Fiji, Oceania - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to Fiji

Fiji

Fiji

Continent: Oceania 

Capital: Suva

Population: 909,389 (2015 estimate)                                                                               

Dialing Code: +679

Currency: Fijian dollar (FJD)

Time zone: FJT (UTC+12)

Language: English, Fijian, Hindi

Fiji, a country in the South Pacific, is an archipelago of more than 300 islands and more than 500 islets. Nestled in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, this unforgettable country may seem far away but getting there is fairly easy.  

Famous for rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons, its major islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu contains most of its population. Viti Levu is home to the capital, Suva, a port city with British colonial architecture. The Fiji Museum, in the Victorian-era Thurston Gardens, has ethnographic exhibits.

Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific due to an abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources. Today, the main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry and sugar exports. The majority of Fiji’s Islands were formed through volcanic activity, it was a colony until 1970 when when it gained its independence and a republic was declared in 1987 following a series of coups d’etat.

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Bula!!! Welcome to Fiji

Fiji is blessed with 333 magnificent islands some inhabited, most not. Set in the tropical South Pacific, the Fiji islands are a vision of a tropical island paradise that’s real. White sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees, pristine oceans and waterways are waiting to be explored, with things to see and do that appeal to all kinds of travellers.

Visitors are invited to revel in 5-star resorts, stroll on glimmering white beaches, snorkel, dive, surf or kayak pristine oceans, white-water raft clear and clean waterways, cruise the ocean around the mainland and outer Fiji Islands, trek our rainforests, backpack the outer islands,

A visit to welcoming villages is not to be missed.  Experience sustainable living, or immerse yourself in the unique culture and history on offer . If you want a taste of the city in your holiday, check out Nadi, our jet town. Nadi is full of action, with jam-packed streets, enticing shops and exquisite dining  and then there's our most precious asset, the smiling, generous, relaxed Fijians who greet you with our famous welcome.

If, somehow, you tire of the beaches and wildlife of the islands, you'll find Suva to be an intriguing cultural hub, with a jumble of colonial and modern architecture. Laid out over lush hills by the sea, the capital is home to half of the country's population and is the biggest city in the South Pacific. And, best of all, there’s an array of accommodation and activities to suit all tastes and budgets.

Business

Fiji Indians can be quite direct and want to know the ‘deal’ fairly quickly. They are traders by instinct and often base their evaluation on price. Part of the culture is Fiji time. Timeliness is not strictly observed, however, in recent years, this has become less apparent. Meetings and appointments may not start on time - delays of 10-15 minutes are quite normal.

Climate

Fiji has a warm tropical climate perfect for beachside holidays.  Its dry from May to November while the rainy season runs from December to April. Cyclones occur about twice in a year and are normally confined to the wet season. Typically the smaller islands in Fiji receive less rainfall than the main Island with various amounts according to their location and size. 

 

Communications

International calls can only be made from Viti Levu. Calls from hotels via na operator might be expensive hence it is advisable and cheaper to get a local phonecard. Internet cafes are available in Suva, Nadi Lautoka and most resorts and is relatively inexpensive but the connectivity leaves more to be desired. Airmail can take up to 10 days. Radio and television is the preferred media outlet.

Customs

Fijians are very welcoming people. Their sense of community and togetherness is second to none. Before visiting on your own, it is customary to purchase a bundle of unpounded yaqona – the traditional sevusevu (gift). When approaching the villagewait until you are greeted, after which a customary visit to the chief or turaga ni koro wwhom you will offer the yaqona.

Speak softly and show respect and you will be welcomed as one of their own. Fijians will feel obliged to make a gift of an object if visitors show too much liking for it; Fijians will always, out of custom, ask visitors to stay or eat with them; visitors who spend a night in the village should reward their host with a useful gift of similar value for each member of the party; money is acceptable if it's offered as a goodbye sevusevu and not direct payment.

Duty Free

The following items may be imported by travellers 18 years of age and over into Fiji without incurring customs duty:

• 250 cigarettes or 250g of cigars or 250g of tobacco goods.

• 2.25L of spirits or 4.5L of wine or beer.

• Other dutiable goods to the value of F$1, 000.

Banned imports:

Drugs, unlicensed firearms and ammunition, certain weapons (eg flick knives), pornography, gambling devices, any goods considered to disturb the peace in Fiji, tubers, bulbs, peanuts and oil seeds, and cereal grains, pulses and legumes.

 

Banned exports: Drugs

Also prohibited unless certain conditions or restrictions are complied with are: unprocessed turtle shells, whale teeth (and products), ivory products, birds (alive or dead), reptiles, and wooden or stone carvings of human or animal figures (not including replicas).

Electricity

The official electricity voltage for appliances is 240 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs used are Australian-style with two flat angled blades and one vertical grounding blade.

Getting Around

Getting around Fiji is easy and cheap. There’s a good network of buses, carriers (trucks) and ferries for travel within Fiji’s main islands, and taxis are common. Hiring a car is a good way to explore the two largest islands – which contain 90% of Fiji’s roads – or charter a boat or small plane to get between islands. Fiji is well-served by two domestic airlines which operate between many of the islands, although services are less regular to the outer islands. Yachting and cruising are also great ways to explore the country.

Health

Healthcare facilities in Fiji urban areas are adequate for routine medical problems. In the rural areas staff training is limited and there are often shortages of supplies and medications. Emergency response is extremely limited, and the few ambulances available are poorly equipped and staffed. Two major hospitals, the Lautoka Hospital in the western city of Lautoka, and the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva, provide limited emergency and outpatient services. Medical emergencies may be referred to Australia or New Zealand. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services. The national emergency number for emergency services is 911.

Tourists should be careful about what they eat. Diarrhoeal diseases are common. Hepatitis B is endemic. Take precautions against mosquito bites as Fiji is has recently suffered from a large outbreak of dengue fever.

Language

The principal languages are Fijian and Hindustani. English is widely spoken and is also taught in schools.

Money

The official currency of Fiji is theFijian Dollar (FJD; symbol F$) = 100 cents. Major International cards are accepted at ATMs which can be found in Navi, Suva and Savusavu. Travellers cheques are also accepted at slightly higher rates.

Passport Visa

Visas are not required by all nationals referred to in the chart above for stays of up to four months except: Nationals of Croatia and Lithuania,  who do need a visa.

Business travellers are usually granted a 14-day stay on arrival. Check your local embassy for more information on visa appliications 

Time

Time zone: FJT (UTC+12)

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