One of the happiest, most family-friendly places on earth can be found around 3,168 miles southwest of Honolulu, featuring no less than 332 islands and even more islets. We are, of course, talking about Fiji. But what makes a Fiji vacation so family-friendly?
Well, it could be the balmy temperatures that rarely move outside of 79oF — 88oF, or the idyllic natural combination of sunny days, azure oceans, and bare feet on white sand. While these things are all utterly wonderful, we believe it’s Fiji’s enviable community spirit that makes it one of the most welcoming places on earth and an ideal family destination. Here’s the lowdown on where to go, what to do and where to stay for an amazing Fiji vacation that will keep everyone happy, from kids through to grandparents.
We hope you love the family-friendly resorts we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.
- What you need to know before your Fiji vacation
- The Coral Coast
- Denarau Island
- Mamanuca Islands
- Yasawa Islands
What you need to know before your Fiji vacation
Fiji is offering quarantine-free travel to fully vaccinated tourists from certain counties including the United States. However, there are some rules including the need for a negative RT-PCR test, proof of vaccination for over 18’s, a pre-paid itinerary, and medical travel insurance that covers COVID-19. Once families are in Fiji, they must take a COVID-19 test after 48 hours of arrival at the hotel and spend three nights in a CFC-certified property where they can take part in approved excursions and activities. More information on travel requirements to Fiji can be found here.
Nadi on the west coast of Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu, is your first “bula” (welcome) and your final “moce” (goodbye) to your Fiji vacation. Nadi links Fiji to the rest of the world by way of the Nadi International Airport and also to other parts of Fiji. Although many families depart Nadi soon after arriving, wanting to head straight to their island resort or other Fiji destination, it’s worth devoting a night or two here before you depart.
Families seeking a little tranquility before their international flight can head to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, a botanical garden that specializes in Fiji’s native plants as well as a superb collection of orchids. Wander the peaceful boardwalk, chill out on a hammock and walk up the hill for a flower-filled rainforest and lovely views.
For those seeking a culture hit, head to the Fiji Cultural Village on the outskirts of town where all ages can see and enjoy an ancient temple, artisan demonstrations, traditional dance, and feasting. The night show is thoroughly entertaining with the addition of fire dancers.
Alternatively, you can visit the brightly colored Hindu temple, Sri Siva Subramaniya, where for a small entry fee you can join in a guided tour that runs every 30 minutes between 8:30 AM — 3:00 PM. However, don’t forget to show your respect by removing your shoes at the entrance and dressing modestly.
The best family resort, Nadi, Fiji
Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay
The beach on Nadi’s coast is nothing to write home about compared to Fiji’s outer islands, but it’s still nice enough to stay right on it. Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay is a great option in Nadi for families, located conveniently on Momi Bay, Fiji. Families can spread out in two-bedroom suites with free WiFi and all the mod cons. Bonuses include a free airport shuttle, on-site dining and an array of activities.
The Coral Coast
Stretching for around 50 miles, the calm and often crystal clear swimming conditions makes The Coral Coast ideal for families with kids. If you do decide to drag yourself away from the idyllic beachfront, there are plenty of things to do here for all ages.
For those seeking outdoor adventures, head into the heart of the main island by safari jet boat on a Sigatoka River Safari tour, the longest waterway on Viti Levu. Alternatively, visit Fiji’s first National Park, the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park for a guided or self-guided tour. Another great family activity is Ecotrax, the world’s only rail-mounted electric assisted pushbike carriages (aka velocipedes). The quirky bicycle carriages are mounted on an old sugar cane railway and with a guide, all ages can gently cruise through a variety of scenery including villages, rain forest, river crossings and open coastline. The tour stops for a swim, snorkel and snack at the end before heading back to base. The best part? You only pedal if you want to.
The best family resort, Coral Coast, Fiji
Shangri-La Yanuca Island
Shangri-La Yanuca Island is a five-star resort located on an exclusive private island that is well connected to the mainland by a causeway. It offers no less than five dining options, making it easy to please all family members from the youngest to the oldest.
The resort overlooks the Coral Coast on one side and has its own private beach and lagoon on the other, in which both kids and adults can have fun on an inflatable water park. Snorkel, kayak, jetski, play tennis and ride push bikes to your heart’s content. When adults want time out to enjoy a meal by themselves or a pampering session at the spa, kids can head to the Little Chief’s Club with play areas for all ages.
