How to Visit Beqa Island and the Pacific Harbour on a Budget
Ok, so the “adventure capital of Fiji” isn’t exactly your cheapest destination in Fiji when you consider all the action-packed (and expensive) activities on offer. But don’t be deterred! With cheap transport, affordable accommodation options and a great selection of free and cheap things to do, a holiday on the Pacific Harbour can actually work out to be a cheaper way to experience “Fiji time” than visiting the outer islands! And if you have a few extra dough to spend on that dream shark scuba dive or jet boating up the Navua River, well, that’s just a bonus. Figure it all out with this guide to Beqa Island and the Pacific Harbour on a budget!
6 Tips for Visiting the Pacific Harbour and Beqa on a Budget
- Take an express bus to get to the Pacific Harbour for the cheapest way to get there
- Make use of the free activities provided at your resort! Remember, non-motorised watersport equipment is usually free to use
- Check out the restaurants outside of your resort for the best deals on food!
- Want to go to Beqa Island? There is a cheap local boat running from Navua Mondays-Fridays. Their timetable, however, runs on Fiji time
- Spend time doing the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do on the Pacific Harbour
- Plan to visit in the low season – January-May – to open up more accommodation options with cheaper hotel rates.
How to Get to the Pacific Harbour and Beqa
The Pacific Harbour is situated on the southeast coast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island. Located along the Queens Road, about 2h30min drive from Nadi and 1 hour from Suva, the Pacific Harbour is easily accessible via road transport. Beqa Island is just off the shore of the Pacific Harbour, taking around 45 minutes to access by boat. Here are some of your cheapest options to get to the Pacific Harbour.
Travelling to the Pacific Harbour by Bus
Taking the express bus from Nadi or Suva is a no-brainer for budget travellers. The express buses take around one hour from Suva and three-four hours from Nadi to travel to the Pacific Harbour. While the travel time might be lengthy, at FJ$10-$20 per person between Nadi and the Pacific Harbour or FJ$5-$15 per person between Suva and the Pacific Harbour, who can complain? Find express bus services with Pacific Transport, Sunbeam Transport and Coral Sun that go through the Pacific Harbour. Check out Where to Book Bus Transport in Fiji? for more information on taking the bus in Fiji.
Travelling to the Pacific Harbour by Taxi
While taxis do travel between Nadi International Airport and the Pacific Harbour, this is not a very cost-effective way of getting to the Pacific Harbour for budget travellers, with trips usually being FJ$150-$200 one way. A taxi from Suva, however, is worth considering for those who want to get from A to B quickly and conveniently. Expect taxi fares for this trip to be around FJ$40-$60 one way.
Boat Transfers to Beqa Island
If you are staying on one of the Beqa Island resorts, then you have a couple of options to get to the island from the Pacific Harbour. The easiest way to get to Beqa Island is through a resort boat transfer, costing around FJ$150-$230 one way for 1-3 people (with Lawaki Beach House budget accommodation). Alternatively, a local boat runs from Navua between 12pm-2.30pm Monday-Saturday costing around FJ$40 per person one way.
For more ways to get to the Pacific Harbour, see our 7 Ways to Get to the Pacific Harbour & Beqa.
Free & Cheap Water Activities on the Pacific Harbour
We all know that Fiji is all about getting on (or in) the water one way or the other. While there are many exciting adventure activities on the Navua River and around the Beqa Lagoon that come at a pricey cost, here are some of your best options for keeping things cheap on water activities.
Admit it, you came to Fiji to get in some pool time! Budget accommodation like the Tsulu Backpackers and the Uprising Beach Resort have their own outdoor swimming pools surrounded by sun loungers for some ultimate relaxation.
