In Pacific countries people with disabilities are simply part of the community, looked after by family where necessary. In some cities there are schools for children with disabilities, but access facilities such as ramps, lifts, accessible toilets and Braille, are rare. Buses do not have wheelchair access and pavements have high curbs.

Nevertheless, people will go out of their way to give you assistance when you need it. This includes scooping you up in their arms so that they can carry you on and off boats.

Most top-end hotels have at least one disabled-friendly room with wheelchair access, paths, walk-in showers and handrails, but this may be tucked away at the back of the resort. It’s a good idea to check exactly what facilities a hotel has to ensure it suits your needs.

Even if the resort is disabled-friendly, consider how you plan to reach your destination. Mamanuca and Yasawa resorts are commonly accessed by catamarans, which are met by small dinghies that run guests to the beach. Those with mobility impairments may find arriving this way challenging. Instead opt for islands that can be reached by plane or, at the very least, have a wharf.


The Fiji Disabled People’s Association may be able to offer pretrip planning advice.