Fiji Visitors Bureau
Thomson Street, PO Box 92.
Suva, Fiji
Tel: 302433. Fax: 300970
Fax: 302751 FVB House Cable:
Tourist - Dominion House.
Fiji Islands

Physical geography

Centrally situated in the southwest Pacific, the Fiji Islands, comprising the independent nation of Fiji, lie scattered between latitudes 15° and 22° south of the Equator with the 180th meridian of longitude passing throuh their midst. Suva the capital is 1,960 statute miles from Sydney by air, 1,317 from Auckland, 3,183 from Honolulu and 5,611 from San Francisco. The archipelago includes over 300 islands varying greatly in size and also (but to a lesser extent) in geology and fertility. About a hundred of these are inhabited while, of the others, many are used by Fijians as planting grounds or for temporary residence during fishing expeditions. The total land area of the country is 7,022 square miles, of which the principal island, Viti Levu, comprises more than half.


Fiji's mild and equable climate is governed chiefly by the marginal position that the islands occupy within the tropics, and by the vast expanse of sea by which they are surrounded. They enjoy all the advantages of a tropical climate without extremes of heat and humidity.

The effect of the sea is to moderate the temperature and, since wind from any direction comes from the sea, the breeze is always cool and pleasant. During the hot season - from December to February - temperatures are high, but moderate for the remainder of the year. The coolest months are from May to November, although the other months are by no means unpleasant. Temperatures seldom rise above 90°F and seldom fall below 60°F except in the mountains. Fiji is a non-malarial area, and the climate is healthy.

Economic geography

Fiji's economy is based on agriculture with the primary products being sugar and copra. Secondary industries include the manufacture of cement, soap, beer, cigarettes, clothing, matches, packaging materials, shipbuilding and an edible oil refinery. Tourism, fishing and timber are growing rapidly, along with gold mining and oil and other mineral exploration. Although secondary industries are increasing in number and success, the economy is dependent on tourism, which brought in $419.6 million in 1994 while last year's sugar earnings grossed only $252.2 million. Under the present government development programme vigorous efforts are being concentrated on using the country's natural resources to the best advantage.


Fiji covers some 50,000 square miles of ocean, with a land mass totalling 7,022 square miles. Fiji's population according to provincial estimates at the end of 1993 was 771,104. The breakdown is as follows:

Fijians: 385,847 (50 per cent), Indians: 345,196 (44.8 per cent), others: 40,061 (5.2 per cent).

Suva city population to date is approximately 75,000. The 1986 census showed it to be at 69,665.

According to the 1986 census figures, if the surrounding suburban areas were added to the total of the greater Suva population, the figure would total 141, 273.

A brief history

The discovery of Fiji was not an organised venture but was spread over nearly two hundred years, with many navigators having a part in it. The archipelago, or what was known of it, was for various reasons successively known as Prince William's Islands, Bligh's Islands, and the Feejees. The native name, however, is Viti, but since the earliest ships came by way of Tonga where these islands were known as Fichi, Europeans called them Feejees, and Fiji they have remained.

Reefs and islands were sighted by Abel Tasman in 1643. In 1774 Captain James Cook visited the isolated island of Vatoa in Southem Lau. He was followed by Captain Wilson of the missionary ship Duff in 1797, who discovered islands in Northern Lau. It was Captain Bligh, however, who recorded some of the islands when a few days after the 'Bounty' mutiny in 1789, he sailed through the group in the 'Bounty' launch in the path of the trade winds. He returned in 1791 in command of the HMS Providence and again recorded more islands in the group. The next known recordings were in 1820, when a Russian navigator, Fabian Bellinhausen, recorded more islands.


The Fijian people are devout Christians and mainly follow the Methodist teachings. The Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Seventh Day Adventist, Assemblies of God, Mormon Faith and other sectors of the Christian faith are also represented.

Most people of Indian descent are Hindus, although there are strong Muslim and Sikh minorities.

Languages spoken by nationals

The official language of Fiji is English, although Fijian and Indian languages are spoken. In the hotels and shops, people speak English.


The Fiji Islands are exactly 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Daylight saving is never in force.


The chief monetary unit is the Fiji dollar ($ Fiji) worth about US$0.94 or £ sterling = £1.32. Trading is with Fiii dollars. Daily exchange rates are listed in banks, all newspapers and hotels.Coins are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and notes are in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20.

Official holidays (all offices and shops closed)

January 1st, New Year's Day; Good Friday and Easter Monday; Last week of May, Ratu Sukuna Day; Mid June, Queen Elizabeth's Birthday; Last week of July, Constitution Day; Monday closest to October 10, Fiji Day; we no longer celebrate Prince Charles Birthday; November, Prophet Mohammad's Birthday; Either October or November, Diwali; 25th December , Christmas Day; December 26th, Boxing Day.

