Nadi is on the western side of the island of Viti Levu, the main and largest island in Fiji.
Nadi is a transit point for other destinations in Fiji. It may not be such a great place to spend any time but you may find yourself here whilst awaiting ferries, boats to outer islands or planes to and from home.
If you do decide to stay in or around Nadi, make sure you are prepared to be approached by people trying to get you into their shop as you walk down the main street. These people aren't threatening, but you do need to watch your valuables.
You may also encounter an underlying air of racism between the Indian and native Fijian populations, but this rarely comes out in the open.
Nadi International Airport (NAN) is Fiji's main international gateway.
It is possible to hire cars, or take taxis, but these are expensive options when there is a great local bus service at your disposal. Travel with the locals in open-air comfort for a fraction of the price of a hire car. All buses are marked on the front with the names of the two towns they travel between. If unsure, ask the driver.
If you are staying at the Nadi Bay Hotel, simply walk to the end of that road and catch the local bus heading right (towards Nadi Town). The buses run every 20 minutes or so, and are just 50 cents FJD one-way to town.
Taxis have their hometown printed on the front bumper, if they are travelling back home they are not allowed to charge more than the busfare.
Visit the Hindu Temple at the southern end of the main street of Nadi. It is the largest in the Pacific and is very colourful.
Hop on a local bus (FJD$2) to Lautoka and visit a real Fijian city away from the tourist eye. The bus terminates at the local markets, where you can buy tonnes of fresh produce.
From Thursday to Sunday, drop in to the Capricorn Hotel between Nadi airport and Nadi town at around 8pm. You can sit under the bungalow and listen to a wonderful group of Fijians playing traditional and modern songs on guitar, ukulele and keyboard. You may even be invited to try some of their kava drink (an experience in itself)! The Hotel also serves meals and there is a bar.
The Lazy Cactus is a great Mexican restaurant located directly opposite the Capricorn Hotel on the Queen's Road, between Nadi airport and Nadi town. The service is friendly and the food is as good as you would expect in any western Mexican restaurant. Prices are reasonable. Expect to pay between A$15-20 for a good meal. Local and foreign beers are available. It is a haven for internationals.
The Bounty Restaurant & Bar located in the Martintar "strip" is a favorite spot for locals and tourists. It has an excellent atmosphere and a friendly environment with good food and a selection of local and imported beers and spirits. The Bounty is popular for it's steak and seafood dishes, particularly lobsters. More information available on the website.
The Royale Thai Restaurant located beside The Bounty Restaurant in the same premises offers a fine dining experience in authentic Thai cuisine. Royale Thai is the only Thai restaurant of it's kind in Nadi and quite possibly in Fiji. More information available on the website.
Ed's Bar is a short walk from the Nadi Bay Hotel. Just head out to the main road and turn left (away from Nadi Town). You'll find pool table's, a small dance section and a beer garden. There is no cover if you are a traveller and no dress code either.
The Bounty Restaurant & Bar is a popular watering hole for locals and travelers. Located in the heart of Nadi and just walking distance from Ed's Bar, Mercure hotel, Capricorn hotel, Lazy Cactus, and Ohana. You'll find a variety local and foreign beers, also draught beer. Live sports games (IRB 7s, SUPER 14, etc) are screened on the big screen. The Bounty has a great atmosphere and also offers karaoke for the daring.
Capricorn Hotel. On the Queen's Road between Nadi airport and Nadi Town. This is a mid-priced hotel with fairly basic rooms, but they are air-conditioned and have patios/balconies. They restaurant serves fairly bland western style meals including fish and chips and pizza.
Nadi Bay Hotel. Wailoaloa Road, Nadi NAP 0359, Nadi Airport. Tel 679 672 3599 Fax 679 672 0092. A bustling hive of activity: friendly, good food, lots of travellers to swap stories with, reasonable room rates, music etc. As a small but refreshing detail, orange juice fans are recommended to grab a tall glass at the poolside bar.
Nomads Skylodge. Namaka, Queens Highway, Nadi Fiji Islands. Tel (679) 672 2200 Fax (679) 672 4330. Nomads Skylodge offers 55 rooms including superior and deluxe rooms, family units with cooking facilities and multi-share (4 to 6 beds per room) accommodations. email Nomads Skylodge Backpackers Resort. Online reservation at best rates with instant confirmation start near US$50 for doubles.
Tanoa Rakiraki. PO Box 31, Rakiraki, Fiji Islands. Tel (679) 669 4101. Fax (679) 669 4545. The Tanoa Rakiraki Hotel offers 36 homey rooms that offer everything you can possible need for a comfortable and relaxing Fiji vacation. Located in Rakiraki Township, a two-hour drive from Nadi. Online reservation at best rates with instant confirmation start near US$20.
The Bounty Apartments located in the heart of Nadi in the Martintar strip. The Bounty Apartments offers an affordable and secure accommodation suited to the low budget traveller. Ideally located and only minutes away from the Nadi International Airport, the main shopping center, restaurants, bars, hotels, resorts, and the Denarau marina. Room rates per night start from US$28 and a bed in the dormitory is US$10 per night per person.
You will hear on the grapevine quite a few stories of pickpockets and scams in Nadi. A recent story was that two young women were given an 'after hours' tour of the Hindu Temple in Nadi by a 'guide'. They were asked to leave their bags outside the temple as a mark of respect and returned to find them gone.
There is a police station in the centre of the main street if you have any problems.