Family Guide to Nadi
That’s right, you don’t have to travel far from the arrival airport in Fiji to have an amazing Fiji family holiday! Nadi is the first place holiday-makers arrive in when looking for some “Fiji time“. In no time, you and your family can be checking into your resort and jumping into the pool. But a holiday in Fiji isn’t just about sipping cocktails and lounging in the sun. Nadi is nearby an array of fun attractions for the whole family, whether you’re into adventure, nature or culture. At the end of the day, there’s always time for a pool session or some R&R. So take a look at this guide to Nadi for families and start planning the ultimate Nadi getaway.
10 Things to Do in Nadi with Kids
- Fly through the forest on a zipline course
- Scuba dive or snorkel with tropical fish
- Take an island day cruise to the Mamanuca Islands
- Visit a Fijian village
- Make a splash at the Big Bula Waterpark
- Get muddy at the Sabeto Hot Springs & Mud Pools
- Relax at the beach
- Let the kids spend a day learning about the Fijian culture at a kids club
- Explore the forest wonderland that is the Garden of the Sleeping Giant
- Spend a day by the pool
How to Get to Nadi (& How to Get Around Nadi)
When jetting off to Fiji, most families arrive at the Nadi International Airport, based in the Nadi suburb of Namaka. For any family staying in Nadi, this removes the stress of long travel times and expensive resort transfers from the equation, so you and your family can jump straight into “Fiji time“. Because the hotels, resorts and attractions are spread across the city, suburbs and countryside, here are some different ways for you and your family to get around.
Flights to Nadi
Nadi is home to Fiji’s main international airport and is where the vast majority of international flights arrive in Fiji. Direct flights to Fiji are available from the South Pacific islands, New Zealand, Australia and Korea and the connecting flight possibilities are plentiful. Check out Which Airlines Fly Straight to Fiji? for tips. If you are arriving in Fiji via Suva, by cruise ship for example, then domestic flights are your quickest and most convenient option to get to Nadi. Find out more in our What Are the Airports in Fiji?
Taxis in Nadi
Taxis are one of the most favoured ways for families to get around in Nadi. Getting from one side of the city to the other is reasonably cheap, costing around FJ$10 to get between the airport and the city centre, for example. Taxis operating within Nadi need to use a fare meter, so make sure your taxi driver has one (and is using it) before you agree for a ride. The standard taxi in Nadi has enough room for a family of four with four suitcases. Larger taxis can be booked.
Get more tips from our 10 Things You Need to Know About Taxis in Fiji.
Hiring a Driver in Nadi
Hiring a driver for your time in Nadi provides great peace of mind for the family that knows they are going to be hitting several locations around Nadi during their stay. You can hire a driver for a day to the full duration for your holiday – often working out to be much cheaper than renting a car (see below). Ask your chosen hotel or resort about their private driver services (and don’t forget to negotiate a price). Expect to pay FJ$90-140 a day for a driver.
Nadi by Bus
Public buses are plentiful in the Nadi area, where you’ll get all the information you’ll need about where to take buses and their timetables from information centres at the airport, in Nadi, and from the travel desk in your chosen accommodation. Trips around Nadi are usually less than FJ$2 and are paid with tickets, rather than with cash. Find out how to pay for Nadi buses in Where to Book Bus Transport in Fiji?
Shuttle to Your Accommodation
If you have accommodation booked in the Nadi area then airport transfers are almost always a complimentary service. Just make sure to book this service with your accommodation before you arrive in Fiji.
For the family that wants to get out and explore independently, renting a car is another good option. Car rentals are abundant at Nadi International Airport. Take a look at The Best Car Rentals in Fiji.
For more details on all these transport methods, check out our 6 Ways to Get to Nadi article.
Adventure Activities for Families
For the active family, or at least active kids, there are some amazing adventures that await in Nadi. What’s more, Nadi’s adventure activities are fun and safe for the whole family, so get stuck in with the following activities!
Ziplining in Nadi
With stunning rainforest locations and an activity that is fun for all ages, ziplining in Nadi is the perfect activity for active families. In Nadi, you have two adventures to choose from: the forest-zipping and limestone cave adventure with Zip Fiji or the waterfall and tropical rainforest zipline adventures with Sleeping Giant Zipline. Find out more in our 5 Best Zipline Tours in Fiji.
Snorkelling & Scuba Diving in Nadi
Coming to the “soft coral capital of the world” and not snorkelling or scuba diving is considered a crime here in Fiji! (Well, not really, but it should be). Whatever your age, its hard to not be amazed by the tropical fish and the underwater world of Fiji. Scuba diving and snorkelling trips depart from Momi Bay with the Scuba Bula Dive Centre which offers introductory guided dive trips (PADI Discover Scuba) for 10 years+ (just need to know how to swim), as well as bubblemaking PADI courses for 8 years+.
