Lautoka: Transport Networks

FJ
Tawewa Seabus Fiji, Lautoka, Fiji

Lautoka City boasts excellent public and private transportation, providing convenient options for both local travel within the city and exploration of its surroundings. The roads in Lautoka City Center are well-maintained, making self-driving a practical choice for those who value a little more flexibility. Additionally, pedestrians can take advantage of a plethora of walkways, contributing to the overall accessibility of the city.

Table of Contents

Distances to Major Fijian Towns and Cities

Included below are the distances from Lautoka to Suva via the Queens Road, recognized as the primary tourist route, as well as the Kings Road, which leads from Rakiraki to Suva through the scenic backroad to the capital. Furthermore, we came across a YouTube video showcasing a Dashcam capturing the journey between Nadi Town and Lautoka City.

Distances between Lautoka, Nadi, and nearby regions in Fiji.

Lautoka to (via Queens Rd):  Nadi – 26 km, Denarau – 35 km, Sanasana – 75 km, Sigatoka – 90 km, Korotoga – 97 km, Pacific harbour – 170 km, Suva – 215 km

Lautoka Town to: (via Kings Rd):  Ba – 36 km, Rakiraki – 107 km, Korovou – 158 km, Nausori – 233 km, Suva – 236 km

Lautoka Buses & Coach Station


Lautoka Coash Station Exterior
Lautoka Coach Station Exterior (Before the Resurfacing Project)

The Lautoka Bus Station is the go-to spot for catching rides in and out of the city, offering various transportation options. It’s not exactly a well-oiled machine, but the schedules are usually decent–nowhere near Japanese precision, but definitely better than the often-criticized punctuality of England’s transport network.

The station itself doesn’t win any beauty contests; it’s just a plain, concrete building with no frills. The only burst of color comes from the market vendors setting up shop outside, selling stunning orchids and vibrant flowers stacked together in brightly colored buckets.

When some of the older buses, predating the 1970s, kick into gear, they start shaking and shuddering as the driver wrestles with the giant gear stick to throw it in reverse, making a quick escape from the bustling station. Every now and then, you might catch one bellowing out a big cloud of black smoke (enough to make an environmentalist have a minor cardiac arrest), leaving a little reminder of its presence as it weaves through the maze of one-way streets on its well-traversed routes across the city, which it has typically done thousands of times over the last 40 years.

The main market is right there, attached to the rear of the bus station, in the middle of everything, surrounded by butchers, supermarkets, and hardware stores, and you’ve got these wheelbarrow guys hustling around. They’re usually in their late teens or early twenties, pushing these bright red (sometimes green) wheelbarrows, each with an official number painted on the side from the local FCCC. They pay around 12 bucks a month for a license, and they’re there to help you haul your market goodies to your car or whatever ride you’ve got. You pay them a few dollars for the service.

So, it’s basically the main transport island, with supermarkets all around. It could use a little sprucing up, but it gets the job done if you’re planning to travel to or from Lautoka.

Lautoka Bus Station Renovation: In early 2024, the Lautoka Bus Stand embarked on an ambitious and significant project to enhance its infrastructure. This initiative includes the resurfacing of the bus station, with the aim of providing a smoother and more pleasing platform for both commuters and drivers. The total investment in this endeavor is estimated to be approximately $1 million.

In addition to the resurfacing efforts, the council has also taken steps to improve the passenger experience by installing additional seating areas. This reflects a recognition of the importance of comfort for individuals waiting for buses.

As the council focuses on the long-term development of the Sugar City bus stand, CEO Mohammed Khan has disclosed that they are exploring the concept of decentralization, aiming to improve the flow of buses in and out of the capital city.

Visitor Advisory 1:  For all travelers planning to use the bus station for transfers on the island of Viti Levu, please adhere to safety guidelines. Always stay on the pavements and avoid taking shortcuts across the bus lanes. The bus lanes have numerous blind spots, and drivers may pull out without notice. In the past, several people have been injured while attempting to save a few extra seconds.

To ensure your safety, it is recommended to arrive well in advance of your scheduled bus or coach departure. Seek assistance from the many bus ticketing officers available, as they are extremely helpful; they will advise you on which bay the bus pulls in on. Take a seat on one of the many benches and enjoy a comfortable wait for your transportation.

Visitor Advisory 2:   The coach station experiences high traffic during the morning rush, with communities and schoolchildren heading to work and school. A similar situation occurs at the end of the day. It is advisable to avoid buses in and out of Lautoka during these peak times, as it often leads to a push-and-shove scenario.

For a more comfortable experience, consider adjusting your schedule slightly—arriving a bit earlier or later can make a significant difference. If you are traveling to Nadi or up the coast to Ba, we recommend opting for the air-conditioned coaches instead of the regular buses during these busy periods. While these coaches may not run as frequently, a bit of pre-planning can transform your journey from a potentially hectic and crowded experience, reminiscent of a sardine can, to a relaxed and comfortable one.

IN DEPTH SUPPORTING ARTICLE:  Fiji Bus Guide: Public Transport Handbook

Coach Companies


Sunbeam Fiji Coaches
Sunbeam Fiji Coaches

There are two well-established and reliable air-conditioned coach companies that cater to Lautoka: Pacific Transport and Sunbeam. In our in-depth article, we delve into the distinct facilities and services offered by each of these companies.

Pacific Transport plays a pivotal role in Fiji’s transportation network, catering to over 10,000 passengers daily and solidifying its status as a well-established and integral member of the industry. Focused on serving Queens Road patrons commuting between Suva, Sigatoka, Nadi, and Lautoka, including essential stops at major resorts and towns along the picturesque coastal route, Pacific Transport ensures a seamless travel experience.

