beach fun on a family holiday in fiji

In this Article by South Pacific travel expert Ian Osborn
Accommodation for Children —  Affordable  Family Holidays —  Luxury  Family Holidays —  Kids Clubs  —  Best Family Beach Resorts  —  Adventurous Families  —  Regional Guide for Family Holidays  — Travelling with Young Children in Fiji

Fiji is undoubtedly the best destination in the South Pacific for a family holiday with the Fijians natural hospitality and love of children really shining through. It's popularity amongst Australian and New Zealander families means that resorts are often fully booked during school holidays, particularly the June and September holidays

beach fun on a family holiday in fiji

Best Beach Resorts for a Family Holiday in Fiji

With plenty of idyllic beaches around the islands it can be difficult to choose which ones are best for children. A safe swimming beach is a prime consideration, and for older kids, lots of water activities. Generally the best beach resorts for children are in the Mamanuca Islands or Yasawa Islands, with the former more for motorised watersports, the later for relaxing on secluded beaches and exploring a little. Some of the larger Coral Coast hotels have night entertainment and are relatively lively (Fiji has very tame nightlife) and may appeal to families with older children.

All the above resorts have great beaches with perhaps Intercontinental Fiji Resort, Castaway Island Resort, Plantation Island Resort and Octopus Resort having the best beaches for families.

Rooms for Families with 3+ Kids

One problem often faced by families with three children is fitting them all in to a room - or finding a hotel with two adjacent rooms. A couple of the larger hotels offer a discounted price for a 2nd room, whilst others have 2- or 3- bedroom villas. Holiday homes are not common but there are one or two around where you can do your own thing and have a kitchen to cook in if that's your idea of a holiday! The following resorts host families with at least 2 adults and 3 children in one room (or with discounted interconnecting rooms).

picture of Fiji Hideaway Resort beach
The contemporary apartments of the Hilton Beach Resort front the nicest stretch of beach on Denarau. With motorised watersports in the ocean, two large swimming pools and the golf course close by, this is our preferred resort on Denarau Island.
picture of Musket Cove Resort  beach
Musket Cove Resort is set on 600-acres on the island of Malolo Lailai, adjacent to the Musket Cove Marina and overlooking a sandy beach. Musket Cove offers a spacious relaxing environment ideal for families looking to participate in water activities, exploring the island and relaxation.
picture of Radisson Hotel beach
Radisson Resort Denarau is a courtyard style setting with all rooms overlooking the large central swimming pool which meanders through several areas including a kid's water slide, a beach area and an adults only section. The poolside restaurant and bar overlooks the ocean.
picture ofPlantation Island Resort beach
Plantation Island Resort is the second largest of the Mamanuca Island resorts and is set alongside a picturesque beach with excellent swimming lagoons. Its focus is on activities and along with its versatile accommodation styles, this is Fiji's most popular family resort.

Affordable Family Holidays in Fiji

The best value family holidays in Fiji are around Nadi and the Coral Coast where travelling costs are minimised and hotel rooms more available. The compromise will be not having as nice a beach as the island resorts, and generally with poor water activities but there is good scope for day tours and even island cruises. The popular Mamanuca Islands tend to be more expensive for what you get in terms of accommodation, but the lagoons are perfect for kids and there's plenty to do on the water. If you're looking for a less commercial island atmosphere, consider one of the budget beach resorts in the Yasawa Islands - it's a very scenic three hour boat ride and once your kids have endured that, the beaches are sublime, snorkelling right off the beach and the resorts tend to be much better value.

picture of Mana Island Resort beach
Mana Island Resort is a large resort surrounded by white sandy beaches and snorkelling lagoons. There's lots of water activities, great walks around the island with stunning views from its gentle hilltops. The resort offers a wide range of accommodation for families and couples.
picture of the Fijian Resort beach
This is the largest resort in Fiji and is great for both families and couples with separate wings dedicated to each. The hotel has a plenty of watersports and day tours along the coast, a 9-hole golf course, tennis, beautiful wedding chapel and five restaurants for dining out.
picture of Fiji Hideaway Resort beach
Fiji Hideaway Resort is a popular family resort located on a small sandy beach with shallow lagoon and surfing passage. This is a theme activity resort with organised events throughout the day and night. Duplex bungalows are set in a landscaped garden setting or facing the beach.
Octopus Resort, Yasawas F$ 200 - 550 per couple / $ 35 dorm get hotels best rate quote
picture of Octopus Resort beach
Boasting a stunning white sand beach with offshore snorkelling reefs, Octopus is a popular retreat for couples and families. With private thatch bures, air-conditioned rooms and dormitory beds, Octopus appeals to the more adventurous holiday-maker.

Luxury Family Holidays in Fiji

For a luxury family holiday in Fiji, there are several exceptional family-friendly island resorts in the Mamanuca Islands, although many of the upmarket resorts here are couples only. Denarau Island offers large international hotels with a somewhat bland business-like feel, but do have great amenities and its very close to the airport. The downside to Denarau Island is its poor beach and swimming lagoon, a much less friendly ambience and kids club interaction and a staid gated community lifestyle which does not represent a true Fijian holiday.

picture of Castaway Island Resort beach
Castaway Island Resort Fiji is a 174-acre island in the heart of the Mamanuca Islands with a truly relaxing holiday atmosphere. With spacious thatch bures split between two sides of the island, Castaway is ideal for couples or those looking for quality time with their children.
picture of Intercontinental Resort beach
The large majestic Intercontinental Resort has beautifully appointed contemporary styled rooms and suites aimed at both couples and families. Set on the white sands of Natadola Beach, the Intercontinental offers a private golf course, three swimming pools and a spa centre.
picture of Sofitel Fiji Resort beach
The Sofitel Fiji Resort is located on Denarau Island with a blend of contemporary architecture and splashes of Fijian design. Close to Denarau golf course and tennis courts.