What kid doesn’t love a waterpark?! The Big Bula Waterpark, situated a short drive from Nadi on Denarau Island, has a generous selection of fun fibreglass waterslides, inflatable slides and obstacle courses that will keep the kids entertained all day! There’s a cafe on-site, as well as other activities like hair braiding.
Culture Activities for Families
From the moment you land in Nadi International Airport to Fijian serenaders singing you in, you’ll realise that the Fijian culture is extremely accessible. Everywhere you go you’ll be greeted with a big smile and an enthusiastic “Bula!” But if you want to engage more with the Fijian culture, then there are plenty of ways to do so with the kids.
Visit a Fijian Village
Fijians have a distinct culture with customs and traditions that have gone unchanged for centuries. A visit to a Fijian village gives you and your family a chance to observe and take part in these traditions, making for an engaging learning experience. Nadi hotels and resorts work with local villages for village visits, such as Nacaqara Village and Viseisevu Village, where you’ll get a more authentic slice of life in Fiji, so inquire at your resort on local village visits.
An amazing alternative option that’s great for kids are the shows and cultural experiences at the Fiji Culture Village. The preserved village is an affordable activity to walk around and discover a traditional-style village or vamp up the experience with multiple options, like guided tours, traditional feasts and cultural performances that are sure to stick with the family as being a highlight of the holiday!
Sabeto Hot Springs
Good squelchy muddy fun awaits at the Sabeto Hot Springs, a short drive from Nadi in the Sabeto Foothills. The outdoor hot springs complex has sloppy mud to lather all over yourself, dry on your skin in the sun, then wash off in various hot pools fed by natural spring water. The complex is owned and run by a family in the local village, where the family talk to all their guests and give you a great insight into the Fijian way of life. The complex also has a massage parlour, souvenirs and sometimes meals prepared by one of the local villagers, which is worth trying if your kids are not fussy eaters.
One of the best ways for kids to learn more about the Fijian culture is through kids clubs available in selected resorts. Kids clubs involve games, crafts and other activities all with a Fijian flare! Resorts with kids clubs in the Nadi area are in Vuda Point, Momi Bay and Denarau. See our Guide to Denarau for Families for more information on Denarau.
Nature Activites for Families
We’ve already talked about exploring the underwater world of Fiji (see scuba diving above), but if your family are into seeing more stunning natural landscapes and being in the great outdoors, then these are the nature activities in Nadi that are suitable for families. Otherwise, check out 5 Incredible Hikes & Walks in Nadi with short walks suitable for older children.
Garden of the Sleeping Giant
Delve into the lush rainforests of the Garden of the Sleeping Giant for a fun couple of hours with the family. The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is located in the Sabeto Foothills – the same area as the Sabeto Hot Springs, so they are good activities to couple together. While mum and dad will appreciate the array of orchids on display, children will love exploring the tropical forest on a short walk (30-minute loop) full of weird and wonderful trees to get the imagination going. There’s plenty of space for the kids to run around, and at the end of your visit, you have the opportunity to relax in the garden with a tropical juice. Check out this tour with both the Sebato Hot Springs and the Garden of the Sleeping Giant included!
Island Day Trips
Those white sandy beaches and palm tree-filled islands that you pictured Fiji to be all about are just off the coast of Nadi in an island group called the Mamanuca Islands. There are many island day trips and excursions to take from the shores of Nadi, Denarau and Vuda Point, and most resorts will be able to organise the best trip from your accommodation. We like the Savala Island Day Cruise from Denarau with Oolala Cruises, including a glass-bottom boat, fishing feeding, snorkelling, kayaking, relaxing and more family-friendly activities.
Go to the Beach
Most of us heading to Fiji want to get some beach time in. If you don’t have the time or budget to head to some of the best beaches in Fiji on a Mamanuca Islands Cruise (see above), then there are a few beaches around Nadi you could check out. Nadi’s two main beaches, Wailoaloa Beach and Nadi Bay Beach are good options for your usual beach activities such as paddling and building sand castles – however, they are not exactly your “picture-perfect” beaches. They are lined by resorts to pop in for food, or you might want to make the beach resorts your base. More idyllic beaches lie on the Coral Coast at Natadola Beach, which is about an hour’s drive south but makes for a good day trip. Again, the beach is lined with resorts, as well as horse trek tours.