Family Guide to the Mamanuca Islands
It doesn’t get more family-friendly than the islands of the Mamanucas. Just a short boat excursion away from the mainland, the Mamanuca Islands are your postcard islands of Fiji with white sand beach, swaying palm trees and vibrant waters. It’s the perfect environment to explore as a family, with resorts offering cruises, kayaks, Hobie sailboats, scuba diving, snorkelling, walking trails, bikes and much more! Each family member also gets the opportunity to experience their own version of “Fiji time” thanks to the remarkable kids’ and teens’ clubs. Find out everything you need to know about a family holiday in the Mamanucas with this guide to the Mamanuca Islands for families.
10 Things to Do in the Mamanuca Islands with Kids
- Adults and kids aged 10+ can learn how to scuba dive
- Get on the water on a family kayaking trip
- Capture amazing views on an island walk
- Bond over a fishing trip
- Immerse in the Fijian culture with a village visit
- Cruise around the islands on a dolphin or snorkel safari
- Treat the kids to a fun-filled day at the kids’ club
- Get kids involved in conservation work, like turtle care or tree planting
- Let teens hang out with people their own age at the teen clubs
- Get competitive in beach volleyball, golf, tennis and more!
For more information on all these activities, check out our complete 10 Things to Do in the Mamanuca Islands with Kids.
How to Get to the Mamanuca Islands
As the closest island group to the Nadi International Airport, getting to the Mamanuca Islands is a relatively quick and painless process. Most water transport departs from Port Denarau, where many operators offer land transfers from the airport to the port. Alternatively, check out our 5 Ways to Get to Denarau Island. The trip from the airport to Port Denarau will take around 25 minutes, while your water transport duration will depend on your chosen island.
Mamanuca Islands via Ferry
One of the most popular ways to get to the Mamanucas from Port Denarau is via a high-speed catamaran ferry. Malolo Cat runs four times a day to the Malolo Lailai Island. South Sea Cruises departs three times a day connecting you with most island resorts in the Mamanucas. Expect ferry prices to be around FJ$80-$170 one way per adult and about half price for children.
Mamanuca Islands via Water Taxi
Get straight to your desired Mamanuca Island destination in no time with a 24h water taxi. Most water taxis, like SeaFiji and Mamanuca Express, are best taken from Port Denarau where your booked service will align with your flight arrival time. Prices depend on group size starting with 1-4 people for around FJ$500-$1,000.
Mamanuca Islands via Boat Transfer
Many of the resorts on the Mamanuca Islands organise their own boat transfer to their island. For instance, the Mana Flyer from Wailoaloa Beach, Nadi, takes guests to Mana, Beachcomber, Treasure and Bounty Islands. Ratu Kini Cruises also transfers to Mana Island, and Beachcomber Cruises connects Port Denarau and the Anchorage Beach Resort at Vuda Point to Beachcomber Island. They provide a slightly cheaper option than the ferries.
Mamanuca Islands via Helicopter or Seaplane
Treat you and your family to a wonderful scenic experience while getting to your chosen family resort in the Mamanucas. Air operators like Pacific Island Air and Turtle Airways can transport you from either Port Denarau or Nadi International Airport straight to your resort within 10 minutes.
Check out 5 Ways to Get to the Mamanuca Islands.
Family Water Activities
With warm weather and warm waters, getting out on the water is always a great way to cool down and make a splash with the kids! Fiji’s underwater world is fascinating to discover, whether it’s from a kayak or snorkelling with the fish. The Mamanuca Islands are some of the best islands to get out on the water.
Snorkelling & Scuba Diving
Showing the kids the lively and beautiful underwater world is one of the highlights of a family holiday on the Mamanuca Islands. As long as your child is able to swim, there is a snorkelling or scuba diving trip waiting for you. Snorkelling is the most accessible way to see the coral reefs teeming with tropical fish. Most resorts have snorkelling spots accessible straight from the beach. Alternatively, jump on a snorkelling tour to get to the best spots.
For the best array of soft and hard coral reefs, don’t miss the opportunity to scuba dive. Children aged 10 years and above can jump on an introductory scuba diving trip or a learn-to-scuba course. Trips are available from Subsurface Fiji at the Malolo Island Resort and Musket Cove, Deep Blue Diving at the Sheraton Resort, Ocean Play at Vomo Island and many other dive centres.
Family resorts in the Mamanuca Island have an abundance of watersport equipment for families to enjoy. Note that non-motorised equipment like stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, Hobie cat sailboats and sometimes windsurfing boards are usually free for guests to use. It’s a great way to explore the coast of your island and watch the fish in the clear waters below.
