Travel Guide to the ‘Home of Happiness’: What Can You Do in Fiji Under 6, 12, 24 and 48 Hours?

Travel Guide to the ‘Home of Happiness’: What Can You Do in Fiji Under 6, 12, 24 and 48 Hours?

Who knew you could do so much on a short Fiji stopover?

Welcome to Fiji, or rather, bula maleya! A land of pristine waters, lush rainforests, enchanting volcanoes, and the happiest people around — this island country — 333 islands, to be exact —  is paradise beyond description. Although small, there are plenty of things to do in the ‘Home of Happiness’, from beach-bumming to fire-walking, made to give you a taste of the sweet tropical life in the South Pacific.

a Fiji island

Image credit: South Sea Cruises

Located east of Australia, Fiji is also the ideal stopover point for those travelling across the Pacific to the US or New Zealand from Singapore. Rather than enduring a gruelling non-stop flight from one continent to the other, why not transit in Fiji? 

More than a breather, a Fiji stopover lets you explore the wonders of this fascinating nation without breaking a sweat. Good for any duration from a few hours to two days, here are some of the activities you can do while on transit in Fiji!

Also read: Travel Guide: A 6D4N Fiji Itinerary for a Sun-Kissed Adventure

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Why not land on a beach paradise before heading to the big cities or mountainous wonders?  Fly to the US or New Zealand via Fiji with Fiji Airways

As a thank you for voting the 4-star airline as the best airline staff in Australia/Pacific, adult return economy tickets are going from only S$665, until 8 August! At airfares this low, it’s a breeze to explore this South Pacific island country!

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Under 6 hours

Freshen up at the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge

fiji airways premier lounge

Image credit: Fiji Airways

A 10-hour Singapore-to-Fiji flight is no joke. It’s a good thing Nadi International Airport has a world-class selection of airport lounges all set to pamper you on your short stopover in Fiji. For one, there’s the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge

Opened in 2017, it comes with spacious seating areas, a business centre, a media room and, to those looking to fill up before continuing the rest of their trip, its own buffet station. Keep your eyes open for the Fiji Bean Cart, too. This Fijian trademark serves conveniently prepared delicacies with a unique Fijian-Indian culinary twist!

Available from 5am to 11pm daily at the Departures Terminal, the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge is also equipped with a nursing station, wheelchair-accessible restrooms, fully furnished shower areas and a pay-for-use spa. From a price of US$25 (~S$34), you can avail a foot ritual and seated chair massage good for 10 minutes each, or even a refreshing facial treatment good for 45 minutes! What a way to get set for the next half of the trip, right?

Search for unique and affordable airport buys

fiji airport duty-free shops

Image credit: Fiji Airports

Fiji’s main international airport may not be massive in size, but the facility is teeming with colourful stores that sell items from jewellery and bags to books and toys. They’re even awesome companions to take to your final destination. Looking for more unique products? Choose from their wide collection of artworks, music memorabilia and woodware that make for fantastic gifts to your friends in the US, New Zealand or back home in Singapore. And before you ask, they’re all locally made, too!

On the other hand, Prouds and Tappoo offer amazing duty-free shopping opportunities in Fiji, and you can find them in both International Arrival and Departure Terminals. But which particular Fijian products should you buy? Since you only have a few hours, maybe even minutes, to shop, just keep these brand names in mind: Pure Fiji and Fiji Rum.

One of the most successful beauty brands in the country, Pure Fiji uses hand-selected Fijian plant extracts to create premium products for both men and women, including lotions, soaps, creams and body scrubs. They even have eco-friendly gift packs perfect for your significant other! 

Then, there’re Fiji Rum, a go-to brand for fine spirits in Fiji. Some must-try flavours include White Chocolate Rum, Coconut Rum Liquor and the Signature Rum. You might recognise them after flying with Fiji Airways, since the airline serves Fiji Rum products in their flights, too!

Under 12 hours

Pamper yourself at a nearby Fiji hotel or resort

fiji gateway hotel poolside

Image credit: Fiji Gateway Hotel

Got a stopover in Fiji longer than six hours? As Singaporeans are visa-exempt when travelling to the island, you can use those extra hours to head out of Nadi International Airport and explore Fiji. You don’t have to go too far — close to the airport are a few top-rated hotels, resorts, and recreational centres that provide a wealth of pampering opportunities for transit passengers stopping by the island for half a day.

