Driving can be a great way to explore Fiji, which has approximately 3,300 kilometers (2,050 miles) of roads, 1,200 of them being tar-sealed. The majority of the sealed highways are on one of the main Fijian Islands, Viti Levu. However, there has been road construction around the island for several years, with only 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of road in the Korovou (on the northeastern corner of Viti Levu) completed. The other main Fijian island, Vanua Levu, also has a road between Savusavu in the south and Labasa in the north that has been recently sealed.
Though sealed roads are usually well-constructed, drivers should keep an eye out for potholes, as well as speed bumps on roads near some villages, which are larger than they appear and can be found prior to entering Nadi from the airport and on the road in the Viseisei Village, which is located between Nadi and Lautoka. Villagers can also wander dangerously close to moving vehicles or sit in groups on the edges of highways, which is another reason why you should be especially careful when driving near villages.
Besides villagers, Fijian residents receive little driving education, so they may do some otherwise not so intelligent actions while driving on the road, such as tailgating dangerously close or passing another vehicle on a blind curve. Animals, such as cattle, goats and horses, are other dangers to watch out for while driving, especially at night, since they feed on the edges of highways and can wander across.
In Fiji, driving is on the left side of the road, with the maximum speed limit being 80 km/h (50 mph), though it is only 50km/h (30 mph) in residential areas.
Safety on the Roads in Fiji
There are numerous dangers drivers can come in contact with while driving on the roads in Fiji. By knowing these and taking the following precautions, you can have a better and safer driving experience on your trip:
Wear your seatbelt as a driver or passenger at all times.
Obey all traffic laws and signs.
Avoid driving at night, as it can be more difficult to see a pedestrian or animal, and you are more likely to come in contact with drunk drivers. Also, do not drive in adverse weather conditions, including rain, as rain usually falls down heavily in Fiji.
Watch out for villagers, animals, potholes, speed bumps and other drivers while on the road.
Fiji Rental Cars
Fiji recognizes driving licenses from English-speaking countries (drivers from other countries need an international driving permit), so if you have this you are able to drive a rental vehicle. Many car rental agencies have sprung up on the islands over the past few years, and rental desks can be found in every major hotel. It is recommended to rent from a name brand agency, as although their cars are more expensive, you are much more likely to get a late model vehicle that is in great condition.
Rates vary, but on average the cost of renting a vehicle is around F$90-100 per day for unlimited travel. If you are interested in driving to more remote areas, you can also rent a 4WD vehicle.
There are service stations near all major towns, though there are very few in some of the rural areas. If you find that you are running out of fuel on a back road, you can check in village shops, which frequently sell fuel from drums. Petrol usually costs around F$2 a liter.