Fiji is a popular destination for family holidays. If you’re flying with Fiji Airways to the United States, or perhaps somewhere in the Pacific, a Nadi stopover can also be a very pleasant way to break up the trip with some island time relaxation!
Nadi is neither the capital of Fiji, nor the largest city – that’s Suva – but it is home to the country’s main airport and very close to the main resorts. The national carrier, Fiji Airways, is based at Nadi International Airport on the island of Viti Levu.
Whether you’re staying in Fiji for a few hours or a few weeks, this AFF guide will help you to make the most of your Nadi stopover!
A special thanks to AFF member Nisho who made a great contribution to the Nadi Stopover Tips thread.
Where to stay in Nadi
If you just have a short overnight layover and want somewhere to sleep, there are two hotels located very close to Nadi International Airport.
There are two decent hotels directlyopposite the airport called ‘Tokatoka Resort’ and ‘Fiji Gateway.’ Both provide shuttle services to/from the hotel and it takes about30 seconds to reach after departing the arrivals hall. These are both located on Queens Road which is the main highway connecting the Western side of Fiji to the Capital (Suva) in the East, however, these two locations have no beach access. These are approximately 20 minutes to the Nadi Town Centre and Denarau Island.
If your Nadi stopover is a bit longer, most tourists stay at one of the resorts at Denarau Island. This is a little more expensive than staying in Nadi itself but is very tourist-friendly. Denarau Island has shops and restaurants within easy walking distance, and there is also a shuttle service.
The Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa on Denarau Island offers a resort check-in service for guests flying with Fiji Airways. If you decide to stay at this hotel, you’ll be able to check in for your flight and drop off your luggage right at the hotel, any time from 4.30am on your day of departure. This service is not available if you’re flying to the USA.
How to get from Nadi Airport to Nadi town centre or Denarau Island
There are no ride-sharing services (such as Uber) in Fiji. But there is a bus service which can take you from the airport to Nadi town centre. Buses leave from the main road on the other side of the airport carpark.
Alternatively, taxis are available and are inexpensive. However, Nisho warns to watch out for common taxi scams in Fiji…
Seeing the arriving foreigners, these cabs generally try to offer “special rates” depending on where your destination is (including the hotels opposite the airport). I would strongly advise against agreeing to these as: (1)- It is illegal for cabs to carry passengers without the meter running and (2) The prices will be far higher than what they’d get on the meter.
I have noted many times the sly tactics some of these chaps use to circumvent point (1) above: They may use a towel/tissue box/anything else in their disposal to block the view of the meter – they’d already have it running from hours back when they first arrived at the airport to get a higher price on the meter.
Where to eat during a Nadi stopover
There are many restaurants in both Nadi town and Denarau Island. But if you only have enough time for one meal during your Nadi stopover, Nisho recommends LC’s Chinese Restaurant in Namaka. This is just a short drive from the airport.
The best Nadi Airport lounges
As the hub for Fiji Airways, Nadi Airport is home to the airline’s flagship Premier Lounge. This is a very nice lounge with great dining options, a spa and even a nanny service.
You’ll have access to the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge during your Nadi stopover if you’re flying in Business on either Qantas or Fiji Airways. As Fiji Airways is a Oneworld Connect member, Qantas Frequent Flyer members can also receive a few benefits on Fiji Airways flights when booked in Economy. Qantas Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members can use this lounge when travelling with either Qantas or Fiji Airways. Meanwhile, paid-up Qantas Club members have access only if travelling on a Qantas-marketed flight (i.e. with a “QF” flight number).
Even if you don’t have status, you can still enter the Premier Lounge for a one-off payment of FJD99 or USD49 at the door. The lounge is also open to Priority Pass members.
The only other lounge in Nadi’s international terminal is the Air New Zealand Lounge, accessible to Star Alliance Gold cardholders and Koru Club members when departing on Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand’s lounge is not nearly as exciting as the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge.
Do you have a great Nadi stopover tip to share? Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Nadi (NAN) Stopover Tips