The Guide to Cycling in Fiji
Cycling around an idyllic South Seas island is an image many of us wouldn’t mind on our Instagram, but Fiji isn’t Rarotonga. Fiji’s main island is rather huge where only sponsored athletes seem to take on the journey around the island, such as a Kiwi bloke in 2013 who undertook the 480km journey in 23h30mins! However, those determined for a cycling holiday may want to set their sights on the island of Vanua Levu, Taveuni or enjoy a casual ride on the smaller island of Malolo Lailai. We go over the next best thing to “cycling around Fiji” in the guide below.
Tips for Cycling in Fiji
- While cycling on gravel roads or dirt roads tends to be safe in Fiji, be more cautious on the busier sealed roads, as locals are not used to cyclists on the roads
- Make sure you stay well-hydrated, especially with the high temperatures. Pack more water than you would usually back home
- Leave the road cycle at home: the best roads for biking in Fiji are gravel roads and are best done with mountain bikes
- Note that many of the trails in the national heritage parks are for walkers only
- Try to plan your trip for the dry season (May-October) when the temperatures are also at their coolest.
The Best Fiji Islands to Cycle Around
Fiji is made up of 333 islands, so there’s certainly enough islands. However, only a select few have roads and trails suitable for cycling – Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Mana Island and Malolo Lailai Island.
Cycling in Viti Levu
Due to the large size of Viti Levu and the fact that the ring road around the islands is busy in places with drivers uneducated about driving safely around cyclists on the roads, cycling the approximately 480km (300-mile) distance around the island via the Kings and Queens Road should be done with caution and appropriate training. Alternatively, you might want to cycle the back roads of Viti Levu instead.
The dirt trails on the Sabeto foothills start just 5km (3 miles) north of Nadi International Airport. The dirt roads here lead to a wealth of attractions like the Garden of the Sleeping Giant (Wailoko Road), the Sebato Mud Pools (Wailoko Road), the Sleeping Giant Zipline (Holika Road), and the Stoney Creek Resort. Here you’ll get a real taste of Fiji with the roads winding to Fijian villages and lush tropical forests.
Another back road option in the Nadi area is the Nausori Highlands. Along the Nadi Back Road and continuing onto Mulomulo Road, there are walking tracks and 4×4 tracks that are suitable for mountain biking. You’ll get excellent views of the Sebato Valley, Nadi and the offshore islands.
Cycling in Vanua Levu
Fiji’s second-largest island is much more cyclist-friendly a preferred island for travellers seeking a cycling holiday. Either hire bikes from resorts, such as the Koro Sun Resort or Naveria Heights Lodge to ride along the peaceful Hibiscus Highway. Alternatively, join Escape Adventures for a multi-day cycling excursion from Labasa to Savusavu then to Taveuni Island and the Bouma National Park. If you’re hoping to bring your own bicycle to an island in Fiji, Vanua Levu is arguably your best option for this. Learn more about the island in The Complete Guide to Vanua Levu.
Cycling in Taveuni
Taveuni is another excellent island to cycle, especially with along to see along its approximately 70km (43-mile) crescent-shaped road partway around the island. The road is quiet, making it ideal for cycling. Either bring your own bike or you can hire bikes from Raiwasa Grand Villa or Taveuni Palms Resort or, again, Escape Adventures’ multi-day cycling holiday also incorporates the roads of Taveuni. See some of the attractions to check out along the way in the 20 Things to Do in Taveuni.
Cycling in the Mamanuca Islands
Finally, for short cycling trails along dirt roads and beaches to get between resorts, Bula Bikes offers bike hire on Mana and Malolo Lailai Islands in the Mamanuca Group. All of the bikes to hire are beach cruises. There are bikes for children too.
Can You Bring Your Own Bike to Fiji?
As cycle hire in Fiji is quite limited (see Where to Rent a Bike in Fiji), it’s worth considering bringing your own bicycle if you intend to do a lot of cycling in Fiji. You can bring your own bicycle to Fiji, but you must declare it on the Passenger Arrival Card and make sure your bike is clean when you pack it.
Most of the restrictions for transporting your bike to Fiji, however, are going to come from your airline. Most airlines require bikes to be packed in a bike box or bike bag, dismantling your bike to fit. Check if there are any additional charges for checking in a bike, as some airlines charge around FJ$300 to check-in bikes. Finally, there may be a weight or size limit to your bike packaging so be sure to check that information too. (Usually, it’s around 2m/6.5ft long and 23kg/51lbs limit).