Fiji Driving Guide
Fiji is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit.
If you are craving a real escape and find yourself fantasizing about your next tropical getaway, then you should head to Fiji. You’ll discover white-sand beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and lush forests in these postcard-perfect islands. Fiji is very diverse, and the local people have great respect for ceremonies and cultural traditions. You’ll also definitely love Indo-Fijian food, where ingredients usually come in the South Pacific.
It is best to have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) to rent a car if you want to make your Fiji journey comfortable and flexible. In this way, you’ll be able to drive to your set destinations without going through the hassle of renting a car every time you need one. With an IDP, you will enjoy all the wonders and beauty of Fiji.
How Can This Guide Help You?
Before going to Fiji, be sure to know the relevant information to enrich your travel experience. This guide contains the country’s current border updates, road and traffic rules, driving situations, and top destinations in Fiji. This guide will help you make an informed decision on your journey as it also includes how to get an International Driver’s License to rent a car to make your Fiji road trip convenient and meaningful.
Before you take a self-drive holiday to Fiji, you should know the country’s necessary information to be easy for you to interact with the local people. The Republic of Fiji is a string of islands located in Oceania and the Pacific Ocean. That's why Fiji is known for its post card beaches. There are many ethnic groups in the country, but most of them share similar cultural traits.
This Fijian archipelago is in the southwest of Hawaii and the South Pacific Ocean. It sits north of New Zealand and north-east of Australia. Fiji is composed of 332 islands, but only 110 of the islands are permanently inhabited. The country is known for its lush vegetation, sandy beaches, and mountains covering most of the islands. Fiji is blessed with a tropical maritime climate without the great extremes of cold or heat.
The smaller islands that take up about 12.5% of the country’s land area include Taveuni, Kadavu Island, Mamanuca Group, Yasawa Group, Lomaiviti Group, and the Lau Group. There are tropical rainforests and mountainous terrains subject to annual rainfall. On the other hand, the lowlands on the western coast experience a dry season that is perfect for the growth of sugarcane crops.
Fiji has three official languages: English, Fijian, and Hindustani. They use the English language predominantly in the educational system, businesses, and courts. However, they also use Fijian and Hindu as part of the school's curriculum. It is also exciting to know that the Fijian language is a mix of 300 dialects. Villages in the islands have their dialect. The official interpretation of the traditional Fijian language is Bau Fijian, which consists of several dialects.
Fiji consists of more than 330 islands amounting to 18,300 square kilometers, which is slightly smaller than the US state of New Jersey or about twice the Cyprus size. The two largest islands are Viti Levu, and Vanua Levu makes 86 % of its total land area. Viti Levu has 10,429 square kilometers, while Vanua Levu has 5,556 square kilometers. Other main islands are Taveuni, Kadavu, Gau, and Koro.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch and the British explored Fiji. In 1874, The British Crown proclaimed Fiji as its possession. Afterward, large-scale cultivation of sugar cane began. Britain brought laborers from India to the country to work in the plantations, leading to a racial conflict with the indigenous Fijians. On October 10, 1970, Fiji became independent from Britain, and a new constitution took effect in July 1998.
Nearly 90% of the Fijians are Protestants and mostly Methodist, probably because Methodists use Fijian services in their early translation of the Bible into the Standard Fijian. About 28% of Fijians are Hindu, 10.4% are Christian, about 10% are Roman Catholic, 6.3% are Muslim, and 0.3% are Sikh.
The government system in Fiji is a republic. The chief of state is the president, and the head of the government is the prime minister. The Constitution of the Republic of Fiji establishes Fiji’s system of government. The three separate arms of the state are the legislature, executive, and judiciary. Fiji’s economy is based primarily on agriculture and tourism. Subsistence farmers cultivate kava, taro, cocoa, and pineapples.
Fiji is one of the Pacific Island countries that heavily rely on tourism to boost the economy. In the financial year 2018 to 2019, Fiji got 900,000 visitor arrivals, seeing growth across all the vital inbound markets. In 2020, the Fijian Government implemented strategies to stabilize the economy and boost the tourism industry. They are now re-prioritizing and re-positioning goals, strategies, and implementations to support businesses in the country.
When you go to Fiji, you’ll know more about their tradition and culture. Women and men dance separately. Women often used delicate hand gestures in their dance while men use dance gestures that suggest military exploits and posing with weapons. As an important social ritual, Fijian men drink the alcoholic beverage called yaqona or known as “kava.” Travel to Fiji and witness the country’s beauty and diversity.
If you don’t want any hassle in your travel and don’t want to have a headache going to an unfamiliar place, have an International Driving Permit (IDP). Getting an IDP in Fiji allows you to rent a car and will make driving in Fiji easier. Here are the other things you need to know about an IDP.
An IDP is a legal requirement you need to have if you want to drive or rent a car in a foreign country since it verifies that you have a valid driver’s license in your home country. You can use it in over 150 countries. There is no specific date and time when you can apply for an IDP, but you should have it before you travel to Fiji to save you from headaches and travel delays. Here are the other things you need to know about an IDP.
