FIJIAN FUN AND GAMES
UP-MARKET Yasawa Island Resort doesn’t usually echo to the patter of tiny feet — no under-12s allowed — but that changes during the Australian school holidays when the resort rolls out the red carpet for juniors.
Crab hunts, coconut husking, weaving, dancing, tug-of-war, spear throwing, hopscotch (how did that reach Fiji?), fish feeding, musical chairs . . . Yasawa goes more than the proverbial extra yard. With just 18 bures on the sandy shore, staff tailor programs according to the young visitors’ interests. www.yasawa.com. ■ Twin properties Sheraton and Westin on Denarau Island near Nadi have access to facilities at three adjoining properties, which makes for happy children. Both have their own children’s clubs, where activities include frog racing, canoeing, an introduction to the local language and stargazing. www.sheraton.com/ DenarauResort. ■ Blue Lagoon Cruises encourages families with its two-cabin packages. Prices start at $1599 for a family of five (air fares extra) for a three-day Yasawa Islands cruise. In school holidays, the Captain’s Club children’s program kicks in with beach games, watersports, bushwalking and snorkelling safaris. www.bluelagooncruises.com. ■ As you may expect, award-winning Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, at Savusavu Bay on the island of Vanua Levu, welcomes youngsters in style. Children are assigned a dedicated nanny, ready to step in whenever required. The resort’s Bula Club has two levels: one for juniors up to seven, the other for eight to 13-year-olds. www.fijiresort.com. ■ Young visitors to Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort on the Coral Coast between Nadi and Suva get to compete in the Fiji Olympics, or at least the resort’s version. The Little Chief’s Club encourages friendly competition in beach cricket, touch rugby and volleyball, or youngsters can drop a line in the lagoon, go treasure hunting, make a grass skirt or build a sandcastle. Two to fiveyear-olds have their own club with face painting, coconut throwing, fish feeding, basket making and story time. There are also dinner activities for four-year-olds and up. www.shangri-la.com. ■ The newish Fiji Beach Resort & Spa (managed by Hilton) at Denarau goes all out to make small guests welcome. Its Kids’ Paradise club is complimentary for ages three to 12, there are PlayStations and DVD players in every room (games and disks from reception for $FJ5 or $3.70 overnight hire), a children’s menu at the resort’s beachfront Nuku (four years and under eat at no cost) and babysitting is a low $FJ6 an hour.
Almost all the resort’s 219 rooms and villas have barbecues on their balconies or terraces, and meat packs are available from an on-site deli (which stocks child-friendly snacks, too). The imaginative management at this resort also supplies a ‘‘ freedom fridge’’ of eight free soft drinks, replenished daily. www.resortfiji.com. Barry Oliver and Susan Kurosawa