If you’re dreaming of a tropical holiday but the idea of dragging the kids halfway around the world sound like more trouble than it’s worth, look no further than Fiji.
Just a four-hour flight from Brisbane, Fiji is the ideal destination for a relaxing tropical holiday that will satisfy kids and parents alike.
While some resorts and hotels have no-children policies, there are many that specialise in family holidays – some even let kids stay for free.
Expect family-friendly restaurants, water slides, child-friendly pools, playgrounds, sport, entertainment and organised activities.
Large families can stay in rooms that sleep two adults and up to four children or reserve multi-bedroom bure cabins that sleep more than eight people.
Many resorts have kids’ clubs (usually for children aged four to 12 years old) to entertain older children while parents relax by the pool with a cocktail in hand and nannies or babysitters can be arranged at most resorts for a small fee.
Baby essentials such as nappies, wipes and formulas are available at pharmacies and supermarkets in cities and towns but plan to take your own supplies if you are travelling to remote areas or islands. Many resorts have their own convenience stores onsite but only use these as a fallback option as prices can be extremely high.
Child restraints are not required in Fiji but can be hired if you are renting a car. Taxis will not have child restraints and busses rarely have seatbelts, so it’s a good idea to bring your own child restraint if you plan to travel by taxi or bus. While life jackets are compulsory, you may find there aren’t enough kid-sized jackets so consider taking your own if you’ll be spending time at sea.
Specific immunisations aren’t required for Fiji but Smartraveller recommends all travellers, including children, be up to date with vaccinations. Mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue fever can be a risk so families should pack child-safe insect repellent.
Water at resorts is usually safe to drink but consider buying bottled water if you venture out from your resort.
Drinking kava is a common Fijian cultural ritual but it’s not appropriate for children as it impacts the central nervous system.
Location, location, location
If the four-hour plane trip with young kids is pushing it, you can live the tropical life one of the many resorts on Denarau Island, just a 20-minute drive from Fiji’s main airport at Nadi. Although an island, Denarau is connected to the main island by bridge. You can also take day trips from Denarau to other islands or activities including Cloud Nine, a floating bar and waterpark.
Hire a car or book a seat on a shuttle bus for the 1.5-hour drive to the Coral Coast, an 80km stretch of brilliant white beaches on the southern shore of the main island of Viti Levu. The coral reef just off the mainland provides endless opportunity for swimming, snorkelling, diving and a variety of other water sports.
Relaxing and spending time together is at the top of the list for every family on a Fiji holiday. Spend some time enjoying the sun, sand and surf at your resort. When it’s time for a break, kids will love making new friends at kid’s club while parents relax at the resort spa or get the adrenaline pumping with adults-only activities such as scuba diving or parasailing.
A tour of a local school or village will give kids insight into Fijian culture and history. Visitors can support the villagers buy purchasing items from their stalls and taking part in in traditional customs. Kids will enjoy creating art or kicking a ball with local children and parents can experience a kava ceremony and join the villagers for lunch.