Swaying palm trees look down on a patch of silky white sand where a circle has been drawn, a smaller one in its centre. The air is balmy, the mood is light and the anticipation on kids faces is palpable. On a count of three, a clutch of hermit crabs are let loose in the centre circle and then the excited shouting begins, as punters wildly encourage their racing hero to reach the outer rim first. Crab races at a Fijian resort are a wonderfully entertaining tradition; light-hearted competition that kids and adults alike will delight in. Just one of the many activities to partake in at this family-perfect destination.
At a time when we're all in sore need of some happy moments, Fiji delivers in spades. Waking up every day in a lush hibiscus-laden paradise, sitting down together for a breakfast of fresh papaya, watermelon, pineapple, guava… and then maybe some fresh, hot-out-the-oven pastries, before rushing back to the bure to grab the snorkel gear where the kids can spend hours spotting Nemo, and other marine wonders, in crystal clear waters - it's just the start of the cherished memories that await you in Fiji. And with a flight-time of under three hours and on the daily from Auckland, and no change in time zone, you won't have to worry about disrupting the kids' routine either.
Fiji's many family-friendly resorts are set up for endless fun: take part in coconut throwing comps, get out on the water for some paddleboarding, sailing, snorkelling, jet skiing or kayaking adventures, join in on a beach rugby game with the locals or give the kids the chance to get their hair famously braided as a way to show off when they get home.
Of course, all of this is made infinitely more enjoyable by the incredible hospitality of the Fijian people, whose warmth, charisma and friendliness are renowned. And in even better news for parents, looking for their own R&R, Fiji offers some of the world's best kids' clubs, so you can settle into a poolside sunlounger, umbrella'd cocktail in hand, safe in the knowledge your kids are happy and entertained for the day ahead. When you're ready to trade in the sun-lounger for some bigger thrills with the whole family, Big Bula Waterpark will do the trick for children of all ages – this is squeal-inducing heaven, home to the world's largest inflatable water park and giant water slides at the ready for the adrenalinejunkies in the family.
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Among the treetops of Fiji's lush jungle, there's more excitement to be had at the many ziplining opportunities dotted around the islands. Or take the gang on an Ecotrax tour, where you'll ride the bike mounted railways in your own buggy, strap the little ones on the back as you use the electric feature or put the bigger kids to work and tire them out as they pedal through lush exterior, witnessing stunning rock cuttings, local villages filled with friendly locals and fields filled with Fijian wildlife.
If safety is playing on your mind, rest assured Fiji's looking after your family in that regard too. The Care Fiji Commitment means families can book and travel in confidence, it consists of several best practice health and safety measures for travel in this new world.
In simple words, everything is taken care of so parents can kick back and relax knowing the family is protected and having fun. All that's left to do is let yourselves and the kids collect cherished memories in a place where happiness can't help but find you.