Do You Need an International Driver’s License in Fiji?
It is essential to have a valid driving license if you want to go driving on Fiji Roads. The good news is that the Fijian Government recognized all driving licenses from English-speaking countries. If your local driver’s license is written in the English language and has a stamped photograph, you can already drive in Fiji.
But if your local driver’s license is not in the English language, you need to have an International Driver’s Permit to drive in Fiji legally. Take note that some car rental companies require you to have an IDP before renting a car since they have their policies and rules. In that case, you need to present both your IDP and local driver’s license when driving in Fiji.
How Long Does It Take to Get an International Driving Permit?
If you want faster processing of documents, you can apply online through the International Driver’s Association. In less than two hours, you can get your IDP. Just check our application page here. All you need to do is select an IDP plan, fill out the application form, upload your photos, and pay for the fee. Just wait for your confirmation and approval, and you can get your IDP and ready to go.
An IDP is not a substitute for your local driver’s license. An IDP is a legally translated document that you must present alongside your local driver’s license. It translates your local driver’s license into 12 languages understandable by local officials and authorities in Fiji. It’s best to have an IDP to avoid any type of travel inconvenience, as it is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries.
How Long Is an International Driving Permit Valid?
Be sure to keep track of your International Driver’s Permit’s expiration date so that you will not get in trouble. In the amended 1968 Convention on Road Traffic, IDP should be valid for only three years or less. An IDP is valid for one to three years, depending on the application package you have chosen. Do not worry if your IDP expires because you can always re-apply once it expires.
According to Fiji’s driving license requirements, you must be at least 18 years old, and you must have a valid driving license valid in your country of residence to get an IDP. As long as you have an IDP and other valid documents for identification, you’re good to go. The primary function of an IDP is to allow law enforcement authorities to check your local driver’s license and to verify your identity. It is needed to ensure safety and security in the country.
Renting a Car in Fiji
Driving on Fiji Roads is a fantastic experience, especially when you go to Viti Levi, the country’s main island. Renting a Fiji car is the cheapest and comfortable transportation option to explore the islands. It allows you to experience Fiji and drive on popular road trip routes at your own pace and time. Choosing a car rental company can be overwhelming as there are many car rental services available at Nadi Airport alone. Here’s the information that will help you make decisions.
Car Rental Companies
Before you hit the road, just make sure that self-driving in Fiji is the best option for you. Car hire companies have different policies and requirements before you can rent a car. Here are some of the car rental companies in Fiji:
- Angel Rental Cars - the minimum age requirement is 23 years old with at least three years of driving experience
- Avis Fiji - the minimum age requirement is 21 years old with at least two years of driving experience. It accepts the local driver’s license
- Budget - the minimum age requirement is 25 years old with at least two years of driving experience. It accepts the local driver’s license
- Satellite Rent-A-Car - If you stay in the Nadi Ara, they can deliver the car straight to you. The inclusion in the package is one driver and basic insurance
- Thrifty Car Rental - the minimum age requirement is 21 years old, and it accepts the local driver’s license
You can rent a car online, or you can personally go to the car hire office locations in Fiji. There are car rental locations throughout Fiji, including Labasa, Lautoka, Nai, Savusavu, Sigatoka, and Suva’s capital. The most popular cities to rent a car are Nabi, Suva, and Labasa. Different car hire companies offer different pick-up and drop-off options for you. They also offer discount car rental rates and a wide variety of car types.
You need to submit the required documentation before you can rent a car in Fiji. You need to have your local driving license in the English language for at least two years. If it’s written in another language, you need to acquire an International Driver’s Permit. If you are below 25 years old, a surcharge per young driver regulation may incur. Take note that you will be required to pay for your car using your credit card.
If you’re thinking about the best car you need for driving in Fiji, the answer depends on where you want to go and how many people are with you on your trip. You can choose from various vehicle types that suit well with your solo trip, small group tour, family vacations, and even group travel. You can also note the driving distances in Fiji and find the best vehicles to use on adventures.
- Car / Sedan - This is the best choice if you’re looking for an affordable rate and excellent fuel economy. It can accommodate at least five passengers. You can stow your luggage and still be at ease and comfortable during your travel journey
- SUV - Rent an SUV if you’re looking for an ultimate outdoor adventure. The SUV has a spacious interior and smooth drivability that is fit for your next experience. The SUV can accommodate 7 to 8 passengers
- Van - If a seven-passenger space is not enough for you and your luggage, consider renting a van that has a twelve to fifteen-passenger capacity. You need to travel without feeling too packed for the day. A 4-wheel drive is also great if you'll be traveling on roads that are in slightly poor condition.