Denarau Island is where families head when they want a flop-and-drop Fiji vacation close to Nadi. Only a short 20-minute drive from the International Airport and attached to the mainland by a causeway, the island features no less than nine family-friendly resorts and an 18-hole championship golf course. For families whose budget doesn’t extend to staying on the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, Denarau Island is a top alternative as you can visit these outer islands via day trips from here.
When heading out on a day trip by boat, you will end up at Port Denarau, considered to be the heartbeat of this small island. Here you can buy holiday essentials (such as cute sarongs to take home) and enjoy a good selection of restaurants from burgers to sushi to seafood platters.
When not island-hopping or chilling at the resort, the Big Bula Waterpark is fun for all ages. There is a dedicated area for the smallest family members and a wide choice of both inflatable and fiberglass slides for the young at heart. You can even challenge each other on the obstacles in the world’s largest inflatable water park and there is also an 18-hole mini-golf course right next door.
For those seeking some family-friendly evening entertainment, most resorts on Denarau Island host a Fijian cultural night that includes dancing, an earth oven feast and sometimes even fire dancing performances.
The best family resort, Denarau Island, Fiji
Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort
The Sheraton Fiji Golf and Beach Resort has just been refurbished and will welcome guests back on 16th March 2022. This resort is particularly family-friendly with a “side by side” program for multigenerational vacations. There is also a “stay and play free” plan for kids under 12 years of age, a dedicated kids club program, on-site restaurants and plenty of fun leisure activities.
Sheraton Denarau Villas
Also of interest is the Sheraton Denarau Villas right next door, which is scheduled to open in April 2022. These beachfront villas offer the same “stay and play free” package for their two- and three-bedroom beachfront villas which feature full kitchens and private balconies.
The Mamanucas are a string of 20 picturesque islands easily accessible by boat from Port Denarau or plane from Nadi Airport. The beautiful vistas, world-class resort options and plethora of things to do make it a top choice for families seeking the ultimate Fiji vacation.
Families with water babies are more likely to have a great time here. Children can snorkel directly off the beach in certain areas and many island resorts offer environmental programs for the kids. A few even include the opportunity to help release baby turtles into the wild. Little kids can snorkel, collect shells and kayak while older kids may like to add in a surfing trip, diving or even a jet ski adventure.
Parents who want a little time out will be pleased to know that resort kids clubs on the Mamanucas are second to none. While parents can enjoy time alone, kids are well cared for and occupied with fun activities including arts and crafts, guided beach walks, dance performances and more.
The best family resort, Mamanuca Islands, Fiji
Vomo Island Fiji
Vomo Island Fiji in the Mamanucas is well known as Fiji’s premier year-round luxury resort for families. Famous for its kids club, The Kids Village, the resort also offers up to four hours of Baby Butler minding services per day as part of their inclusions. Families can join in morning hikes to the summit of Mt Vomo, snorkel, tennis, fish and more.
Lying Northwest of Viti Levu, the Yasawa Islands are one of Fiji’s most beautiful regions. Although it’s possible to just take in the beauty from your resort, there are some activities here that would be a shame not to miss.
For instance, those who loved the “Blue Lagoon” film of 1980 starring Brooke Shields can visit the caves featured in this film. Known as Sawa-i-Lau caves, they are a popular day-trip destination and although kids probably won’t know of the movie, they can still enjoy swimming in these stunning limestone saltwater caves. The first cavern is lit by a natural vent above you but the second is accessed only by an underwater tunnel.
Families taking a Fiji vacation between May and October will be treated to the majestic manta rays, who get together off Drawaqa island to feed in the shallow channel. You will know of their arrival as watchers send out rhythmic drum beats to let you know when they have been spotted, giving you time to get in the water.
The best family resort, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
Yasawa Island Resort and Spa
Yasawa Island Resort and Spa is an all-inclusive resort on an island no less than 22km long. Guests have the exclusive use of 11 private beaches to escape from the real world. The all-inclusive tag doesn’t just include meals and snacks, it also includes a number of activities such as a visit to the village and a private beach picnic. Two-bedroom bures (bungalows) are available for families with older kids or for those traveling with extra adults as part of a multi-generational vacation.