As of 1 January 2016, the population of Fiji was estimated to be 902 964 people. this is from http://countrymeters.info/en/Fiji.
If you have never been to Fiji before, then you are in for a pleasant surprise when you first exit your aircraft at Nadi airport. After hours in an air conditioned aircraft, the first thing to hit you is a wave of hot air. Nadi airport is near the coast, so there is generally a cooler sea breeze blowing... so shorts and T shirt are going to be all you will need for the rest of your vacation!
The Nadi Airport is in full swing with it's new renovations. The airport is in a bit of a mess at the moment (June 2015) but it is moving on very quickly with the help of the over seas contractors.
The entrance to the Airport now has a new four lane highway with traffic light that work and we have a new customs hall and departure lounge. All we have to wait for now is the new four lane Highway from the Airport through Namaka to Denarau. It is a nail biting, horn tooting traffic jam every day, so us locals take the back road to Nadi then cut over to the Denarua Road to save a lot of time.
Nadi is a great place to use as a Home base for exploring. Take some day trips to places such as the garden of the sleeping giants, Mud pools, Nadi markets and bush walks into the highlands. How about a two hour drive North to Rakiraki via Ba, very quiet, not so many tourist and the prices are cheaper. Head off high up into the Highland, for fresh crisp cool unpolluted air and stunning water falls, it's just a short two hour drive. If you prefer the great blue yonder, how about taking a thirty minute boat ride out to a tropical Islands and swim with the colorful coral fish.
Yes, Nadi is a busy town with plenty to see and lots to do come day or night. On the other hand if you prefer to just relax in a quiet Resort and read your book, and just eat and sleep, try the Coral Coast or Rakiraki. I would not wast my time at coral coast, I would head out to one of the Island were you can snorkel in clear water.
If you pick a Resort down the Coral Coast you have a two hour drive form Nadi to start with. Next, is the rain. Yes, it rains a lot compared to Nadi, you could end up with a week of rain. And for Restaurants, If you want a break for the expensive Resorts Restaurants you cant. Were as in Nadi there are Nine Restaurants that we like to visit with out going to the Expensive Resorts. And to help you burn off the calories form last night,go on one of many short day trips within twenty minutes of Nadi.
You can take the ferry to the Mamanucas and Yasawas. The best of both worlds: you get cheaper accommodation, while still having access to all the great things on offer in the Mamanucas
If you are heading to one of the outer islands, then it's possible that part of your vacation will include an overnight stay in Nadi (depending on your arrival or departure times). If that's the case, don't think of it as just a place to twiddle your thumbs, waiting for your flight. Get out and explore Nadi, you will be glad you did!
While we don't recommend walking the main street after 1 Am , especially Fri-Sat nights, We have taken a stroll down the main street around 8 Pm. Every one on the street was very friendly Bula Bula, was called out with enthusiasm. No one hassled us at all. But walking down the main street during the day is a hassled, you can get pulled in to a shop by an over eager sales person.
I had to tell one guy to let my hand go right now in a very strong tone. You shake there hand when offered with respect, when they deliberately hold on to your hand and try to drag you into the shop, I will fight back.
So if you don't want to be Hassled your best option is to walk on the road side of the footpath stay away from the shop entrance.
The main shopping center starts at the bridge that crosses the Nadi river, and goes for around 1 mile before ending at the Sri Siva Subramaniya temple. You will find banks and ATMs for both Westpac and ANZ (withdrawal limits from the ATM is $900), as well as several Vodaofone and Digicell shops, cloths, shoes and souvenir shops by the dozen, Supermarkets,chemist, jewelry, hardware, Restaurants and small fast food outlets.
While we are talking about Souvenir shop, there is only one we recommend and this one is at the bridge end of town it is the fourth shop on the left hand side of the road. the rest of the souvenir shops you have to tread carefully.
As you stroll leisurely around Nadi thinking, what can I spent my $50 on, a guy is going to walk right up to you and say Bula and shake your hand, welcome to Fiji, were are you from, then is going to hit you with I can take you to a cheep, (Ripoff) Souvenir shop. He is try to get you to follow him upstairs, down stairs or down a back street, to a souvenir shop were he gets a commission. Yes, I can here you saying I am to old to fall for that trick, good.
data-custom-mark="true"At the moment in Nadi, June 2015 you can be talked into having a Kava ceremony for $200. The powder Kava you can buy down in the Nadi market for just $5, $10 or $30, a $5 bag is ample for four people. Or you will get come, you are welcome to sit down with us and join in a Fijian Kava ceremony, but the catch is you have to buy $$$$$$ of Souvenirs or they will ask you to give them some money to help pay for the kava ($100 would be nice thank you). I am not saying all of the Souvenir shop in Nadi are out to rip you off, there are some very friendly honest guy out there working hard to make an honest buck.
There are several nightclubs and bars towards the temple end of the road, which we suggest you avoid. They are "locals only" type of places. Your best option is to got to one of the seven resorts in Denarau, I know the Sheraton Resort has a very very good live band form 8 PM till Late, If you don't like the Band just walk five minutes along the water front to the next Resort and so on and so on. This will take you around forty minutes to walk form one end to the other, so long as you don't stop at every bar for too long. A stubby of Fiji Gold in town will cost you around $2,80 I have been stung $12. The Resorts do not take cash, but they love your credit cards, this way they can charge you an additional 5%, so read your receipt before leaving.
If you are keen to know what entertainment is on at night, walk around to all the Resorts in Denarua during the day and pick up a daily or weekly activity list, so you can plain your night out.