- Luxury car - If you can afford to rent this type of car, then why not? Aside from great comfort and high-quality travel, this type of car has many unique features that fit your personality
Car Rental Cost
Car rental can be pricey in Fiji. On average, rental cars cost $66 per day or $460 per week, so plan your budget accordingly. You might also incur additional fees for extra features. You also need to note Fiji’s gas prices, which is around FJ$2.04 or $0.95. There are plenty of gas stations in main towns, and most do not accept credit cards. Always carry cash when filling up a tank. Here are the day rates for car rentals in Fiji:
- Small car/day – FJ$65-$170
- Medium car/day – FJ$85-$180
- Premium car/day – FJ$150-$250
Car Insurance Cost
The car insurance fee depends on your age, driving history, coverage, and the insurance benefits you avail yourself of when you rent a car. You need to consider other things when applying for car insurance, such as your car’s model and power. As part of the risk assessment, you need to provide information on where you live and your job. If you want to know how much is your car insurance, you can ask the representative to give you an insurance quotation.
Car Insurance Policy
It is essential to prioritize your safety in Fiji. Many things can happen on the road. Even though you drive safely, if others are not, you can still be involved in accidents. Car insurance covers thefts and even accidents. There are various types of car insurance you can choose, depending on your needs and budget. Here are some of the insurance you can acquire:
- Full Protection - This will help cover your car’s damage from things like theft, fire, and accidents. It includes roadside assistance, towing, key loss, and accident-related fees
- Collision Damage Waiver / Loss Damage Waiver - If you're involved in an accident with another vehicle, collision coverage may help pay to repair or replace your car
- Roadside Assistance Cover - it covers roadside costs such as fuel and key lockout, and also towing. You can have this for US$10 - US$15 per day
- Personal Accident Insurance - it compensates you for personal injuries, including those of the car passengers
Besides knowing how to rent and car insurance types, you should also know that you can enroll in a Fiji driving school if you are not confident with your driving skills. Here are some driving schools you can check out and see what’s the best for you.
Is Going to Driving School in Fiji Required Before Driving?
It is not mandatory to go to driving school in Fiji before driving. But if you are not confident with your driving skills, you can learn theory and practical lessons in driving schools. You can find a list of driving schools in Fiji where you can learn more about driving. Without a doubt, numerous driving schools are operating all over Fiji. You can check the competitive rates of these driving schools in Fiji.
Your friend or family can teach you how to drive, but nothing compares to having a high-quality driver’s education from professional instructors. The advantage of enrolling in a driving school in Fiji is that it can teach you driving techniques and practical lessons from real-life driving situations. You will learn how to navigate challenges on the road safely. You just need to attend classes at one of the driving schools in Fiji.
What Are the Driving Schools in Lautoka, Fiji?
Learning to drive can be one of the most demanding endeavors one can undertake. Make your learning effective and safe by enrolling in some of the driving schools in Lautoka, Fiji.
- A1 Driving School - Lautoka
- Jaanvi’s Driving School - 145 Vitogo Parade, Lautoka
- Motorway Driving School - 24 Yasawa St, Lautoka
- Sharma’s Driving School - Vakabale St, Lautoka
- Westend Driving School - 17 Veve St, Lautoka
What Are the Driving Schools in Suva, Fiji?
Driving schools provide high-quality driver education to learners. If you want a firm foundation of driving skills in theory and practice, enroll in a driving school. You’ll be a responsible and smart driver if you try one of these driving schools in Suva, Fiji.
- Goundar Driving School - 61 Millet St, Vatuwaqa, Suva
- Hans Driving School - Lot 59 Rokosawa St, Tacirua Plains, Suva
- Harry’s Driving School - 32 Derrick St, Raiwaqa, Suva
- Total Driver Management - 88 Jerusalem Rd, Nabua, Suva
- Twins Driving School - Lot 22/S2 Tacirua Plains, Tamavua, Suva
What Are the Driving Schools in Nadi, Fiji?
Safety is one of the cores of the education curriculum of different driving schools. If you want to know the best training techniques and documentation, you can enroll in these driving schools in Nadi Fiji. Every student can be a life-long learner so that they can improve their driving skills.
- ABC Driving School - Lot 14 Deo St, Namaka, Nadi
- Comfort Driving School - Beddoes Circle, Namaka, Nadi
- Pillay’s Driving School - Main St, Nadi
- Perfect Driving School - Lot 1 Beddoes Circle, Martintar, Nadi
- Smartway Driving Training - Namaka lane, Nadi
What Are the Driving Schools in Ba, Fiji?
If you want to level up your driving skills, you can enroll in a driving school in Ba, Fiji. Driving is one of the essential skills you have to learn. You can have adequate training to be a safe driver in Fiji. Find a perfect driving school in Ba, Fiji, from this list:
- Modern Driving School - Wajib Bldg, Main St, Ba, Fiji
- Success Driving School - 206 Main Street, Ba, Fiji
- Fayez Driving School - 33 Main St, Ba, Fiji
Driving lessons fees depend on the needs of the learner and the duration of lessons. The cost of driving school in Fiji can range from $400 to $750 for training until you secure a driving license. An hourly rate costs $30 to $40 per hour. You need to complete approximately three to four weeks to prepare the learners for a driving test with the Land Transport Authority (LTA). After that, you can obtain a provisional driver’s license.