How can you come to Fiji and not go snorkelling? The Pacific Harbour is close to the Beqa Lagoon, which is a protected area for marine life. This makes it a hell of a lively area to snorkel with tropical fish, vibrant corals and even sometimes some welcome surprises like turtles! While the use of snorkelling gear for snorkelling off the beach is free at accommodations like the Lawaki Beach House and the Uprising Beach Resort, it’s worth paying a little extra for a boat trip to the Beqa Lagoon. Sea Fiji Reefs runs snorkelling tours with all the equipment and transport included, as well as a few light and yummy refreshments. Find out more about Sea Fiji Reefs on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Explore the coast and experience the tranquillity of kayaking from your resort or homestay. With clear waters, it’s common to see fish and other marine life just below your kayak. Kayaks are free to use with resorts like the Uprising Beach Resort and Lawaki Beach House. Ask your resort where are the best places to kayak to.
Free and Cheap Land Activities on the Pacific Harbour and Beqa
Aside from scenic beach strolls, what else can you do for free or cheap on the Pacific Harbour or Beqa Island? Here are some of our recommendations.
Watch a Game of Rugby
The Pacific Harbour is the centre of Fiji’s most-loved sport: rugby. The Pacific Harbour is the national training ground for the national rugby sevens team. If you can’t catch a game on one of the beaches, you’ll certainly catch one at the rugby field located by the Uprising Beach Resort.
Beach sports are a staple of any beachfront resort in Fiji and that’s especially the case on the Pacific Harbour and Beqa! Enjoy a game with fellow travellers or your travel mates at the end of the day on the beach of the Uprising Beach Resort and Lawaki Beach House. Use of beach sports equipment is free of charge.
Sunday Local Church Service
A free cultural experience is attending a church service on a Sunday. The harmonious singing is an uplifting experience and is reason alone to attend a church service. Resorts can organise transport or information for the nearest churches to experience their services. Otherwise, there are two options in the Pacific Harbour: one at 7:30am in the Makosoi Village (know your village protocol before you visit) and one at 10am in Lomary which is more accessible for visitors.
Explore the Pacific Harbour Town and Navua
The Pacific Harbour is unlike any other town in Fiji with its manicured lawns and cul-de-sacs, while the nearby Navua is more of a classically Fijian town. Either way, both areas are worth wandering around to visit the souvenir shops, eateries and produce markets.
Stepping into this mock-up Fijian village is an experience in itself. After you cross a bridge over a lagoon of lily pads, you’ll enter a shopping centre of more than 50 shops and 14 eateries all decorated with traditional-style thatched roofs and other Fijian decor. The Arts Village is also home to the budget accommodation, Tsulu Backpackers, as well as a cultural attraction village and a show with Fijian meke dancing, fire-walking and more. The cultural attraction requires a fee of around FJ$60 per adult and FJ$30 per child, so it certainly won’t break the bank to attend.
Dining on the Budget on the Pacific Harbour
Those staying in the Pacific Harbour and Navua will find that venturing outside of their resort will open up a whole array of cheap dining options! Curry houses, burger bars and cafes are a great place to sit down for a bite to eat without breaking the bank.
Cheap Eats on the Pacific Harbour
Get your burger fix at Beach Bum Burgers (Beach Road) serving up an array of hearty burgers, from classics like bacon and cheeseburgers to island-style burgers with pineapple. You can also pick up an affordable fish & chips meal! Prices are FJ$18-$24.
Ah, Fiji, how we love you for your cheap but delectable curry houses! Rik’s Harbour Curry House (Queens Road near The Pearl Resort) does lamb, fish and chicken curries for under FJ$10 or plenty of other options like chop suey, fried rice and stir-frys for FJ$10-$15! Hell, they even do a couple of sandwiches for less than FJ$2!
You’ll also find cheap Chinese food at Mama’s Dumpling Cafe and seafood at Kevis Fish on Chips. Find out more in our Top Cheap Eats on the Pacific Harbour.
Eating on Beqa Island
Needless to say, Beqa Island isn’t brimming with shops and restaurants. When staying at the budget Lawaki Beach House, meal plans will keep you fed with classic Fijian dishes for around FJ$70-80 per adult, children FJ$50-$60 and children under four years eat free. Plans include breakfast and a three-course dinner each day.