Directly across the airport is Fiji Gateway Hotel. Great for families, couples and business travellers alike, this old-world tropical hotel in Fiji has a swimming pool, gym and restaurants that go well with any budget and schedule! 

For the best spa in Fiji, go to First Landing Beach Resort and Villas. They’re known for using high-quality Fijian products for all their treatments. The resort also has its own coral sand beach from where you can embark on a quick aqua adventure, such as kayaking and snorkelling, while staying close to the airport.

Go on a Nadi town tour

On Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu lies the city of Nadi, the country’s main transportation hub (hence Nadi International Airport). Just a few square kilometres bigger than Sentosa Island, it is also the most convenient and ideal destination to get a glimpse of authentic Fijian life.

Depending on your stopover schedule, you can avail a day tour from a local operator like Urban Adventures. A sample three-hour itinerary includes visiting a local market, riding a traditional open-window bus and eating traditional Fijian lunch at a local restaurant. 

On the other hand, if you do choose to DIY it, simply hail a cab outside the airport and let the driver know where to take you. Some stops that you’d want to consider include: Garden of Sleeping Giant, Viseisei Village, and Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple, which is the largest Hindu temple in the Southern Hemisphere!

Embark on a relaxing day tour to the islands

island-hopping cruise in fiji

Image credit: Whale’s Tale

If you’ve ever seen a photo of Fiji, chances are it’s of a white sand beach surrounded by clear blue waters and rows of palm trees. Seems too out of reach for a half-day stopover? Not really! As Fiji is a small country comprised of 333 islands, you can venture out to a few of them from the airport through one of several day tours.

With a bottle of sunscreen handy, embark on a sailing adventure to Schooner Island with Whale’s Tour. With their team, you’ll leave from Port Denarau for an exclusive day cruise wherein you can snorkel and enjoy authentic Fijian meals! The tour lasts up to eight hours, so only do this if you have nothing else in mind for your Fiji stopover. Otherwise, take a Half Day Island Chill tour to Robinson Crusoe Island. In just four hours, you can explore the area, snorkel, kayak, and participate in eye-opening cultural activities.

Under 24 hours

Immerse in the heart of Fiji tourism around Sigatoka

sigatoka

Image credit: Tourism Fiji

Contrary to its name, most of Coral Coast’s charm rests away from the shores of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island. But that’s not to say you can’t find a thing or two to do in this famed attraction in Fiji. For starters, you’ll want to rent good snorkelling gear or a surfboard because upon reaching a portion of its 80-kilometre shoreline, you can’t help but get into the waters for your DIY water adventure.

When you’re all dried off, head into the heart of Sigatoka town at the mouth of Sigatoka River. Here, you’ll find Fiji’s first national park called Sigatoka Sand Dunes. Covering a total area of 650 hectares, it also happens to be the country’s only sand dunes, which go up as high as 60 metres. 

Have a few hours left to spare? Go on a Sigatoka River Safari guided jet boat tour. More than a scenic journey through Fiji’s world-renowned river, the tour also lets you visit real Fijian villages where you can interact with the locals. How enriching!

Check in at a world-class island resort in Fiji

denarau island

Image credit: Denarau Island

If you prefer to take it slow, how about checking in at a world-class resort in Fiji at Denarau Island? Known as the biggest integrated resort spot in the South Pacific, this popular tropical destination in Fiji has plenty of thrilling or relaxing — depending on your choice — activities up its sleeves for transit passengers like you. Don’t be fooled, though, it’s actually attached to the mainland of Viti Levu through a causeway, so it’s easily accessible from Nadi International Airport.

With nine beautiful family-friendly resorts with their own luxurious suites and recreational facilities, you can find a place to get pampered without bumping elbows with the rest of the Fiji crowd. Try golfing in the 18-hole championship course, swimming to your heart’s content in picturesque pools, or having a go at the wave pool in Big Bula Waterpark. Denarau Island also offers an amazing array of dining and shopping venues that are just too tempting to miss out on!

Spend a full day at South Sea Island

swimming off south sea island

Image credit: South Sea Cruises

To some of us who get lost in the moment too easily, 24 hours in Fiji can still seem pretty hectic. Spending an entire day at a single, compact destination such as South Sea Island is certainly ideal. Only 30 minutes from Port Denarau, this little spot in the Mamanuca Islands proves that big things do come in small packages.