What Are the Driving Test Questions in Fiji?
There are different driving test questions in Fiji. For the Pre-driving Knowledge Test, there are ten driving questions with multiple choices. You need to complete the test within 15 minutes, and you can get the result right after. Another one is the Drivers Knowledge Test System or also known as the Oral Theory Test. There is a set of questions you need to answer within a given timeframe. You need to pass the test to get a learner’s permit.
Road Rules in Fiji
Driving in Fiji can be challenging, but it is best to be aware of the road conditions and the driving rules in Fiji so that you can drive safely and confidently. There are road rules to help protect you and other road users in keeping everyone safe. There may be driving laws in Fiji that are different from your home country, so know and obey the country’s strict road rules.
Before driving in Fiji, you need to know the general driving information, driving laws, and rules and regulations implemented in the country. Some of the vital road and driving rules in Fiji that you need to remember include:
- Driving is on the left side of the road
- The speed limit in residential areas is 50 km/h, while in urban areas, the speed limit is 80 km/h
- The maximum alcohol blood content must be only up to 80 mg.
- Using a phone while driving is prohibited unless you are using a hands-free device
- Eating and drinking while driving is illegal
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is forbidden
- The front driver and passenger are required to wear seatbelts
- Seatbelts are mandatory when driving a rental car
- When parking, purchase a ticket where it is displayed from parking meter wardens
- Final word of caution: be aware of road hazards such as animal crossing and potholes in the road
- Drivers need to carry a valid driver’s license, registration, and insurance documents all the time
It is essential to know and learn Fiji’s driving standards to drive, even on foreign roads quickly. In Fiji, locals use both manual and automatic cars depending on their preference and budget. A manual car has three pedals, namely accelerator, brake, and clutch, to change gears. It is less expensive, and the transmission costs less to repair. In automatic, the car automatically changes its gear. It’s easier to drive in stop-and-go traffic and.
The speed limits in Fiji vary depending on the type of road you are driving on. You should maintain a speed based on the maximum speed limit per area and are suited to the driving conditions.
- National speed limit - 80 km/h (50 mph)
- Residential areas - 50 km/h (31 mph)
- Urban areas - 80 km/h (50 mph)
One of the roundabouts in Fiji is at Waimanu Road, Amy and Brown Intersection to improve the traffic mobility in the area. You need to keep the intersection area clear, and you need to decide early on which lane you want to pass by to know whether you need to take a right or left turn. Roundabouts are a very effective way for traffic management at multiple road intersections.
It is essential to know how to go about roundabouts to keep everybody safe. All drivers entering a roundabout must always give way to traffic coming from the right and always keep a safe traffic flow gap before entering. Turn on your signals, so other road users know which lane you will never exceed the maximum speed limit. Watch out for motorcycles and bicycles on the road.
Traffic Road Signs
Drivers should have proper knowledge of the traffic signs to prevent accidents posed on every road. Traffic signs are essential, and these will help the drivers in navigating the road. Failing to follow a road sign rule can get you charged with an offense or can get you in an accident. In Fiji, the traffic signs are compulsory, warning, and informatory signs.
Compulsory signs tell you what you must and must not do on the road they’re driving on or on the road ahead. Some examples of these are:
- Give Way
- Keep going straight ahead
- No Overtaking
- Use of Audible warning devices prohibited
- One Way
Warning signs alert you to a particular hazard on the road ahead. These also warn you when road workers are carrying out road work or maintenance. Warning signs include:
- Pedestrian Crossing
- Beware of Animals
- Road Narrow
- Roundabout Ahead
- Road Closed
- Road Construction
- Left Turn Ahead
Informatory signs give you relevant and useful information when driving in Fiji. Informatory signs include:
- Meter Zone
- Zone Ends
- End of Local Speed Limit
- Taxi Stand
- Parking Permitted
Right of Way
Pedestrians have the right of way in marked crosswalks, so drivers must stop and give them a roadway. Also, in Fiji’s road code, as drivers must need to drive on the left-hand side of the road, you must give way to all vehicles turning left. You must also know that when you are driving in Fiji, animals also have the right of way.
Legal Driving Age
If you plan to drive in Fiji, you need to meet the minimum age requirement stated in the law. If you are already 18 years old, you can legally drive in Fiji. Do not drive if you are below 18 years old so that you will not face any violations. Although 18 years old is the minimum age requirement, you must be 21 years old to rent a car. If you are not yet confident to drive, you can enroll in a driving school in Fiji. You can check out the list of driving schools in Fiji.
Laws on Overtaking
Most of the driving roads in Fiji have only two lanes, so you need to be extra careful when you overtake a car. It’s best to embrace a “Fiji time” in which you drive slow, rather than trying to overtake a vehicle you encounter. According to the Land Transport Authority of Fiji, when overtaking or merging into a lane, you must use an indicator light so that other drivers have a clear idea of where you are heading.
