What are the Public Transportation Options in Fiji?
While many holidaymakers flock to Fiji to stay in a resort for the whole week, many of us wish to explore more of the country and experience the real side of Fiji. A great way to do that, while sticking to a budget, is to use the public transport in Fiji. On land, Fiji’s main islands have an expansive network of roads making travelling by bus or taxi a breeze. When it comes to island-hopping you have more options, from domestic flights to passenger ferries to even adventurous voyages on cargo boats. Travelling by public transport allows travellers to observe the Fijian way of life up-close making for an interesting addition to your trip to Fiji.
While this article will go through all the public transportation options in Fiji, be sure to check out our other articles like How to Get Around Fiji for more information.
13 Ways to Get Around Fiji
While using public transport is the cheapest way to get around, here are all your options for transportation in Fiji:
- Public buses
- Minivans & Carrier Vans
- Tour Buses (see Bus Tours in Fiji)
- Driver hire (see How to Hire a Driver in Fiji)
- Car hire (see The Best Car Rental Companies in Fiji)
- Cargo boats
- Boat transfers
- Water taxis
- Domestic flights
- Chartered seaplanes
- Chartered helicopters
For more details on each transportation type, see our 7 Ways to Get Around Fiji article, or continue reading the article below for public transport options.
Buses in Fiji
With around 95% of Fiji’s roads being on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, buses are the most practical method of public transport to get around the main islands of Fiji. It’s also a cheap way to get around Fiji. Local buses operate around towns and cities taking passengers just about anywhere in the district. Buses are old, have cushioned seats and open-air windows where you will have canvas shutters to close if it is raining. Many travellers see it as a fun local experience.
Express buses operate between Fiji’s towns and cities, which run to a schedule, often getting passengers between Nadi and Suva in under six hours only costing around FJ$20. Express buses come in a range of qualities, with all of them having windows and comfortable coach seats. Most express buses will have air-conditioning and may even play a movie for long-distance trips.
Both local buses and express buses work on an e-ticket system where disposable tickets can be bought with the driver in exchange for cash. Find out more in Where to Book Bus Transport in Fiji?
Minivans and Carrier Vans
10-seater minivans also operate in the town centres of Fiji, stopping by the roadside to pick passengers up. These are usually the same price or cheaper than a bus fare but get passengers to their destination quickly. However, some operate illegally and drive a little recklessly.
Alternatively, there are carrier vans which are 4WD trucks with an open back covered by a tarpaulin and has two wooden benches on either side. This is a public transport option that locals like to use when getting between the cities and rural villages.
Taxis in Fiji
Taxis are a good way to get from A to B quickly. Taxis around Nadi and Suva are affordable, as taxi fares are regulated by the government. Prices start at FJ$1.50 from 6am to 10 pm (outside of these hours it is FJ$2), plus 10c for every 100m travelled. This is all calculated by a metre. Make sure that the taxi you are getting into is a registered taxi with a metre and a number plate starting with “LT”.
Taxis are also a good option for getting between towns or doing some rural drives, for example, driving between attractions in a rural area like between the Garden of the Sleeping Giant and the Sebato Hot Pools in Nadi. For these types of trips, make sure to negotiate a price first. Also make sure that the rate is for just you being in the taxi, and not dependent on the driver picking other passengers up.
For more advice, head to our guide on Taxis in Fiji.
Ferries and Cargo Boats
Getting between Fiji’s islands by sea is often much cheaper than taking a flight making ferries and cargo boats a favourable option. Daily ferry services operate between the busy tourist destinations of Port Denarau on Viti Levu and the Mamanuca Islands. There are multiple choices, which you can check out in our 5 Ways to Get to the Mamanuca Islands. Passenger ferries also run daily between Port Denarau and the Yasawa Islands.
By contrast, the cargo boats and ferries that run between Viti Levu, Kadavu, Vanua Levu Tavenui and the Lomaiviti Group are less tourist friendly. They have erratic schedules making planning for a trip rather difficult. The Goundar Shipping cargo ship has a more distinct schedule, taking passengers between Suva and Kadavu on a seven-hour voyage. They depart around 11pm on Wednesday nights, arriving around 6am in Kadavu. On these trips, you will often find yourself sharing your trip with livestock and building supplies, as the service is primarily a cargo ship.
For more information on ferries in Fiji, see our Travelling Fiji by Ferry.
Boat Transfers & Water Taxis
Another way of getting between the islands is via boat transfers and water taxis. Boat transfers are usually organised by island resorts, offering their guests a way to get from the mainland to the island where the resort is based. Boat transfers are usually a quick and affordable way to get between island resorts and the mainland. However, destinations are limited to islands that are close to the mainland, such as the Mamanuca Islands, Beqa Island, Malake Island and Robinson Crusoe Island.
Water Taxis or chartered boats are a premium service taking passengers to their desired destinations. They take you straight from A to B with some companies offering activity packages, allowing passengers to stop off at activities along the way. Check out How to Catch a Water Taxi in Fiji for more information.
Flights in Fiji
A quick and convenient way to get between the islands is by air. There are two domestic airlines, Fiji Link (Fiji Airways) and Northern Air flying between Nadi, Suva, Taveuni, the Lau Islands, Vanua Levu, Kadavu and a few other smaller islands. Airports are very basic with only four of the airports in Fiji having a paved runway. Nevertheless, domestic flights can sometimes rival the price of ferries to the outer islands.
A popular and premium way to get between the Nadi area in Viti Levu and the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands is by chartering a helicopter or seaplane. Helicopters and seaplanes can take you right to your island resort. There is often a minimum number of required passengers, usually two, for flights to be booked.
Check out Flights in Fiji for more information on travelling Fiji by plane, seaplane and helicopter.