Visitors Guide P
Being a former British Colony, the Fijian parliament is based on the British Westminster system. The 71 members of parliament are elected every five years from 46 racially-segregated communal ridings and 25 multiracial open ridings. The 32-member Senate is appointed. There have been no elections since the December 2006 military coup but they are planned for 2014. Click here to view the parliament website.
A return airline ticket or a ticket for onward travel is required for visitors and passports should have at least three months validity beyond the period of intended stay. Please value your passport – theft isn’t a big problem, but it really is a hassle to get your High Commission to sort out a new one if you lose it!
You’ll find them in all main towns and they’re very well stocked for an island country. Most resorts have pharmaceutical items for sale but they will be expensive because they have been imported. Best to pack a small kit containing bandaids,
analgesics, Imodium or similar, insect repellent, sun screen (and after-sun lotion), antiseptic cream or powder and if travelling with babies, disposable nappies. For coral cuts, hydrogen peroxide works a treat but the locals opt for a generous application of lemon or lime squeezed into the cut.
Fiji’s population of around 800,000 people is made up of indigenous Fijians (50%), Indians (47%) with Europeans, Chinese and South Pacific Islanders making up the remaining 3%. While there has always been some racial tension, there is a synergy that makes the tourism industry function so well. To generalise, the Fijian people are the friendly face – smiling, laughing, shouting “bula”, picking up babies and organising the volleyball. Meanwhile you’ll find Indians in the back office looking after the ordering, staff rosters and accountancy.
Post Fiji Ltd is government owned with 293 outlets spread throughout the country. While your resort should be able to look after your postal/faxing requirements there are post offices in Nadi (in town and at the airport), Nausori, Lautoka, Sigatoka and Labasa. I won’t bother listing the other 288.
For 2013 Public Holidays are:
- New Year’s Day – Tuesday 1st January
- Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday – Monday 28th January
- Good Friday – Friday 29th March
- Easter Saturday – Saturday 30th March
- Easter Monday – Monday 1st April
- Fiji Day – Thursday 10th October
- Diwali – Monday 4th November
- Christmas Day – Wednesday 25th December
- Boxing Day – Thursday 26th December