How to Plan a Family Vacation to Vanua Levu
Looking for an off-the-beaten-track holiday in Fiji? Want to discover the wild side of Fiji with waterfalls, Fijian villages and some of the best snorkelling the islands have to offer? Then set your sights on Fiji’s “other big island”, Vanua Levu. The warm waters surrounding the island are renowned for their incredible sea life that can be experienced through snorkelling, diving, kayaking or cruising – there’s something for all ages and abilities. Inland, there’s the opportunity for education at the friendly Fijian villages or simple splashy fun at the picturesque waterfalls. Needless to say, Vanua Levu is a destination for the family that loves to adventure together. But don’t fret, if you do want some alone time, there are a few resorts with excellent kids’ clubs and nanny services. Find out more in this guide to Vanua Levu for families.
10 Things to Do on Vanua Levu with Kids
- Snorkel at the famous Rainbow Reef, Split Rock or Namena Marine Reserve
- Take a trip to the impressive Vuodomo Waterfall
- Enjoy an educational visit to a Fijian village
- Play beach games like volleyball, tennis, croquet and more
- Bond over a fishing trip
- Learn how to cook Fijian food together
- Craft your own Fijian souvenirs
- Take the kids to one of the fun and educational kids’ clubs
- Watch dolphins and snorkel on a dolphin cruise
- Get out on the kayaks or paddleboat.
Learn more about these activities in our 10 Things to Do on Vanua Levu with Kids or continue reading.
How to Get to Vanua Levu
Vanua Levu is Fiji’s second-largest island, located northeast of Viti Levu. Because most families arrive in Fiji via Nadi International Airport, located on Viti Levu, the most common way to get to Vanua Levu is via domestic flight or by ferry. Once you arrive in Vanua Levu, many of the resorts will offer transfers. Alternatively, there is an extensive bus network and taxi services to take advantage of. Find out more about transport in Vanua Levu in 5 Ways to Get to Vanua Levu.
Vanua Levu by Plane
From Nadi International Airport, the easiest and quickest way to get to Vanua Levu is via a domestic flight to Savusavu Airport. Flights take approximately one hour. Private charter services may also be available via seaplane, so inquire with your resort.
Tip: if you’re flying on Fiji’s local airline from overseas, book your flight all the way to Savusavu to get the international luggage allowance. Otherwise, the domestic luggage allowance is 15kg (33 pounds).
Learn more about flying to the island in our Vanua Levu Transport Guide.
Vanua Levu by Ferry
For families on a budget, there’s also the option to take one of the ferries between Suva and Savusavu. Ferry services usually include bus transfers from the ferry port to the largest towns on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Expect bus and ferry services to take approximately 4h30mins to 11 hours (i.e. Fiji Time). See How Much Do Water Taxis & Ferries Cost in Fiji? for approximate prices. Plus, get more details on the ferry companies at How to Take the Ferry to Vanua Levu.
Vanua Levu Family Water Activities
With warm water temperatures and a colourful array of fish to see, taking part in some water activities in Fiji is a must! Discover Vanua Levu’s diverse marine life on snorkelling trips or fishing charters. Alternatively, many of the resorts offer complimentary use of kayaks, which is a better option when you’re with younger children. Additionally, Vanua Levu hides a number of amazing waterfalls available to discover on tours.
For families with kids who can swim, snorkelling is a must-do in Vanua Levu! Surrounded by outstanding coral reefs with an array of amazing marine life, Vanua Levu is the ideal location to see Fiji’s famous marine life. Join The Remote Resort for their snorkelling tour to the Rainbow Reef or to snorkel with manta rays. Split Rock is another snorkelling hotspot with lots of colourful fish. The area is just off the coast of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, while trips there are also available with Koro Sun. Finally, explore the famed Namena Marine Reserve with Savasi Island and Daku Resort.
Trip to the Vuodomo Waterfall
Discover some of Vanua Levu’s stunning inland natural attractions like the Vuodomo Waterfall, 30km (18.6 miles) west of Savusavu. Waterfall tours include a visit to the Fijian village before taking a short walk to an impressive waterfall with a swimming hole. It’s a great opportunity to see the “real Fiji”! Waterfall tours are available with Savasi Island, Daku Resort, Koro Sun and Gecko Lodge.
Fishing with the kids is a cliche for a reason – it’s the perfect bonding activity. Why not try fishing in one of the best fishing grounds in the South Pacific (in our biased opinion). While fishing for monsters of the ocean, like mahimahi, wahoo and marlin, is an impressive sight for everyone and something definitely available at resorts such as The Remote Resort, handline fishing is a more “family-friendly” option that the kids can get stuck into too. Try handline fishing (the traditional Fijian way) at resorts like Koro Sun, Savasi Island, Sau Bay and more.
Vanua Levu Family Land Activities
The water gets all the attention in Fiji, but it’s worth spending at least a couple of days exploring the land. Vanua Levu is an excellent part of Fiji to discover the local Fijian culture through village visits or through cultural activities like cooking classes, arts and crafts. At the end of the day, playing a few beach games is a fun and free way to enjoy spending time with the family.
Visit a Fijian Village
With Fijian villages found all over Vanua Levu and the off-shore islands, experiencing the Fijian culture is extremely accessible. Join The Remote Resort for a short boat trip to a Fijian village without power but heartwarming community spirit. Get a glimpse of traditional “meke” dancing at the Daku Resort. Or enjoy one of the other unique village visits available at almost any resort on Vanua Levu.
Sometimes just playing some games together is a great way to relax as a family (or get extremely competitive). Many of the resorts on Vanua Levu have some sort of beach games, from volleyball to croquet. Koro Sun has a fantastic choice of lawn games, such as “ladder toss” and “bocce ball”, as well as tennis courts. Sigasiga Sands also has badminton, kite flying and frisbee in their game collection.
Fijian Arts and Crafts
Get the kids participating in some hands-on experiences like a Fijian cooking class (plus, adults love it too)! The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort has a dedicated Junior Chef Program where they’ll help prepare food from the resort’s organic garden. Alternatively, resorts such as Savasi Island have Fijian weaving classes to learn how to make your own fun Fijian souvenirs.
Resort Activities for Kids
If you’re looking for some time alone and time for the kids to mingle with others their own age, then there are a couple of fantastic resorts on Vanua Levu with the services to provide. However, the choice of resorts with kids’ clubs, nanny services and activities especially for children is much more limited to what is available in the Mamanuca Islands or Denarau Island, for example. Nevertheless, if your heart is set on Vanua Levu, here are the extra touches available to make your dream holiday a reality.
Kids’ Clubs in Vanua Levu
Give everyone in the family their own version of “Fiji time” by taking the little ones to the resort’s kids’ club. The award-winning Bula Club for Kids at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort assigns a nanny for each child under the age of 5, while kids aged 6 to 12 are in groups of five led by a dedicated “buddy”. The Bula Club for Kids runs from 8am to 9pm, which involves exploration, educational games, cultural activities and short excursions within the resort.
Another option is the Jungle Kids Club at the Koro Sun Resort. The Meimei Nanny service is a great option for infants aged 3 years and under, while the Bula Buddy is a program for 4-12-year-olds. Activities include rainforest hikes, Fijian cultural activities, arts and crafts, tidal pool exploration, snorkelling (7+ years) and much more!
Needless to say, your kids will surely have much to tell you by the end of the day!
Babysitting Services in the Vanua Levu Resorts
The number of resorts that offer nanny services is limited. Koro Sun and Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort offer complimentary nanny services as part of their kids’ club programs, while resorts like Savasi Island have nanny services and a more “informal” kids’ club for a small fee.