What one should not fail to see

Fijian traditional dancing and entertainment:

In most of the larger hotels at least one night per week is devoted to presentations of the energetic and exciting dances and songs of the Fijian people, including the famous spear dance known as 'meke wesi'.

The Suva Market

This is perhaps the most cosmopolitan gathering place in all of the South Pacific with Fijians, Indians, Chinese, Samoans, Tongans and many others gathering together to buy, exchange and sell every variety of foodstuff and handicraft made in Fiji. Of particular interest to visitors are the basketware, shell jewellery, woodcarvings, traditional Fijian artifacts, and other examples of South Pacific handicrafts.

A Fijian village

Visits can be arranged at most major hotels and all travel agencies, and visitors are able to participate directly for a short while in the life of the community with its endless fascinations. A tour by car around the main island of Viti Levu, or a three day cruise by luxury yacht to the smaller islands, is especially good value. The people of Fiji welcome visitors, and the added variety of a large East Indian population, which has retained much of its traditional and colourful customs and culture, is a special attraction.

Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring

Fiji is most fortunate in that its climate offers a year-long holiday season. The cooler months are from May to November, but the tourist pattern is not noticeably seasonal. Since Fiji is situated on the main route between North America and Australasia it is visited frequently by air carriers and shipping lines serving the South Pacific. This makes it possible for visitors to fly direct from Europe, North America, Australia or New Zealand at least once a day.

How to dress

Summer clothing is worn throughout the year. For ladies: sun frocks, light linens, cottons, sandals, no stockings or gloves. Cocktail gowns for evening wear and a cardigan for the cooler evenings. Shops in Fiji stock all major brands of cosmetics and toilet requisites. For men: coloured shirts, shorts, sandals. Slacks and coloured 'Bula' shirts at night, occasionally long-sleeved white shirts and a tie. Clothes for both ladies and gentlemen can be made up cheaply and quickly by Indian tailors at all main centres.

Main holiday resorts

Hotel accommodation is available in most centres and is of a good standard, with tariffs ranging from $8 to $200 per day. Bookings should be made as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment, as accommodation is occasionally hard to obtain. Detailed information regarding hotels in Fiji is available on application from the Fiji Visitors Bureau. The major resort areas are Nadi/Lautoka, the Coral Coast and Suva. (There are also a number of exclusive island resorts ranging from $500 to $1000 a night).

Main holiday sports

Game-fishing, golf, tennis, bowls, squash, horse-riding, waterskiing, reef-diving, swimming, snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, paddling on paddle boats, canoeing, rafting, para-sailing and skydiving. Spectator sports include rugby, football, soccer, hockey, cricket, basketball, volleyball, netball.

What to eat and drink

Fijian dishes, which are easily digestible, are served in most major hotels particularly on evenings when Fijian dancing and entertainment is presented. They include prawns in coconut cream, baked taro, succulent pork baked in a 'lovo' or earthen oven, boiled and steamed fish with coconut cream sauce and a very wide range of tropical fruits such as pineapple watermelon, paw-paw, etc. Indian curries and Chinese cooking are also a speciality. The national drink of Fiji is 'yaqona', called 'kava' in other South Pacific territories. Beer is brewed in Fiji and all forms of European liquor are available.

What to buy

Native souvenirs and locally manufactured articles such as baskets, woven mats, tapa cloth, model outrigger canoes in many sizes, shell earrings and necklaces, war clubs, wood carvings, shells, coral, grass-skirts, 'yaqona' bowls (tanoas) and cups (bilos) are available. Imported Indian items including silver filigree jewellery, tortoiseshell jewellery and many types of Indian saris are readily obtainable. Duty free shops are now located throughout Fiji, and they give the visitor the chance to buy goods at bargain prices which compare favourably with anywhere in the world. This applies to selected items such as cameras, projectors, radiograms, record players, television sets, watches, certain jewellery, furs and some perfumes.

Frontier formalities

Passports and visas

Persons arriving in Fiji will be issued with a visitor's permit valid for one month provided they hold a valid passport (visa where necessary), a return air ticket and sufficient funds for stay. No prior application for such a permit is necessary. If a visitor wishes to stay beyond the one month, he will be required to apply for a further extension to the nearest immigration office.

a) No visa required for nationals or citizens of:
Antigua, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Barbuda, Belgium, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Cyprus, Darussalam, Denmark, Dominica, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Nauru, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomons, South Korea, Spain, St Lucia, St Vincent, Swaziland, Sweden Switzerland,Taiwan,Tanzania,Thailand, Tobago, Tonga, Trinidad, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, UK, Uruguay, USA, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Western Samoa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

b) Visa required for:
Nationals of countries not listed above holding an outward ticket for travel from Fiji to another destination for which their passport has been visaed accordingly.

Health regulations

Smallpox vaccination is mandatory.

