Tipping is not encouraged anywhere in Fiji. Tip with a smile and ‘vinaka’, which is Fijian for ‘thank you’. Though tipping is not local custom, you may see examples of sharing of food, goods and money, especially on important occasions. On January 30, 2014 the first ever National Minimum Wage for the country of F$2.00 per hour or a weekly wage of at least $90.00 was announced by the Minister for Labour, Mr Jone Usamate.
The Fiji Islands enjoy an ideal South Sea tropical climate.
Fiji has two seasons – “wet” and “rainy”. Situated in the Southern Hemisphere, “Summer” (wet season) lasts from November to February and “Winter” (rainy season) from April to September.
Maximum temperatures in Fiji rarely move out of the 26ºC (79ºF) to 31ºC (88ºF) range all year round. It can get hot and humid in the summer, but temperatures seldom reach above 35ºC (95ºF). Cooling trade winds from the east southeast bring year long breezes late afternoon and early evening for most of the year. These breezes usually drop to a zephyr in the evening and pick up again by mid-morning.
The “wet” season for tropical rains is from December through February coinciding with the warmest summer months and results from the southerly movements of the South Pacific Convergence Zone. The wet season is characterized by heavy, brief local showers and contributes most of Fiji’s annual rainfall. Annual rainfall on the main islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, is between 2000 mm and 3000 mm (78 – 118 inches) on the coast and low lying areas, and up to 6000 mm (236 inches) in the mountains.
Typically the smaller islands in Fiji receive less rainfall than the main Island with various amounts according to their location and size, ranging from 1500 – 3500 mm (59 – 138 inches).
Cyclones do occur in Fiji and are normally confined to the wet season. These typhoons can sometimes hit the Fiji Islands from the end January to mid March. In recent years, these storms have brought heavy flooding to North Western and Southern Viti Levu, but are usually not a danger for Fiji because their usual routes are too far south in the Southern Hemisphere Typhoon Season.
The best months for holidaying in Fiji to enjoy the best weather is late March through to early December. Lightweight cotton clothing is advised throughout the year, with an umbrella or raincoat for sudden cloudbursts. A sweater is needed in the mountainous inland areas. No matter where you go, be prepared for high temperatures and humidity.
If you ask someone in Fiji, “Sa vica na kaloko?” (“What time is it?”) you’re more than likely to get a reply that says, “Well, it’s about …”. Time is not rushed in Fiji – Time is not of the essence. Life is to be lived, not rushed. Fiji Time is really a way of life.
Once you arrive at Nadi or Nausori international airport, then forget about deadlines, rushing, constantly checking your watch … you are now on Fiji Time!
For example, if you were to say to someone, “I will need to have this item at this location in half an hour”, it’s highly likely that the item may still not have been delivered in an hour’s time or even longer, perhaps days. You may become annoyed in Fiji that not everyone is on time, or that you have to wait longer than usual to get served. Get used to it – When the item does arrive or you are served, smile and say “Vinaka” – you will be better off for it. Getting anxious about time and rushing will do you no good at all. Sooner or later you will get used to it and be surprised to hear yourself saying with huge acceptance – “That’s just Fiji Time!”