Fiji – Family holiday guide

Tourism might only have been around for 60 years or so, but Fiji has perfected the balance of authenticity and action beautifully.

Water sports, diving and snorkelling are in a league of their own in the world’s ‘soft coral capital’. Conservation’s top of the country’s agenda and the tourist industry feeds money back into community and environmental protection.

The warm, charming Fijians love children and children love Fiji.


Why go on holiday to Fiji

  • Island hopping

    An archipelago of 333 South Pacific islands to the north of New Zealand (three hours by plane from Auckland).

  • Biodiverse marine ecosystem

    Known as the soft coral capital of the world, Fiji’s waters are home to over 1500 different species of marine life.

  • City life

    The capital, Suva, is the largest island city in the South Pacific.

  • Established tourism infrastructure

    Viti Levu, the main island, is five times the size of Tenerife has two international airports and tourism is one of the main industries.

  • A famous island paradise

    Fiji was the setting for the Tom Hank’s movie Cast Away.

  • A variety of family friendly accomodation

    Places to stay range from local homes and good value guesthouses to eco-villages and stunning luxury beach resorts.

  • Flight times

    Flights from London to Nadi take 23 hours with a stopover in Hong Kong.



Where to go

Fiji’s archipelago isn’t as bewildering as it sounds. Several of the 300 islands are uninhabited, many are remote and quite a few are simply best left to couples, dedicated divers and hardy explorers. The main island, Viti Levu, is the best choice for families. There’s a wide range of places to stay from eco-villages to luxury resorts strung round the glorious coast. Enough going on all over the island to fill several holidays and dozens of iconic palm trimmed beaches for sun-filled days doing nothing much at all.

Suva

The Fijian capital is the largest city in the South Pacific and, at first glance, seems simply modern and busy. Spend a bit of time exploring and you’ll discover quaint pockets of traditional colonial architecture and cute local market tucked in between giant shopping malls and sleek hotels. And, if you’re ever at risk of forgetting where you are, the sight of businessmen in sarongs will quickly remind you.

  • Green and hilly city with Fiji’s highest rainfall and gorgeous lush gardens and parks to prove it.
  • Good for budget hotels and local guesthouses.
  • Don’t miss: the Fiji Museum, Colo-i-Suva Forest Park, Mariamma Temple, Thurston Gardens and Suva Municipal Market.
  • Downtown Suva is best for historic buildings, shopping and restaurants.

Sun Coast

The long stretch of Viti Levu’s western coast lives up to its informal name with year round sunshine, beautiful beaches and several of the island’s most spectacular natural attractions.

  • Many of Viti Levu’s major holiday resorts are on Sun Coast at Vuda or on the Ra Peninsula and offshore Dolphin and Nananu-i-Ra islands.
  • Don’t miss: Koroyanitu National Heritage Park, the ancient capital Lautoka, historic Nadi, rafting on the River Ba, Navala Village, Ra Peninsula mangrove coast and water sports.

Pacific Harbour

The Beqa region just to the west of Suva is the ancient land of Fiji’s firewalkers and where you’ll find Pacific Harbour. This hedonistic, beachy, water sport drenched, high-adrenalin area’s perfect for teenagers and older kids.

  • Good for tropical beach resorts and luxury brand hotels.
  • Don’t miss: shark and stingray feeding, 4 x 4 tours, Pacific Harbour Arts Village, surfing, championship golf courses and water sports.

Nadi

Less than 70 years old, Nadi’s the main tourist hub on Viti Levu. The local craft market is one of Fiji’s best and the town itself is the jumping off point for dozens of eco-tours, island cruises and heritage adventures.

  • Hotels in Nadi are pretty basic but nearby resorts on Wailoaloa Beach and Denarau Island are some of the loveliest in Fiji.
  • Don’t miss: Sri Siva Subramaniya temple, Nadi Craft Market, island cruises to Yasawas and Mamanucas, Downtown Nadi for fantastic local restaurants.

The Coral Coast

The 50km stretch of coast between Nadi and Suva is laid back and peaceful, packed with authentic Fijian experiences and a good choice for an effortless combination of outdoor activities and local culture.

  • The area for self-catering bungalows, resorts with family villas and good value hotels.
  • Don’t miss: Sigatoka Valley, Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, Kula Eco Park, Nakbuta and Lawai villages, Sigatoka morning market.

What to do

  • Kila Eco Adventure Park, Suva

    Kila Eco has over 28 different outdoor activities including ziplining, commando courses, high and low-rope courses, giant swings and flying ‘Fijian’ foxes. Set in a wild, natural park just over 22km west of Suva.

  • The Fiji Museum, Suva

    This eclectic museum’s collection contains artefacts dating back 3700 years and has the added attraction of sitting in Suva’s beautiful Thurston Gardens.

  • Talanoa Treks, Suva

    Talanoa is the Fijian word for ‘chatting’ and these amazing treks of the island interior are guided by passionate, local storytellers.

  • Fiji Eco Experiences, Viti Levu

    From cave ziplining to visiting local villages and farms, heritage sites and traditional craftworkers, Fiji Eco Experiences are great fun, fascinating and all the profits go back into the island communities.

  • Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, Viti Levu

    These spectacular dunes trim the shore of the Sigatoka River, stretching for 5km and rising to heights of between 20 and 60 metres. You can explore on your own or visit as part of a cultural tour.

  • River Rafting, Viti Levu

    Whether you know your way around white water or you’re a complete beginner, Fiji rafting is a fantastic family adventure round the rivers and waterfalls of the island interior.

  • Dolphin Watching, Moon Reef

    The pod of spinner dolphins at Moon Reef on the east coat of Viti Levu is one of the best reasons to get up early and go sailing, snorkelling and swimming with local conservation guides.

  • Savala Island Cruise, Nadi

    This day cruise to paradise-like Savala Island off the west coast of Viti Levu is ranked as the Trip Advisor #1 activity in Fiji.

  • Tour of Nanders, Nadi

    For mountain bike experts and novices, this (not too challenging) tour of the hills round Nadi is a fun and exhilarating way to see more of gorgeous Fiji in the company of friendly local guides.

  • Jet Boarding, Nadi

    If kids like paddle boarding, they’ll love jet boarding. Brought to Fiji from New Zealand and now one of the country’s favourite water sports.



Educational value for kids

  • For a glimpse of traditional Fijian village life, spend the day in Navala on the River Ba about three hour’s drive from Suva.
  • Visit the open-air market in Nadi to see Fijian craftspeople at work and have local curry for lunch.
  • Catch a Fijian Meke where local artistes in full costume perform spectacular ritual dances.
  • Vilavilairevo is the ancient art of fire walking and, if you can bear to watch, it’s still practiced today on Fiji.
  • Go trekking in the Korovanitu National Heritage Park just 10km from Nadi and see archaeological sites, traditional villages and the only untouched tropical montane forest on Viti Levu.
  • Visit the Kaleva Cultural Centre near Sigatoku and learn about the history of Fiji, the country’s conservation work and the ancient customs and traditions still thriving here today.
  • See Sri Siva Subramaniya in Nadi, it’s the largest Hindu Temple in the Southern Hemisphere and the only example of Dravidian architecture outside India.

 

Getting about with kids in Fiji

Fiji’s an archipelago of over 300 islands, but most families base a holiday on the main island, Viti Levu – about five times the size of Tenerife. Car hire’s easy to arrange here and driving’s safe if you stick to major roads. But local tourism’s well organised and most activities and tours include transfers. Public transport in the Fijian capital, Suva, is good and all major resorts have their own shuttle services.



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