The launch pad for all the thrilling experiences for which Fiji is renowned, Nadi is an attraction in its own right with shops, bars and eateries galore
Hindu pilgrims flock to this city to visit Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple, the largest shrine of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, but it’s travellers jetting in from across the globe to bask in all that the Fiji islands have to offer who’ve made Nadi (pronounced “Nandi”) the major tourist hub that it is. Just minutes from the airport, this culturally eclectic city of about 40,000 is packed with shops, restaurants, bars, tour outfits and hotels and is home to Newtown beach, the Sleeping Giant orchid gardens, Waqadra Botanical Gardens and the “presidential village” of Viseisei, which is said to be the landing point of the first Melanesian canoeists to visit Fiji and the site of the islands’ first settlement. Beyond that, Nadi serves as the gateway to top attractions like the lush Sabeto Mountains, stunning Natadola Beach, the fun-packed Mamanucas and breathtaking Yasawa islands, the cultural riches of Sigatoka and the high-end resorts of Denarau Island, among others.
Book a flight to Nadi
When to go
June to September marks Fiji’s cool, comfortable, dry season. The warm and humid wet season, which runs from November to April, typically sees several days of heavy rain at a time followed by periods of intense sunshine. Nadi and the bulk of Fiji’s resorts are on the dryer, western side of Viti Levu. July and August are peak period for tourists. Hindu Holi or the Festival of Colors is celebrated in Fiji in February or March with much splashing of coloured water while Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is marked with fireworks and candles in October or November. The Bula Festival is Nadi’s annual, city-wide celebration, featuring music, performances and parades, while Viti Levu’s Sugar Festival takes place in September.
Flying with Jetstar
Direct flights to Fiji(Nadi) are available from Sydney and the Gold Coast*, from which Jetstar flies to many destinations throughout Australia and Asia. Jetstar also flies to Fiji(Nadi) from Melbourne(Tullamarine) via Sydney.
*Direct flights between the Gold Coast and Fiji are due to commence on 31 March 2015, and are subject to government and regulatory approval.
The fares for local minibuses (with number plates bearing the letters “LM” for licenced minibus) are eminently affordable and the buses stop just about anywhere, not just at bus stops, which means that if you’re in a hurry this is not the way to go. Taxi fares are also cheap and drivers are even willing to negotiate lower prices. Just settle on the fare before you start your journey. Use only taxis with number plates bearing the letters “LT” (for licenced taxi). There’s no dispatcher for taxis so ask your driver for his card (with phone number) so you can call next time you need transport.
Travel time 10 minutes
Taxi Approx FJ$15
Coral Sun Fiji bus transfers FJ$15-20, twice a day at 7.30am and 1pm (one-way from the airport to Nadi, Denerau Island and elsewhere). Return transfer bookings must be made 36 hours in advance.
Airport Shuttle Fiji operates a 24-hour luxury vehicle transfer to any resort, marine operator or private residence on Viti Levu. Bookings must be made 24 hours in advance.