Suva is the laid-back, colourful, and lively capital of Fiji, an archipelago nation of more than 300 islands. There are fewer than 100,000 people living in Suva, but with a booming tourism industry, Fiji is a hub of activity throughout the year. While the city has a range of its own attractions - from the Fiji Museum and Thurston Gardens to the Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve - picking up a car hire in Suva is also a handy way to explore the entire island of Viti Levu.
Viti Levu is relatively small, and in fact, it would only take 10 hours or so to drive around its coastline. Nadi is just a few hours away from Suva, and is the ideal place to take a day-trip to the Mamanuca Islands for snorkelling and sightseeing. On your way to Nadi, you’ll drive along the Coral Coast, a stretch of especially picturesque shoreline that’s popular for its resorts and beaches. Or, take a drive to the second-largest city of Lautoka, also known as ‘Sugar City’ as it’s at the heart of the sugar cane-growing region.
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Suva is located on a peninsula, and is therefore largely surrounded by the ocean. That said, much of this coastline comprises reclaimed mangrove swamps, so the city is not known for its beaches - you’ll need to take your car hire a little farther up the coast for golden beaches and coconut trees.
Suva climate is that of a rainforest, which means that it enjoys relatively high temperatures throughout the year with lows that never usually drop below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit). However, this climate can also mean a lot of rain, so while it will be warm, it can also rain for 10-15 days of the month depending on the time of year. If it rains too much during your stay in Suva, considering heading over to Nadi where it tends to be a lot drier.
A guide to driving in Suva and Fiji
Driving from Suva to other parts of the island
The majority of Viti Levu’s main attractions are found around the coastline, and it’s easy to reach these places via the road that circumnavigates the entire island. This is called the Queens Road, and will be the main route to most places you visit.
Tips for driving in Suva
Driving in Fiji can be quite different to what you’re used to, so prepare for your car hire in Suva with these handy tips:
● You will drive on the left-hand side of the road in Fiji.
● Try to avoid driving outside of Suva at night, as roads are not well lit.
● Be wary of wildlife on the roads.
● The maximum speed limit is 80 kilometres per hour (49mph).
● Note that it is illegal to eat or drink while driving in Fiji.
● Try to avoid driving through puddles, as some of them may be deep potholes.
● You can only use a mobile phone while driving if you have a hands-free kit.
Parking in Suva
Pay and display parking meters are in operation from Monday to Friday 8am-4.30pm, and on Saturdays 8am-4pm. Note that many of these stalls have maximum time limits, so take note when you leave your car rental to avoid a ticket. Meters only accept Fijian coins, and you will usually pay 200¢ for 15 minutes, or FJ$6.80 per day.
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