Nadi is one of the largest cities in Fiji, situated on the island of Viti Levu, the main island in the collection of the 330 that make up this country. It is the first entry call for all international air passengers and is a nice welcome to what the locals call "Fiji time" or "don't worry, no hurry!"
Getting to Nadi
All international flights to Fiji will arrive at Nadi's International Airport located just north of the city centre. I book most of my flights on StudentUniverse.com which allows travellers under 26 or students to get cheap deals. I flew from Bali, Indonesia with a layover in Sydney, Australia.
Arriving in Nadi
The immigration process in Fiji is super smooth; you will complete a boarding card on your plane before arriving. This will be handed to an officer at the immigration desk (while you are serenaded by live Fijian music!) who will stamp your passport if you meet conditions. As a Canadian, I did not need to get a visa in advance. Check your own country's latest visa requirements!
Getting to your Accommodations
The majority of all the travellers arriving in Nadi were departing on pre-booked shuttles to their accommodations, myself included. It seems to be the way to arrive! It seems that most places here offer a free airport transfer to ensure you get there safely and as a perk to book.
Where to Stay in Nadi
I checked in for 2 nights at the Bamboo Travellers Hostel, a wonderful and outdoorsy hostel with full-on Fijian vibes. There's a cafe attached with reasonably priced food and water, an ATM, plenty of beds, decent wifi and, huge bonus, it's literally right on Wailoaloa Beach and is perfect for sunset!
How to Get Around Nadi
The local bus transport system in Nadi is great; it can pretty much get you anywhere you need to go. A local bus runs from Wailoaloa Beach and the hostels to central Nadi every half hour.
You'll need to buy an e-transport card on the bus for minimum $5; you'll tap on each time you board. A ride into Nadi costs $1.10 and will be deducted from your balance on your card.
You'll find that Nadi is clean, well-maintained, the driving system is great and everyone follows the rules of the road and people are lovely. Everything in Nadi is in English including all the shops, signs and road signs, so getting around is a breeze.
I use offline maps on the Maps.Me app which works just like Google Maps without requiring an internet connection.
Things to Do in Nadi
You're in tropical paradise now, so take advantage of the local beach in Nadi, Wailoaloa. Bamboo Traveller's Hostel is right on this beach which is nice for swimming and perfect for sunsets. It's the pure white sand and clear blue water Fiji is known for (you'll need to do some island-hopping for that) but it's a nice introduction to Fiji!
Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple
This brightly coloured Hindu temple sits at the southern side of the city centre. It's $5 to enter and your shoulders and knees must be covered; you can borrow sarongs from the front desk if you need to. I personally thought the price was quite steep and there's not much to see but it's still pretty from the outside (so save the money and just enjoy the entrance way).
The Nadi Market is awesome! Full of locals buying all their fresh produce, you'll find almost anything in this huge space. There's sections for fruit, vegetables, spices, fish... anything! Plus, all the produce is cheap and delicious; I picked up a bunch of bananas for $1 FJD ($0.60 CAD) and a pineapple for $2 FJD ($1.20 CAD).
The market is open 7am-5pm Monday-Wednesdays, 7am-5:30pm Thursdays, 7am-6pm Fridays and 6am-4pm Saturdays; the market is closed on Sundays.