Fiji with kids: Malolo Island and the Coral Coast

In May 2023 we travelled to Fiji on a family trip where we spent seven days on Malolo Island followed by a week on Denaru at the Intercontinental Resort.

Our daughter Zoey had just turned two, plus we were travelling with her 18 month old cousin. What could possibly go wrong travelling with two young kids? I had spent months stressing about safety concerns, from food and weather, to mosquitoes and sleeping arrangements. Luckily, all my worries disappeared the moment we arrived in Fiji.

Here’s how we spent two weeks in Fiji, and why I highly recommend travelling to Fiji with young kids.

Sheraton Fiji Golf & Beach Resort

After a three hour flight from Sydney, we arrived in Fiji at 7pm local time and hopped in a taxi straight to the Sheraton. It wasn’t a long taxi ride from the airport to this resort, which we’d strategically chosen as it also isn’t far from the catamaran we’d be catching the next day.

Sheraton gardens, Fiji

The rooms were beautiful and clean at the Sheraton, and there’s a buggy service that will come and pick you up and drop you off if need be.

I’d stay at the Sheraton again. It’s gardens and pools are beautiful, there’s a kids club (with a mini trampoline), and the buffet breakfast – and themed dinner – was really good.

Mark and Zoey go swimming in the Sheraton pool in Fiji

Zoey formed one of her core memories on night one when Mark picked up a gecko to show her. As he gently held the gecko, it lept from his hand onto Zoey’s shoulder. She shrieked and got a fright, and none of us could contain our laughter. Fast forward almost a year and still to this day she says “Remember when that gecko jumped on me in Fiji?” at least twice a week. Thankfully we turned that memory into a good one, and she now loves lizards.

In the morning we met with the family for breakfast at the restaurant and enjoyed a quick swim in the pool before we hopped in a pre-booked taxi to Port Denaru for the 11am catamaran ride to Malolo Island.

Mark waiting for the South Sea Cruise to Malolo Island at Port Denaru

The catamaran from Denaru to Malolo Island

We pre-booked resort transfer tickets for a South Sea Cruises ride from Port Denaru to Malolo Island.

Tip: Stock up on medicine, food and water at Port Denaru as options to buy things are extremely limited when you arrive on Malolo Island.

Plus, there are minimal snack options onboard the South Sea Cruises ship, so make sure you bring all the snacks and activities required for a two hour catamaran ride with young kids.

The catamaran ride to Malolo is longer on the way there as Malolo is the last stop after a range of islands are visited to drop other resort passengers off. On the way back to Denaru, the boat ride is only 20 minutes as Malolo Island resort-dwellers are the last to board.

Malolo Island Resort

The moment we arrived at Malolo Island Resort we well and truly felt like we were being welcomed home. As the boat pulled up to the wharf a group of staff were singing and smiling as we disembarked. We were greeted with cool washcloths and a glass of water while we waited to be taken to our beachfront chalets.

Malolo Island Resort as seen from the Tree Tops restaurant during the day

Once we’d unpacked our things, we headed straight for the restaurant to quickly grab lunch (which finishes at 2pm each day). Kids eat for free at a buffet which always has delicious options – perfect for picky eaters.

Milly and Zoey entering Malolo Island Resort

After lunch we spent the afternoon in the swimming pool, followed by a beautiful dinner. Each night we booked a nanny to sit by our kids rooms while they slept so we could go and enjoy a kid-free dinner.

Mark and Dave walking with Zoey and Issy at Malolo Island Resort
Walking to lunch with Dad and uncle Dave.
Malolo Island resort at night

Rinse and repeat this routine for another six days, and we had an excellent time at Malolo Island Resort.

The sun setting behind Castaway Island, as seen from Malolo Island

On one of the nights we enjoyed a kava ceremony after dinner (while the kids were in bed). Kava tastes terrible, but I will say I definitely felt calm and slept better than any other night in Fiji. I don’t recommend having too much kava, though.

A man mixes kava during a ceremony in Fiji

Intercontinental Resort

After a relaxing time on Malolo Island we began our journey back to the mainland, where we catch a one hour taxi ride from Port Denaru to the Intercontinental Resort which is down on the coral coast near Natadola Beach.

Intercontinental Resort on Natadola Beach, Fiji

We stayed here to celebrate my brother-in-law and sister-in-laws beautiful wedding which was held at the resort.

Our time at the Intercontinental was filled with wedding preparations and relaxation by the pool – plus chasing young kids around.

Kids don’t eat for free at this resort, but the kids menu is really good at the Toba Bar & Grill, where we ate lunch every day.

At night we enjoyed sundowners at the Kama Lounge, where a few nights a week they have a fire show on the beach.

The Kama lounge beneath the reception at Intercontinental Resort, Fiji

Each night we booked nannies to sit on the balcony and listen out for the kids if they needed us. Thankfully our kids were so young they went to bed at 6pm every night, and we had the evening to enjoy ourselves kid-free.

One night, we enjoyed a special group dinner at Navo in a private dining room, which was a lot of fun and the food was incredible. Definitely worthwhile if you’ve got a bit of extra cash to splash.

Sunset from our room at the Intercontinental Fiji

The verdict

Travelling around Fiji is really easy. The people are extremely kind and generous with their time, and ultimately most kids love anything to do with sand, water and food.

This wasn’t our usual type of trip. We’re used to camping or backpacking, but we would definitely visit Fiji again for something different. Next time we’d incorporate more trips out of the resort to see local villages, go hiking and further explore the outer islands.

So if you’re thinking about travelling to Fiji with kids and have heard someone say “What’s the point, they won’t remember it?” Just remember, that might be true, but you (the parent) always will.

What do you want to know before you go to Fiji with the family? Let me know in the comments section.

This post contains affiliate links.

April 2, 2024

Malolo Island Resort wharf

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