Nadi Airport, Fiji

With all the new improvements since 2015, Nadi airport has been transformed from old dirty and uninviting, to fresh modern and world class. Well done to Airports Fiji! Back in 2014, I wrote about Nadi airport and was perhaps a little critical about the state of the place. After all, it is the “Gateway to Fiji” and first impressions mean a lot. What a difference 4 years can make.

Transport From The Airport

Bus: The local buses do not come into the airport. if you want to catch one of these, you will need to walk to the main road, about 600 meters away. There are local bus stops near the front airport entrance… though be aware you won’t be able to carry lots of luggage on one of these. 

There are regular express buses that call into the airport, roughly one per hour. These stop near the departures area. To find that, turn right when you exit the arrivals hall, the departures section of the airport is roughly 200 meters walk. These buses go to Suva, and fare is around FJ$20. 

Taxis: Airport taxis are available as you exit the arrivals concourse. These are all yellow taxis, the only ones permitted to service the airport. They are reasonably priced compared to NZ and Australian airports, so a taxi to Denarau is very affordable. FJ$25ish. For longer trips we suggest using private transfer services such as PVV Airport Transfers. The cost of a longer trip to somewhere like the Coral Coast is just too expensive by taxi.

Private Transfers: This is a cost effective way to travel, especially for longer trips or large groups. You do need to book in advance, and your driver will then be waiting for you to exit the customs area, and will be holding a sign with your name on it. Check out the prices of our recommended transfers company.

Rental Cars: Perhaps you are considering a self drive holiday? That’s a great way to see the main island, and allows you to visit all those hidden spots that aren’t visited by tour groups. Rental cars can be extremely expensive in Fiji, so shop around before booking something with HERTZ or EUROCAR, which both have a booth at the airport. No need to pay those sort of prices (FJ$180 a day!) when you can get a perfectly adequate car rental for as low as FJ$50 a day

Garden views from the International Arrivals exit
Garden views from the International Arrivals exit

2014 vs 2019

The Arrivals Customs Area: You notice the improvements as you exit your flight and enter the airport building. Gone are the dark dingy and threadbare carpets, replaced with bright clean tiles. 

The old fluro lighting is gone, and the customs area has been modernised and streamlined. In the past I have been used to long lines that barely shuffled forward, but on this last visit (June 2019), everything went quickly and smoothly. Definitely some HUGE improvements made.

The Departures Check In: This used to be a rather depressing place, and not just because entering it meant you were leaving Fiji! Old and poorly organised check in lines meant long slow moving queues. No more of that, it’s bright, modern and extremely efficient. The whole place runs like a well oiled machine. 

Departures Area Air-side: Going through the security is actually a worse experience than it was pre-makeover. perhaps the staff have insufficient training, the x-ray machine or new security features are unfamiliar, I’m not sure. But this has to be the slowest I’ve ever had. Oh well, Fiji Time I guess! Just not quite the same as somewhere like Melbourne, where they rush you through at breakneck speed.

The departure lounge has been revamped, and I noticed something that wasn’t there in the old layout

If you are a smoker, you will be pleased to know there is now a room for you. 

It used to be there was nothing once you got through customs, so smoking addicts like myself would wait until the last minute to go through. 

No need to do that now! Just look for the elevator that goes down to the prayer room and the Fiji Airways Premier lounge. The smoking room is down on that level. In fact there is a sign by the elevator that says “smoking room”, so it’s not hard to find.

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