The South Pacific is home to some of the most beautiful destinations on Earth. From Vanuatu to Fiji, there is something for everyone. If you’re considering a trip to either of these beautiful destinations, here is what you should know before your family makes the journey!
Vanuatu vs. Fiji for a Family Holiday?
|Affordable||Offers more luxurious resorts|
|A great variety of activities||Amazing babysitting services|
|Mild temperatures year-round||Many outdoor activities|
Read on for a break down what each location has to offer, and see which fits you and your family for a dream vacation!
An Overview of Fiji
Known as the “Pearl of the Pacific,” Fiji has been known for its beautiful oceans, friendly people, and authentic island experience.
Fiji is typically associated as a more luxurious travel destination but has become a family-friendly island destination.
Fiji is actually made up of 333 different islands, but the two most popular island is Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. You can find out more about Fiji and everything it offers right here.
What Is The Weather Like in Fiji?
Fiji has quite warm year-round temperatures that range anywhere from the high seventies to the high eighties. The best times to visit Fiji are between the months of April and October but are typically more of a wet season.
REMEMBER: November to April are dryer in terms of precipitation, but there is a risk of tropical storms popping up.
Where Should You Stay in Fiji?
The best islands for families are
- Viti Levu
These range from a quick twenty-minute drive from the airport to an hour and a half by boat or car.
Many of the locations in Fiji are quieter since there is not a ton of nightlife happening.
Here are some of the top picks for resorts in Fiji:
- Hilton Fiji Beach Resort
- Treasure Island Resort
- Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
- Plantation Island Resort Mamanuca
- Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa
- Geckos Resort
Something important to remember is to read the fine print of any location you stay in. Some resorts offer limited Wi-Fi, or it may be quite challenging to get to them if you do not want to go by boat or even helicopters.
What Is There for Families to do?
No matter the age of the child, there is something to do for you and your children while visiting Fiji. Many of the resorts have their form of babysitting available.
Fijians are known for treating children like they are their own, so this may be a great option if you have some younger children that cannot participate in all the activities.
Outrigger has the Meimei Nanny Service, which is one of the best programs in Fiji, so don’t be afraid to ask what your resort offers! Find out more about the MeiMei Nanny Service here!
Fun Water Activities
Fiji has some of the best water activities that you’ll be able to find.
There are varieties of snorkeling and scuba activities that the entire family can participate in, and depending on your skill level, they have something for everyone.
NOTE: Even if you are not a big fan of going in the water, there are tons of activities to do out of the water as well.
You can take cruises around the different islands to see all that Fiji has to offer.
You can even visit the island of Modriki which is where the film Castaway was filmed. If you are looking to give your family the experience of a lifetime, then be sure to do one of the more adventurous options during your stay.
Other Fun Activities in Fiji
You can travel the rivers of Fiji on rafts, explore caves, and even visit villages of the past. There are also zip lines that let you enjoy the natural rainforests of the island.
Over at Kula Eco Park, you can see some of the native animals of Fiji, and there is a waterpark as well!
If you’re really looking for an adventure, head out to the Naihehe Cave is Fiji’s most extensive cave system, and home to the infamous cannibal caves.
There is also a great variety of off-road tours in trucks or off-road vehicles which allow you to see even more of the island.
Along the Coral Coast, you can even sandboard on the huge Sigatoka Sand Dunes as well.
An Overview of Vanuatu
Vanuatu is located 500 miles west of Fiji, it is comprised of 13 main islands with seventy smaller islands.
Vanuatu means “Our Land Forever.” The islands are made up of a variety of landscapes, including rugged mountains to low plateaus and is even home to active volcanoes and the frequent earthquake as well.
What Is The Weather Like?
Temperatures average around the low 80s, and the water is at a very similar temperature.
Between the months of November to March, it is Vanuatu’s summer season and also the wet season. Winter in Vanuatu is also very warm and falls in the same months as the Australian winter.
