South Pacific Family Holidays: How To Choose The Right Island For You

15th Sep 2023 Travel Tips Pacific Holiday Destinations


The sparkling waters and sun-kissed beaches of the South Pacific have long been a dream destination for many. But when you're travelling with the little ones in tow, there are quite a few factors to consider. Which island should you choose? Which one offers the best bang for your buck? And more importantly, which island will have activities for both the adults and the kiddos? Let's dive in!

1. Fiji: All-Round Family Fave

Budget: Moderate to High
Family Size: Great for families of all sizes.
Travel Time: Approximately 3 hours to Nadi from Australia's east coast.
Accommodation: From luxury resorts to affordable family-friendly stays, there are many Fiji hotels where kids stay free.

Tourism Fiji - Family on Beach


Kids Clubs: There are many Fiji resorts with kids clubs that offer activities ranging from Fijian cultural lessons to snorkelling excursions.

Culture and Villages: A visit to a local village is often a highlight, showcasing traditional dances, kava ceremonies and crafts. You can join a village tour to travel with ease.

Water Sports: From kayaking, jet-skiing, to diving, the options are plenty.

The Lowdown: Fiji, with its numerous islands, offers a blend of luxury and affordability. Its well-established tourism means numerous kids' clubs, so parents can take that much-needed break! There are also many all-inclusive Fiji resorts, making budgeting simpler.

2. Vanuatu: A Playground of Unique Adventures

Budget: Moderate
Family Size: Adaptable for all family sizes.
Travel Time: Approximately 4 hours to Port Vila from Australia's east coast.
Accommodation: Range from luxurious resorts and eco-friendly lodges to quaint beach bungalows and even self-catering Vanuatu hotels.



Mt. Yasur: On Tanna Island, families can witness an active volcano, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Underwater Post Office: Located off Hideaway Island, send a waterproof postcard from this unique spot.

Cultural Villages: Experience the local "kastom" and traditions of the Ni-Vanuatu people, including dances and local crafts with a cultural village experience.

The Lowdown: Perfect for families with a sense of adventure. Vanuatu stands out with its unique blend of adventures and cultural experiences. Ideal for families eager to explore beyond the beach and introduce their children to diverse cultures.

3. Cook Islands: The Hidden Gem

Budget: Moderate
Family Size: Perfect for smaller families seeking a serene retreat.
Travel Time: Approximately 6 hours to Rarotonga (with possible Auckland stopover) from Australia's east coast.
Accommodation: Offers self-contained villas and beachfront resorts, emphasising privacy. There are even Cook Islands resorts with babysitting for when the adults need a break.



Lagoon Cruises: Considered one of the most beautiful lagoons globally, snorkelling these crystal clear waters can't be missed, however a Lagoon Cruise is one of the must-do activities.

Island Nights: Revel in traditional Polynesian dances, music and feasts.

Cross-Island Walks: Explore Rarotonga's lush interior with guided family-friendly treks. For older kids or more adventurous families, the Cross-Island Track is a rewarding rainforest hike.

The Lowdown: One of the South Pacific's best kept secrets, the Cook Islands provide a more intimate experience. Rarotonga, the main island, is surrounded by a lagoon, making beach activities safer for younger kids.

4. Samoa: Authenticity at its Best

Budget: Low to Moderate
Family Size: Best for small to medium families.
Travel Time: Approximately 5-6 hours to Apia from Australia's east coast.
Accommodation: Beach fales (thatched huts) and mid-range hotels.

Tosua Trench


Papase'ea Sliding Rocks: Natural water slides for thrill-seekers of all ages.

Beach Days: The pristine beaches, like Lalomanu, are ideal for family picnics.

Tosua Trench: A giant natural swimming hole connected to the sea, it promises an unforgettable swim.

The Lowdown: Samoa retains much of its traditional charm. Think simpler accommodations, fewer tourists and a direct interaction with nature and culture. The cost of living is low, so your money stretches further!

5. Tahiti & French Polynesia: Luxury Defined

Budget: High
Family Size: Best for small families.
Travel Time: Approximately 8-9 hours to Papeete (with possible stopovers) from Australia's east coast.
Accommodation: Renowned for its overwater bungalows and luxury resorts, epitomising tropical opulence.



Bora Bora Lagoonarium: An open-air aquarium where families can swim with rays and sharks.

Island Hopping: Explore the myriad islands, each with its distinct charm.

Polynesian Spas: While this might be more for the adults, many resorts offer pampering treatments in breathtaking settings.

The Lowdown: If you're looking for top-tier luxury and don't mind splurging, this is paradise! While it might be heavy on the pocket, the sheer beauty and luxury make for an incredibly memorable family vacation.

When choosing a South Pacific Island, consider the age of your children and the type of activities that will keep them engaged. Also, remember to balance out kids' activities with some relaxation or adventure for the adults. Whichever island you choose, the South Pacific is bound to leave an indelible mark on your family memories.

Safe travels and don't forget the sunscreen!