Experience Fiji for Free (and Cheap)
Sure, Fiji seems to be a place of luxury, where it costs a small fortune to stay at its lavish resorts and stunning islands of paradise. But saying that that’s all that Fiji offers is pure myth. Not only is there an array of natural, historical and cultural attractions to experience for free or cheap, but you’ll find that you can actually get great value out of the resorts (where there and budget and mid-range offerings) that offer a whole menu of complimentary activities for guests – and yes, there are activities that you’ll want to do! So check out just a good 20 examples of free and cheap things to do in Fiji to see just how much you can get out of a Fiji getaway without burning a hole in your pocket.
1. Snorkel! Snorkel Until Your Heart’s Content!
Fiji is renowned for its vibrant and tropical underwater world, which you can explore for free through snorkelling! While we recommend bringing your own snorkelling gear for comfort, almost all of the waterfront resorts in Fiji have complimentary snorkelling gear for guests and day-trippers. Some of the top snorkelling spots in Fiji include Split Rock in Vanua Levu, the Waitabu Marine Park in Taveuni, the Blue Lagoon in the Yasawa Islands and much more. Plus, it’s even worth paying for an affordable snorkelling boat tour to get to the more pristine outer reefs, which typically cost around FJ$50-$100. Learn more about snorkelling hotspots in The Ultimate Guide to Snorkelling in Fiji.
2. Experience a Kava Ceremony
The striking thing about Fiji is that the Fijian culture is so accessible. One traditional aspect that visitors are likely to experience is a kava ceremony. A kava ceremony is how someone is welcomed to a village for the first time, sharing a drink of ground-up kava roots and water with the locals – it’s not alcoholic but it has a numbing effect. Resorts will often replicate the experience at least once a week for guests as a complimentary activity, as is the case for many resorts in the Mamanuca Islands. Check out more free activities here in the 12 Free & Cheap Things to Do in the Mamanuca Islands.
3. Hit the Walking Trails of the Bouma National Heritage Park
As well as places of natural beauty under the ocean’s surface, Fiji also has places of natural beauty on land, some of which are protected with a national heritage park status. Some include the Koroyanitu National Heritage Park near Lautoka and the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park on the Coral Coast. The Bouma National Heritage Park in Taveuni, however, is the largest and arguable most stunning with affordable (around FJ$20) hikes to tumbling waterfalls and lush tropical forest. Check out more affordable activities here in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do on Taveuni.
4. Get Out on the Water in a Kayak or Stand-Up Paddleboard
Just like snorkelling, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding is a standard free thing to do at almost any waterfront resort in Fiji. Non-motorised watersports equipment is usually free for guests and day-trippers to use to explore the coasts and glide over Fiji’s turquoise waters. You’ll find them especially at resorts such as in the Yasawas, where you can also do these 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in the Yasawa Islands. Check out some of the resorts offering free SUP hire in the The Best Places for Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Fiji.
5. Wander Around The Garden of the Sleeping Giant
Fiji’s arrival city, Nadi, is packed with free and cheap attractions making it a top destination to explore on a budget. One of the affordable must-dos is The Garden of the Sleeping Giant, a tropical orchid garden with a short walking into the lush forest and gardens and refreshing tropical juice at the end. When the experience is less than FJ$20, who’s complaining? For more cheap Nadi attractions, see the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Nadi.
6. Go to a Local Church Service
With most of Fiji’s population being devout Christians, Sunday is a special day in Fiji. A free way to experience a slice of life of the Fijians is by attending a local Sunday church service. Fijians are very welcoming and are happy to share their faith with visitors, which is done through beautiful harmonious singing. Check out more ways to experience the Fijian culture here.
7. Take Part in a Fijian Cooking Class
Food is a cultural aspect that we can all relate to and share with others, so why not take part in a cooking class in Fiji? Many resorts around the islands have cooking classes on the activity menu, often for free or at least an affordable fee. Some cooking classes have you preparing a lovo (a traditional underground oven), while others have you sprucing up traditional dishes like kokoda. There’s even the opportunity to make Indo-Fijian food like roti and delectable coconut curries. Check out some of the resorts that offer cooking classes in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do on Vanua Levu.
8. Scout Out the Islands’ Cheap Eats
Speaking of food, if you don’t feel like learning to make your own Fijian and Indo-Fijian dishes, then at least you can still sample some of the local foods without breaking the bank. Now, this is where you’ll want to venture outside of your resort to find the cheapest yet most authentic food, especially in Fiji’s main towns like Nadi, Suva, Lautoka, Savusavu, Labasa and more. Trying Indo-Fijian curries at curry houses is a must! Find affordable restaurants in our cheap eat articles, such as the Top Cheap Eats in Nadi, Top Cheap Eats in Suva, Top Cheap Eats on the Coral Coast and more in our Food & Drink category.
9. Visit a Fijian Village
Visiting a Fijian village is always a stand-out experience on a Fiji getaway. See how Pacific Islanders live simply yet happily in this humbling experience. While some resorts offer free or affordable village day trips, one of the best ways to immerse in village life is by doing a homestay in a village. Many homestays are listed on Airbnb, Expedia and Booking.com, where the whole experience is affordable yet one of the most enriching activities you can do in Fiji. Check out some of the 10 Authentic Village Stays in Fiji here.
