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First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

Melbourne
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87 posts
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First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

Hi we are looking at March/April/May next year for 10-12 nights. Want to combine an island with great beaches and food and a mainland stay, do sigatoka river safari, explore, relax and fun. Kids will be 8 & 10. Places we like the look of are - castaway, mana, plantation, outrigger, hideaway, naviti, first landing. Currently looking at an outrigger/castaway combo. Any advice appreciated :)

Dunedin
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for Mana Island, Fiji
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1. Re: First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

Depending on what your proposed budget would be - for an island getaway consider Mana Island. 3 beautiful beaches, fabulous snorkelling and plenty of space to explore & walk etc as the Island is large. Look up www.manafiji.com. If staying 5 nights or more kids under 12 eat free (buffet style) and if parents buy a meal plan - full or half board. Credits are given for adults who wish to eat at the a la carte restaurant each night or just now and again. Mainland - Naviti is popular with families, as is Outrigger - depends how far from Nadi you wish to travel. Remember it will take a day travelling to get from Coral Coast to an island destination.

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Naviti Resort
Naviti Resort
2,045 Reviews
Viti Levu, Fiji
Mana Island Resort
Mana Island Resort
1,675 Reviews
Mana Island, Fiji
Nadi
Nadi
Viti Levu, Fiji
Coral Coast
Coral Coast
Viti Levu, Fiji
New South Wales...
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for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
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2. Re: First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

The Outrigger/Castaway combo is a popular choice and will spoil you with two of the best family resorts on offer in the Manamucas & Coral Coast.

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Coral Coast
Coral Coast
Viti Levu, Fiji
Melbourne
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3. Re: First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

Thanks filacrose, Mana does look beautiful, it's one of our top choices. Im unsure whether to look at full or half board options if we go there? The travel from coal coast out to an island is a bit of an issue but we really want to do the Sigatoka river safari so thought some time on the coral cost would be good too? Our budget is about $8000 all up (airfares from Melbourne included). Thanks so much for your advice, having never been it's great to get advice from people who have :)

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Sigatoka River Safari
Sigatoka River Safari
1,272 Reviews
Viti Levu, Fiji
Melbourne
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4. Re: First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

Thanks Tez, yes the combo sounds fantastic, although I've just had a quote and it's a little more expensive than I had first thought. It comes in at just over $10,000 all up so I'm considering changing to Mana/outrigger? Or another similar combination. Was hoping to stay under $8000. Thanks for your feedback, both places sound wonderful. I've heard good reports about First Landing as well although it's nowhere near sigatoka where we would like to be.

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First Landing Beach Resort & Villas
First Landing Beach...
872 Reviews
Viti Levu, Fiji
Melbourne
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5. Re: First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

Thanks filacrose, Mana does look beautiful, it's one of our top choices. Im unsure whether to look at full or half board options if we go there? The travel from coal coast out to an island is a bit of an issue but we really want to do the Sigatoka river safari so thought some time on the coral cost would be good too? Our budget is about $8000 all up (airfares from Melbourne included). Thanks so much for your advice, having never been it's great to get advice from people who have :)

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Sigatoka River Safari
Sigatoka River Safari
1,272 Reviews
Viti Levu, Fiji
New South Wales...
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6. Re: First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

Castaway is one of the most expensive family island resorts so if you want to reduce your spend, consider an alternative island. Of those you have listed, Mana would be next choice followed by Plantation.

With either of those you will still be able to include Outrigger which offers the most convenient access to both Nadi & Sigatoka.

We love First Landing and are spending a couple of nights there in Oct. but it's not really the place I would want to spend a week. Better for a short stay either end of your holiday to relax & unwind.

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First Landing Beach Resort & Villas
First Landing Beach...
872 Reviews
Viti Levu, Fiji
Nadi
Nadi
Viti Levu, Fiji
Sigatoka
Sigatoka
Viti Levu, Fiji
New Zealand
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for Mamanuca Islands
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7. Re: First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

If staying on the Coral Coast is primarily about day trips you could consider staying at Bedarra just a few minutes walk away from Outrigger. It's not a resort though, more hotel style (have a read of their reviews to get a better idea). It would be much cheaper and a good base for any day trips you would like to do. Actually quite a lot of Outrigger guests go to Bedarra for meals, excellent happy hour too. :)

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Coral Coast
Coral Coast
Viti Levu, Fiji
Melbourne
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8. Re: First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

Thanks again everyone, Im loving the look of Mana. Some of the reviews about food concern me but I guess a holiday is what you make it and there are equally good reviews on there also. The scenery looks magical.

Thanks for the tip on Bedarra too Dianz, fantastic reviews for such a great price! We do want to do a few day trips but also take some time to just relax. My only concern at Bedarra would be where there would be enough for the kids to do? If it was just me and my partner I would jump at it. I will have another look through to see if any reviews with kids staying.

Thanks again everyone I really appreciate you taking the time to give me some advice. We are so excited to be planning this trip :)

Melbourne
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9. Re: First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

We have just been given a really good price on Shangri La 6 nights/Plantation Island 7 nights. Wondering if this would be a good combination?

The price is for March and airfare section has to be paid by Monday. Not sure whether to just book it or keep looking? Then have to decide on meal plans etc..

Any advice appreciated :)

Edited: 30 August 2013, 09:59
New South Wales...
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10. Re: First time to Fiji with 8 & 10 yo's, island/ mainland combo

Is this holiday based on your budget or the quality of your holiday? IMHO - if you were originally looking at Outrigger/Castaway - you would not be happy with that combo. If it's budget driven - then go for this deal. If you have minimum expectations of your holiday stay - keep looking. March is much cheaper as it is low season due to the increased risk of cyclones during that time. Many people are prepared to take the risk of bad weather at this time of year as a trade off for the lower prices and many have a successful holiday. Last year, many were forced to cancel their plans and re-schedule due to floods.......

Consider your priorities and then plan around those.

e.g. On mainland is it important to have a resort stay or will you be too busy going off on day trips? If not, try Bedarra as suggested. If a resort is important but Outrigger/ShangriLa are over budget, look at Hideaway or Sonaisali - both offer great deals.

Is an island stay going to be the highlight of your trip? What's more important - standard of accommodation and food or range of activities on offer? Mana is a good alternative to Castaway at a much lower price but Plantation is definitely a budget stay with a huge range of activities to keep guests busy. If Mana is over budget - certainly go for Plantation - many people enjoy that style of resort. PS - it is rare for a commercial style resort in Fiji to NOT get bad reviews on food as the food IS different to Australia/NZ. Sausages are more like our hotdogs, they don't eat huge slabs of meat like we do and often rely on fresh produce. If you eat the things they do well (fish, curries, traditional style food) and steer clear of the "western" dishes, you are more likely to enjoy your food and experience something different rather than have to complain about western dishes not done "the same as at home".

Edited: 30 August 2013, 11:03
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Sonaisali Island
Sonaisali Island
Viti Levu, Fiji
Fiji
Fiji
South Pacific