The South Sea Island Day Cruise by South Sea Cruises offers a handful of activities to help you take in the sun, sand and sea of Fiji. Hop on the semi-submersible coral viewer, take an introductory diving lesson or even join a game of volleyball with the rest of the group. Later on in the day, you can laze away on South Sea Island’s stunning beach, lie down on a massage bed or watch a traditional Meke performance. But not after you’ve devoured a delicious lunch prepared by Fijians as part of the package! It’s truly an island experience to remember.

Under 48 hours

Go on multi-island hopping tour of Fiji

castaway island adventure

Image credit: Castaway Island

Like I said, Fiji is home to over 300 distinct islands and it would be a shame to miss out on a few more of them on your Fiji stopover. With two days in the country, however, you can opt to visit two to three of these stunning islands without compromising your flight to the US, New Zealand or Singapore.

If you’re a partygoer, or at least interested to see how the party life is like in Fiji, head off to Beachcomber Island. This popular tourist spot in Fiji offers a range of accommodations ideal for different types of travellers, from dorms to bungalows. Plus, you get to enjoy island activities designed for all ages! Even better, it only takes less than an hour by cruise boat to get to the island from Port Denarau.

Another great option, particularly for families and couples, is Castaway Island. It’s a private four-star resort also located in the Mamanuca Islands. Quite the opposite of its name, the island is incredibly child-friendly and equipped with modern conveniences to make your Fiji stopover worth treasuring. And, compared to most small islands in Fiji, it’s covered in dense rainforests which make it the perfect destination for learning more about Fiji’s amazing flora and fauna.

If you’re looking for more options for your island-hopping, consider some of the other members of the Mamanuca Islands. Most of them are easily accessible from Fiji’s main island, and offer enthralling surprises for a two-day stopover in Fiji.

Get to know more about Fiji’s capital city of Suva

a market in suva

Image credit: Suva City Council

Home to most of its top tourist attractions, Viti Levu is brimming with offshore activities that’ll get transit passengers excited to leave the airport behind before taking up the next leg of their trip. Once you’ve checked in to your hotel of choice, and perhaps explored a bit of Nadi, it’s time to venture far out of Fiji’s main transit hub into Fiji’s capital and largest city itself, Suva. Nearly 200 kilometres southeast of Nadi, Suva is reachable within five hours by bus or arranged transfer.

You can choose to spend a night in a hotel in Suva just so you don’t feel pressed for time, especially when you have attractions that demand more than a quick visit. For starters, there’s the Fiji Museum, where you can see a large collection of important Fijian artefacts, and the Suva Municipal Market, where locals from different parts of Fiji go to sell their own produce. You also can’t leave the city without hanging around one of its 78 parks, including Takashi Suzuki Garden and Albert Park!

2 Night Free Stopover in Fiji

If you need more reason to explore the wonders of Fiji, 

Fiji Airways is offering two FREE nights for your stopover en route to New Zealand or USA!

The free stay at Tanoa International Hotel includes round-trip airport transfers from Nadi International Airport, as well as the option to upgrade to one of Fiji Airways’ First Class partner resorts at special rates!

The stopover nights may be used once, in either direction, and follow a twin share basis. A single-occupant surcharge of USD$100 (S$137) applies.

Get your FREE stopover at Fiji

*Terms and conditions apply.

Also read: 20 Fun Things to Do in Fiji on Your First Visit

Some people say there’s no real measure to happiness. But, in this case, I guess we’ll have to make an exemption. Fiji offers everything you could ask for in a tropical getaway, even when it’s as simple as a stopover on your way to the US or New Zealand. Even then, this radiant South Pacific island nation won’t let you down. Tou lako!


Brought to you by Fiji Airways.

About Author

Joser Ferreras
Joser Ferreras

Joser is a researcher-turned-writer who likes to consider himself as a “modern-day Spartan” by taking his time and crafting his own adventures while travelling. Born and raised in the province, he has a natural liking for raw experiences and long, long walks on paved roads and rocky trails. Indoors, he's usually seen in front of his laptop, a.k.a. “Kenny”, managing social media pages, writing scripts and articles, or watching videos and reconnecting with friends.

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