NOTE: Vanuatu is located in close proximity to the equator; therefore, they experience warmer weather for the majority of the year.
Where Should You Stay in Vanuatu?
The main island of Efate is home to the capital of Port Vila. There are many places to eat as well as a variety of tourist locations and the country’s only shopping mall.
Espiritu Santo is Vanuatu’s largest island, but is far less developed. It is home to many of the more adventurous activities.
Tanna Island is home to many of the more beautiful natural features such as an active volcano, rainforests, waterfalls, and beaches.
Here are some of my top picks for Vanuatu:
- Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa
- Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu
- The Melanesian
- Aquana Beach Resort
- Iririki Island Resort
- Paradise Cove
- Erakor Island Resort
Many of these resorts offer free rental of their water equipment so you can really get out there and enjoy the beautiful nature of Vanuatu. Some of these resorts are also more luxurious than others, and some cater more towards children.
What is There for Families to do?
Beaches are one of the most popular locations to visit in Vanuatu. Keep in mind that some of the beaches are black-sand or coral beaches.
Children are probably going to enjoy a soft sand beach more. Champagne Beach is located on Espiritu Santo and features many places to eat right by the beach.
There is also Erakor Beach which can be reached by ferry from Santo on Erakor Island. If you’re looking for more activities to do, then visit Bokissa Beach which is great for swimming and snorkeling, and has a lot of water activities in the Azure Lagoon.
Fun Water Activities
Speaking of snorkeling, make sure to visit Hideaway Island. For a small fee, you can visit the island which is a marine sanctuary. There is a restaurant and a bar for lunch, but you are really going here for the snorkeling.
Since the beach is primarily coral, make sure you’re wearing the correct footwear. Equipment is available to rent, and you can also feed the fish!
Maybe you’re more into scuba diving, and you can visit the island of Espiritu Santo. It is around a one hour flight from Efate, but has some world-famous scuba diving locations.
To make the flight worth it, check out one of the many Blue Hole’s located on the island. There is also the Mount Hope Waterfall which allows you to float down the Sarakata river.
Waterfalls are some of the most beautiful things to see in Vanuatu. If you’re in Port Vila, then head to the Mele Cascades which has falls that you can walk up, as well as swim in the pools and falls.
One thing to keep in mind is that the falls and rocks can get very slippery, so proper footwear is required.
TIP: The entrance fee is around $17, so make sure you bring cash.
Visiting the local villages while on your trip to Vanuatu is a great way to learn more about the fascinating culture of the beautiful country.
Children can find out about the history of the island and it’s people, as well as participate in some traditional dances. Even more interesting are the fire walking ceremonies. The Larofa Village is located on Port Vila.
There are many tours around Vanuatu that can show you the very best of the country as well.
Many of these tours last all day and give you a great overview of the islands. Some even visit local schools so that you can see what life is like there.
Make sure you get one with lunch provided so you can try some authentic Melanesian foods!
Similar to Fiji, there are also many outdoor tours you can do as well. If your family is into zip lining, there is a great tour that lets you see some of the most beautiful canopy views that Vanuatu has to offer.
In case someone doesn’t want to zip line, there is the option for just viewing on this tour.
Find out more about the Jungle Zipline Canopy Tour here! You can also tour the island on an off-road vehicle which offers a variety of other activities on the tour as well! This is one of the best island tours!
Which Country is Best for Families?
As with all vacations, you should take into consideration what you and your family enjoy doing. If you’re looking for a more relaxing vacation with younger children, then Fiji is probably your best bet.
Not only are there a variety of activities suitable for all ages, but they have some of the best daycare programs available.
Overall, Vanuatu seems like the best option because it is more affordable, and it simply offers more to do in terms of activities, food options, and resort amenities.
For those who are wanting to get back to nature on their family vacation, Vanuatu is the perfect destination for you.
From the water to visiting local villages, it is a great way to learn more about the culture of a country, as well as spend time creating some once in a lifetime memory.