Best things to do in Fiji: A complete travel guide to Viti Levu

Best things to do in Fiji: A complete travel guide to Viti Levu

When planning a trip to Fiji (AKA paradise on earth), it can feel a bit overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. That’s because aside from the two main islands–Viti Levu and Vanua Levu–the idyllic nation also has 333 smaller ones, which means no shortage of palm-fringed, sun-soaked beaches.

Best things to do in Fiji: A complete travel guide to Viti Levu

Luckily, many of the best things to do in Fiji are found on Viti Levu (which is where the international airport and main cruise terminal are), so my advice for first-timers putting together a Fiji itinerary is to spend at least a full week there.

Then if you’re staying longer, venture out to surrounding regions like the Mamanuca Islands and the Yasawas which can be reached by boat in 1-3 hours or with a quick helicopter ride.

Likuliku Resort in Fiji
Likuliku Resort in Fiji

Cascading waterfalls, secluded sandbars and mud baths are just some of the natural wonders on Viti Levu, along with adventurous activities like hiking on sand dunes, jet boating and whitewater rafting.

Upper Navua River

The cultural immersion is unforgettable for those who make the effort to visit a local village, and there are also incredible animal encounters like swimming with dolphins and diving with tiger sharks.

Here are the best things to do in Viti Levu, Fiji.

Map of Viti Levu, Fiji and how to get there

The first question most people have is “uhh, exactly where is Viti Levu?”

While flying to the South Pacific might seem like a grind, it’s actually not too bad from North America’s west coast since Fiji Airways offers many direct flights to Nadi International Airport (NAN).

This is also a common layover destination for those heading to Australia and New Zealand, and some of the activities listed below are possible to do as a day trip if you have at least eight hours between flights.

First class flight on Fiji Airways
The first class flight to Fiji

Flight times to Nadi are:

  • From Sydney: 4 hours
  • From Auckland: 3 hours
  • From Los Angeles and San Francisco: 11 hours
  • From Vancouver: 12 hours
  • From Honolulu: 7 hours

Explore Nadi, Fiji

Since it hosts the airport, Nadi (pronounced nan-di) is where most people start when they plan a trip to Fiji.

Located on the west coast, Nadi is the gateway to the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands which offer some of the most spectacular beaches and snorkeling spots in Fiji.

There are a few shopping streets, handicrafts and produce markets in Nadi town, and its main landmark happens to also be the largest Hindu temple in the southern hemisphere.

Port Denarau in Fiji

Some of the fun things to do in Nadi are:

Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple: This dazzlingly-colourful temple is a photographer’s dream, featuring Davidian architecture like wood carvings of deities.

Local Hindus visit this holy site daily to present fruit offerings, and visitors of all faiths are welcome (note that a dress code is in effect).

Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple in Nadi, Fiji

Sabeto Mud Baths: These hot springs and mud baths were one of my favourite places to visit in Fiji! The first step when visiting the Sabeto mud pools is to slather yourself in mud and let it bake for about 10 minutes in the sun.

Then, hop in one of the four thermal pools to rinse it off, and your skin will feel baby-soft. The Fiji hot springs are said to have therapeutic mineral properties, and are the perfect spot to relax and rejuvenate.

READ MORE: Mud baths and markets: Fun things to do in Nadi Fiji

The Sabeto Mud Baths
The Sabeto Mud Baths

The Sabeto Mud Baths

Garden of the Sleeping Giant: This elaborately-landscaped horticultural masterpiece is located in the foothills of the Nausori Highlands close to Nadi.

The sprawling, 20-hectare garden showcases more than two thousand types of rare orchids, as well as grand mahogany trees, fragrant spearmint and fire-engine red lipstick palms.

Garden of the Sleeping Giant in Fiji
Garden of the Sleeping Giant

Garden of the Sleeping Giant in Fiji

Globe Guide tip: Many flights arrive early in the morning, and hotel check-in usually isn’t until the late afternoon. This Nadi tour combines the mud baths, gardens and temple visit, and is a fun way to kick off your trip and do some sightseeing while you wait for your room to be ready. Click here to book

Book one of these Nadi tours:



Garden of the Sleeping Giant in Fiji

Relax on Denarau Island

Many vacationers choose to plop themselves at a resort near Port Denarau for a whole week for good reason: this is the main resort area just a 15 minute drive from the airport, and the starting point for many of the fun things to do in Fiji.

