Family-friendly Fiji trip ideas
Tropical adventures for the entire family
With swaying palms, inviting beaches, friendly locals and all-inclusive resorts, it’s easy to see why Fiji is a favourite destination for travelling families. An easy three-hour flight from Auckland, this island paradise has something for everyone, whether you’re travelling with toddlers or teenagers.
Ready to make Fiji your next family getaway? Let’s dive into some of the best family-friendly attractions the country has to offer, including popular resorts and areas to stay, adrenaline-pumping activities, cultural experiences and everything in between. Bula!
Where to stay in Fiji with the family
Fiji is home to over 300 islands, although only one-third are inhabited and just a handful of areas are suitable for tourists. That doesn’t mean that travelling families aren’t spoilt for choice, however there are countless resorts to suit all tastes, whether you’re looking for easy options nearby when you arrive in Nadi, or more secluded islands beyond the horizon.
Choosing the right resort for your family is an important decision. Look for amenities like Kids’ Clubs, activity areas like mini golf and children-friendly pools, and nearby experiences such as snorkelling, cultural parks and tours.
Here are three of Fiji’s most popular areas for families; Denarau, the Mamanuca Islands and the Coral Coast.
Denarau is an easy 20-minute drive from Nadi, making it an extremely popular option for families looking to minimise travel time to and from the airport. Other tropical hotspots in Fiji, like the Mamanuca Islands and the Yasawa Islands, can only be reached by catamaran or light aircraft, so Denarau is also a great option if you’re short on time.
Denarau boasts some of Fiji’s largest resorts and the Big Bula Waterpark, which we’ll dive into later. Radisson Blu is a family favourite in the area, with a popular Kids Club beloved by parents and the little ones alike.
The Radisson Blu “Banana Club” offers kids a range of supervised activities, from boat building with coconut husks to beach volleyball. Every child under 12 that checks into Radisson Blu is awarded a “Banana Passport”, which gives them access to activities and half-price meals for the duration of their stay. For parents hoping to enjoy a moment of tropical solace with the kids under control, the Banana Club is a saviour.
The Mamanuca Island group is home to some of the most picturesque tropical landscapes in the world. The 20 islands in the group include big names like Castaway Island, Treasure Island, Malolo Lailai, Tavarua and Namotu, where blinding coral sands and crystal waters are an everyday reality.
Reaching the Mamanucas is easy from Port Denarau, with regular catamaran services to surrounding islands. The Malolocat luxury catamaran transports visitors to the three popular resorts on Malolo Lailai - Plantation Island Resort, Musket Cove and Lomani, which are also open for day trips. A number of the tour operators in Denarau operate island hopping tours of the Mamanucas, which are suitable for families.
- Boat making
- Pineapple cracking
- Movie nights
- Talent shows
- Local arts and crafts
- Crab races
- Torch lighting
- Limbo contests
- Toy weaving
- Local dance performances
- Crab hunting.
The resort grounds also boast playgrounds, a mini golf course and a new water park where the kids can cool off under supervision from the resort staff.
The teenagers don’t miss out on Plantation Island Resort either, with activities like table tennis tournaments, beach soccer and nature walks to keep them occupied with like-minded peers. And of course, the daily snorkelling, surfing and kayaking excursions from the island will ensure they’re never bored.
The Coral Coast
Back on Fiji’s main island, a scenic 1.5-hour drive south from Nadi International Airport will find you on the Coral Coast. On the surface, this may look like any other resort destination in the country. However, the 80km stretch of gorgeous beaches and serene bays is punctuated with authentic local villages, fishing towns and unique attractions you won’t find anywhere else in Fiji.
As for family-friendly resorts, it’s hard to beat the popular Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, where kids aged 3-7 become Little Riggers, 8-12 join the Beach Rigger club, and 13+ have a range of teen activities to choose from. Outrigger sits upon 40 acres of landscaped coastal gardens dotted with sprawling pools, traditional Fijian bure bungalows and even restaurants where kids eat free.
5 family adventure activities in Fiji
Whether you’re the kind of family that lives for thrills and spills or you’re interested in getting close to nature, you’ll find plenty of adventure activities in Fiji. Here are five family-friendly options to spice up your island getaway.
1. Big Bula Waterpark
As we mentioned, the Big Bula Waterpark in Denarau is one of the most popular family attractions in Fiji. Operating year-round, the park has a selection of heart-thumping water slides, obstacle courses, and a children’s park for the little ones.
2. Snorkelling cruises
Location: Tivua Island, Mamanuca Islands, Coral Coast and beyond
While Fiji is beautiful enough above ground, exploring its underwater environment is truly an unforgettable experience. Snorkelling cruises offer a chance to see a kaleidoscope of tropical fish as you float above a coral maze.
The Tivua Island day cruise is an easy all-inclusive snorkelling option from Nadi, which includes food, drink, transport and gear. If you’re staying in the Mamanuca Islands, ask about family-friendly snorkelling options like the popular Sandbar which is a short boat ride from Plantation Island Resort.
