Fiji’s cultural integrity and strong sense of community make it an ideal destination for families wanting to encounter a foreign culture and enjoy enriching family experiences
Culture and community is very important to the Fijian people who place great emphasis on passing down traditional stories and sharing cultural experiences. This integral part of daily life is something that Fijians are proud to share with visitors and is likely to be a highlight of any visit to Fiji.
Teaching children the importance of connecting and contributing to the communities they visit is easy in Fiji. From your first ‘Bula’ welcome to being involved in a traditional Meke ceremony with its costumes, dancing and singing, it’s not hard to instantly to feel the happiness and warmth of the Fijian spirit.
Taking your family to Fiji, you can readily combine subtle education with hands-on activities based on Fiji’s traditions and local conservation projects. Your children will gain a greater perspective of another culture, installing solid life principles while creating memories to treasure for years to come.
Here are eight ways to make a difference when visiting Fiji.
1.Walk to make a difference
Every April, the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort hosts charity initiative ‘Walk for Kids’ to fundraise towards improving education in the Nadroga-Navosa province. If you are staying at the resort at the time you can sign up the family for the 10km walk which is dedicated to fostering a greater sense of partnership within the Sigatoka Community and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.
Your kids will feel a sense of achievement when they cross the finish line to be welcomed by Sigatoka Special School students and teachers waiting with a certificate, a refreshing drink and prizes, giveaways and fun activities.
2.Authentic cultural activities aplenty at Nanuku Auberge Resort
Nanuku Auberge Resort’s Lailai Adventure Club is no ordinary kids club. Children are completely immersed in nature, mindfulness, education and traditional Fijian experiences. Involving children in customary rituals allows them to develop a more complex understanding of Fijian culture, as opposed to merely watching a choreographed traditional dance performance and promptly forgetting it.
Cultural activities include traditional earth cooking, Meke dancing, flower basket weaving, evening torch lighting, storytelling, coconut husking, Lei making, Fijian language lessons, singing lessons, rice planting, bamboo raft building, plus many more. Plus there’s daily activities such as water sports, sandcastle building, zip lining, volleyball, rock climbing and crafts at Cakava Creative Workshop.
3.Learn about Fiji’s natural world
Bula Club is an award-winning kids club at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort with a huge emphasis on exploration and educational activities. Their goal is to encourage kids to discover and expand their horizons to help them better understand and appreciate where they are.
The Junior Chef Program teaches kids how to harvest and prepare a wholesome dish. After visiting the organic garden and they will whip up a delicious meal while learning the farm-to-plate concept along with other aspects of organic farming.
Take a walk on the reef flats with the resort’s marine biologist or join one of the elders on a medicine walk to learn about local plants and herbal remedies that have been used for thousands of years in Fiji.
4.Grow with Six Senses
At Six Senses Fiji, your children will be able to experience the ‘Grow with Six Senses’ global program which educates the little ones on their surroundings in the most fun ways possible. ‘Grow with Six Senses’ incorporates the six dimensions of wellness – social, emotional, environmental, physical, intellectual and spiritual – bringing kids ‘back to basics’ in order to reconnect with nature and people around them. Through these dimensions, children can take kids yoga and meditation, visit the nearby village and school, take a Fijian dance class and mini master chef lessons to ensure they have a fun-filled holiday and they take home a little extra knowledge of the world with them.
5.Learn about turtles at Treasure Island
For over forty years, Treasure Island Resort has been an advocate for the protection of Hawksbill Turtles and was one of the first resorts in the Mamanuca Island group to employ a full-time Environmental Officer. So, it’s no surprise that the Kid’s Club has plenty of activities to learn and help with the conservation of these beautiful creatures. Children can forage for turtle treats and help find exciting additions to keep the turtle pools looking good and keeping a healthy environment for turtles.
6.Be a Ranger for a day
Children can become a Park Ranger for the day when they visit Kula Wild Adventure Park. With their very own Kula Ranger uniform, children can go behind the scenes and learn what it takes to look after the animals. At the Diet Centre, children will get hands-on to make special food for the soft coral and tropical fish and prepare meals for the Kula Collared Lories. They will help the lead Rangers with some health checks to Fiji’s rarest iguana then head over to feed some of the baby animals. Treasured memories are created with children planting their very own fruiting tree, which will be enjoyed by the many wild coloured fruit doves that visit the park.
7.Create a glass masterpiece at Hot Glass Fiji
For a fun and unique activity for the whole family, take a visit to Hot Glass Fiji. Learn a new skill together by learning how to create your own glass piece. Hot Glass Fiji, founded by Alice Hill, is Fiji’s first glassblowing studio. Each creation is inspired by the stunning colours of the Fiji Islands. Have a go at sandcasting where you can make up your own interesting shape – handprint, shell from the beach or turtle shape – within the sand which is then cast using red gold liquid glass.
8.Adventures aplenty at VOMO’s Kids Village
The VOMO Kids Village is a nurturing place for what they call their ‘Little Islanders’. Their dedicated chef prepares a delicious array of cuisine which they can choose from, empowering them to think about their choices. Children are encouraged to eat breakfast with their family then dine with their Little Islander friends for the evening meal (and to give parents much needed time to enjoy the adult-only areas such as The Rocks for a sunset cocktails).
For adventurous Little Islanders, they can take the Bubble Blowers course – a PADI certified diving course for ages 8 to 12 years. Lessons are taken in the swimming pool where diving experts will direct them through the steps necessary for travelling the underwater world.