Nadi Activities You Can’t Miss!
Welcome to Fiji! As soon as you step off the plane into Nadi International Airport, you’ll be greeted by smiling locals calling Bula! The multi-cultural city of Nadi is a great introduction to Fiji, especially for its cultural side with the sounds, tastes and smells of the city centre with a bustling shopping and foodie scene. Nadi should, at the very least, be checked out before leaving for your holiday in Fiji. Alternatively, Nadi makes a great base for those with limited time in Fiji, especially if you are on a limited budget. In proximity to the city are lush tropical gardens, adventure activities such as ziplining and quad biking, Fijian villages and much more! Check out how you could be spending your time in and around Nadi with this list of things to do in Nadi!
1. Check out the Local Food Markets
A great way to mingle with the locals and try some super fresh produce is at the local farmer’s markets and food markets in Nadi. It’s a true Fiji experience! There are several food markets to choose from in Nadi, one being the Nadi Market in the main Nadi town area and another one being the less-crowded Namaka Food Market near Nadi International Airport. Here, you’ll get to taste some of the sweetest pineapples and the most flavoursome bananas. It’s a real treat! Find out more about food shopping in Nadi in our Where to Buy Food in Fiji guide.
2. Have a Soak in the Sabeto Mud Pools
A short drive out of Nadi is the Sabeto Mud Pools. Lather yourself in thick mud and let it dry on your skin before soaking in natural hot spring water. While the treatment is meant to work wonders for your skin, the whole muddy experience will definitely appeal to your childish side! The complex is run by the local village, where authentic Fijian food and souvenirs are on sale too, as well as massage services. It’s the perfect way to experience “Fiji time“.
Location: 9km / 5 miles north of Nadi Airport on Wailoko Road. Either drive, take a taxi or take one of the many scheduled tours visiting the gardens, including with Rosie Holidays, Valentine Tours Fiji and Uniquely Fiji Transfers and Tours.
3. Explore the Garden of the Sleeping Giant
Down the same Nadi backroads as the Sebato Mud Pools, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is a wonderful place to immerse in Fiji’s nature. The garden full of orchids and flowing plants lies in a valley below a mountain said to look like a sleeping giant. Follow the short walk around a tranquil tropical forest full of birds, skinks and other wildlife, as well as fish ponds. At the end of your walk, relax in the garden with a complimentary fruit drink.
Location: 6.5km / 4 miles north of Nadi Airport on Wailoko Road. Either drive, take a taxi or take one of the many scheduled tours visiting the gardens, including Rosie Holidays, Valentine Tours Fiji and Uniquely Fiji Transfers and Tours.
4. Visit the Sivu Subramaniya Swamy Temple
Fiji is considered to be a melting pot of cultures and religions. One impressive example of this is at the Sivu Subramaniya Swamy Temple in Nadi Town. The colourful exterior of the temple is an amazing photo opportunity with intricate sculptural details. Once inside, you will see many pictorial displays of Hindu lords and goddesses. Ask for a flyer at the reception desk before entering the temple to get information for all the sights of the temple. The temple has a small entrance fee, shoes must be taken off before entering and clothes covering below the knees. Sarongs are provided if needed.
Location: The corner of Queens Road and Nadi Road in Nadi Town.
5. Pick Up Some Souvenirs at the Nadi Handicraft Market
For a cultural shopping experience and a bit of retail therapy, check out the Nadi Handicraft Market. Selling all sorts of trinkets, jewellery, clothing accessories and more, the Handicraft Market is a good place to pick up something authentic for friends, family or yourself (however, there will be some items that you can pick out in any souvenir store but usually they are pretty obvious). Take the time to chat with the stallholders and practice the art of haggling! The market is open Mondays to Saturdays from 8am until the early afternoon.
Location: Koroivolu Avenue, Nadi Town.
6. Take a Scenic Flight
Nadi International Airport is not just the place you arrive in Fiji, it’s also the base for some incredible scenic flights over the Fiji islands. There is a wide range of options to choose from, from 20-minute flights over the rugged interior of Viti Levu full of mountains and tropical forest to 1-hour flights over the paradise islands dotted around the Pacific Ocean. A scenic flight can be made your island transfer option to get to remote island resorts or you can spend the whole day island-hopping on a helicopter. Check out our 5 Breathtaking Scenic Flights by Helicopter in Fiji for more information.
7. Grab Some Delicious Food
Eating out in the cities of Fiji has to be done at least once when visiting Fiji. Not only will you find some great Fijian, Indo-Fijian, Chinese and Thai food, but it will be incredibly cheaper than what you will find in resorts. Foodies in Fiji should definitely spend some time wandering the streets of Nadi sampling the local flavours. Find out more in our Best Eats in Nadi article!
8. Take a Day Trip to Denarau Island
Less than a 10-minute drive from Nadi is a whole new world. Denarau Island is the polished tourist hotspot of Viti Levu, with 5-star resorts, a golf course, a whole town with shops and restaurants and a marina with more activities and island cruises than you will know what to do with. It provides a huge contrast in the shopping experiences in Nadi so if you’re looking for something a little different, head to Denarau Island. Check out our 12 Amazing Things to Do in Denarau Island.
9. Go Ziplining!
Yes, even adventure can be found in Nadi! There are two fantastic ziplining companies just a quick drive from Nadi, ZipFiji and Sleeping Giant Zipline, offering a great mix of nature and adrenaline. Zip over tropical forest canopies or in a valley of caves and canyons! These tours are not just about the ziplining, they often take you to wonderful hidden gems such as caves, waterfalls and beautiful forests. It’s a great half-day out for all types of adventurous travellers. Find out more in our 5 Best Zipline Tours in Fiji.
10. Visit a Fijian Village
Fiji’s indigenous culture and traditions are something to add to the “must-do” list when in Fiji. While Fijian village visits can be experienced just about anyway in Fiji, Nadi has a few tours taking visitors to experience traditions like the kava ceremony, where you’ll present a the kava root crop while the villagers make an earthy mouth-tingling drink out of it. It’s likely that you’ll watch a “meke” which is a cultural performance, and end the tour with a “lovo” meal prepared in an underground oven. There are a few customs to remember when visiting a Fijian village, which we go over in our Guide to Village Etiquette. Organise a tour with Fiji Eco Tours to visit Abaca Village or see a mock-up of a traditional village at Fiji Culture Village.
11. Go Quad Biking
Exploring Nadi is fun, but it’s more fun on a quad bike! Choose from tours with Go Dirty that take you through Nadi’s countryside, visit Fijian villages, stop by highlights such as the Sabeto Mud Pools or get well and truly off the beaten track in the mountains overlooking Nadi, Denarau and the Mamanuca Islands. All you need is a full driver’s license and the guides at Go Dirty Tours will take you on a thrill ride to remember.
12. Take a Day Tour to the Coral Coast, the Islands and More!
Nadi makes an excellent base for hitting all the highlights of Fiji. Day tours can take you as far as the Coral Coast where you can explore the heritage and natural wonders of this stunning area of Viti Levu. Boat trips from Wailoaloa Beach near Nadi allow you to spend the day in the Mamanuca Islands for snorkelling, beachcombing and more! Your list of day tours from Nadi seems rather endless, so head on over to our 10 Best Day Tours in Nadi for inspiration.