When it comes to finding a tropical paradise to please the knee-high crew, few destinations rival Fiji. This beachy playground is set apart from other island nations by the variety of adventures it holds, from snorkeling with manta rays to splashing around in jungle waterfalls.
So much more than just a beach, Fiji offers families an exceptionally kind, accessible culture and the opportunity to learn more about the earth and its seas. The islands have been attracting families for decades and wherever you go, you’ll be welcomed with a hearty “Bula!” by the locals. And kids from around the globe often form unforgettable bonds with the Fijians they meet and interact with – a walk to a beach or waterfall can easily turn into playtime with the kids from nearby villages.
Resorts of all sizes cater well to kids and will make sure everyone is comfortable and taken care of. So pack up your little ones and head to Fiji for an adventure they’ll never forget.
Famous Kids’ Clubs
Many resorts in Fiji have free Kids’ Clubs famous not only for being a ton of fun, but for their programs of activities based on Fiji’s culture and nature. Little ones can learn Fijian songs and how to meke (a dance performance that enacts ancient legends and lore). They can dress like a Fijian warrior and light the ceremonial torches. Other treats might include surf classes, paddle boarding, parasailing, fishing, hermit crab races and more.
Very young kids are often paired with nannies, while slightly older kids (6-12) are put into small groups led by an experienced “Bula Buddy.” This supervision leaves parents free to have their own Fiji adventures while kids form a special bond that will have them wanting to come back year after year.
Under the sea
Fiji is a perfect spot for young snorkelers and divers, with warm, clear water and abundant marine life. With coral reefs just offshore of many of Fiji’s islands, snorkeling is super easy and accessible for kids of all ages and abilities. For a step up, many resorts offer ‘Bubble-Blower’ courses where children from age eight can take their first underwater breaths. And when they’re ready for even more, strong swimmers as young as 10 can learn to dive in the nearby shallow lagoons – a forgiving training environment.
Most resorts offer kayaks and stand-up paddleboards free of charge; many have superfun sea trampolines. Banana boat and jet-boat rides offer squeals and hilarity by the bucketload. And with sailboat rides galore throughout the islands, what’s not to love? Plus many of the resorts’ kids programs foster a deep love and respect for the sea with a focus on marine biology and conservation. Children will learn how to protect the coral reefs and even plant coral themselves.
Not all fun in Fiji is found in the ocean. Waterfalls abound in Fiji and there’s almost always a cool pool to be found in which to swim, usually alongside local families. Perhaps the most fun is the Waitavala Waterslide on Taveuni, where you can slide down a series of slippery rocks in a cool cascade. Also on Taveuni are the Tavoro Waterfalls. They’re popular with local kids for swimming and jumping.
If you don’t mind getting dirty, the Sabeto Hot Springs near Nadi on Viti Levu are a series of geothermal pools where you can wade into silky, warm, waist-high (for grownups at least) mud. Sink into the thick ooze, then let silliness take over by getting into a mud-smearing and mud-slinging mess. Nearby, check out the ziplines at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant.
For other land-based adventures head to the Coral Coast of Viti Levu, where you can ride a unique bike on rails with EcoTrax Fiji. If you have an animal lover in the family, meet some of the archipelago’s magnificent wildlife residents at Kula Wild Adventure Park sanctuary, where you can even hold iguanas and snakes.
Places for families to stay
Family-friendly accommodations abound in Fiji, but here are some of our favorite places to stay when you have the little ones to think about.
The Coral Coast, which is Viti Levu’s south coast, features great beaches with easy access to the surrounding coral reef and lots of activities at the family friendly resorts. Check out the Marriott Momi Bay, the Intercontinental, the Shangri-La, or the Outrigger Resort for their exceptional Kids Clubs and other activities. Some even have special experiences for teens.
The Mamanuca Islands are easy to reach from Viti Levu and offer smaller resorts with lots of water activities. There’s also easy access to the famous Cloudbreak surf spot. Here you’ll find the legendary Castaway Island Resort, the recently renovated Plantation Island Resort, Musket Cove Island Resort – whose activities for kids put an emphasis on sailing – and the Fijian family-owned Malolo Island Resort.
Finally, Savusavu is only an hour away by Fiji Link, the nation’s domestic air carrier. It’s here you’ll find two of the best family friendly resorts in Fiji. The Koro Sun Resort is affordable fun for families and features ocean and rainforest adventures and a variety of accommodation types. And the luxurious Jean Michel Cousteau features 25 traditionally built bures and an amazing tree house for kids. They’ll follow sea-based activities designed by the famous oceanographer and led by an onsite marine biologist.
No matter where you stay or what you do, Fiji is truly a place where a kid’s feet never touch the ground.