Sunday, 10 October 2021

Fiji back on the schedule for both Jetstar and Qantas

Following the Fijian Governments announcement regarding the reopening plan for Australian travellers, both Jetstar and Qantas have confirmed plans for direct flights between Sydney and Fiji from mid-December. 

Jetstar will start services from 17th December and will fly the route five times a week. Qantas will restart services from 19th December and operate the route four times each week.  The airline's say fares for the summer period will start at $219 one way with Jetstar and all-inclusive Qantas fares start at $358 one way.

Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said Fiji was set to be one of Jetstar’s first international flights to take off "Australians will be excited to start planning their first overseas holiday now that international borders are set to open, and both Jetstar and Qantas have seen a significant spike in Fiji flight searches in recent weeks.

In a recent survey conducted by Jetstar, Fiji rated as one of the top international beach holiday destinations that people want to visit once borders open - particularly for families and young people.

Returning to the South Pacific is an exciting milestone in our international restart plans as we gradually rebuild our network over the next six months. It also means more of our crew can return to work, which is great news."

The new rules instigated by the Fijian Government mean  Australian travellers will be required to stay within their resort for 48 hours upon arrival and return a negative test, before being able to explore ‘safe travel areas’ across Fiji.

Returning Australians may be required to home quarantine for up to seven days on arrival into New South Wales, in accordance with the requirements from the Federal and New South Wales governments.

As previously indicated, all passengers on Qantas and Jetstar international flights will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved or recognised vaccine (some exemptions for medical reasons and children). They will also be required to return a negative PCR COVID test 72 hours prior to departure.

International flights remain subject to Government and Regulatory approval.

Carry on reading for more details about the multitude of islands that make up Fiji

 Fiji is a Melanesian country situated roughly two-thirds of the way between Hawaii and New Zealand. It is an archipelago consisting of around 332 islands – of which just 110 are inhabited.

It is probably most well known for its volcanic peaks, tropical climate, coral reefs and the amazing white-sand beaches that are backed by emerald green rainforests. Oh and those world-class resorts that make this island nation a mecca for well-heeled tourists. 

Viti Levu is the largest and most developed of the nine groups of islands that make up the archipelago and is also the most populous. The other island groups are Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Kadavu, Yasawa Islands, Mamanuca Islands, Lomaiviti Islands, Lau islands and Rotuma. 

No matter what your heart truly desires, you'll find Fiji caters for everything, be it nature, culture or serenity. There are stunning landscapes to marvel at, remote ethnic villages to explore, tasty, wholesome local and international cuisine. More active people will find options for everything from scuba diving and whitewater rafting to helicopter tours, tandem skydiving and jetboat adventures.

Nadi (pronounced 'Nandi')  is the gateway to Fiji and is just minutes from the lovely international airport and is a culturally eclectic city with a population of about 40,000 people - which is big by islands standards. It is packed with shops, restaurants, bars, hotels and tourist operations, so you'll find everything you'll ever need for a vacation or longer stay here. Home to Newtown beach, the Sleeping Giant orchid gardens, Waqadra Botanical Gardens and the 'presidential village' of Viseisei, which is said to be the landing point of the first Melanesian canoeists to visit Fiji and the site of the islands’ first settlement.

Nadi serves as the gateway to top attractions like the lush Sabeto Mountains, stunning Natadola Beach, the fun-packed Mamanucas and breathtaking Yasawa islands, the cultural riches of Sigatoka and the high-end resorts of Denarau Island, among others.

Hindu pilgrims flock to this city to visit Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple, the largest shrine of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, but it’s the travellers jetting in from across the globe to bask in all that Fiji's islands have to offer who’ve made Nadi a major tourist hub.

So gorgeous that they starred in the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away and TV’s Survivor: Fiji, The Mamanucas are a chain of 20 islands near Nadi and the resort hub of Denarau. Blessed with crystal clear waters, palm-fringed beaches and oodles of coral, the Mamanucas are a resort paradise of restaurants, snorkelling, diving, kayaking, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing, parasailing, dolphin-watching, catamaran riding and sun-worshipping. And any other beach-based pleasures you might want to dream up.

Actor Raymond Burr is best remembered as the star of late-night TV staples Ironside and Perry Mason, but this passionate horticultural hobbyist also left this gift to garden posterity. The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is located in the foothills of the Nausori Highlands, 6km north of Nadi airport, and its 2000 varieties of Asian orchids are the big drawcard. The garden’s huge expanses of manicured lawn and rainforest canopy-covered boardwalk make this the ideal spot for some serenity in the wake of an adrenaline-charged visit to the Mamanucas.

Getting around is easy.....the fares for local minibuses (with number plates bearing the letters 'LM' for licensed minibus) are eminently affordable and the buses stop just about anywhere, not just at bus stops (so if you’re in a hurry, this is not the way to go).

Taxi fares are also cheap and drivers are even willing to negotiate lower prices. Just settle on the fare before you start your journey.  Use only taxis with number plates bearing the letters 'LT' (for licensed taxi). There’s no dispatcher for taxis so ask your driver for his card (with phone number) so you can call next time you need transport.

Distance to city centre 8km

Taxi A taxi into Nadi town will take around 10 minutes and cost around FJD $15.

Bus Local buses from just outside the airport go into Nadi and cost about FJD $1.

Shuttle A number of companies run shuttle services to Nadi (approximately FJD $10) and around the island. Many hotels also offer shuttle services 

More details on top-secret getaways in the Fiji islands Rachel Gray tells more of the pristine white-sand beaches, seafood feasts and deep-sea adventures that bring you back to life, head to these hidden gems in the Fiji Islands. Just don’t tell a soul.

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