Sunbeam serves Queens Road with eight daily trips between Lautoka and Suva respectively. They pick up and drop off passengers at various destinations along the highway, airports, towns, and all major hotels.

IN DEPTH SUPPORTING ARTICLE:  Coach Transport | The Definitive GuideFiji Bus Transport: eTransport System

Viti Minibuses Lautoka Station


Viti Mini (Mini Buses) at the depo in Lautoka

At the corner of Tukani Street and Yasawa Street, squeezed between the Kiran Palace Motel and Backpackers and the new Shop n Save Complex, is the Viti Mini Parking Bay (Opposite the Bus Station). When you arrive at the Lautoka Viti Mini Depot, you will instantly see a hive of activity, with people boarding and unboarding their vehicles. Normally, one or two vehicles are partially filled with passengers waiting outside until the sliding door closes at the final moment of departure. There’s a small bus stand and seating area for passengers, most probably traveling up the western side of the island to Ba or Rakiraki, a service that is not as frequently serviced as the Nadi and beyond service.

Once you’ve acclimated yourself to the environment, you’ll notice two or three Fijians working with clipboards. They will ask you where you are going, note your destination, and inform you of the next departure time, guiding you to the correct van to wait. We have included the average prices for the Viti Mini service in our in-depth article below.

Visitor Advisory 3 Unless you are in a rush, do not take the van that is waiting to leave in the next few minutes. Wait until this one leaves and then take the next available van, enabling you to choose the front seats as they are typically the best; take them, as they are more comfortable, with no baggage, etc.

Visitor Advisory 4: If you’re sitting in the main area at the back of the van, avoid sitting next to the door, as you will typically be responsible for opening and closing the door after people board and disembark, as they usually don’t close it correctly. Keep your fingers clear of all the edges of the doors, as when it closes, it takes no prisoners.

Visitor Advisory 5: Empty all your trouser pockets of coins or valuables to avoid losing your personal possessions during the journey. The jostling of the van, continuous boarding and exiting of passengers, and the infamous potholes can slowly dislodge small items. We have lost valuables multiple times, so please heed this advice.

Visitor Advisory 6: If you are waiting around, place your bag on your seat, stretch your legs, and have a cool refreshing drink of water before getting into the van. When the sun beats down, it can get hot in these tin cans, even with air conditioning on and the windows open. If you are making the long trip to Suva from Lautoka, they stop midway at Sigatoka for a 5-minute toilet break. Take advantage of this, stretch your legs, and make the driver aware you will be returning.

IN DEPTH SUPPORTING ARTICLE:  Viti Mini (Mini Buses) And Carriers

Taxi Companies & Rates

Row of packed Taxis in Fiji

In the main capital, various taxi companies operate; our preferred choice has always been Sugar Taxis, a medium-sized company known for its highly professional and friendly service. Across the city, there are many Shared Taxi Ranks where only registered companies can park and offer their services.

IN DEPTH SUPPORTING ARTICLE:  Fiji Taxis and Fares

Tawewa Seabus


Tawewa Seabus Fiji, Lautoka, Fiji
Tawewa Seabus Fiji, Lautoka, Fiji

Tavewa Seabus operates from Lautoka Jetty, providing a crucial transfer service to the Yasawa Islands. Departing daily at 8:00 am from Lautoka Kings Jetty, the 56-passenger fully licensed catamaran embarks on a roundtrip, returning to Lautoka between 3:30 to 4:00 pm, weather permitting.

Established in 2016 by Mr. Don Bruce of Coralview Island Resort, Tavewa Seabus addresses the need for accessible and affordable travel to the Yasawas. Recognizing the importance of this picturesque destination, the red-coloured catamaran stands out as a budget-friendly option for adventurers seeking to explore the Yasawa Islands.

Tavewa Seabus offers various amenities, including an onboard toilet, spacious seating on both the lower and top decks, and snacks and drinks available for purchase.

IN DEPTH SUPPORTING ARTICLE:  Ferries & Water Taxis | Inter-Island Transfers

Port of Lautoka


Entrance to the Port of Lautoka
Port of Lautoka

The port of Lautoka is located on the outskirts of Lautoka City and serves the Fijian population in Western Viti Levu. This port has been improved incrementally over the last hundred years to meet international and environmental efficiency standards, and it has been an integral part in the social and economic development of Fiji as a whole.

Throughout the year, cruise liners use this port of entry to moor up for the day and provide their ocean adventurers with the opportunity to disembark and touch ground in Fiji, as they are swiftly escorted on various one-day tours to explore the sights and sounds of Lautoka and Nadi.  With this also being the main port for domestic imports and exports into and out of Fiji, it is a hive of activity throughout the year.

IN DEPTH SUPPORTING ARTICLE:  For a historical and chronological account of the port of Lautoka and the history of the Fiji ports, please read the following articles Port of Lautoka and Ports of Fiji.

References

  • Cunard (2021, January 1). Lautoka, Fiji cruises. Cunard. Retrieved September 8, 2023, from Link
  • FPTL (2020, January 1). Port of Lautoka. Fiji Ports. Retrieved October 17, 2023, from Link
  • [Nomad’er How Far / Taran & Makoto]. (2021, November 10). Lautoka bus station sights & sounds / Fiji 2021 [Video]. Youtube. Link

Author
Sponsored Announcement
Events Calendar
Loading...
Sponsored Announcement