be higher at the airport and in hotels than in banks or booths in town.

Travellers' cheques

Travellers' cheques are not so common these days, but some banks and hotels in Fiji will still cash them. If you're travelling to a remote area or an island, ask your hotel in advance whether there's anywhere to cash travellers' cheques, or whether there's an ATM in the area.

Travel money cards

Travel money cards give you the security of travellers' cheques with the versatility of a debit card. They can be pre-loaded with foreign currencies, however no Australian cards will accept Fijian dollars. You can still load your card with Australian dollars and wear the foreign transaction fees.

Tip: Carry at least two cards and more than one cash currency (Australian and Fijian). Split your money and cards between separate bags. That way if you lose one, you have a back-up.

Tax

VAT (Value Added Tax) of 9% applies to many goods and services. When you leave the country you may be able to reclaim the VAT paid on some purchases over FJD$500. The licensed retailer must complete a refund form and attach the receipts.

Hotels and resorts charge a Service Turnover Tax of 6% and an Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy of 10%.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is essential. Fiji has limited medical care, so if the worst happens you need to be covered for the cost of evacuation to an Australian hospital.

  • Buy insurance at the same time as you book your trip, that way you'll be covered if you have to cancel for some reason before you go.
  • For more information read our buying guide and to choose the best cover, see CHOICE's travel insurance reviews and comparisons.
  • Ask your insurer about exclusions that may affect you, including scuba diving, snorkelling and surfing, as well as pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Be aware that anything that happens to you while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unlikely to be covered by insurance.
  • Keep a print-out of your travel insurance details with you at all times while on your trip.
  • Share your insurance details with family or friends before you leave.

Handy links and apps

Consider adding these apps to your phone, tablet or laptop before you go.

Tip: Try to choose apps that work offline, so they won't chew up your mobile data or stop working when you're in remote places.

  • Travel apps such as Triposo include maps and info about popular destinations in Fiji.
  • Currency conversion apps help you work out costs in Australian dollars.
  • Language translation apps such as Google Translate can help you communicate and understand signs and menus in multilingual Fiji.
  • Offline maps: To save a map onto your mobile device for offline use, select the area on Google Maps then select 'Save offline map' from the menu and follow the directions on the screen. Your GPS positioning will still work on the saved map, even when you don't have access to the internet. Alternatively, go to 'Offline maps' in the menu and select a city.

Got a travel tip about Fiji? Or spotted something in our guide that needs updating? Please add a comment below.


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