Country name: Republic of the Fiji Islands
Location: Fiji is located in the South Pacific, 3000km east of Australia
Capital: Suva (population 210,000)
Government: Republic since 1970, after nearly a century as a British colony
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +12 hours; Australian East Coast –20 hours
Currency: Fiji dollar (FJD)
Electricity: 240 volts, 50hz. Australian-style three-pin plugs
Language : English and Hindustani as well as several Fijian dialects
Try these Fijian phrases: Bula – the universal Fijian greeting for ‘good morning’, ‘hello’ and ‘good evening’; vinaka – ‘thank you’; kere kere – ‘please’.
Tipping: Tipping is not encouraged in Fiji. Tip with a smile and a vinaka (‘thank you’ in Fijian).
Local etiquette: Visitors are requested not to offend local sensibilities. Swimwear should be kept to the beach and resort but not when visiting villages or shopping in town. Topless sunbathing is forbidden.
Remove your hat and sunglasses when visiting a village and shoes when entering a home. When visiting a village it is customary to offer a gift of kava, the national drink. Never touch an ethnic Fijian on the head or hair as this is consider ‘tabu’.
Tip: Hats and sunscreen are a must and sneakers or sandals are advisable for walking and swimming around coral. If you cut yourself on coral pour lemon or lime juice over the wound to relieve the pain, or use hydrogen peroxide.
Did you know?: The body of water between the islands of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu is called Bligh Water after William Bligh, who arrived in 1789 after mutineers on HMS Bounty set him and 18 crew members adrift in a tiny boat.
Latest update: Fiji facts: 12 January, 2023