Resorts with Great Kids Clubs

Fijians are great with kids of all ages - the men make great play-mates accompanying kids around the resort and encouraging them to play in the sand, hit a volleyball and snorkel in the reefs. Women spend their time picking up babies to carry them around the resort and teaching their handcraft skills to primary school aged kids. Most of the island resorts have kids clubs but here are a couple of stand-outs:

picture of Treasure Island Resort beach
This small coral island resort lies just 17-km off the coast of Nadi and offers comfortable accommodation for both couples and families. Good snorkelling, a decent beach and a small offshore sand cay make Treasure a great choice to experience an uninhabited island paradise.
picture of Fiji Hideaway Resort beach
Fiji Hideaway Resort is located alongside the Queens Highway on a small sandy beach with shallow lagoon and surfing passage. This is a lively resort with organised events throughout the day and night, ideal for young couples or families. Duplex bungalows are set in a garden setting.

Adventure Holidays for Families

For adventurous families there are plenty of excellent activities to enjoy. The Coral Coast hotels, particularly those closer to or around Pacific Harbour, make a great base for sightseeing with river rafting, zip-lines, rainforest hikes, jet ski tours and great scuba diving.

There are some beautiful intimate resorts in the Outer Islands of Kadavu, Vanua Levu and Taveuni which may involve an additional one hour flight in a small plane, but again, once you're there you can really get pampered and explore the off-the-beaten-track Fiji as well as experience the extreme warmth and friendliness of the Fijian people and unbelievable snorkelling and scuba diving reefs. Fijian villages in the outer islands 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.

Regional Guide for a Family Holiday in Fiji

The two most popular regions for a family holiday are the Coral Coast and the Mamanuca Islands. Both take about one to two hours to reach from nadi Airport, although to visit the Mamanuca Islands you may need to stay overnight in Nadi to connect with your international flights. The Coral Coast is generally more affordable and a good choice for those who like sightseeing. If you're looking to wind down on a beautiful beach, set on a beautiful lagoon with good snorkelling and watersports, then the Mamanuca Islands is a better choice.

The Mamanuca Islands

Theses gorgeous small islands offer the ideal family holiday location with delightful beach resorts, safe swimming lagoons, snorkelling from the beach, lots of activities, lively kids club, fantastic weather and it's just a 40-minute ferry ride from Nadi Airport.

Nadi and The Coral Coast

Although less enticing than the beautiful beaches and swimming lagoons of the Mamanuca Islands, several good family-orientated resorts can be found around Nadi and along the Coral Coast. These resorts are easily accessible from Nadi Airport being between 20-minutes drive and an hour and a half. Beaches are pretty although of coarser sand than found in the Mamanucas and lagoons are less practical for swimming and snorkelling. However, it's resorts tend to offer better value for money with the added attraction of having more sightseeing and tour options available to fill your days.

Yasawa Islands

The Yasawa Islands are a good choice for a more intimate beach holiday with the family - you wont find motorised watersports here or kids clubs, but the beaches are wonderful usually with snorkelling reefs right off the beach. The islands take around 3hrs to reach by passenger boat.

Outer Islands

For those looking for a bit of an adventure, and if you don't mind a bit of extra travelling by small plane or boat, there are several fantastic outer island resorts for families to experience the real Fiji away from the crowds. These resorts offer a quiet ambience, usually with excellent snorkelling, hiking trails and the opportunity to visit an authentic Fijian village.

Travelling with Young Children in Fiji

With an enormous empathy and affection for children, Fijians make fabulous hosts and their friendly charm brings holiday-makers back to the same resort year after year. Kids of all ages are invited to story-telling, bush walks, volleyball on the beach or even to make a visit to the local village to meet the village kids. And young families with babies will find the Fijian staff eager to hold and entertain your children at every opportunity. Most resorts have complimentary kids clubs and plenty of family orientated water activities.

Children are enthusiastically welcomed in Fiji and most resorts allow kids under a certain age to stay for free if sharing a room with their parents - some even often free meals as incentives. The exception are the upmarket boutique resorts whose clientele is mostly the honeymoon market and many have a strict no children policy to ensure a romantic atmosphere for their guests, sometimes allowing kids at dedicated holiday periods only calling them "family weeks".

If travelling by car or taxi, seat belts, let along dedicated infant car seats, are difficult to find, although the major car hire companies do provide the latest safety standard car seats. Prams in general are not that practical to travel with and at many of the resorts, pathways are sandy - even around towns, pavements are uneven and not at all pram friendly.

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, baby milk, nappies and children’s medications are readily available and being imported from

Australia are of the highest quality. Breast feeding in public is fairly common-place, especially so in rural environments although baby-changing facilities are rarely found.