Many of our clients chose to combine a couple of weeks adventure and exploring in New Zealand with a week relaxing on a Pacific island, with Fiji or Tahiti being firm favorites. A question that we are often asked is which one!
Fiji vs Tahiti? That’s a tough one, and it more often than not comes down to personal preference and budget.
About Fiji & Tahiti
Fiji consists of 330 mostly unspoiled islands, English is spoken throughout the islands. The currency in Fiji is the Fijian dollar. In Tahiti the language most widely spoken is French, though English is spoken at the main resorts and hotels.Tahiti is made up of 118 islands, the main ones being the Island of Tahiti, Moorea, Le Tahaa, Rangiroa, Huahine, Manihi, and Bora Bora. Bora Bora is the most famous of these islands.
The currency of Tahiti is the French Pacific Franc. There are lots of similarities, you will find stunning white sand beaches in both Fiji and Tahiti. Both have mountain ranges, valleys and lush green landscape. Both are absolutely beautiful, and perfect South Pacific honeymoon locations!
Getting to Fiji or Tahiti
Flight time from Auckland to Nadi, Fiji is 3 hours and 10 hours non stop from Los Angeles, whilst Auckland to Papeete, Tahiti is 5 hours and Tahiti to Los Angeles is 9 hours. There are more frequent flights to Fiji than to Tahiti. Fiji is in the same time zone as New Zealand and Tahiti is 22 hours behind. Its usually possible to transfer to the island resorts in Fiji fairly quickly after arrival in Fiji, either by seaplane, helicopter, speedboat or catamaran. To reach Bora Bora from Papeete is 260km and requires a 45 domestic domestic flight, and Moorea is a 10 minute flight or 30 minute ferry ride, due to the arrival times of flights from Auckland into Tahiti. More often than not its necessary to spend the first night in Papeete before transferring to the island resorts.
If its overwater bungalows you are looking for then there are more options in Tahiti, Fiji currently has only two luxury resorts with over water bure options (Likuliku & Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay) whilst there are lots of options in Tahiti, however they do have a high ticket price so its something to take into consideration if budget is an overriding factor.
Fiji is a more relaxed style with generally individual bure type accommodation, many resorts are located on their own “island” with hideaway bure’s, whilst Tahiti has the premium chain style resorts and hotels such as Four Seasons, Sheraton, St Regis etc. The Fijian style is more low key and friendly, in Tahiti you have full service resorts with concierge and guest service facilities, hotels gyms, and other facilities you associate with larger chain style resorts.
Most Fijian resorts are either all-inclusive or offer meal plans that can be pre-paid, whereas in Tahiti the tariffs generally only include breakfasts.
The best time to travel to the Pacific Islands
The climate in both Fiji and Tahiti is tropical and fairly pleasant and warm all year around.
Fiji’s wet seasons is November to March, with temperatures of 30 degrees celsius and only dropping to a balmy 27 degrees celsius, you could experience tropical rain at this time. The dry season is May to September when temperatures remain warm enough to enjoy swimming, sunbathing. Peak season in Fiji is June, July and August. Overall the best time to visit Fiji is October to early November when the cost of getting and staying there has not yet reached its peak, the weather is dry, settled and warm and the beaches and resorts are far less crowded.
The seasons in Tahiti follow very close to Fiji, the high season, which is the better weather but also the most expensive time extends from April to October, and the humid or wet season from November to March bringing humid sticky weather and frequent heavy rains. Again June, July and August are the busier and more expensive times to visit Tahiti, but on the flip side the weather is ideal at that time.
Price comparisons Fiji vs Tahiti
Cost of a meal in a inexpensive restaurant (NZ$)
Cost of a meal in a mid range restaurant (NZ$)
Domestic Beer (NZ$)
Taxi 1km (NZ$)
Whats on offer, experiences and activities
Both Fiji and Tahiti offer amazing snorkeling and diving in pristine waters with superb visibility and hundreds of fish species. Most resorts have onsite dive shops or work closely with dive operators. Fiji, however possibly has an edge in one respect, its colorful underwater panoramas are world-renowned.
Both offer cultural experiences, show casing their individual cultures, and many of the larger resorts in both locations offer cultural nights with Kava nights in Fiji and Polynesian dancers in Tahiti
Most of the resorts in both Fiji and Tahiti offer spa treatments, though the cost in Fiji is less expensive.
Waters sports, such as kayaking, paddle boarding are offered in both locations.
In summary, if you’re looking for a tropical island paradise vacation with turquoise lagoons, white sands, great snorkeling & diving, and a place to relax, then both Fiji and Tahiti are ideal choices. Both destinations are recommended for honeymooners and couples, if you’re still unsure which is the best choice for you you’ll have to flip a coin!
Kay Campbell is a luxury travel consultant for Luxury Adventures. Talk to us about planning your next visit to New Zealand, Australia or the South Pacific Islands.