Are you traveling from North America to New Zealand or Australia, vice-versa? What about going from New Zealand or Australia to Japan or Hong Kong, vice-versa? Taking a long layover in Fiji is a great way to break up the flight without breaking the bank. For those of you that donโ€™t want the 15 hours+ trip from North America to New Zealand/Australia, this can be a great option to break up that long flight.

Fiji Airways has a stopover program, allowing any traveler to stay up to 72 hours in Nadi at no additional airfare charge. Emirates (Singapore/Dubai)and Iceland Air (Iceland) also do this.

Another alternative to a stopover program with Fiji airways is setting up a round trip flight to Fiji and then a roundtrip flight to your next destination. To do this, search for Nadi airport in Wikipedia. Many people do not know this, but Wikipedia lists all the airlines at a major airport and their direct flight destinations.

As you can see in the link, you could fly Fiji Airways from San Fransico, do a 72-hour stopover and fly Fiji airways to Auckland. Or you could check to see if a roundtrip flight from San Fransico (Fiji Airways) to Nadi and a roundtrip flight from Nadi (Air New Zealand) to Auckland is cheaper or compare both options if you would like to stay more than 72 hours in Fiji. The greatest part about creating your layover is you do not need to rely on an airline alliance.

Suggested Itentinary for your 48 Hour stay in Nadi.

Speaking specifically for Fiji Airways, flights from the US and early in the morning (remember itโ€™s +2 days) Leave on Thursday, arrive Saturday morning. Flights from New Zealand/Australia land in the afternoon/evening. Since the majority of my readers are from the US, I will focus on a 48-hour itinerary for them.

Day 1: Arrival & Cab/Car Hire (05:30 โ€“ 07:00)

Expect customs and baggage claim to take 1.5 hours. After this you have two options, to hire a car, or to get a cab, and have them be your driver for your trip. If you go the cab route, be sure to grab cash. The atm fee is FJD $15.

Drive to Hotel & Check-In (07:00 โ€“ 08:30)

Head straight to Denarau Island; this will be the best place to stay for a short-term stay(Hotel/Airbnb). Check-in to your accommodation (pro tip: book the night before so that you can check in immediately). Denarau Island has plenty of shops and restaurants as well as tourist options for heading out to one of the smaller islands for a day.

This is a short 25-minute drive from the airport; cab fair should be no more than FJD $30.

Adventure Day 1 (08:30 โ€“ 14:15)

Call your cab driver or drive yourself out to  Sleeping Giant Zip Line, please note that if there has been heavy rain, you may have a difficult time driving. As you get closer to the sleeping giant, the roads are kind of non-existent; youโ€™ll see what I mean. Cab driver might be best, and you will have to pay them to sit there.

The drive from Denarau Island to the Sleeping Giant is about 45 minutes. Once youโ€™re there, plan for three to four hours. After zip-line, you can take an easy hike to the waterfall, which you can swim in. The walk is about twenty minutes; they will provide water and a tour guide, as well as a mosquito repellant.

After the zip line, head over to the Tifajek Mud Pool & Hotspring. This is a short 10-minute drive from the Zip Line, and if the rain caused you to turn around from the zip line, the road to the Hotsprings should be in good condition, so no need to turn around and head back to Denarau Island. Expect to stay an hour; if you want a massage, you might stay up to an additional hour. They do have towels for hire.

Lunch & Shopping Day 1 (14:15 โ€“ 16:45)

Driving back into town from the Mud Pools, make your way towards Nadi and stop for lunch. Many restaurants and shops. Most of the parking available is street parking. This will be about a 30-minute drive.

After lunch head back to Denarau Island, as youโ€™re on your way back be sure to stop at the Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple.

Dinner & Relaxing Day 1 (16:45 โ€“ 20:00)

Head back to your hotel, walk around Denarau Island, enjoy some of the live shows they have in the evening, do some shopping and eat/drink.

Hypothetical Route for Day 1 Adventure

Day 2: Adventure (06:30 โ€“ 19:00)

Assume your flight ends up leaving tomorrow (Day 3), you have a few options for your second full day in Fiji. Most of the beach days start early in the morning and the same with surfing.

Option 1 โ€“ Surfing Day 2 (06:30 14:00)

Meet up in Denarau Island with Surf Co; they have hotel pick up and drop-offs in Denarau. Be sure to book at least one day in advance. There are two options, for beginners you can take some lessons, which is what I did. Otherwise, they have surfing tours. Surf Lessons are FJD $270, and surf tours are FJD $160.

The surf lesson will take you to the famous โ€œsexyโ€ Natadola Beach.

You will be in Denarau between 13:00 โ€“ 14:00 and in time for a late lunch.

Option 1 โ€“ Sand Dunes Day 2 (15:00 โ€“ 19:00)

After your day of surfing, drive out to Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, the cost for entry is FJD $10 per person. The drive is an hour away from Denarau Island. If you end up doing the surf lessons, you could ask Surf Co if you could drive separately and then leave directly from Natadola Beach, which is a half-hour drive to the Sand Dunes. You could get Lunch in Sigatoka which is 10 minutes further East from the Sand Dunes.

They do close at 17:00; they have a one hour walk and a two-hour walk, both round trip. So keep that in mind if youโ€™re a time constraint.

Option 1 โ€“ Dinner Day 2 (19:00 โ€“ 21:00)

Head back to your hotel, walk around Denarau Island, enjoy some of the live shows they have in the evening, do some shopping and eat/drink.

Hypothetical Route for Day 2 Adventure Option 1

Option 2 โ€“ Malamala Beach Club Day 2 (08:00 โ€“ 18:00)

Malamala Beach Club is rated as one of the better smaller islands to visit for a day spa. They have plenty of activities, use of kayak, paddleboards, and snorkeling gear is included in the price. The price is FJD $169, but you may be able to find deals when booking near the pier at Denarau Island.

It is about an hour boat ride to the island is open from 10:00 โ€“ 17:00.

Spend your whole day relaxing with beach-side service.

Final Day โ€“ Flight & One Last Adventure (08:00 โ€“ 22:00)

So depending on how adventurous you are, you could smoothly go surfing, or spend a day at the Malamala beach club, depending on what you chose for your second-day adventure.

Most flights leave at night, so again I will stress; be sure to book an extra night for your hotel, so you have a place to store your luggage during the day and shower or rest after any adventure you take on before heading to the airport.

On our last day, we booked a round trip ferry that took us out for three hours and went around all the islands that people stayed at and went near the reef. We even saw the island where they film survivor; depending on which ferry you take you can go around the famous Castaway Island.

You can always head into Nadi and check out the town, although there isnโ€™t much to look at in my opinion, or you could take a day golfing, whichever suits you.

I hope this encourages you to take a โ€œstayoverโ€ in Fiji instead of a layover or a direct flight. Safe Travels and enjoys your time in the many beautiful islands of Fiji.


4 thoughts on “48 Hours in Nadi, Fiji

  1. Next time I visit Australia, I will have to do a layover in Fiji! Having a stop over with surfing and ziplining sounds like a blast and a much better option than a 14-16 hours nonstop flight from the US!

    1. Absolutely, so sorry for the delay in response time. Thanks for reading my post! If you have any questions about your future stopover, please reach out, more than happy to help.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: