Land & Population
Covering nearly 1.3 million square kilometres of the South Pacific Ocean, Fiji is made up of about 330 islands, of which about 100 islands are populated by approximately 900, 000 people.
The official language in Fiji is English and is spoken throughout. However, Fijian and Hindi are also taught in schools as part of the school curriculum. Indigenous Fijians also have their own dialects spoken in their respective provinces.
The currency in Fiji is the Fijian Dollar or FJD. Foreign currencies can be converted into Fijian Dollars at International Airports entering into Fiji and can also be converted at all banks and currency converters located within the central business districts within Suva and or Nadi.
Fiji’s paper currency has denominations of $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5 notes with $2, $1, 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents coins.
Different banks have different opening hours but generally open Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm.
ATM access is ubiquitous, but some ATMs will charge a service fee above and beyond any fee charged by your own bank for use of an out-of-network ATM. Most major credit cards are also accepted at local businesses. ANZ, Bank of Baroda, BSP (Bank of the South Pacific), Bred Bank and Westpac operate in Fiji.
Fijian electrical supply and wall sockets are the same as those found in Australia and New Zealand (220-200 Volts), so if you have a gadget or appliance that has a 110-120V, you will require converters and/or plug adapters.
Fiji has three major telecommunications providers being Digicel, Vodafone and Telecom Fiji Limited. These carriers provide excellent local and international calling rates and pre-pay/pay as you go mobile SIM cards can be purchased at the airport upon arrival or in Suva. Alternatively you may opt to switch your mobile phone to international roaming.
Fiji is blessed with a tropical South Sea maritime climate without great extremes of heat or cold. The average temperature for July is 22°Celsius (72°F).
Travelling within Suva
Public buses and taxis can generally be used for travelling within Suva. Taxis wait at taxi stands or can be flagged down. Taxis can also be hired. It takes about 10 minutes with a fare of approximately FJ$3.50 to go from central Suva City to the University of the South Pacific by taxi. A bus ride from the Suva Bus Station to the University of the South Pacific will take about 15 minutes with a fare of approximately FJ$0.70. Bus and taxi fares increase with the distance travelled.
About Suva City
The city of Suva sits on a hilly peninsula between Laucala Bay and Suva Harbour on the south-eastern side of Viti Levu. Suva is Fiji’s capital city. It is the major commercial and political centre of Fiji, and the largest urban area in the South Pacific outside of Australia and New Zealand. Suva is mostly surrounded by sea. As the capital, Suva has a Parliament House and many overseas embassies. Suva is home to a variety of South Pacific educational institutions including The University of the South Pacific, the Fiji School of Medicine, the Fiji National University and the Institute of Technology Australia. This vibrant multi-cultural capital has a population of about 200,000 and a large selection of shops and restaurants. The main tourist attractions in Suva include:
o Colo-I-Suva Forest Park
o Golf Course at Rifle Range
o Bowling Club
o Fiji Museum
o Suva City Tour
o Queen Elizabeth Drive/Foreshore
o Takashi Suzuki Garden
o Sukuna Park
o Heritage buildings
o Thurston Gardens
o National Aquatic Centre
o Suva Market
o Handicraft Centre
o Government House
o Albert Park
Fiji is well known for Fijian traditional food and its delicacy. There are many restaurants including Indian and Chinese restaurants to choose from in the Suva City. Restaurants cater for all tastes and budgets. These include Tiko’s Floating restaurant which specializes in seafood, Bad Dog Café which serves European, Indian and Asian Food, and Sea Salt restaurant which features seafood and Fijian dishes. Some restaurants are also present near The University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Campus. Meal costs range from FJ$5.00 to FJ$50.00 per person per meal depending on your dining choice.