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Tips for Visiting Fabulous Fiji with Kids & Teens

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When I was a kid, Fiji lived in my dreams as a magical, faraway land of palm-tree-studded islands surrounded by turquoise water and millions of fish. Finally, my dream became a reality. My family and I discovered that Fiji is exactly as I’d pictured it, if not even more spectacular. If you’re dreaming of Fiji, too, here are our top tips for your fabulous Fiji family vacation with kids and teens.

Bula sunrise on Fiji with Kids and Teens
Bula sunrise! (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Why Fiji with Kids

Fiji is indeed a magical faraway land of islands filled with palm trees – 333 of them to be exact. The largest island is Viti Levu, on which the capital, Nadi is located. The next larges is Vanua Levu.

The water surrounding all Fijian islands is tropically warm and filled with healthy coral reefs and marine life, perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. Expect plentiful beaches with soft white sand and often not a soul around.

A warm island greeting at Castaway ~ Fiji with Kids
A warm island greeting at Castaway (Credit: Claudia Laroye)

Bula!

The Fijian people are exceedingly warm and friendly. You will quickly learn to say Bula! It’s the universal greeting of welcome. Prepare to hear and say it dozens of times throughout your visit. I challenge you to not smile when you do – it’s physically impossible not to. 

This friendly and authentic Bula culture is rooted in Fiji’s village culture. In Fiji, each resident identifies with his or her home village above everything else.

Pool at the Outrigger Reef Fiji Resort ~ Fiji with kids
Fun at the family pool at the Outrigger Reef Fiji Resort (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

How to Choose a Resort in Fiji

With so many family-friendly resorts, picking just one place to stay in Fiji with kids can be a challenge. If you have the time and resources, I highly recommend doing some resort and island hopping. It’s a great way to see more of Fiji and enjoy different resort experiences.

If you’d prefer just to stay and enjoy Fiji Time at a single property, then any one of these three Fiji resorts for families would do very nicely.

Our sweet bure by the beach at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort ~ Fiji with Kids and Teens
Our sweet bure by the beach at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

Set on the southern Coral Coast on Fiji’s largest island, the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is an easily accessible resort that truly caters to younger children and their often tired parents.

Choose from a variety of accommodation options, from more cost-effective hotel suites to individual beachside bures (cabins). The huge kids’ pool and lazy river are particularly alluring.

Families also love the generous buffet and full-service restaurants sprinkled throughout the property. A meal plan is optional.

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort kayaking in Fiji with kids
Kayaking in the shallow waters above the Outrigger Reef (Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye)

The Outrigger Fiji Beach offers a fabulous kids club for children as well as Meimei nannies for wee ones. A packed day schedule of kid and teen activities keeps youngsters of all ages entertained, many at no additional charge. Your kids might enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, pool games, cultural adventures, hiking, and even visits to a local village school.

Meanwhile for adults, there’s the award-winning Bebe Spa. Plus parents seeking some quiet time may enjoy the onsite adult-only pool.

Castaway Island in Fiji with kids
Welcome to Castaway! (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Castaway Island

For a true island getaway, catch a South Sea Cruises ferry from Port Denerau to the magical Castaway Island. If you’re in a rush to get to paradise, you can arrive via helicopter or float plane instead. An Outrigger Resorts property, Castaway is an idyllic little private island in the Mamanuca Island group, off the main island of Viti Levu.

Castaway is just 174 acres in size. It’s covered in tropical rainforest and surrounded by the purest white sand beaches. The ocean waters are varying mesmerizing shades of blue due to the depth of the surrounding coral reefs.

There are only 60 cabins on the island, accommodating families of many sizes. Nearly all buildings have been remodeled, with thatched roofs, high vaulted ceilings, and air conditioning.

Shh, we're on Fiji time ~ Fiji with Kids and Teens
Shh, we’re on Fiji time (Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye)

This is the place to let the kids roam free or meet new friends at the kids club and pool. Guests can spend all day at the beach, snorkeling in the calm water, kayaking, sailing, or paddle boarding.

Many of the water activities are complimentary with a resort stay. You can also book a scuba diving certification course before heading out for dives in deeper waters.

Castaway Island beach in Fiji with kids
A beach for everyone to enjoy on Castaway Island (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

After the day’s activities, reconnect over dinner in the open-air Waters Edge Restaurant or watch the sunset over a wood-fired pizza at the Sundowner Bar and Grill. I advise signing up for Castaway’s Daily Meal Plan, which includes all buffet meals and a la carte selections. Bonus: Kids under 3 eat free.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji with kids
Getting away from it all at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort (Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye)

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

Located in the protected marine sanctuary near Savusavu Bay on the island of Vanua Levu, the five-star luxury and ultra-accommodating Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort will wow your family. The resort pairs authentic Fijian hospitality with the environmentally sustainable mandate of its Cousteau family heritage.