You may wonder whether driving in Fiji is on the right or the left side of the road. As a former British colony, driving in Fiji is on the road’s left side, unlike most countries. A left drive system is similar to Australia, Jordan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Do not be confused if you are driving on the right side of your home country’s road.
Other Road Rules
Aside from the rules mentioned above, you must also know another important road rule when driving in Fiji. Read below to know more about the seatbelt law in Fiji.
What Are the Seat Belt Laws in Fiji?
One of the most effective ways of saving lives and preventing serious injuries is wearing a seatbelt while driving. The driver is required to wear a seatbelt while driving in Fiji. Children under eight years old are also required to wear a seatbelt even if he/she is not seated in the rear seat. Do not forget to buckle up the passengers in the back. Seatbelts save lives. It is one of the preventative measures you can take to reduce road accidents’ consequences and effects. It is not only for your safety but for others too.
Driving Etiquette in Fiji
You have all the freedom to go to your chosen destinations at your own pace and time. But along your trip, there can be unforeseen circumstances when you are driving in Fiji. Just be prepared and ready whenever the situation is challenging or out of your control. Just don’t forget the driving rules in Fiji and always drive safely and smoothly.
Car breakdowns can be very disappointing because they will delay your travel and give you unnecessary problems. Do not panic and locate the place where you can park your car to avoid causing traffic. Turn on your emergency indicators and lights so that other drivers will notice that there is something wrong. Seek assistance and call the emergency services hotline. Stay inside your vehicle until the help arrives.
It might be scary if your car breaks down in an unfamiliar place, but it’s important to remember the safety tips when this happens. Know that cars are still machines that are prone to malfunction. You can prevent car breakdown if your vehicle is well-maintained. It can be difficult when you experience this, especially if it’s your first time. If this happens, stay calm and be safe.
If you are driving in Fiji and the police suddenly stop you, do not panic, especially if you have not violated any traffic rules. Avoid being rude to the police officer and avoid initiating aggressive behavior. You can politely ask the reason behind the action. The first thing you need to do is to present your local driver’s license. Failing to do so may result in driving delays. The police can take you to custody to verify your identity.
But in the case you have violated any driving and road rules, know that you have rights when a police officer stops you. You have the right to ask for the identification of the traffic officer. If the policeman gets your driving license, ask for a receipt. Remember that the police officer cannot force you out of the vehicle and can’t tow the car if you are still inside.
Due to our time’s technological advancement, there have been real-time maps that make it easier to navigate roads. You can resort to it when you are lost. It will even give you traffic situations, alerts, and estimated time for arrival. But there’s so much excitement and thrill if you roll down your car’s window and ask the locals for driving directions. It is not hard to ask for driving directions since people can also understand English.
There is always surveillance and inspection in border crossing posts and checkpoints to ensure people’s safety and security. There are checkpoints to prevent undocumented travelers. If you are at a checkpoint, just present your legal documents, and the authorities will give clearance for your entry or exit. It is essential to have your local driver’s license so that authorities can verify your identity.
Aside from the driving etiquettes mentioned above, it’s better to know things to do in case of an emergency. Knowing the things you should do in case of an accident can help you save lives.
What if I Get Involved in an Accident?
You do not know what will happen to you when driving in Fiji. Even though you drive safely, you can still be involved in accidents if other drivers are reckless. The best thing to do when you get into a car accident is to stay calm. Call emergency number 911 and wait until authorities arrive at the scene. Never give medical assistance if you do not know what to do. Just wait for the ambulance and let the health professional administer the first aid.
Driving Situations and Conditions in Fiji
There are mixed stories about driving in Fiji. Some travelers gave driving in Fiji reviews that it is a fun and exciting trip, while some say it was a hassle due to the unsealed roads, potholes and speed bumps, and other hazards. Be aware of the road hazards when driving in Fiji, such as animal crossing. Also, due to the lack of footpaths, people usually walk on the side of the road. It is best to plan your road trip and don’t forget to enjoy your adventure and travel.
There is a continued report of fatal vehicle accidents involving collisions with roaming livestock this year. In 2019, the leading cause of fatal car accidents in Fiji was speeding and drunk driving. The majority of the accidents happen on well-maintained roads, so people take advantage of that and drive at a high-speed level. In the 2016 country status report, the leading causes of road accidents are speeding, dangerous driving, and pedestrian fault.
In Fiji, the standard vehicles are economy cars and SUVs, but you can see trucks and motorcycles outside the main cities. In 2016, the total number of vehicles recorded was 110,763, and 72% were private vehicles, 16% were commercial vehicles, and 10% were public service vehicles. Toyota Hi-ace was the best-selling car in 2017, and there is also a considerable demand for pre-owned cars reaching potential car buyers.
The Fiji Roads Authority developed a well-maintained road network to keep the road users safe. The government advises the public to call Fiji Roads Authority’s toll-free number 5720 to report any issues in any project or construction works undertaken in a socially and environmentally irresponsible way. There’s no toll road yet in the country, just a network of roads, bridges, and jetties.
