Pacific — Travel Tips
The language spoken in each nation depends on the history and affiliation of the specific island. The official languages of Hawaii are English and Hawaiian, with most restaurant and hotel staff able to speak Japanese as well. In Fiji, the official languages are English, Fijian, and Fiji Hindi. Visitors can easily get around the island using English. The official language of French Polynesia is French. In most resorts, getting around using English is easy; however, in the city centers, some knowledge of French may be useful.
The currency varies from nation to nation in the Pacific Islands. Hawaii, as part of the US, uses the US dollar (USD, US$). ATMs and banks are widely available throughout the cities, and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere, even for small amounts. Fiji uses the Fijian dollar (FJD), with sub-units of cents. French Polynesia uses the CFP franc (XPF).
The Pacific Islands cover a wide time zone, ranging from GMT +7 to GMT -10. Hawaii and French Polynesia share the same time zone at GMT -10. Fiji, on the other hand, is at GMT +12.
Electricity and plugs vary from nation to nation. Hawaii is 110-120V at 60Hz, with Type B plug sockets (two flat prongs). Fiji uses 220-240V, with Type I plug sockets (three flat prongs). French Polynesia also uses 220V, with two types of plugs in use: Type B (two flat prongs) and Type E (two round prongs). North American visitors will require plug adaptors and transformers if appliances are not compatible with the higher voltage.
The dialing code for Hawaii is +1 (and 808 as the area code), +679 for Fiji, and +689 for French Polynesia. Mobile phone usage and access to internet varies greatly from nation to nation. Hawaii has an excellent mobile network, compatible with the US mainland. Visitors can purchase SIM cards or disposable phones for use during their stay. Most hotels in Hawaii offer free wireless internet to guests. Fiji also has excellent mobile phone coverage, and visitors can purchase SIM cards or disposable phones. Most hotels offer free or paid-for internet access, and there are internet cafés in the main cities. French Polynesia also has a good mobile phone network, and visitors can buy SIM cards or disposable phones here as well. However, some remote areas have limited connectivity. Internet cafés are the main sources of internet access.
Duty-free allowances vary by Pacific Island nation, so visitors should check the rules for their destination. Tourists should note that most islands do not allow the importation of plants and animals.
For Hawaii, duty-free allowances for travelers aged over 21 are: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, and one liter of alcoholic beverage. For Fiji, visitors can bring in 200 cigarettes, 2.25 liters of spirits or 4.5 liters of wine. For French Polynesia, duty-free allowances are: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, two liters of spirits or two liters of wine, 50ml of perfume, and 500 grams of coffee.
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Honolulu: +1-800-464-2924 or http://www.gohawaii.com/
Tourism Fiji, Nadi: +679-672-2433 or http://www.fijime.com/
Tahiti Tourisme, Papeete: +689-50-40-30 or http://www.tahiti-tourisme.pf/
Embassies and Consulates in Pacific Islands
In Hawaii, visitors will find the following consulates:
Consulate General of Australia, Honolulu: +1-808-524-5050
Consulate General of Japan, Honolulu: +1-808-543-3111
Consulate of the Netherlands, Honolulu: +1-808-531-6897
Consulate of New Zealand, Honolulu: +1-808-595-2200
Consulate of Switzerland, Honolulu: +1-808-737-5297
Consulate of Sweden, Honolulu: +1-808-528-4777
In Fiji, visitors will find the following embassies and consulates:
US Embassy, Suva: +679-331-4466
Australian High Commission, Suva: +679-338-2211
British High Commission, Suva: +679-322-9100
Embassy of the Republic of France, Suva: +679-331-0526
Embassy of Japan, Suva: +679-330-4633
New Zealand High Commission, Suva: +679-331-1422
In French Polynesia, visitors will find the following consulates:
Australian Consulate, Papeete: +689-46-88-88
Austrian Consulate, Papeete: +689-43-91-14
German Consulate, Papeete: +689-43-92-26
Japanese Consulate, Papeete: +689-45-45-45
Swedish Consulate, Papeete: +689-47-54-75
British Consulate, Papeete: +689-70-63-82
Emergency services, Hawaii: 911
Emergency services, Fiji: 911 or 917
Emergency services, French Polynesia: 17