If you have successfully managed finding the best hotels and resorts to stay for your Fiji holidays, you would probably be wondering about the best tourist transport options in Fiji. As like most vacation spots, there are a lot of options available for commute within the island but only one option would stand out for travelers in Fiji. Here are the options -
- Rent a car
- Hire a driver with a car for few days
- Depend on public transportation
- Hitch a ride (it is a very viable option and part of Fijian culture)
- Depend on transportation provided by resorts and tour organizers
Let’s put each option under a big lens to understand which option would work best for you.
Rent a car
If you are traveling with a lot of family members, this option might seem like a no-brainer. Well, that is not entirely true. Most people think of renting an SUV or a car to drive around. Please remember that being a popular tourist spot means that the rental car options are often expensive. Additionally, Fijian Government has imposed strict speed limits with cameras in most freeways that even the slight speeding could get you a speeding ticket. Most people land in Nadi and would have to drive to the resort for anywhere between an hour to two hours. This drive would be through winding roads that pass through a lot of villages with so many speed breakers that it is not considered to be the most fun driving experience. Most importantly, as per Fijian residents, drunk driving is common in Fiji, especially during night time that chances of an accident are higher than average on the expressways. Some of the inner roads that lead to caves are muddy and not in drivable condition that you have to depend on tour operators to get to those locations anyway. So, unless you like driving under tough conditions a lot, renting a car may not be the smartest option.
Hire a car with a driver for few days
You can hire a car with a driver for few days but it would end up being more expensive than renting a car as you would end up paying for the driver’s daily wages irrespective of whether you use the car or not on all days of your vacation. Additionally, you are still dependent on the tour operators to get to caves, water rafting and other such activities as these are located deep inside forests with unsafe muddy roads where most regular cars cannot pass through safely.
Utilize public transportation
Fiji bus as part of public transportation system might seem like a good option. No, it is not a good option as the frequency of public transportation is not as high as one would hope. Again, even with public transportation, you have to depend on tour operators to get to inner locations within Fiji. Also, according to Fijian residents in these locations, they have to walk to 4 to 5 Kms to get to the nearest bus stop and wait for anywhere between 10 minutes to 30 minutes before they board a bus to their destination. Really? You are sure you want to walk that much and wait that long in a tourist location.
Hitch a ride
Believe it or not, this is a very viable option in Fiji. You will get to see a lot of Fijian residents waving their arms with thumb raised requesting rides from Fiji taxi and private car drivers on the freeway. As per the residents, it is safe to hitch a ride. However, all said and done, you will be getting into a stranger’s car in a strange land. Please do note that English is one of the officially spoken languages in Fiji. However, they could also speak in one of the local Fijian tribe dialects. So, hitch a ride at your own risk. Additionally, you might have to wait for a long time before you can get a ride as a lot of the vehicle drivers may not be willing to give you a free ride.
Depend on transportation provided by resorts and tour organizers
This is the most viable option to get around Fiji. There are going to be days when you would just want to grab a couple of drinks post lunch, lie down on a nice comfy chair by the pool side and relax, or you might want to participate in all the water-sport activities in your resort. On such days, you wouldn’t even need any transportation. On other days, if you plan your activities with good tour operators, they provide pick up and drop off service at not cost to you from all the major resorts. If you book these activities through Orbitz, Expedia, Viator or any other major travel booking sites, you will see information in the bookings page on whether tour operators provide pick up and drop off service from your resort. As an alternative, before you book your activity, you can call up the tour operator and request them for pick up and drop off from your resort. Most travel operators are willing to provide pick up and drop off services to almost any resort in Fiji as their ability to fill all the seats for the activity largely depends on this service. One of the best ways to ensure you get free transportation is to book these activities from the travel desk in the resort. Considering that the resort hosts these travel desks, they personally ensure that the tour operators always provide free transportation. The downsides of booking through travel desk would be that you could miss out on activities if they are completely booked on the day you would like to participate and that you could also miss out on any discounts that you could get online when you book the activities through one of the travel booking sites.
Now that we have established depending on transportation provided by resorts and tour organizers to roam around in Fiji, how about getting from and to the airport or getting to remote islands. You will find airport transfers from both Nadi and Suva airports. These airport transfers cost anywhere between $40 to $100 depending on the distance to be covered. You are better off booking the transfer through Orbitz or Expedia to avoid waiting in a long line at the airport exit for an hour or so to find a ride to your resort. You can always look for private transfers from the airport but it is a relatively expensive option. Please do note that a few resorts do provide airport pickup service but this is not a very common option among Fijian resorts.
How about reaching the remote islands? If you are traveling from main island to these remote islands through a tour operator, they provide free transportation to the ferry ride location. You are still requested to purchase the ticket for the boat or ferry ride. They cost you anywhere between $8 to $15 one-way for most islands. If you are planning to stay in one of the remote islands, you need to book a mini flight, helicopter ride or boat ride through Orbitz, Expedia or one of the other travel sites. Most island resorts do not provide these options free of cost. Or, if they provide the option, it would turn out to be relatively more expensive.
I hope this travel guide helped you learn about the pros and cons of choosing various tourist transport options in Fiji. Now, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and make the required reservations to plan your awesome Fiji holiday!