Before you drive in Fiji, it’s necessary to know the road situations so that you’ll not be surprised or shocked when you drive. Fiji has 7,000 kilometers of roads. The main roads are in good condition with a huge improvement. However, there is also much traffic present in cities and main towns. Because of its size, the driving times in Fiji are short.
There are narrow roads, so you’ll often find locals walking on the side of the road. Most of the streets only have two lanes, so be careful in driving in Fiji. Some roads are poorly maintained roads. Lighting on roads is minimal, especially outside town, so it’s advisable not to drive at night.
You may read different driving in Fiji reviews from many travelers who already had experiences driving in the country. Some local drivers can be one of your concerns when driving since they are inconsistent when driving on Fiji roads. You may encounter some local drivers who sometimes drive over the maximum speed limit, overtake on blind corners, and not go on the road’s left side. That’s why the government has been checking speeding with speed cameras over the past years.
Besides knowing the country’s driving conditions, it’s also essential to know other relevant information to keep you safe while driving. Read more of the driving tips and additional information below.
Are They Using Kph or Mph?
Countries all over the world use a particular unit of measurement to set speed limits. Before you drive on Fiji road, know that there are speed limits implemented in every country. This measurement to set speed limits depends on the road type and the vehicle type using the road. Fiji uses KpH as a unit of measure for the speed of a car.
Is Self-Driving in Fiji Advisable?
If you are already familiar with the road conditions and hazards, driving rules, and driving situations, it is best to go for self-driving in Fiji. Self-driving offers a flexible time in touring experiences. It allows you to discover Fiji at your own pace and time. But if you are not confident enough with your driving skills, you can hire a driver. A driver will cost you an additional charge if you are renting a car.
Although Fiji is a set of islands, there is approximately 7,500 km of roads to explore. The top three biggest islands are the Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, and Taveuni, in which you have the opportunity to drive in different places like the villages, stunning beaches, and forests. You must plan your road trip to these South Pacific islands.
What Is the State of Roads in Fiji?
Fiji has approximately 7,500 km of roads, and there is about 1,700 km of sealed roads. The largest island in the country, Viti Levu, has many sealed and well-maintained roads. There are also well-maintained roads in Queens Road and Kings Road that follow Suva and Nadi’s coast. Driving on Fiji roads is more challenging since the tires do not have a firm grip on the surface of gravel and dirt roads.
What Are the Road Hazards in Fiji?
You may encounter some road hazards when driving in Fiji. Some of the road hazards are the potholes and the animals crossing on the road. Livestock such as horses and cattle cross the road from time to time, and you must give them the right of way. As a tropical country, when there is rainfall, it is often hard to see the environment, and roads become more slippery. So, take extra precautions when driving in Fiji when it’s raining.
You must always take precautions when driving in Fiji since road infrastructure can be potentially dangerous. It’s best if you drive slower and safer to respond to things happening on the road quickly. Follow all the driving rules in Fiji to keep you away from any accident. It’s essential to prioritize your safety first when driving on Fiji roads.
Things to Do in Fiji
You will never run out of things to do in Fiji. You can set out on an adventure to forests, go to beaches, explore villages, and try local food. Besides these activities, you can also apply for residency if you see yourself living in this kind of place. You can even apply as a driver or as a travel guide in Fiji as long as you meet the requirements needed. The above reasons are enough to convince anyone to live in Fiji. Enjoy and take the opportunities waiting for you here in Fiji.
Drive as a Tourist
Driving in Fiji is one of the enriching experiences to explore the country’s beauty. You can drive as a tourist in Fiji as long as you have your local driver’s license written in English. If it’s written in another language, you need to get an International Driver’s Permit. It’s illegal to drive in Fiji without having a driver’s license, registration, and insurance documents. You need to carry all these essential documents for your identification.
Work as a Driver
You can apply as a driver in Fiji as long as you completed your driving licence requirements in Fiji and you got your work permit. Submit your application form together with the checklist to the Customer Service Officer. After that, you need to pay the application fees. You can only have a work permit if you have a job offer. Once the Work Permit Committee approved your work permit application, you can work as a Fiji driver.
Work as a Travel Guide
If you already have in-depth historical, cultural, political, and economic knowledge about Fiji, you can apply as a travel guide in the country. Just secure a work permit from the Fijian government, and you’re good to start. As a travel guide, you will give tourists background information and a local perspective of the country’s places. You’ll lead a group of tourists and ensure their logistics such as accommodation, itineraries, and transportations.
Apply for Residency
In Fiji, there are 17 types of entry permits. If you want to work as a driver in Fiji, you need to get a working permit and a visa. You can apply for a work permit if you will work for one year or below. If you want to work for more than that time frame, you can apply for a long-term work permit. The Work Permit Committee is the one in charge of approving or denying work permit applications.
