The best time to visit Fiji, and the most comfortable, is during the dry season between May and October when temperatures hover around 25°C by day and drop to a pleasant 19–20°C at night. At this time of year the southerly trade winds bring cool breezes off the sea and sometimes blustery conditions on the south and eastern coasts. Coinciding with the southern hemisphere winter, the dry season is also the busiest time to visit, with holiday-makers from New Zealand and Australia flocking to Fiji to escape the cold. Hotels in the popular resort areas are often booked out months in advance, especially around the school holidays between June and July.
The summer months from November to April are known as the wet season when temperatures rise to a fairly constant 31°C but with greatly increased humidity. Rainfall during these months is substantially higher, although most of it falls in sudden torrential tropical downpours, usually in the mid-afternoon. Mornings and late afternoons generally remain sunny and the sea is often beautifully calm – a great time for scuba divers. During the wet season the islands are lush with vegetation and waterfalls are at their most impressive; however, note that walking trails can get slippery and dirt roads impassable. Low pressure between December and April sometimes brings stormy weather from the northwest lasting around five days. In extreme cases tropical cyclones can develop. Direct hits on the islands are infrequent and damage quite localized.
Another aspect of Fiji’s weather are the microclimates found on the leeward and windward sides of the main islands. For example, Nadi, on the dry west side of Viti Levu, has reliably sunny weather while Suva, on the opposite side of the island but barely 100km away is often drenched by showers rolling in off the ocean.