Often viewed as a romantic escape for couples, Fiji is in fact a popular family holiday destination, especially amongst Australians and New Zealanders. With enormous empathy and affection for children, Fijians make fabulous hosts and those with infants will find the locals eager to entertain your children at every opportunity. Most resorts have complimentary kids’ clubs and plenty of family-orientated water activities.
Soft sand and gentle waves are a great formula for family holidays, with the beach resorts along the Mamanucas a particular favourite, notably Treasure Island, Plantation Island, Castaway Island and Amunuca Island in the Mamanucas; and the more budget-orientated Octopus, Korovou and Oarsman’s Bay in the Yasawas. The large resorts along the Coral Coast are also popular, with several good family attractions including the Kula Eco Park as well as adventure activities around Pacific Harbour for older children.
Most resorts allow kids under a certain age to stay for free if sharing a room with their parents – some even offer free meals as incentives. The exception are the upmarket boutique resorts which often have a strict no-child policy to ensure a romantic atmosphere for their guests; the exception is Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort on Vanua Levu which is one of the very best luxury resorts for families; others may allow kids only during dedicated holiday periods. Other outer-island resorts which actively encourage families are Naigani Island Resort in the Lomaiviti group and Papageno Resort on Kadavu. For those on a budget, many of the backpacker resorts have family rooms, especially in Nadi.
Rural villages are a fascinating environment for children of all ages and they’ll most likely be enthusiastically welcomed by the village kids, encouraged to play and generally well looked after.
Minor health issues are the greatest concern for parents travelling with young children, especially from the adverse effects of high humidity, intense sun and mosquito bites. Medicated baby powder for the prevention of rashes and sores is an essential item to carry. In the main towns, high-quality baby formula, nappies and children’s medications imported from Australia are readily available. Breast feeding in public is fairly commonplace, especially so in rural environments, although baby-changing facilities are rarely offered.
If travelling by car or taxi, seat belts, let alone dedicated infant car seats, are difficult to find, although the major car rental companies do provide them. Prams in general are not that practical to travel with: pathways are sandy at many of the resorts, and even around towns pavements are not pram friendly.