Denarau Island is connected to the mainland by a causeway, and home to huge Sheraton, Westin and Hilton resorts to name a few (I’m partial to the Sofitel–the adults-only area is amazing!).

The Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa
The Sofitel
Port Denarau in Fiji
Port Denarau

Activities on Denarau Island include golfing, getting wet at the Big Bula Waterpark, and shopping at the Port (don’t miss Fijian-favourite Jacks where you can get all of your souvenirs).

A hop on/hop off trolley shuttles between the resorts all day long, and tours to the top Fiji tourist attractions like Malamala Beach Club and Tivua Island depart from the port.

Book one of these top tours from Port Denarau:



Port Denarau in Fiji
Port Denarau

Where to stay in Port Denarau

Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa: This gorgeous, five star resort impresses at every turn, from the friendly staff to the luxe rooms to its dreamy beachfront location.

The Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa
The Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa

Located just a few minutes’ drive from Port Denarau, the Sofitel is a great option for both families and couples thanks to the separate adults-only area called the Waitui Beach Club.

It’s worth springing for, with perks like an elevated infinity pool experience complete with plush cabanas and a swim-up bar, as well as complimentary snacks throughout the day and a nightly happy hour.

The Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa

All guests have access to multiple restaurants, the spa which features a large hot tub under a thatched bure, the main pool, waterslide and a night club. Click here to book

The Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa

Sheraton Fiji Golf & Beach Resort: This newly-renovated resort is a good fit for families, with plenty of entertainment on-site including a kids area, man-made beach and an incredible traditional fire dancing show.

There are reflective pools, a serene lobby area and multiple restaurants, and the rooms are modern and spacious. Click here to book

The pool at the Sheraton Fiji
The Sheraton

Take a boat trip to the Mamanuca Islands

The idyllic Mamanuca Islands in Fiji are home to swoon-worthy overwater villas, secluded sandbars and private beach clubs, and are just a one hour boat ride away from Port Denarau.

A sunrise hike on Mociou Island
A sunrise hike on Mociu Island

Pronounced mama-new-tha, this is like the Hollywood of the South Pacific as several big productions have been filmed here, including the Tom Hanks film Castaway (you can go right onto the same island) and several seasons of the show Survivor.

READ MORE: The star-studded Mamanuca Islands in Fiji

Likuliku Lagoon Resort in Fiji
Likuliku Lagoon Resort

Some of my favourite Fiji attractions and excursions in the Mamanuca Islands are:

Cloud 9: This floating, multi-level platform is a fun place to chill for the day, as it’s anchored over the pristine Ro Ro Reef in the Mamanuca Islands about 45 minutes from Port Denarau.

Relax on a day bed or lounger, nosh on pizza, sip on colourful cocktails and go snorkeling in the surrounding reef on this all-day party venue in the middle of the South Pacific. Click here to book

Cloud 9 Fiji
Cloud 9

Seventh Heaven: Thanks to the wild success of Cloud 9, a similar venue called Seventh Heaven opened in 2022. The main difference is that it can also be booked for an unforgettable overnight experience, where guests can sleep on the platform overnight. Click here to book

Cloud 9 Fiji
Cloud 9

South Sea Sailing: Spend an idyllic day cruising around the Mamanuca Islands on board a gleaming, sunshine-yellow catamaran.

The Sabre glides through the shimmering turquoise water past Malamala Island and makes two snorkel stops, before putting down anchor near Malolo Island where a tranquil sandbar awaits.

