How to Spend a Long Layover in Fiji

Wondering what to do during a long layover in Fiji? You’re not alone! My flight from the US to New Zealand included a 17-hour layover in Nadi, Fiji.

After doing a little research, I learned that during layovers exceeding 4 hours, you are required to go through customs and immigration and enter Fiji as a tourist. US passport holders are given a visitor’s visa upon arrival with proof of an onward flight.

Here is how I passed the time during a long layover in Fiji.

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how to spend a long layover in fiji - The image shows four people posing together in a lush, tropical orchid garden. On the left, a woman in a white shirt and purple shorts smiles next to a man in a white shirt adorned with blue flowers, who is presumably a guide or local expert. Next to him, two younger women, one in a striped shirt and long multi-colored skirt, and the other in a black crop top and blue patterned pants, stand smiling. The backdrop of vibrant, diverse orchids and lush greenery enhances the cheerful and scenic atmosphere of the group photo.
Admiring orchids at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. © Brittany Quaglieri

Don’t Book Anything Before You Arrive in Fiji

Fiji is a popular tourist destination bursting with activities to suit everyone. Multiple tour companies at Nadi International Airport offer full or half-day packages for adventure junkies, nature lovers, or culture hounds.

I suggest waiting until you arrive to book an activity. You’ll avoid being late for reservations due to delays or time spent in customs and immigration. Plus, you’ll want to see what the weather will be like. A boat ride to a secluded island sounds great until you arrive and it will rain cats and dogs all day.

Additionally, I suggest waiting because you may change your mind about what you want to do once you arrive. Also, as a solo traveler, my plans depend on other travelers booking the same activity I want. Even though I chose one once I got there, it was still canceled because no one else signed up. Ultimately, I joined two other girls on a different tour and was delighted with the experience.

Store Your Luggage at the Airport

After freshening up and changing into clothes appropriate for the tropical Fiji weather, you’ll want to store your luggage. Contrary to the Nadi International Airport website, the luggage storage facility is located on the second floor of the arrivals concourse, down a series of seemingly abandoned hallways. Don’t worry, though; the room is guarded by the attendant during open hours, which are daily from 5 am to 10 pm.

Cost: Fees for storing luggage must be paid in cash upfront, Fiji currency only. An ATM machine and a currency exchange booth are both available in the arrivals concourse. *Prices up to date as of the published date.

  • Hand-held luggage: FJ$7.10 (about $3.50 USD)
  • Suitcases/Backpacks: FJ$9.50 (about $5 USD)
  • Oversize Luggage: FJ$14.20 (about $7 USD)

Fees are charged for each item checked per day of storage. For example, I checked 2 bags at the backpack/suitcase rate (2 x 9.50 = 19) and 1 bag at the hand-held luggage rate (7.10) for one day, so my total fee for the day was FJ$26.10 (or about $13 USD). Partial or hourly fees are not offered. You must pay for the whole day.

Don’t forget to lock your luggage up before storing it!

Related: How to Access Your Money Overseas

nadi produce market - The image captures a bustling local market scene under a large, open-sided pavilion. Numerous vendors are seated behind tables laden with a variety of fresh produce including ginger, limes, and other fruits and vegetables, each clearly priced with handwritten signs. The atmosphere is lively with shoppers browsing the stands, providing a vivid snapshot of local commerce and culture. The variety of goods and the busy, vibrant setting underscore the market's role as a community hub for buying and selling fresh, local products.
View of the Nadi Market. © Brittany Quaglieri

Take a City Tour of Nadi During a Layover in Fiji

After shopping around, I decided on the tour company Great Sights Fiji, joining two Australian girls for a half-day “Discover Nadi” tour.

The stops included the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, the Chiefly village of Viseisei, the Nadi Hindu Temple, and the Nadi Produce Markets. The guide and the driver were both friendly local Fijians. During the tour, they talked about the island’s history, the people, and each site we visited.

The guides also made some unexpected stops at some shops selling locally made souvenirs, making the tour about 4.5 hours long.

Cost of the Discover Nadi Tour

The Discover Nadi Tour costs FJ$100 (about $50 USD) per person. Plus a non-compulsory tip of FJ$20 (about $10 USD). Remember to bring enough cash with you to buy some fresh pineapple to snack on at the Nadi Market (it’s only a couple of dollars) and any souvenirs you may want.

