Fiji (Nadi) overview


#1

My husband and I just spent 4 nights in Fiji as an extended stopover on our way to the US. We only travelled within the Nadi area so I’m afraid I haven’t got any info on other parts of the country.
I would have to say from my experience Nadi as a city is not very accessible. Almost every shop has at least a few stairs to enter including the supermarket. We did find a supermarket at Martintar about 10 mins from Nadi (on the way to the airport) called RB Patel which is accessible in a wheelchair.
We didn’t see any wheelchair taxis, although all drivers were happy to put it in the trunk folded up. If you cannot transfer to a chair or require a chair that cannot fold to fit a mid size vehicle it would be a struggle. I didn’t see any wheelchair parking spaces but we didn’t drive so I wasn’t looking out all the time. Pedestrian crossings exist but there was no audible notification to cross, and the “zebra” style crossings were a bit scary, cars approach quickly then slam the brakes, and they drive as soon as you are past their vehicle, so I would urge caution if you are slow paced, or have travellers who may quickly change direction or pace.
The place we stayed (Grand Wests Villas) was advertised as accessible, however when we arrived they wanted to put us upstairs. We soon found out that it’s because downstairs rooms are not generally offered to tourists, the room was so mouldy and dirty (even found an open sanitary item in the side drawer) we ended up moving upstairs and my husband had to help me every time I had to go on the stairs. The room was also accessible only in the sense that it was ground floor, internal doorways were quite narrow and the layout of the bathroom would not allow for a side transfer to the toilet. Basin was regular height as well. TV had 5 channels but the reception was not great and you have to ring reception to change channel. WiFi is also $10 per hour and is apparently really patchy (We got a local SIM so didn’t use it) If you have a traveller who needs electronic devices for “down time” I suggest getting a local SIM or a hotel where WiFi is included. The restaurant onsite has stairs, you can order to the room but it’s $2 more. There are a few restaurants within 500m but the footpath is on the opposite side of the road to the resort and there is a step up with no access ramp. Also the restaurants have stairs. One can be accessed by a very steep incline (and is next door to a mini mart) but I would not be able to self propel up it.
The airport was great as far as assistance and was very accessible.
We plan to go back next month and stay in a different area of Nadi, so will update with accessibility of that area when we do.


#2

I forgot to mention: local buses are NOT accessible to wheelchair users or mobility impaired users. Several steep steps into the bus, no provision to stow a wheelchair and they will drive off before you get a seat. The one time we tried it (I used my cane) I really struggled with the steps and needed hubbys help. We had to walk to the back of the bus and the driving began when one as only half way along, luckily hubby caught me as I fell forward. The bus was so full we had to share a two person seat with another person.