A catamaran cruise in the Mamanuca Islands, Fiji
A catamaran cruise in the Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

Zip down the boat’s slide for fun, fast access to the reef, relax under an umbrella or hangout on board and enjoy musical performances from the crew. Snorkeling equipment, lunch, soft drinks, beer and wine are included. Click here to book

SUPing in the Mamanuca Islands, Fiji
SUPing in the Mamanuca Islands

Book one of these top things to do in Fiji:



Sailing around the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji
Sailing around the Mamanuca Islands

See Fiji’s capital, Suva

Those visiting Fiji on a cruise will most likely arrive in Suva, which is the country’s capital and has much more of a ‘city’ feel to it than anywhere else on Viti Levu.

Tours typically include stops at the stately Presidential Palace, parliament and the Victorian-era Thurston Botanical Gardens which also houses a museum, as well as a chance to pick up Fijian souvenirs at the Government Handicraft Center and browse local produce at the Municipal Market.

Those with a bit more time can head out to visit a local village, or get wet ‘n wild at the Colo-I-Suva Nature Reserve which has beautiful waterfalls and great birding opportunities.

Book a guided tour from Suva:



Get adventurous in Sigatoka, Fiji

Towering sand dunes, dramatic marble cliffs and an emerald river are among the highlights of Sigatoka, Fiji, located on the country’s Coral Coast.

About 70 per cent of the island’s produce comes from this valley’s fertile lands, which is also home to the nation’s first national park and the Sigatoka River.

Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park in Fiji
Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. Courtesy of Tourism Fiji

As the region is just a one hour drive from Nadi, it’s another great area for day trips and some visitors also choose to stay at the nearby InterContinental Fiji which has one of Viti Levu’s best beaches.

Some of the best things to do in Sigatoka are:

Sigatoka River Safari: Take an exhilarating jet boat ride to a local community where you get to meet the villagers, enjoy a traditional lunch, sing, dance and take part in a kava ceremony. Click here to book

The Sigatoka River Safari in Fiji
The Sigatoka River Safari jet boat

Sigatoka Fiji

Sigatoka sand dunes: These sweeping dunes are the largest in the Pacific islands, rolling over 650 hectares along the waters’ edge.

The best way to see them is to hike through the national park: there are a few different trails that take one or two hours, and the scenic walk passes through a canopy of mahogany trees.

READ MORE: 5 unique things to do in Sigatoka, Fiji

Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park in Fiji

Play with dolphins along the Suncoast

One of the best places to visit in Fiji for unforgettable animal encounters is the so-called Suncoast, where you can play with dolphins and swim with sea turtles and sharks.

Dolphins in Volivoli, Fiji
Dolphins near Volivoli

This area on the northern tip of Viti Levu includes towns and villages between Vatutavui and Nalawa, with Rakairaki being the main hub.

The landscape is incredible, with the dramatic mountains of the rugged interior playing backdrop to the Blight Water, a vast, deep stretch of water between Fiji’s two main islands Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

The Suncoast

Here, you’ll find fantastic snorkeling and dive sites, where the water is sometimes so calm it looks like glass.

An incredible highlight of any visit is heading out in a boat to a bay frequented by pods of spinner dolphins. The playful mammals love the vibrations from the motor, and will swim alongside the boat as you dangle your feet over the edge!

Dolphins in Volivoli, Fiji

Other activities in the area include kayaking, a natural waterfall slide in the village of Narara, fishing and kitesurfing.

It’s also where a rather inconspicuous gravesite is found just off the highway, which is actually the Tomb of Udre Udre who was one of the most feared cannibals in Fiji.

the Tomb of Udre Udre
The Tomb of Udre Udre

Where to stay in Volivoli

Volivoli Beach Resort: A day of adventure is just steps away from the rooms at this four-star dive resort, which is perched on the edge of the Blight Water.

Volivoli Beach Resort
Volivoli Beach Resort
Volivoli Beach Resort
Volivoli Beach Resort

More than 80 dive sites are on its doorstep, and there’s also an onsite dive training facility, fishing boat fleet and snorkeling trips. At the end of a fun day, grab a cocktail at the beachfront bar and cheers to the mesmerizing sunset. Click here to book

Sunset at Volivoli Beach Resort

Go shark diving in Pacific Harbour

If you want to up the ante when it comes to underwater adventures, Pacific Harbour is one of the top places to go in Fiji to go face-to-face with bull sharks and tiger sharks.

