Sheraton Royal Denarau Resort
Sheraton Royal Denarau Resort is one of three Sheraton resorts on popular Denarau Island - only a 15-minute drive from Nadi airport. All the resorts are welcoming of families and have kids' clubs, kids' meals and playgrounds.
Castaway Island Resort
Castaway Island Resort is a private island resort in the beautiful Mamanuca group of islands east of Viti Levu. Castaway has a complimentary kids’ club open to children three years and older from 9am to 4pm and 7pm to 9pm, and a supervised children’s dinner between 5pm and 6.30pm.
Shangri-La Fijian Resort
Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort is located on its own island in the Yanuca group, surrounded by superb beaches and close to a natural lagoon, ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Shangri-La has excellent children’s facilities including a complimentary child-minding centre and playground called The Little Chiefs Club. Care is provided by friendly Fijian staff.
Naviti Resort is spread across 38 acres of tropical gardens on Fiji’s famous Coral Coast. Self-contained rooms can comfortably accommodate families of 2 adults and 2 children. There are plenty of activities and facilities for kids of all ages and a Rugg Rats club for kids aged 5 to 12.
Plantation Island Resort
Plantation Island Resort is located west of Nadi on the island of Malololailai. Children under two stay free, and two kids under 16 can also share a room with their parents for free. An assortment of free activities, from mini-golf to crab racing will keep the kids entertained while they hang out at the Coconut Kids Club. Additional nanny and child-minding services are also available.
Koro Sun Resort
Koro Sun Resort is surrounded by the lush rainforests of northern Fiji and is close to quiet beaches and interesting villages. It has family-sized rooms and the Koro Kids Club, open from 8am-5pm daily for kids three and up.
Food and Drink
The four basic types of cuisine served in Fijian restaurants are European, Chinese, Indian, and of course, local Fijian food. Fijian is typical islander fare consisting mainly of seafood, meat and fresh, tropical fruit. Most hotel restaurants will have a kids' menu, as well as culinary theme nights, poolside barbecues, buffet feasts and Fiji's famous lovo - an underground oven filled with hot rocks and a variety of meats and seafood wrapped in banana leaves.
Fiji has a wide assortment of stores selling everything from international fashion brands to fabric, jewellery and art to cheap souvenirs. Most stores are open 8am to 5pm or 6pm and are closed on Sundays. Major credit cards are widely accepted. Interesting mementos include local handicrafts such as pottery, tapa (bark) cloth, woven baskets, woodcarvings, facemasks, grass skirts and silver jewellery. Bargaining is generally considered inappropriate among Fijians, but is still acceptable when dealing with Indian Fijians in small shops and market stalls.
There are two international airports in Fiji: Nadi Airport and Nausori Airport, near Suva. Nadi Airport is the main point of arrival for tourists. It has duty-free shops, café and restaurant as well as an ATM and an ANZ bank open 24 hours a day. There are taxis and buses available outside the terminal and cars are also available for hire.
Transfers from airport
Many of the resorts along the coral coast offer transport from the airport to your room. There are also plenty of taxis waiting outside the airport, and connecting flights to other local islands.
Getting around for families
Getting around Fiji is easy and fairly inexpensive. All the island groups can be accessed either by plane or ferry. Buses are a cheap and efficient means of getting around the larger islands, and a great way to meet some of the locals. You can also hire a car on Viti Levu or Vanua Levu if you hold an Australian driver’s licence and a self-driving tour can be a great way for families to explore some of the less-visited regions.
What to wear
Because Fiji has a warm climate all year round, there's no need to pack warm clothes unless you plan on trekking in the mountains during the cooler months (May to October). It's important to dress appropriately to avoid offending the locals. This means not wearing short skirts/shorts or bathing costumes while in town or in villages. Wrapping yourself in a Sulu (the Fijian equivalent of a sarong, worn by both men and women) is the best way to cover up when heading back from the beach. Rain gear is probably a good idea during the wetter months (November to April), and of course bring plenty of sunscreen, hats, swimming and snorkelling gear.
The Fiji islands have a total population of around 840,000. About half the population are indigenous Fijians, while around 45% are of Indian descent. Fiji's urban population is concentrated around the capital of Suva, which has a population of 358,500.
Since the occupation by the British during the late 19th and early 20th century, Christianity has become the main religion among native Fijians. Christianity represents about 58% of all religions in Fiji, with Hinduism being the second most prevalent faith. Muslim and Sikh minorities also exist in harmony within this multi-cultural society. Fijian culture is largely based around the family and children are especially loved by Fijians. Fijians still hand make many arts and crafts, including pottery, wood carving and cloth weaving. Fijians are fairly easy going people, but there are still a few customs you should remember to avoid being rude:
Leave shoes at the door before entering someone’s home.
It is an insult to touch someone’s head, including children.
Take off your hat when invited to a village.
If you are offered Kava, accept it and enjoy, don’t ask questions.
Kava is a muddy looking drink (and certainly an acquired taste!) with a mild numbing, sedating effect. It is consumed during rituals as well as simply for socialising and relaxing.
English and Fijian are the official languages in Fiji. Hindi is also spoken by the Indo-Fijian population. Almost everyone in Fiji can speak English, but it's worth learning a few Fijian words to help you converse with the locals. Here are a few basics:
||Ni Sa Bula
||Nee sar bula|
||Sa more there|
||Va le lie lie|
||Du a ta le|
Fiji is two hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Click here for more on time zones.
Fiji dollar. One Fiji dollar is worth approximately AU$1.26. Click here for currency converter.
A smile and a “vinaka”, the Fijian word for thank you is the only tip expected by the locals.
Electricity is 240 AC voltage, the same as Australia, so you will not need a converter.
Take the usual precautions against the hot sun, drink bottled water and choose freshly cooked food. Wash any fruits you buy at the markets thoroughly. Ask your GP about health requirements. Fiji is free of malaria and yellow fever.
The water in Nadi and Suva and from most resorts is safe to drink, but use bottled water on the more remote islands.
Passport and Visa Requirements
Visitors must possess a valid passport with a validity of 6 months. Australian passport holders are granted a free tourist visa on arrival, valid for up to 4 months.
HWK Family Travel Tips
Fiji has a hot and humid climate and kids can be especially sensitive. When you are out exploring during the day a damp washcloth or face towel around the neck will help keep you and the kids cool. Don't forget to bring plenty of water and look out for signs of dehydration. A lack of sweat while walking/sitting in the hot sun, flushed face, dizziness, lethargy and crying with few or no tears are telltale symptoms of dehydration. If your child appears to be dehydrated, provide plenty of water and seek medical help. The emergency phone number throughout Fiji is 911.
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