Relaxation with an ocean view at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort ~ Fiji with kids
Relaxation with an ocean view at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Add the award-winning Bula Club for kids into the mix, and you have an incredible holiday where all family members can get exactly what they wish. Here, every child under the age of 5 gets a dedicated nanny, and those aged 6-12 get grouped with a Fijian buddy.

The resort is all-inclusive, encompassing all kids, teens, and most adult activities (excluding alcohol). Each family gets its own large, traditional bure, serviced by excellent and attentive staff. Many staff have been with the Cousteau Resort for decades.

fiji with kids
A dip in the hidden waterfall is worth the hike (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

The open-air dining area has separate seating for families and couples. Everyone shares the same gorgeous views of the pool area and Savusavu Bay.

Food service includes delicious Fijian-inspired dishes served tableside. Don’t miss the weekly traditional Lovo buffet feasts, for which various meats are prepared in a fire pit covered with banana leaves.

There are many opportunities to appreciate Fijian nature and culture as a guest of Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. Sign up for a day trip to the local market, attend a seminar about medicinal plants, or visit hidden waterfalls in the lush jungle.

Learning the art and science of scuba diving at Cousteau Dive Centre in Fiji with kids
Learning the art and science of scuba diving at Cousteau Dive Centre (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Cousteau Dive Centre

Scuba diving through the Cousteau Dive Centre is booked separately. Kids aged 10+ and adults aged can learn to dive in the pool first and then in the nearby fish-filled reefs.

The world-famous Namena Marine Reserve is nearby. The opportunity to explore one of the healthiest coral reefs in the world shouldn’t be missed.

Gentle breezes keep the humidity at bay in Fiji with kids
Gentle breezes keep the humidity at bay in Fiji (Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye)

Flying to Fiji with Kids

The national airline carrier, Fiji Airways, offers direct daily service between Los Angeles and Nadi and seasonal service from San Francisco to Nadi in the high season. Fiji is just three hours away from Australia or New Zealand, a perfect flying time for traveling with younger children.

The comfortable, wide-bodied Airbus A330-300 plane was staffed with a friendly flight crew. The good food, beverage service, and full entertainment offerings made our 10-hour flight pass quicker than you’d think.

Fiji Airways prides itself on its bula service spirit. In addition to Business and Economy, the airline offers an Economy Quiet Zone for customers aged 18 years and over. We were traveling with our teenager and took advantage of this upgrade. We enjoyed a quiet overnight trip to Fiji, arriving in time for the sunrise over the capital. If traveling with young children, you can feel at ease knowing that fellow families surround you during your flight.

Fiji with kids and teens
Fiji time was unforgettable for our family (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

When to Visit Fiji with Kids

Located in the South Pacific, Fiji enjoys a year-round tropical island climate. Year-round, average temperatures range in the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit (mid-20s C). Trade winds keep the air fresh, though it can get humid inland away from the ocean breezes.

The most popular time to visit Fiji is between late March and early December, when you’ll enjoy blue, sunny skies and warm temperatures. Keep in mind, the South Pacific cyclone season runs from November to April.

We visited in October, and the weather was perfect, apart from our final day of departure. That’s when the wind picked up, and rain streamed from the sky. It was as if Fiji was as sad to see us go as we were sad to leave.

Tips for Visiting Fabulous Fiji with Kids and Teens

Is visiting Fiji with kids on your family’s travel wish list? Do you have any questions for me about Fiji? Want to share tips from your Fiji family vacation? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from Travel Mamas: Fiji Airways, Outrigger Resorts, and Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort hosted a portion of the Curious Travel Mama’s travel to Fiji. She is grateful for their hospitality, but her opinions are honest and her own, as always. Travel Mamas did not receive any monetary compensation related to this story.

About Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama

Claudia Laroye lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons. She started traveling at a very young age, and has never stopped. She’s had the fortune of visiting more than 20 countries on four continents, and has also lived abroad in Sweden. Claudia is passionate about the travel experience and the value of traveling as a family. She is the founder of claudiatravels.com, and contributes to many online and print media publications around the world. Connect with Claudia on Twitter as @travelling_mom or Instagram as @itsclaudiatravels.

Comments
  1. Fiji is just like you describe it and so much more! We’ve been there with our children and it was an amazing experience. We live in Western Australia and the flight was shorter for us and very enjoyable. We even had the same feeling on the “Bula” greeting and brought a smile on our faces every single time, hahaha.
    We really enjoyed our time in Fiji as a family.

  2. How did I just now find this??? We are planning a vacay in 2020 and have a 13 year old. I know he’ll appreciate the beauty, scuba and other activities, but I don’t want him to be bored otherwise. We are located in DFW TX.
    Thanks for this treasure trove of travel info to Fiji.

  3. Your description does make Fiji sound like a magical land of golden beach and pristine water. I too would love to visit Fiji with my Children 🙂

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