Game & Reef Fishing
Mum and dad, tackle some of the ocean’s feistiest monsters on a game fishing charter with Beachcomber Island, Malolo Island Resort, Musket Cove Resort and more. It’s an impressive sight for the kids, and they’ll get to have a go themselves with the abundance of reef fishing available on every fishing trip!
There are around 30 islands in the Mamanuca Islands, so get out on the water and start exploring! Island cruising is a fantastic way to spend the day in Fiji, whether it’s a dolphin safari with Musket Cove or visiting the floating Cloud 9 pizza bar with the Ratu Kini Resort.
Family Land Activities
Family resorts in the Mamanuca Islands are located on stunning tropical islands begging to be explored. Get out on a bike or explore on foot with a range of walking trails suitable for little ones to adventurous teens. You’ll also enjoy the number of opportunities to spend quality family time together with the sports courts and equipment.
Every family resort has sports equipment for families to get competitive and create stronger bonds. Check out the tennis courts on Castaway Island or Mana Island, play beach volleyball at the Sheraton Resort, or go cycling at Six Senses Fiji. Vomo Island even has its own 9-hole pitch-and-putt golf course meandering through the coconut groves.
Sometimes, simply going for a stroll is the best way to see the island you are staying on. Walk among stunning tropical forests, up to stunning viewpoints and along the beaches for a great way to spend the morning or evening with the family – best done when the sun is less intense. Castaway Island has an abundance of trails where their staff can show you where to go. Six Senses Fiji will cook you up a big breakfast before you tackle their hilltop walk. Take a gentle walk to the beach from the Mana Island Resort or show your kids the spectacular birds on a bush walk.
Family Cultural Activities
Usually one of the most memorable parts of the family holiday in the Mamanuca Islands is discovering the local culture. Children and adults alike find the traditions of the island people super captivating, so share the experience all together in a village visit, kava ceremony or a night of Fijian song and dance.
Some resorts share islands with Fijian villages where visitors can see everyday village life being played out with the resort’s village visit. For instance, Malolo Island Resort offers the Shell Village Tour to visit the villages of Solevu and Yalo.
Meke & Lovo Nights
An immersive cultural experience for the whole family is the “meke” nights at many of the family resorts in the Mamanucas. Resorts like Malolo Island Resort, Six Senses and Ratu Kini put on weekly cultural entertainment nights where the stories of the islands are told through captivating song and dance. Usually, the experience is followed by a “lovo” – food cooked in an underground oven.
Drinking kava – a drink made from ground Yaqona root – is an integral part of Fijian tradition. Experiencing a kava ceremony is a must-do on the islands of Fiji where your resort will guide you and your family through the protocols and fascinating traditions. While it’s polite for adults to accept the first kava drink, it is optional for children.
Resort Activities for Kids
A family holiday isn’t a family holiday without the kids getting to spend some time away from the adults! Many of the resorts on the Mamanuca Islands have fantastic kids’ clubs, as well as activities that the little ones especially will enjoy.
Kids’ Clubs on the Mamanuca Islands
The kids get a holiday and the parents get a break: it’s win-win at the kids’ clubs of the Mamanuca Islands. The vast majority of resorts have kids’ clubs which are either complementary (usually at the luxury resorts) or for a small fee. The Plantation Island Resort‘s Coconut Kids’ Club has a jam-packed itinerary including coconut boat making, beach games, bouncy castle time, T-shirt tie-dye and much more! At the Treasure Island Resort, kids get the unique opportunity to be involved in turtle conservation programs, while the little guests at Tia’s Treehouse at the Malolo Island Resort will get a fully-immersive island experience with educational programs based on the natural and cultural environment.
Find out more about each kids’ club in our 7 Best Kids’ Clubs on the Mamanuca Islands.
Teen Clubs on the Mamanuca Islands
For the older kids, the Mamanuca teen clubs give them the opportunity to mingle with young adults their own age. The Lairo Club at the Plantation Island Resort is for 12-16 years with an itinerary of kayaking, beach games, crafts, walks and more. Khail’s Club at Malolo Island Resort is a lounge for 13-18-year-olds with bean bags, table tennis, free WiFi and more.
More Children’s Activities & Facilities
Kids staying at the Six Senses Resort have an interesting selection of eco-friendly activities especially for them, such as kids yoga, solar oven-making, tree planting, bracelet weaving and pizza-making. If you’re looking for more simple fun, then kids will love the Kids Village at Vomo Island packed with undercover and outdoor play areas, climbing frames, dress-up wardrobes and a craft area. Finally, don’t miss the inflatable water park at the Plantation Island Resort.