More Fiji Tour Options

The image shows a refreshing scene featuring a can of Fiji Gold beer alongside a tall glass filled with the same beer, exhibiting a frothy head. The setting appears to be an outdoor patio, indicated by the presence of greenery in the background and a flower in a small vase on the table, enhancing the relaxed, leisurely vibe. The focus on the beer can and glass captures a moment of enjoyment, likely on a warm day, perfect for a cold beverage.
Local Fiji Gold Beer at the Essence of Fiji Rejuvenation Center. © Brittany Quaglieri

What I Did With the Rest of My Day

Would you believe that I did all of this before I had lunch? I landed in Fiji at about 5 am and breezed through customs and immigration in less than an hour. Then I changed, stored my luggage, and had a coffee and breakfast before booking the tour at about 8 am.

After the tour of Nadi, I still had another 8 hours before I needed to check in for my onward flight. Thankfully, Great Sights Fiji told me about a nearby facility with plenty of things to do to fill the time. They even offered to drop me off there after my Discover Nadi tour.

The image displays a neatly arranged table set for tea, featuring a white ceramic teapot, a cup, and a plate with scones, cream, and jam. Accompanying the setup is a bottle of Fiji water, highlighting a touch of local branding. The setting appears comfortable and inviting, with a backdrop of sofas covered in leopard print, at the fiji rejuvenation center where one might enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea. This arrangement showcases a typical tea time setup, complete with all the essentials for a delightful snack break.
Tea and scones at the Essence of Fiji Rejuvenation Center. © Brittany Quaglieri

Relax at the Essence of Fiji Rejuvenation Center During a Layover in Fiji

The Essence of Fiji Rejuvenation Center is a transit lounge that offers the space for travelers to relax and feel refreshed as they begin or end their visit to Fiji. The tour guide and driver from Great Sights Fiji were kind enough to drop me off at the center after the tour of Nadi.

While there, I received a foot massage, showered, ate lunch, and enjoyed a beer. Plus, I watched two movies in an air-conditioned room on a bean bag chair. I may or may not have napped during one of those movies.

Free WiFi is included during your visit, as well. Although it’s not the fastest internet, I was able to do the basics like checking my email. As promised, a quick 5-minute shuttle ride to the airport was also provided when I needed it.

Cost of Entry

The Transit Entry Pass costs FJ$38 (about $18 USD), which includes everything I mentioned (except food and drinks). Plus lockers, luggage storage, and shuttle service to the airport.

Upgrade to a pass that includes a spa treatment along with everything included in the Transit Entry Pass for about $48 USD.

Other Things To Do at the Rejuvenation Center

Spa treatments – If you opted for the Transit Entry Pass and change your mind, you can still choose from the day spa’s a la carte menu of facials, massages, or treatments for an additional cost.

Privacy – Also, for an additional cost, the center also has private day rooms to rent for a couple of hours at a time. Great if you want some privacy while you nap.

Get physical – There is an onsite gym that offers yoga classes.

Take in the views – Relax in the rooftop lounge with a Fiji Gold or glass of wine and take in the view of the surrounding mountains.

Shop – If you still have Fijian cash left over, buy some souvenirs at the Fiji Made Retail Shop onsite. It has locally made beauty products, clothing, and artwork.

garden of the sleeping giant fiji - The image captures a lush, tropical landscape with a dense variety of greenery, including trees, bushes, and flowering plants. In the foreground, vibrant pink flowers add a splash of color against the rich, green backdrop. The scene is framed by a rolling hill in the background, contributing to the serene and untouched natural beauty of the environment. This tranquil setting likely offers a peaceful retreat and a perfect opportunity for nature lovers to explore and enjoy the outdoors.
Entrance to Garden of the Sleeping Giant in Nadi, Fiji. Brittany Quaglieri

This was a perfect mixture of site seeing and relaxation during my layover in Fiji. It broke up the traveling I’d done already in the US and the months of traveling in New Zealand that I had ahead of me.

If you have planned a long layover in Fiji, you will not be at a loss for things to do. Just remember to wait until you arrive to make any reservations and stock up on Fiji currency when you get there.

Fiji is so beautiful, and the people are so friendly. I’m sure you’ll have a great time no matter what you do.

By Brittany Quaglieri

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6 replies on “How to Spend a Long Layover in Fiji”

So cool! I have a 9 hour layover as well coming up. Are these tours you can just book at the airport?

Great post! I’m going to have a 9 hour layover in Fiji in a few months…hoping I can fit a tour or something in there…but will take your advice and wait until I’m at the airport to plan anything. 🙂

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