For attractions delivered by nature, accompanied by locals who are happy to nurture and resorts that are happy to pamper, Paula Towers finds that Fiji is hard to beat.
Arriving in Fiji, which continues to be one of the most popular holiday destinations for Australian families, the first things you'll notice are the natural beauty of the islands and the instant rapport the friendly locals have with children – top ingredients for a fun family holiday.
In Fiji, the many quality resort kids clubs offer a great choice of activities with devoted staff in attendance while Mum and Dad take a well-earned rest.
At Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, a complimentary nanny is supplied for under-fives, and older kids are kept occupied by a bula or buddy
At Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, a complimentary nanny is supplied for under-fives, and older kids are kept occupied by a bula or buddy. This is part of the Bula Club programme which includes healthy meals and fun activities where kids learn about the local culture and environment. Snorkelling is very popular, and the children also loved going out in the glass-bottom boat, examining the colourful fish and coral.
Only 90 minutes from Nadi airport on the Coral Coast, Naviti Resort is surrounded by lush gardens. The all-inclusive offer is the best deal for families. Covering all food (delicious and in generous serves), local beer, wine, soft drink and ice-creams, it also includes many activities such as canoeing, kayaking, tennis, snorkelling, basket-weaving and trips on that glass-bottom boat. Kids can join the Rugg Rats Club, and teenagers are specially catered to with activities such as waterfall jungle hikes and archery tournaments.
Plantation Island Resort also offers good deals for families on a budget. The best accommodation choice is the poolside rooms – they’re central and roomy. The free snorkelling trips are wonderful (take some leftover bread from meals). The Shell Village trip is also recommended: try to go on a weekday so you can visit the local school, as this intrigues the littlies. Kids over four can join the free Coconut Club where activities include treasure hunts, rides on longboat, crab races (very popular with the boys), and beading, which made a certain little girl’s day!