How to Visit the Coral Coast on a Budget
Let’s be honest, not everyone has the budget to go scuba diving every day or hang out at the day spa. So what else can you do when holidaying or travelling in paradise along the Coral Coast of Fiji? Where can you stay to save a few cents? And where can you save money on food? We’ll guide you through it all and more in this guide to the Coral Coast on a budget!
10 Tips for Visiting the Coral Coast on a Budget
- Get to the Coral Coast using the express buses
- Make use of the “kids stay, play and eat for free” resorts
- Stay in one of the budget resorts (see list beside this article)
- Load up on the free land and water activities in your resort (see below)
- Use resorts that have breakfast included
- Consider homestays and holiday homes for accommodation
- Get out of your resort and discover the cheap eats of the Coral Coast
- Visit natural attractions and towns for a cheap thing to do for the day
- Travel in the low season to find the best deals on flights and accommodation
- Make a note of when happy hour is for cheaper drinks!
For more information on each tip, head to our 10 Tips for Staying on the Coral Coast on a Budget. Plus, check out our 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do on the Coral Coast.
How to Get to the Coral Coast on a Budget
Just an hour drive between the Coral Coast’s main hub, Sigatoka, and Nadi International Airport, the Coral Coast is one of the easiest holiday destinations in Fiji to get to. You don’t need to worry about expensive boat transport: just pick your choice of road transport!
The Coral Coast by Bus
For those travelling on a budget, there’s no doubt that the cheapest way to get to the Coral Coast is via an express bus. If your resort is along the Queens Road, buses can usually drop you off right outside, or at least as close as possible. Express buses from Nadi take around 1h30min to reach the Coral Coast, costing around FJ$6-$10 per person depending on where you are travelling to. Slower public buses are also available and cheaper still. Check out Where to Book Bus Transport in Fiji? for more information.
The Coral Coast by Taxi
For a quicker and more convenient way to get to the Coral Coast, catch a taxi! Taxis don’t need to use a meter when leaving a city, like Nadi, so make sure you agree on a price before using the service. Taxi costs can be anywhere between FJ$75-$100. See 10 Things You Need to Know About Taxis in Fiji for more tips.
For more ways to get to the Coral Coast, take a look at our 5 Ways to Get to the Coral Coast.
Free & Cheap Water Activities on the Coral Coast
Who comes to Fiji and doesn’t want to get in the water?! The Coral Coast, especially, has an array of picturesque beaches fringed by coral reefs, as well as lagoons to explore. So make use of your resorts free and cheap water activities during your stay! And when you’ve got through all of those activities, you can always retreat to the poolside.
A staple of any waterfront accommodation on the Coral Coast, kayaks are always available to hire for free. Get out on the water and explore the coast surrounding your resort or test your teamwork as a couple in a double kayak! Just ask the resort staff where are the best places to paddle to.
Discover the complex and colourful underwater world of the Coral Coast by making use of the complimentary snorkelling equipment. Admittedly, the off-shore snorkelling is not as good as what you would find on Fiji’s outer islands, but resorts on the Coral Coast like the Mango Bay Resort, Crusoe’s Retreat and Bedarra Beach Inn have access to a lagoon with some fantastic snorkelling when the tide is right. Alternatively, many resorts offer snorkelling boat trips at an affordable cost.
Introductory Scuba Diving Lesson
Unsure about whether scuba diving is right for you? Don’t miss the opportunity to try it for free at your resort! Resorts such as Mango Bay Resort and Crusoe’s Retreat offer a complimentary scuba diving lesson in the resort pool.
Free & Cheap Land Activities on the Coral Coast
It’s often that the crystal clear waters of Fiji steal all the limelight, but there are plenty of amazing activities to do on land too. The Coral Coast is rich in Fijian culture which is shared through resort cultural activities and by exploring the nearby towns and villages. Plus, don’t miss some of the Coral Coast’s natural attractions.
Fijian Cultural Activities
Fijians are happy to share their island traditions and culture with visitors, where budget travellers will get lots of opportunities to learn through resorts like Mango Bay Resort, The Beachhouse and Crusoe’s Retreat. Make your own souvenir in a traditional Fijian weaving lesson, learn to cook Fijian food, make coconut jewellery and more!
These resorts also immerse guests into the Fijian culture with kava ceremonies, a staple of the Fiji islands where new visitors share a narcotic drink with villagers (or in this case, the resort staff). The most authentic version of this is when actually visiting a village through a guided village tour or a homestay in a village, so be prepared with some Yaqona (kava root) to present as sevusevu (a gift). For information is available in our Fiji Village Etiquette: What to Do When Visiting a Fijian Village.
Finally, these resorts also come alive at night with traditional Fijian song and dance known as “meke”. This is a captivating experience which is sure to lift the spirit!
Shops & Markets in Sigatoka
Get out and explore the nearby towns of the Coral Coast! The hub of the Coral Coast is Sigatoka, full of locally-run stores and the Sigatoka Market. The market is a must-do, not only to see the array of tropical fruit, vegetables and seafood but to mingle with the friendly locals and stallholders. Local buses are cheap to get to and from Sigatoka, otherwise, enquire if you resort operates a shuttle service.
Sigatoka Sand Dunes
Get out an stretch your legs while discovering the unusual landscapes of the Sigatoka Sand Dunes. The Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park is Fiji’s first national park, protected for its unique nature and history. The visitor centre is open 8am-5pm, costing around FJ$10 per adult to access the walking trails ranging 1 to 2 hours. Highlights of the park include archaeological sites where you can see ancient artefacts, as well as pockets of forest for bird-watching.
This breathtaking waterfall and swimming hole is a popular natural attraction on the Coral Coast that, while many offer pricey tours to the falls, can be done for rather cheap. Either drive or take a taxi to the village of Biausevu, where local villagers will guide you to the Biausevu Waterfall, also known as the Savu Na Mate Lava Waterfall, for a small fee in Fijian dollars cash.
Finally, many budget resorts on the Coral Coast offer plenty of ways to get competitive with your partner, family or travel buddies on land with sports such as beach volleyball, table tennis, pool table, badminton, and island favourites like crab racing and coconut bowling. The Beachhouse even offers free daily yoga classes!
Dining on a Budget on the Coral Coast
The obvious place to eat is at the budget resort you are staying at, but those who go out exploring the Coral Coast will come across much cheaper restaurants and cafes. Some resorts like the Namolevu Beach Bures have a very affordable menu, while other resorts like The Beachhouse and Coral Lagoon Fiji Resort offer complimentary breakfasts. If you want to treat your tastebuds on a budget, here are some of the cheap eats along the Coral Coast!
Cheap Eats on the Coral Coast
Those staying near or passing through Korotoga, don’t miss Cafe Planet Fiji for a cheap lunch and your coffee fix. You can pick up pies, wraps and sandwiches for under FJ$10!
In Sigatoka, try the crowd-pleasing food at the Grill Seekers Cafe making breakfast and lunch food made to order, or sample real punchy flavours at Raj’s Curry House! Speaking of Indian, don’t miss the flavoursome curries at Indiana Curry House in Namatakula for under FJ$20.
When passing through Cuvu, stop by Tomlu’s Seafood Restaurant for Indian curries, fish & chips, omelettes and vegetarian Chinese food all for under FJ$20!
For more recommendations, head to our Top Cheap Eats on the Coral Coast.