The requirements for a work permit for one year and below are the following:
- Request letter from the employer
- Police Report for Principal applicant from the country of citizenship
- Certified copy of applicant’s passport
- Return ticket
- Curriculum Vitae including certified copies of academic qualifications
- Company Registration
- Contract of Employment – Employer & Employee
- Contractual Agreement with relevant local authorities
- Endorsement from relevant Authorities
- Application fees
The requirements for a long term work permit application are the following:
- Completed and signed application of work permit form
- Certified copy of applicant’s bio-data page of the passport
- Request letter from the employer
- Police Report for Principal applicant from the country of citizenship
- Medical Report for Principal applicant
- Curriculum Vitae including certified copies of academic qualifications
- Analysis of local applications received
- Contract of Project
- Signed Contract of Employment
- Company Registration
- Endorsement from relevant Authorities
- Application fees
The Top Road Trip Destinations in Fiji
Fiji is the quintessential South Pacific paradise. With more than 300 islands, you’ll find many fun and exciting things to do in the country. You can go hiking in other nature reserves or go to white sand beaches and pristine coastlines. You can drive on major and significant islands of the country.
Found on the west coast of the Viti Levu island is the second-largest city in Fiji. Lautoka is known as the sugar city since it is the sugar-cane growing region of the country, and it is the leading sugar export port. Know the best time to visit the places in Lautoka and enjoy your holiday get-away. You can go to the national heritage park, the municipal market, shopping center, temple, and beach.
If you want to discover the beauty of Lautoka, you can go first to the Koroyanitu National Park located in Abaca Lautoka, Viti Levu. Here’s your driving guide:
- Head north on Maravu Street.
- Turn left onto Kings Road.
- At the roundabout, take the 1st exit.
- Continue onto Queens Road.
- Turn left to reach Koroyanitu National Park.
Things to Do
As one of the essential nature reserves and leading attractions in Fiji, Koroyanitu National Heritage Park is home to six local villages that maintain a specific park portion. These villages help keep the landscapes and trails and help promote ecotourism in the area. Within the Heritage Park, you can also have a cultural experience and sleepover in the traditional Abaca families’ highland village. Check out the things you can do in Viti Levu.
1. Relax at the Koroyanitu National Heritage Park
If you want to hike and take a rigorous mountain bike trip, this magnificent park is the perfect place for you. You can reach the summit of Mt. Batilamu after five hours of hiking, and after that, you’ll see the beautiful view of the Yasawa Islands and Mamanuca. You’ll also get a sense of peace exploring the lush forests and the newly discovered waterfall. The best time to go hiking is from April to November.
2. Buy local products at Lautoka Market.
When you visit Fiji, make sure you take the time to go to Lautoka Market, where locals sell an exotic blend of local and imported fresh fruits, vegetables, and root crops. The market also has a wide variety of seafood. This municipal market caters to farmers and wholesalers from all the areas of Viti Levu. The market opening hours from Monday to Friday is 7 am to 5 pm, and on Saturday, 5:30 am to 4 pm.
3. Go to the shopping precinct, TappooCity.
TappooCity is the shopping center for clothes, shoes, mobile phones, and everything you want. The shopping complex is full of locals and tourists who come to enjoy food, entertainment, and of course, shopping. There are many restaurants, stores, and other outlets that you can check out.
4. Visit the Sri Krishna Kaliya Temple
You will see all over the place that there is a strong influence on India’s culture and religion. Sri Krishna Kaliya is an important worship place for the Hare Krishnas. Inside and around the temple, you can see different murals that depict the story of Lord Krishna. It is best to go in the afternoon when people have the puja or worship going on, or you can go at midnight when the moon makes the stones glitter.
5. Swim in Saweni Beac
Take a tour at Sawani Beach and take your time to relax and adore the majestic view. It is a peaceful and secluded retreat for you and your loved one. Dip into the cool water and also enjoy the sunset. You can relax, play beach volleyball, or you can interact with the locals.
Nadi is the main transportation home in the southern region of the country. It is the home of the Garden of the Sleeping Giants and the Hindu temple, Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami. Nadi is Fiji’s safest town, and approachable locals will welcome you. Enjoy your stay in Nadi area and know more about the city and the country’s history, culture, and tradition.
The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is in Wailoko Road, Nadi. Follow this driving guide if you are coming from the national heritage park.
- From Abaca Koroyanitu National Heritage Park, just head southwest.
- Slight right.
- Turn right onto Queens Road.
- Turn right.
- Continue straight.
- Turn left until you reach the Garden of Sleeping Giant.
Things to Do
It is a beautiful day to enjoy the canopy-covered boardwalks, dense forest, and lush green lawns. The landscaped garden houses an impressive collection of orchids and the cultivated enchanting lily ponds, covering 20 hectares. Check out other things you can do in Nadi.
1. Visit the beautiful forest in the Garden of Sleeping Giant.
This garden is one of the best horticultural secrets in the South Pacific. It is home to over 2,000 orchids and 30-40 varieties of Cattleya hybrids and Asian orchids. This garden is in Neuson Highlands’ foothills. It is just a few minute-drive from Nadi Airport. The garden is open from Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM and Sundays from 9 AM to 12 PM.