3. Kula Wild Adventure Park
Location: Coral Coast
If you’re visiting the Coral Coast on Fiji’s main island, the Kula Wild Adventure Park is a must-see for the nature lovers of the family. As the country’s biggest family park, Kula is home to winding nature boardwalks, spectacular local wildlife, a hands-on environmental education centre, a zip coaster and even a jungle waterslide.
4. Whitewater tour
Location: Navua River, Viti Levu
Fiji’s coast often steals the limelight, but venture inland and you’ll find a tapestry of rivers waiting to be explored. Whitewater rafting, traditional bamboo rafts and river tubes are popular activities for the family, with licensed tours operating on the Navua River on the main island of Viti Levu.
Note that some rafting tours have a minimum age requirement of eight years old, so check with your provider when booking.
5. Ziplining adventure
If your adventurers enjoy seeing the sights from above ground, a zipline through the canopy could be exactly the experience for you. Zip Fiji offers a large range of experiences including a new zipline tour just 35 minutes from Nadi.
The Nadi tour includes transportation from Nadi, all equipment, a walk through limestone caves, local lunch and 5km of soaring ziplines.
5 cultural experiences with the kids in Fiji
Fiji isn’t all about heart-pumping adventure activities. The island nation has a rich heritage with Melanesian and Polynesian roots, with some fascinating cultural experiences for the family to enjoy.
1. Fiji Culture Village
Travelling with the family is a great way for your kids to experience and appreciate cultures beyond their own borders, and the Fiji Culture Village in Nadi is a captivating attraction that offers just that.
Visitors can stroll through traditional villages and interact with the friendly locals as they explain their arts and crafts, lifestyle and food. You’ll also have the chance to try your hand at mat weaving, pottery and the local meke dance.
2. Village tour
Location: Mamanuca Islands
If you’re staying beyond Nadi and Denarau in locations like the Mamanuca Islands, you don’t need to miss out on experiencing local village life either. Resorts like Plantation Island Retreat organise day trips to local villages, where many of the resort staff live when not working.
It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with Fijian culture before your visit, so your family can enjoy the experience without the risk of offending. Dress conservatively, take off your hat, remove your shoes before entering houses and receive gifts graciously.
3. Sabeto hot springs and mud pools
Also known as the Tifajek mud pools, this unique experience just 30 minutes from Nadi will leave you feeling reinvigorated as you bathe in the natural hot springs and lather yourself in a traditional mud wrap. Saika Tours offers a guided visit that includes transportation and local foods.
4. Nadi local markets
There’s no better place to pick up local artisan gifts for friends and family back home than the famous Nadi local markets. Lose yourself in a maze of stalls with knickknacks the kids will love, but be sure to keep your belongings close so you don’t entice pickpockets.
5. Fijian food tour
Fiji might be better known for its stunning coast than its cuisine, but that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to the hotel buffet. Head to Nadi’s Queens Road to discover Fiji’s eclectic food scene, where you’ll find a melting pot of Indian, Chinese, Mediterranean and local Fijian eateries.
Travelling to Fiji with the family: Do’s and don’ts
Fiji might be one of the most welcoming and attractive destinations for Kiwi families, however there are a few things to remember when visiting this island paradise.
Do’s in Fiji
- Do stay healthy: The health of yourself and your family should be a top priority on any holiday. Ask your GP about any recommendations for staying healthy in Fiji, which may include hygiene tips and medications.
- Do check SafeTravel: The SafeTravel website is a great place to find up-to-date travel advisories, health information and tips to keep you safe.
- Do check the weather: Fiji’s tropical climate means it’s prone to cyclones, particularly in the summer months. Ensure you check for any weather warnings before your trip and protect yourself with travel insurance that includes natural disaster coverage. We would always recommend if a country that you’re visiting or a part of that country has a travel warning, you will not be covered* for any events that relate to travel warnings in that country, or in the areas you are travelling to.
- Do research your resort carefully: As we mentioned, the accommodation you choose in Fiji is an important decision. Look for facilities like Kids Clubs and on-ground activities and don’t mistakenly book an adults-only resort if you’re taking the family.
- Do take time for yourself: Remember, this isn’t all about the kids! Take some time to yourself to enjoy tropical serenity and recharge your batteries. Most resorts will have child-minding services so you can unwind.
Don’ts in Fiji
- Don’t forget your documents: Passports, visas, COVID-19 information, travel insurance - it’s important to get your documents in order before leaving for the airport.
- Don’t underestimate the heat: Conditions like heatstroke and heat exhaustion have a way of sneaking up on you and can become serious medical emergencies. Remember to keep everybody hydrated and use quality protection from the tropical sun.
- Don’t let the kids run wild: Many resorts have adults-only areas where unruly children can be an unwelcome disturbance. Make sure the kids are on good behaviour and stay safe around the resort grounds.
- Don’t tour with an unlicensed operator: Whether it’s a snorkelling cruise, a zipline tour or anything in between, always ensure you book with a licensed tour operator. Remember, your travel insurance may not cover you if you don’t.
- Don’t forget travel insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance for Fiji is essential to keeping your family safe on their overseas adventure. Look for insurance like our international travel insurance that includes cover for medical emergencies, lost belongings, cancellations, natural disasters and COVID-19.
What you need to know
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