The gateway to the Fiji Islands, Nadi could be dismissed as simply the entry and exit point for visitors on their way to Nadi International Airport. Fiji’s largest town, Nadi grew almost by accident. During World War II, a small airstrip has been extended for use by military aircraft and in the late 1940’s was further developed to Civil Aviation Standards. It became the first international airport in Fiji and as tourist numbers grew, so did this small town set amidst canefields and with a spectacular aspect across Nadi Bay.
Highlights of Nadi
In the colonial period, Nadi was seen as the town with the “Wild West” atmosphere. Nowadays the streets of Nadi Town are bustling with tourists drawn to the duty free stores, restaurants, bars and handicraft outlets. The markets especially on a Saturday provide some special shopping opportunities.
Shopping: Nadi offers a great shopping experience with most of the main shops located along the one very busy and congested main street. Shopping for that trendy outfit in Nadi Town is affordable with items of good quality with several large labels manufactured in the country. T-shirts, jeans, joggers and surf shorts abound here.
Many of the stores have a service orientated feel about them and staff have impeccable manners, but try not to let anyone talk into buying something you don’t really want. There are fine jeweler outlets, handicraft shops, tailors and local cafés and restaurants.
Woven items and wooden artifacts are some of the most popular souvenir items and these are readily available at many establishments, large and small.
Architecture: Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple - There are very few travelers who venture to these shores who do not return home with a photo or two of Nadi's major landmark. This impressive temple is the second for Nadi the original having more rustic origins as a thatched hut on the banks of the Nadi River.
Accessibility: Accessible from Nadi are the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands groups.
Tourist VAT Refund Scheme
The Tourist VAT Refund Scheme (TVRS) allows a tourist to claim a fund (subject to certain conditions) of VAT paid on goods purchased in Fiji and taken out of Fiji via Nadi International Airport or Suva Wharf. To be eligible for the scheme, you must satisfy the following:
- Spend a minimum of F$500.00 (VAT inclusive) in any of the approved licensed retailer outlets in a day and take the goods out of Fiji within 2 months from the date of purchase.
- Carry the goods with you as check in baggage or hand luggage.
- Purchase the goods from an approved licensed retailer. You must ask the retailer for a refund form and a tax invoice(s) for goods purchased.
Note that only approved retailers are licensed to sell goods which are eligible for refund under this scheme.