There are many versions of the dollar in use all around the world, but the Fijian dollar is perhaps not one of the first you would think of. It uses the usual symbol – the $ symbol – but typically has the letters FJ in front of it when required. This helps it stand apart from the other currencies that use the dollar.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
There are six coins in use for this currency at present. Two are dollar coins, which are the one and two dollar coins. There are a further four that are denominated in cents. These are the 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins.
Aside from this there are also six banknotes currently in use. The smallest is the $2 note and the largest is the $100 note. In between you will find the $5, $10, $20 and $50 notes.
From past to present – the history of the Fijian dollar
The original use of the Fijian dollar was back in the 1800s. This was between 1867 and 1873. This was the year in which Great Britain colonised it and the country then started to use the Fijian pound, since the pound was the recognised currency of Great Britain. This particular currency was an imperial one and it was in use right up until 1969.
This was the year in which the process of gaining independence began. They chose to use the Fijian dollar once more, and it came into being that year. Full independence was officially achieved in 1970 and from this moment on the official name for Fiji is the Republic of the Fiji Islands.
How to get hold of Fijian dollars
Since Fiji is something of a tourist hotspot you will be pleased to know you shouldn’t have any problems getting hold of the cash. It does depend on where you go however because cash machines aren’t as widespread outside of the cities and main towns and tourist destinations. As such, it is best to make sure you have a supply of dollars with you if you are going off the beaten track or you want to head for anywhere other than a major city, town or tourist area. It’s best to be sure you have some cash on you.
You can use credit cards as well and you’ll get more protection when using a credit card for purchases instead of a debit card. Always check your particular card is accepted before you use it though. It is also good to confirm prior to leaving home whether or not your particular debit card can be used in Fijian cash machines. One thing to be aware of with regard to credit cards is that resorts and other providers in Fiji are now allowed by law to add a surcharge to your credit card payment. This is typically about 5% but it can depend on the provider. Make sure you know how much you will be charged prior to paying with your card so you know where to stand.
You can of course get some Fijian dollars before you leave home, because they are available from the usual bureaux de change. Compare different ones so you know you are getting the best deal.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Fijian dollar
The Fijian dollar usually appears on the drop-down menu appearing on many currency converters, since Fiji is a popular holiday destination for those wanting a great beach holiday. Therefore all you have to do is to find your favourite currency converter, select your own currency to start with and the Fijian dollar as the one to convert to. Just select the amount you wish to convert from one to the other and that’s all you need to get started.
If you are considering visiting Fiji for business or holiday purposes you should look at the official Fiji High Commission website. This contains information on visas, permits and travel advice as well. You will find the website at http://www.fijihighcommission.org.uk.
Travelling safely with Fijian dollars
Generally speaking Fiji is a great place to visit. Most people who go there on holiday come back with nothing but good memories. However it is wise to be aware that some people have been subjected to sexual assaults while in the country. These are far more likely to occur in remote areas so it is usually best to stay in busier tourist friendly areas if you can. Never travel anywhere on your own and be careful at night.
Another area to be aware of concerns petty crime. This can occur in any country or region and Fiji is no different in this respect. Petty thievery is quite widespread here so you should do everything you can to avoid becoming a victim. If your hotel has a safe make sure you put all your valuables in it whenever you don’t need them. It is also wise to ensure you split up your cash and cards on your person. For example keep some in a pocket, some in a wallet and some in your bag. You should always keep tight hold of your bag – sling it over your neck rather than just over your shoulder. It is also wise to be very careful when using cash machines. People are often robbed here when they withdraw money and don’t notice someone behind them who is getting ready to grab their cash.
Where to spend your dollars in Fiji – and what to spend them on
Fiji is located to the east of the coast of Australia. It is actually comprised of hundreds of islands. Only a third of these actually have anyone living on them. Nearly 90% of the entire Fijian population is split between the two largest islands. These are known as Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.
If you think of Fiji you will probably conjure up images of islands, lush greenery and deep blue seas and skies. You wouldn’t be far wrong either, since these views are very possible in a variety of areas.
There are many things to see and do in Fiji, one of which is to see the Tavoro Waterfall Park. There are actually three waterfalls here, each of which provides you with a stunning view and a chance to take some amazing photographs. You will find them all in the Bouma National Heritage Park.
You can also visit the Fijian capital of Suva, which you can find on the largest island of them all, Vitu Levu. There are some stunning botanical gardens here and when you pay a visit you will also come across the Fiji Museum. This museum has a superbly presented history of Fiji that dates back thousands of years. If you want to know the past and present of the island nation, this is the best way to do it. There are some other stunning gardens in the capital as well, not to mention some intriguing and fascinating walks. One major highlight would be the many markets in the city. Whatever you are looking for you can be sure it will be represented here somewhere!
One majorly popular activity in Fiji is to find the nearest white sandy beach and to lie back and relax for as long as you possibly can. Fiji has some stunning beaches including Cove Beach, which can be found on the pleasantly named Turtle Island. There are 14 beaches here alone, not to mention the many others dotted around. These include Liku Beach, Matamanoa Beach and Vomo Island Beach.
A popular way to see more of Fiji – and to spend some of those Fijian dollars – is to take a day cruise. This allows you to sit back and let someone else do the hard work while you enjoy the view and see some of the more remote areas of the island nation. You can either book this in advance or arrange it once you arrive in Fiji.
Another delight you have to look forward to on your trip is the Fijian cuisine. Much of the food here is fresh and delightful, and while coconuts and fruit are plentiful you will have much more choice than this. Some of the food is cooked using an underground method which literally involves heating the ground and cooking in it. This underground oven is ideal for many Fijian dishes such as those involving fish or meat as the prime ingredients. You will find yourself parting with many Fijian dollars simply to enjoy the delightful taste sensations you can have.
As you can see Fiji is much loved by some holidaymakers for a variety of very good reasons. Fiji has everything you could want from a beach holiday. However it has much more to offer than this, thanks to the many great islands aside from the two main ones. Make the most of the many sights, sounds and experiences you can have in Fiji. Far better to come home with few Fijian dollars than to have saved them and not had the maximum experience you could have while you are there.