Many Brisbane families flock to the tropical islands of Fiji each year. Brisbane Kids writer, Cath Johnsen, took her family to find out why.
Six reasons why Fiji is the perfect holiday destination for Brisbane families
1. Fijians will treat your children like their own
Before traveling to Fiji with kids for the first time, many people will tell you that the Fijian people are warm and welcoming, with a genuine love for children. In our experience, this was absolutely true. The Fijian locals take the time to find out your name and remember it for your entire stay. They always say hello (bulla!) and are anxious to know if you are enjoying your holiday. Children are never considered a nuisance, but are warmly welcomed (and often greeted with a cuddle!), whether it be at a fine-dining restaurant or the rowdy resort kids’ club.
2. Expose your children to a different culture
Fijians are proud of their culture, and are only too happy to share their stories and beliefs with you. Children will be wide eyed with wonder as they watch the firewalkers and hear tales of cannibalism and tribal chiefs. Fijians also love to dance and sing, and there are many cultural performances that the whole family can enjoy, with kids encouraged to dress up and join in the fun. Trying traditional Fijian food is a must too, including the delicious Indian cuisine. There are a number of cultural tours that can take you to local villages and schools so that your children can see what day to day life is like for the local children, and how it differs from home.
3. Spend less than four hours getting there, yet feel like you’re a world away
Travelling internationally with children may sound overwhelming, but the flight from Brisbane to Fiji is just under four hours, meaning you could be sipping on a cocktail while watching your little ones splashing in the resort pool, all before dinner time. The flight is a quick one compared to other destinations – by the time you’ve watched a few movies, played a few games of snap and had a bite to eat, the plane will be making its descent into beautiful Fiji. Be prepared for an assault on the senses when you depart the airport and take in the new sights, sounds and smells of this special country.
4. Sun, swim, sand, snorkel, repeat
Many families like to escape the Brisbane winter and soak up some tropical island sun instead. The numerous family friendly resorts dotted around Fiji – Coral Coast, Denarau Island and offshore islands – all offer plenty of sun, sand and swimming/snorkelling opportunities. From the Coral Coast and the offshore islands, you can usually snorkel straight off the beach and see amazing marine life. From Denarau Island you can take a day trip via the Denarau Marina to one of the charming islands. There’s also water sports, swimming pools and water games to keep your family occupied. Prepare to be permanently waterlogged!
5. Relaxing for parents, action packed for kids
When you’ve had enough time in the pool or on the beach, most resorts in Fiji also have a jam packed events calendar, with plenty of activities to keep families active. There’s wood carving demonstrations, cava drinking ceremonies, basket weaving workshops and watermelon smash competitions, just to name a few! And for tired parents needing a little down time, Fijian resorts are renowned for the quality of their kids’ clubs. Kids are kept happily busy with shell collecting, art and craft, learning the Fijian language and playing sports. In the meantime, parents can enjoy a leisurely meal, a stroll on the beach, or just curl up by the pool with a good book. It truly is a family’s paradise.
6. Help boost the Fijian economy by supporting tourism
Tourism is one of Fiji’s largest industries, and after the recent devastation of category five Cyclone Winston, they need your support more than ever. Many of the hotels will accept donations – both monetary and items such as clothing and toys – which are then distributed to the neediest villages. Every time you enjoy a massage at the day spa, purchase some groceries or book a boating day trip, you are helping the local economy and ensuring job security for Fijian families. Spending up never felt so good!