The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

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.ya­ ■ 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.sher­a­ 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.­la­goon­ ■ 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.­jire­ ■ 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. ■ 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.­sort­ Barry Oliver and Susan Kuro­sawa

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