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It is hard to think of a more tempting destination to visit than Fiji. With its lush tropical landscape, luxurious resorts, pristine white beaches and sunsets which get more spectacular with each passing night, Fiji is even more gorgeous than the holiday brochures make out. Here are some handy tips for how to save money and time when you are getting around Fiji and enjoying some Fiji fun in the sun.

Fiji taxis

Taxis are best for short trips such as the 20 minute journey from the airport to the resort area of Denarau. Fiji taxis are required by law to use the meter. Don’t get taken in by the taxi drivers waiting in the arrivals area who quote you a flat rate – this is illegal. Walk through the arrivals area and turn right where the sign says ‘TAXIS’ and get a taxi from the rank. You might still need to ‘remind’ the driver to turn on the meter but this won’t be a problem once you mention it. Many tourists get taken in by the ‘flat rate’ to and from the airport scam – make sure you’re not one of them.

Fiji group transfers

Group transfers can be booked with transport organisations. Perhaps surprisingly these transfers which are usually shared with up to 20 other travellers are rarely cheaper than a taxi, even for short distances such as the trip from the airport to Denarau. Booking a group transfer can be a good choice if you are travelling solo and heading to a resort on the Coral Coast which is a 1.5 hour drive from the airport. For solo travellers, a group transfer is always cheaper than a private transfer however there is a catch. You will need to wait for everyone booked on your transfer bus to get through customs, buy duty free, get money and dawdle out of the arrivals area. This can be VERY frustrating, particularly when you have made an effort to clear customs quickly.

Fiji private transfers

Private transfers are also booked with transport organisations. These are a great option if you are travelling with friends or as a family but the same rule applies when it comes to shorter trips when a taxi is still the best option. You can book a private transfer at a time that suits you either online or at the tour desk at your hotel a day or so before you leave. Perhaps surprisingly, it is no cheaper to book online before you leave home.

Getting to Fiji islands

Fiji is comprised of 333 different islands that can be reached in a number of different ways. If money is no option, you could always arrive by seaplane but it is just as easy to reach Fiji’s beautiful islands on a budget. South Sea Cruises operate fast catamarans which travel a number of different routes around Fiji’s most popular islands. Check the website for information about timetables and stops along the way. Depending on where you are staying, it can be better to take a later ferry which stops at your island resort first rather than doing the same journey in reverse earlier in the day. If you are staying at one of the Denarau resorts, a coach transfer to and from the marina is included in the cost of your ferry ticket.

We took the ferry from Denarau but you can also arrive like this!!
We took the ferry from Denarau but you can also arrive like this!!

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If your flight is scheduled to land after the last ferry has left the marina, you might like to book a water taxi or private boat transfer to your island resort. If you are travelling as a group the cost can be relatively easy to justify but it can be an expensive proposition if you are travelling solo or as a couple. Islands that are relatively close to Nadi such as Malolo are going to be cheaper to reach than those which are further away. If you are considering a private transfer, contact your resort for a quote and/or see what options are available online. Sometimes it is easier (and cheaper) to enjoy a relaxing night at a Denarau resort like the Sheraton or the Sofitel and then take the first South Sea Cruises ferry to your island resort the next morning.  Why hurry when you’re on holiday!

Disclosure: The writer paid for her Coastal Tours transfer. She travelled as a guest of South Sea Cruises.

If you’re heading to Fiji on holiday, check out our our reviews of Castaway Island Resort, Cloud 9, Outrigger on the Lagoon, the Sheraton Fiji at Denarau, and the ultra luxe Likuliku Lagoon Resort.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.