10. Check Out Fiji’s Historic Sites
From the tomb of a notorious cannibal to a whole town that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are many amazing historic sites to discover in Fiji. What’s more, almost all of them are free to visit. On the mainland, visit the Momi Battery Historic Park impressive battery guns from World War II or the resting place of a cannibal at the Tomb of Udre Udre on the Suncoast (or check out more interesting attractions on the Suncoast in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do on the Suncoast). Levuka in the Lomaiviti Islands is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, being the first capital of Fiji.
11. Go on an Island Hike
We’ve already mentioned the walks in Fiji’s national parks, but very often when staying at an island resort, there’s somewhere amazing to hike to. It might be a walk to Sunset Beach on Mana Island, soaking in the views from Mission Hill in Ovalau, hiking across the island through the tropical jungle in Kadavu, or somewhere else… See the 10 Best Walks in Fiji for inspiration.
12. Do Some Bird Watching
Fiji is home to some amazing endemic bird species, from the collard lory to the crimson shining parrot. While birds can be seen at Fiji’s captive breeding centre of the Kula Wild Adventure Park (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor), some of the most rewarding experiences are seeing these birds in the wild, which is best done simply by staying on islands like Taveuni or Kadavu. Islands like Kadavu are still covered in much of their original forest, making them a haven for Fiji’s colourful birds. See more experiences in the area in the 10 Free & Cheap Things To Do in Kadavu.
13. Play Some Beach Sports
Fiji has a whole lot of beaches, some of the most picturesque we list in the 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Fiji. With that, beach sports is just another way to enjoy Fiji’s natural playground, where many resorts have beach sports equipment free for guests to use. Beach volleyball is a standard, while some resorts also have cricket gear, rugby balls and more. Some of the more luxurious resorts even have golf courses that incorporate beaches, such as Toberua Private Island in the Lomaiviti Islands. Check out more budget activities in these islands in the 10 Free & Cheap Things To Do in the Lomaiviti Islands.
14. Watch a Fijian Cultural Performance
A dance performance known as a Meke is an important part of the Fijian culture, which you can experience for free at a number of resorts in Fiji. Yes, many evenings across Fiji’s resorts are lively with Polynesian dancing, fire-dancing and even a firewalk which is a ritual of the local villagers of Beqa Island. Speaking of Beqa Island, which is just off the coast of the Pacific Harbour on the mainland, here are some more 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do on the Pacific Harbour & Beqa.
15. Take Part in a Fijian Crafting Lesson
Learn to make your own unique Fijian souvenir in one of the Fijian crafting lessons offered by many resorts across the archipelago. Whether it’s at a homestay or a resort with local staff, locals are eager to share their handicraft skills with you through weaving, coconut husking, making tapa-cloths and more. Learning to weave your own hat or making coconut bracelets are a common one and also almost always an item on the agenda at kids’ clubs. You’ll find plenty of opportunity for crafting lessons at resorts on the Coral Coast, which you can accompany with the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do on the Coral Coast.
16. Check Out the Local Markets
Before you head out to the smaller outer islands, make sure you spend some time at the cultural hub of the local markets. Not only is it interesting to browse the array of tropical fruit and vegetables and try the sweetest pineapple you’ll ever try, but it’s another opportunity to mingle with the friendly locals. The handicraft markets are also outstanding, with each stall looking likes its own art exhibition. The largest markets can be found in the capital, Suva, where you can also do the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Suva.
17. Visit the Biausevu Waterfall
Well, the Biausevu Waterfall on the Coral Coast is just one of many breathtaking waterfalls that are extremely affordable to visit around Fiji. With walking trails that are maintained by local villages, there is often a small fee to visit Fiji’s waterfalls, ranging from FJ$8 to $20. But after venturing through often lush tropical forest to see towering cascades over a cliff edge, you’re sure to agree that it’s worth it. Waterfalls can be found across Fiji’s larger islands, like Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Kadavu and Taveuni, so check out some of our favourites in the 10 Wonderful Waterfalls in Fiji.
18. Visit the Fiji Museum
Admittedly, Fiji doesn’t have a whole lot of museums, but if you find yourself in the capital, don’t miss the Fiji Museum. The museum is packed with more than 3,700 years worth of relics and artefacts from across the islands of Fiji, such as the 100-year-old Ratu Finau and cannibal tools dating back hundreds of years. What’s more, it only costs around FJ$10 for an adult ticket to this technology-free no-frills museum in Suva.
19. Try Handline Fishing
Fishing is a way of life in Fiji, and while activities like sports fishing are some of the most expensive activities in Fiji, more cultural methods of fishing are much much cheaper! Handline fishing in the Yasawas, for instance, costs under FJ$50 at many resorts where you can try your luck at catching reef fish. Anything you do manage to catch will be cooked up for you at your accommodation.
20. Lounge by the Pool
After all of the snorkelling, cultural handicraft and cooking lessons, kayaking, browsing local markets, listening to the singing at church, visiting historical sites or the museum, watching cultural shows, hiking to waterfalls… You might just want to spend some time relaxing by the pool. Yes, resorts in Fiji often do feature attractive swimming pools, with some of the best being the lagoon-style pools found around Denarau. Finally, check out more affordable things to do in this area in the 11 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Denarau.