Map from Google - Fiji
Fiji, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, located north of the Tropic of Capricorn, has a tropical climate
, with a hot and humid rainy season from December to April, and a cooler season from June to October. The latter is relatively dry, especially in the small and flat islands, and in the north-western slopes of the main islands (Viti Levu and Vanua Levu), while in the slopes exposed to the south-east, the trade winds may cause showers and thunderstorms even in this season.
For example, in the capital Suva
, located in the south-eastern side of the island of Viti Levu, and therefore exposed to the trade winds, even 2,900 millimetres of rain per year fall, of which more than 270 mm per month from December to April, when it rains more than one day out of two, while it still rains on average every second day in the least rainy months, with a minimum of 120 mm in July. Therefore, here we can speak of equatorial climate, because there is no dry season. Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Suva
The daytime temperature in Suva, around 30 °C from January to March, drops down to 26/27 °C from May to October; even the minima drop slightly, from 23 °C to 20 °C. However, in the cooler months, sometimes at night the temperature can go down to 12/13 °C, so it can get quite cool.
Here are the average temperatures.
Average temperatures - Suva
The sea temperature decreases a bit in the winter months, although it remains pleasantly warm for swimming, as can be seen in the following table.
Sea temperature - Suva
, on the western slope of the same island Viti Levu, it rains a lot less, 2,050 mm per year, and while it rains a lot in the rainy season, from December to April, it rains much less from May to October, when precipitation drops below 100 mm per month; the driest month is June, with 55 mm of rain. Even the rainy days are fewer: 7/8 days per month from July to October, and a dozen per month in May and June. On the contrary, the temperature is a little higher, because the winds blow from the inland hills, especially in the cooler months, when the maximum temperature is around 28 °C, instead of 26 °C. Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Nadi
Even the amount of sunshine
is higher in the leeward side than in the windward side: about 7/8 hours a day in Nadi, compared with 5/6 in Suva.
These differences between the two sides are also found in the other main island, Vanua Levu. In the smaller islands, especially the flat ones, the difference is smaller, because the trade winds do not find hills upon which they could discharge the humidity on one side, so that throughout the year, about 1,700/1,800 mm of rain fall, with a minimum in the cool months. An exception is represented by the island of Rotuma
, because it is located far to the north and is very rainy because of the latitude: with its 3,500 mm of rain per year, it has an equatorial climate, with a minimum from June to September, when around 200 mm of rain per month fall anyway.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Rotuma
This island is also warmer, as we can see from its average temperatures.
Average temperatures - Rotuma
Even the sea temperature remains high throughout the year in Rotuma, as can be seen in the following table.
Sea temperature - Rotuma
Fiji can be affected by tropical cyclones
, during the period from November to mid-May (although Cyclone Bebe made an exception, having being formed in the second half of October 1972): one more reason to avoid the most muggy and rainy season of the year.
When to go
The best time to visit Fiji is from mid-May to mid-October
: it's the most dry, cool and sunny, especially in the northern slopes of the main islands, which are preferable also because they are more sheltered from the wind.
What to pack
In winter (June to August): light clothes for the day, a scarf for the breeze, a sweatshirt for the evening; light raincoat or umbrella. For the reef, equipment for snorkeling, water shoes or rubber soled shoes.
In summer (December to February): light clothes, of natural fibres, sun hat, a scarf for the breeze, a light sweatshirt for the evening; light raincoat or umbrella.
In Rotuma, all year round, light clothing, of natural fibres, sun hat, a scarf for the breeze, a light sweatshirt for the evening, light raincoat or umbrella.