Shark Reef in the Bequ Lagoon just off the coast is protected from fishing boats, and shark feeding has been taking place here for more than a decade.

This experience is not for the faint of heart as eight different kinds of large sharks frequent the reef, including four-metre long tiger sharks which are lured by chum.

A number of local operators lead dives in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, which was designated as the country’s first marine park back in 2014.

Marine life in the Bligh Waters. Credit: Markus Roth

Where to stay in Pacific Harbour

Nanuku Resort: Nanuku is one of the most luxurious resorts in Viti Levu, boasting a private beach, spa and swanky suites.

Nanuku Resort in Fiji
Nanuku Resort in Fiji

Rooms are a mix of hilltop villas with water views or nestled among lush gardens, spa suites on the beach, and the next-level Residences which have a primary suite, full kitchen, living room, outdoor space with a private pool and hot tub, and separate bungalow which is perfect for groups and families.

Nanuku Resort in Fiji

Guests get around on complimentary bikes or golf carts, and Fijian culture is incorporated through special touches like a welcome ceremony, cooking classes, and bringing in local community members to perform traditional dances. Click here to book

A warm welcome at Nanuku Resort

The Pearl South Pacific Resort: A slightly more budget-friendly option in Pacific Harbour is the Pearl, which also has a private beach and spa. It’s closer to Pacific Harbour for easy access to dive sites and also has a neighbouring golf course. Click here to book

Nanuku Resort in Fiji
A traditional cooking class at Nanuku Resort

Go whitewater rafting on the Upper Navua River

One of the best things to do in Viti Levu that combines adventure with epic scenery is whitewater rafting or river tubing down the jewel-toned Upper Navua River.

Upper Navua River
Upper Navua River

The journey starts with a drive along the bumpy dirt roads that wind through the Namosi highlands, where operators like Rivers Fiji are based.

After being outfitted with equipment like life jackets and helmets, guests head down to the pristine waters to kick off a day of fun through the dramatic gorge.

Upper Navua River
Upper Navua River

Upper Navua River

Zoom over Class II-III rapids, enjoy a riverside lunch, explore hidden grottoes and stand underneath cascading waterfalls in this lush, tropical paradise. Click here to book

Upper Navua River
Upper Navua River

Swim under the Savulelele waterfall in Nabalesere

Speaking of cascading falls, one of the most spectacular ones on Viti Levu is the Savulelele waterfall in the Greater Tomaniivi forest reserve.

Savulelele waterfall
Savulelele waterfall

The adventure starts from the village of Nabalesere, and barefoot villagers guide hikers for about 45 minutes along the pathway which has sweeping views of mist hovering above the lush landscape, flora and fauna.  

Some waterfalls trickle out of the cliffside, while others gush out with the force of a Fijian warrior.

Hiking to the Savulelele waterfall
Hiking to the Savulelele waterfall

Hiking to the Savulelele waterfall

As you approach Savulelele, the chanting sounds of the villagers echoes around the cave walls as they call out to the Spirits to let them know they’ve arrived–the haunting chorus so loud it manages to rise above the noise of the thundering falls.

A highlight of the visit is swimming right underneath the spectacular waterfall, before heading back to the village for lunch followed by a kava ceremony. 

Hiking to the Savulelele waterfall
Savulelele waterfall

Book this incredible experience through Talanoa Treks, a local company that focuses on sustainability while leading multi-day adventures into off-the-beaten path areas. Their tours directly support Fijian communities, and immerse guests in authentic cultural experiences.  

The village of Nabalesere, Fiji
The village of Nabalesere, Fiji

The best time to go to Fiji

Fiji’s sun soaked beaches are wonderful to visit all year round; however, the most popular time is from May to October which is the dry season.

During the wetter months like April and November there’s usually still plenty of sunshine, but when there’s a downpour the rain can sometimes last all day long.

Fiji is a popular destination in December for visitors from Australia and New Zealand celebrating the Christmas holidays, so accommodation prices are typically higher that time of year.





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