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Family-friendly Fiji

10:00 AEST Thu Jan 27 2011
If you're thinking of a family holiday, it's hard to go past Fiji. It's close to Australia, there's a choice of islands and the locals just could be the friendliest people on earth.

Kelly Landry went to the family-owned Malolo Island Resort in Fiji's Mamanuca Group, 45 minutes by boat from Nadi. Many of the staff members come from local villages. It's was voted the No.1 family resort in Fiji by readers of TripAdvisor and just listening to and seeing the enjoyment of young guests, it's no wonder.

Accessible by seaplane, private speedboat or a fast catamaran, the resort makes up four hectares of the 800-hectare island and has 49 bures of varying sizes, all with ocean views. It's intimate and rustic with white sandy beaches and lush flora.

Yanu Yanu is a free club for children between four and 12 years of age. It opens every day with a different theme. It's fun and educational, showing island life, local environment, culture and history of the island and Fiji in general. Children love the chance to live like a local for day or two and they are encouraged to keep a diary of their experience, which comes in handy for school projects and show and tell sessions. For those older than 13 years, there is a games room and computer set-up.

There's also plenty of T-shirt and face painting, boat trips to Treasure Island to see the wonderful turtles and a day trip to a wildlife park on a nearby island.

Yanu Yanu is great for parents too. It gives them time to relax together and some that Kelly spoke with said it's not easy to convince their children to leave the club. It's a matter of "please come back later"!

A major refurbishment at the end of 2009 focused on accommodation. Its bright, stylish new look is reminiscent of the colonial era plantation style.

The combination of high, vaulted ceilings and air-conditioning ensure comfort.

The Beach Bar on the water's edge offers casual dining for lunch and dinner, as well as snacks all day with a selection for children. Cocktail hour at sunset has a ritual flare-lighting ceremony to the beat of the lali drum.

Terrace Restaurant has views across the pools and offers all-day alfresco dining. Treetops is above Terrace Restaurant below a canopy of trees. It's for diners 13 years and older and has a Pacific Rim menu with Pacific Island influences.

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, there are themed buffet nights. There is a Fijian-style barbecue on Wednesday and a traditional Fijian lovo and dancing on Saturdays.

Location

Malolo Island in Fiji's Mamanuca Group.

Cost

Malolo Island Resort five-night packages start at $875 per person twin share. Costs includes meet and greet at Nadi Airport, return car and launch transfers, accommodation in an Oceanview Bure, one free night and buffet breakfast.

Pacific Blue has one-way flights to Nadi from:

  • Brisbane $269
  • Sydney $289
  • Melbourne and Adelaide $349
  • Perth $409

There are limited seats, which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at January 27, 2011, and are subject to change.

Prices correct at January 27, 2011.

For further information

Pacific Blue
Ph: 136 789
www.virginblue.com.au

Island Escapes
Ph: 1300 305 870
info@islandescapes.com.au

User comments
We have been to Malolo twice and are thinking of going again this year. The island is wonderful, we were there in March and then another year in May and there was certainly no mud when the tide went out. There was seaweed in the mornings (like every island i am told) but they clean it up pretty quickly.The snorkelling right off the beach is amazing (Nemos & even Bat fish which are very cool), even my husband who has spent many years working as a diver on the Barrier Reef was impressed. The food was also very good. Cant wait to return!! Karen - Sydney
Interested to know something from you regulars..... we go to Fiji almost every year, however, we have avoided Malolo as my husband, for some reason, believes that when the tide goes out, the beaches are just mud. What is your opionion on this please? Also, Sharon, I totally (respectfully) disagree with you - I think they made Malolo look lovely! They can't possibly show absolutely everything about a place, and it certainly made me want to visit it, even though I've been to several other destinations in Fiji.
I am so disappointed on what you guys showed on Malolo, It is so much more and you didnt show any of it. My family loved it so much we are going back again and again. Why?? I told 30 people in my little part of Australia to watch and I couldnt blame them if they didnt go. Watch out tomorrow when they all ring me back to say What the??? C'mon guys, Isnt your job TO PROMOTE!!!
The best place in Fiji !!!! We keep going back every year .

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