Fiji is often associated with relaxation and generally doing nothing but soaking up the sun and cooling down in the sea. But when the sun goes down, Fiji’s partygoers come to life, not as intense as the Full Moon Party in Thailand or the clubs of Ibiza, but enough to give us gappers a good time and bad hangover.
The main clubs are on the largest island, Viti Levu, in the main areas of Nadi and Suva. On the smaller islands, you’ll find most of the nightlife within the walls of the local resorts.
Suva plays host to a majority of bars, mostly within the Victoria Parade vicinity. Locals and backpackers alike can be found in any of these watering holes. Trap bar is one of the most popular bars, with six bars in one, you can see why. Purple Haze is for the more imaginative, this super gay-friendly club is out of this world – quite literally. This scifi-esque club is decorated with neon planets and inflatable aliens. Who knew Fiji was the new Roswell? Despite its biker-like name, Bad Dog Café is one of the more upper class hangouts, with a sophisticated cocktail bar. Other places to check out in Suva are O’Reilly’s, Signals Nightclub and Birdland R&B.
On the opposite side of the Island in Nadi you’ll find the popular surf bar known as Ed’s. This laidback hangout has pool tables, a dancefloor and live bands. The cheap beer and a mix of music make Ed’s a great night out. When you’ve had enough of Ed’s just stroll across the street to the Frequency Lounge - another high profile club among the backpacker community with lives bands and DJs entertaining on alternative nights. Nadi is also home to one of Fiji’s latest opening bars, the Ice Bar is open from 6pm to 4am. In Fiji, the party usually starts at 10pm. Other clubs in Nadi are Bounty Bar and restaurant and Planters.
Beachcomber has earned a reputation as a ‘party island’. Situated within the Mamanuca Islands, this island is perfect for anyone visiting Fiji on a gap year. Spend your days parasailing, jet skiing and diving, and in the night you can head to the action, which all takes place in the Barefoot Bar. Barefoot Bar has a DJ every night surrounded by fire eaters, dancers, a limbo competition and Fiji’s very own ‘Bula dance’ – now we must take a detour from the nightlife in Fiji to explain.
‘Bula’ means ‘Hello’ in Fiji, and is a word that many arrivals from the Fiji gate will be mimicking upon their arrival home. Because of its tourist value this non-traditional Bula dance has become somewhat of an island sensation. The dance is used as an ice breaker to get visitors to relax and make new friends. The dance is led by the ‘Bula boys’ a group of local men who lead the crowd in a dance not too dissimilar tro the Macerena, where you follow a routine of simple moves – two steps left, two ‘Bula!’.
The nightlife in the week is not as wild as the weekends with most clubs closing at midnight, but most stay open later on the weekends. You might be surprised to know that the nightlife scene shuns shorts and flipflops, with a dress code usually required in most places. As tempting as it is to live in flip flops – we’ve all been there – make sure to pack some classier footwear too.