2. Go to the significant Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple
You can see traditional Davidian architecture and intricate carvings in this the largest Hindu Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. This impressive monument and rainbow-hued temple adorned in ornate carvings are open to devotees and tourists daily. If you’ll go to this temple, just take note of the proper dress code. This temple is only located in downtown Nadi and is on the main street’s southern end.
3. Swim in the Wailoaloa Beach
Complete your adventure and holiday trip by going to this beach in Nadi. Wailoaloa Beach Resort is conveniently near Nadi International Airport, and it boasts an outdoor tennis court and indoor pool. You’ll surely love the place mostly at night when there are partying events and nightlife.
4. Check out Nadi Handicraft Market.
If you want to go to a one-stop shop for high-quality handicrafts, you should go to Nadi Handicraft Market. It’s far better than the souvenir shops along the main roads, since locals sell authentic products such as wood-carving, bracelets baskets, sarongs, necklaces, painting, among others. You can also find artists drawing a henna tattoo or braiding a hair. You can drive to the Main street and Koroivolu Avenue in Nadi to get to this place. It’s open from 10 am to 5 pm.
5. Meet the locals at Navala Village.
Know more about the authentic Fijian culture by going to this village. The locals will welcome you with a Kava ceremony and will tour you around the homes. They will also tell you more about their history, culture, and tradition. There’s a nearby river where you can dip into the refreshing water or just take the time to relax.
Viti Levu’s Suva
Viti Levu is the largest island in Fiji, and Suva is the capital, chief port, and commercial city of the country. You can find Suva on the southeast coast of Viti Levu, fronted by a deep-water harbor and backed by steep mountains. Make sure to explore the tropical metropolis, parks, British colonial buildings, broad avenues, and the lively city market. Go and discover Fiji’s capital city and one of the largest urban centers in the South Pacific islands. If you have more time, you can also visit Fiji's second largest island, Vanua Levu.
From Pacific Harbour, it will take you about an hour to go to the Fiji Museum if you take the Queens road. Fiji Museum is in Cakobau Road, Suva, and you can follow this driving guide:
- From Pacific Harbour, Take Viti Levu Drive to Queens Road. The approximate driving time from Pacific Harbour to your destination is about an hour.
- Head west on Kura Drive toward Yaka Place
- Turn left onto Viti Levu Drive.
- Turn left onto Queens Road.
- Continue on Foster Road
- Take Victoria Parade to Cakobau Road
- Turn left onto Cakobau Road
Things to Do
Drive to this tropical and lavish forest and navigate to its clear natural pools and gorgeous vistas. If you want to level up your driving skills, you can check out the different driving schools in Fiji. Here are the things you can do in Suva:
1. Learn about Fiji’s history when you go to Fiji Museum
It’s best to go to the Fiji Museum to know the country’s history and culture. Some exhibits include the British colonial past, the influence of the Indian population, and its natural history. There are also contemporary works of Fijian artists that you can see in the place. If you want to go to this place, just drive to the Thurston Garden, the capital city’s botanical garden.
2. Relax at Colo-I-Suva Forest Park
Colo-i-Suva is a 2.5-sq-km oasis of rainforest and tropical plants. You can take a dip in one of the natural swimming pools going up to Waisila Falls in the park. You can also have a little quiet and peaceful walk in the 6.5 km trails. There are also picnic areas along the way. Keep your eyes and ears to spot different species of birds that inhabit the park.
3. Buy food in Suva Municipal Market.
Do not forget to go to the colorful and crowded harbourfront market with vendors selling a wide variety of locally-produced fresh seafood, vegetables, and fruits. You can buy dal (taro), yaqona (kava) root, jackfruit, tomatoes, cabbages, chilies, among others. The products here are cheaper than in supermarkets. Usually, the market is open until 6 pm, but it is already closed at around 4 pm on Saturday.
4. See the beauty of Biausevu Waterfall.
Biausevu Waterfall or Savu Na Mate Laya Falls is a 20 meter-waterfall located on the southern coast of Viti Levu. Upon your arrival in the village, you can attend the traditional welcoming ceremony of the locals. The village chief will talk about Fiji’s history and cultural traditions. After that, you can go hiking to get to the waterfall. To access the area, drive down the long road approaching Biausevu Village.
5. Meet the sharks at the Pacific Harbour
At the eastern end of the Coral Coast lies the Pacific Harbour or the “Adventure Capital of Fiji.” Pacific Harbour offers lush rainforests, rivers, and waterfalls. It is also your portal to the world-famous Beqa Lagoon and Beqa fire walkers. One of the main attractions in the Beqa Lagoon is the open water shark dive. With strict safety measures, you’ll be able to have a face-to-face encounter with different species of sharks and reef fish.
Driving in Suva, Fiji is easy and convenient. There is a great driving school in Suva, Fiji, in case you want to level up your driving skills. If you’re going to drive to all these beautiful destinations in the country, it’s best to get an International Driving Permit to drive at your phase and time. Enjoy your road trips to the white-sand beaches, nature reserves, parks, and even museums. Fiji is truly a place worthy of being listed on your travel list.
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