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Image credit: Yasawa Island Resort

Fiji means family

For a holiday so fun you’ll never want to leave, Mark Beretta says it’s hard to beat Yasawa Island.

Have you ever had a family holiday where there are tears as you leave to come home? Well, it was a first for me! We’d just been given the traditional Yasawa Island farewell song, and every member of the staff had either shaken hands or hugged my wife Rach, the kids and I. The kids then said goodbye to the friends they’d spent so many hours swimming, running and laughing with since we’d arrived a week before. As we climbed into the airport shuttle I noticed Rach had misty eyes, and I looked across to see eight-year-old Dan with a tear running down his cheek. This place and its people really had made an impact.

Image credit: Yasawa Island Resort

The Beretta Family

A warm welcome
Seven days before we’d landed in Nadi on a steamy Sunday afternoon. After a quick stroll across to the domestic terminal, we were boarding a seaplane for the 35-minute flight to Yasawa Island.


The island is 22 kilometres long with a cosy resort – there are just 18 bures, including the honeymoon suite which is set well away from the rest with its own pool and beach – but it definitely ensures that every guest enjoys ample space.


Landing on the water out the front of the resort set the scene for our stay. It felt like we’d escaped to somewhere special for an adventure, and we set foot on the shore to the sound of staff singing a welcome song.


Our bure was spacious, comfortable and worked really well for a family of four. The kids had single beds that were part of the lounge area. You went up three steps iinto the parent’s bedroom, which also led through to the internal bathroom, wardrobes and an additional private outdoor shower. In our opinion it scored a 10 out of 10 for layout and facilities.


Yasawa Island Resort & Spa is not your ‘six-star’ sort of resort. It feels much more like you’re staying at a friend’s place rather than in a hotel. Rach says it felt “rustic” and that’s a good description. I liked the fact that you didn’t spend every minute of the day signing for something else that was added to the bill. Meals and non-alcoholic drinks are all included, and alcohol prices (and the selection) are excellent.

Image credit: Yasawa Island Resort



Island of play
Snorkeling, swimming, catamaran sailing, sea kayaking, fishing and tennis were the main activities for us. The glass-bottomed sea kayaks were a fantastic way to explore the long stretch of reef out the front, and we’d stop in deep spots so that the kids could roll over the side and have a swim.


Depending on the tide, we’d do a daily catamaran trip on the resort’s Hobie cat – probably our favourite family thing to do. There’s also a hand-line fishing trip at 7am which proved a fun start to the day. The kids and Rach all caught fish...I did not.

Image credit: Yasawa Island Resort

It’s fun to watch the kids grow in confidence with their swimming and snorkelling, especially as they make friends and explore together. They become mesmerised while exploring the underwater world in such a safe environment.


One big bonus about Yasawa is its interaction with the local village. There’s a brilliant weekly trip into Bukama Village (about 15 minutes away by bumpy dirt road) where everyone is officially welcomed by the chief before being given a tour. This includes a visit to the local school and an incredible singing performance by the students, many of whom are children of the resort staff.


The highlight, above all else, is the Fijians. They are a wonderfully warm and welcoming people with a sincere love of children. They are the perfect hosts and ensure all the kids’ activities are great experiences.


We will be heading back to Yasawa Island – how could we not… we’re family now!

Image credit: Yasawa Island Resort

The family poll


I did a quick survey of the family on the way home and this was what they said:


Best thing about Yasawa Island?
Is feeling like you’re part of a new culture – which is a feeling you don’t get in a big resort. Also spending time with the family and meeting new friends.


What was the most fun thing to do?
Family sailing on the catamaran.


Would you go back?
Yes. Yes. Yeah! YES!

Yasawa Island

Report Card


Information
www.fiji.travel


Getting there
Fiji Airways and Qantas have regular flights from Australian cities into Nadi. The easiest way to reach the resort from there is by seaplane via Yasawa’s 25-minute daily air charter service.


Stay
Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

The Beretta Family

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