Other inoculations necessary if arriving from endemic fever areas.


Duty free allowance: 500 cigarettes or 500 grams of cigars or 500 grams of tobacco, or all three but not exceeding 500 grams together; two litres of liquor or four litres of wine or four litres of beer; up to F$400 per passenger of any duty assessed goods; a number of items classified as duty free; personal effects.

Currency regulations

For import: no limit.

For export: Fijian currency notes, limited to $F 50 in value. Sterling notes and other notes, combined value of foreign currency should not exceed $F 200. Travellers cheques and other instruments of payent, normally funds of the same currency as that brought in and received from abroad less amount expended during visit to Fiji. Any excess requires Central Monetary Authority approval.

Main travel routes

Fiji is the pivotal point of the South Pacific air and shipping routes. The international jet airport at Nai, which has the longest runway in the South Pacific, can handle all existing and future planned varieties of commercial aircraft. The natural harbour of Suva and the deep-water wharf can accommodate up to three ships of 20,000 to 42,00 tons at a time. Airlines calling frequently into Fiji include Air New Zealand, Polynesian Airlines, Marshall Airlines, Qantas, Air Nauru, Royal Tongan Airlines. Air Pacific provide regular connecting flights to Tonga, Samoa, and other South Pacific territories, as well as frequent daily flights between Nadi and Suva and between other airports inside the Fiji Islands. Flights to Brisbane have recently started. Queensland via Vila (Vanuatu) and Honiara (Solomon Islands) and to Auckland, (NZ), Melbourne, Sydney, and Japan.


Medical attention is readily available. Visitors holding current domestic driving licences are immediately eligible to drive in Fiji.

Credit cards are accepted in Fiji.

Representatives abroad

Fiji Visitors Bureaux

Australia: Level 12, St. Martin's Tower, 31 Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Tel: (02) 2643399. Fax: (02) 2643060.
Suite 204, 620 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004. Tel: (03) 95252322.Fax: (03) 95103650.

Great Britain: Marketing Services (Travel & Tourism) High Holborn House. 52-54 High Holborn, London WCIV 6BR. Tel: 01-242-3131. Telex: 23770. Fax: 242-2838

Japan: Noa Building (14th Floor), 3-5, 2 Chome Azabudai, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 106. Tel: (03) 3587-2038. Fax: (03) 3587-2563.

New Zealand: 5th Floor, 48 High Street, Auckland. Postal Address: PO Box 1179. Tel: 3732-133, 3732-134. Telex: 60897. Fax: 3094720.

USA: 5777 West Century Boulevard, Suite 220, Los Angeles, California 90045. Tel: (310) 568-1616. Telex: 759972. Fax: (310) 670-2318

Representatives abroad:

Great Britain: 375 Upper Richmond Road West, East Sheen, London SW14 7NX, England. Tel: (44)181-392-1838. Fax: (44)181-878-0998.

Germany/Austria/Switzerland: Dirksenstrasse 40,10178 Berlin. Tel: (49) 30-2381-7645. Fax: (49) 30-2381-7641.


Australia: PO Box E159, Queen Victoria Terrace A.C.T. 2600, Canberra. Phone. 9687283. Telex: 62345. Fax: (062) 9533283.

Belgium: Avenue de Cortenburg 66, Boite Postale 7, 1040 Brussels. Tel: 736-9050/736-9051. Telex: 26934. Fax: 736-1458.

Canada: Consulate of Fiji, 130 Slatter Street, Ottawa KIT 6E2, Canada. Tel: (613) 233-9252. Fax: (613) 594-3706

Great Britain: 34, Hyde Park Gate, London SW7 5BN. Tel: 584-3661. Telex: 22408. Fax: 584-2838

Japan: Noa Building (l0th Floor), 3-5, 2 Chome Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106. Tel: (03) 3587-2038. Fax: (03)3587-2563.

Korea: Room 808, Paiknam Blds, 1883 I-Ka Eulji-Ro, Chung-Ku, Seoul. GPO Box 4158, Seoul, Korea. Tel: 822-753-7750. Fax: 822-752-6921.

Malaysia: Suite 2.30, 2nd Floor, Wisma Equity. 150 Jalanam Pang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur. Phone. 2428422. Telex: 2428470. Fax: 2415636.

New Zealand: PO Box 3940, 31 Pipitea Street, Throndon, Wellington. Tel: 64 (3) 4735401. Fax: 64 (3) 4991011.

Papua New Guinea: 4th Floor, Defense House, Champion Parade, Port Moresby, NCD. Tel: (675) 211914. Fax: (675) 217220.

USA: 2233 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Suite 240, Washington DC 23007. Tel: (202) 337-8320. Telex: 4971930. Fax: 3371996.

We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Fiji thanks to the co-operation and the participation of the Fiji Visitors Bureau in Suva.