But then there’s nowhere safer for families to holiday in the world than French Polynesia. Locals live largely within extended family structures and look out for each other – there’s virtually no crime, especially on outer islands, and visiting children are revered. It’s Polynesian custom that children be raised across entire families, or sometimes by family friends, and responsibility for their welfare extends well beyond parents – this same level of care is shown to visiting children. You should think of French Polynesia as a nation of babysitters; you won’t be able to visit without locals cooing over your infants, or looking out for your teens.
There’s a large selection of family friendly accommodation available in French Polynesia. Large family villas are available across all the islands of French Polynesia from as little as $550 AUD per week, while there’s also many serviced apartments and family condominiums to choose from. However, should you prefer to stay within a resort, many resorts also offer larger family suites, some with kitchenettes.
Even Bora Bora – the most renowned honeymoon destination on Earth – offer families specialised holidaying options. The Four Seasons Resort – one of the world’s top romantic retreats – offer Chill Island, a private island complete with its own private beach, for teens-only. Teens between 13 and 17 can mix at indoor and outdoor lounge areas, playing pool, video games and organised sports such as kite-surfing or volleyball, while the Four Seasons also offer the Tamarii Club for younger children. Another of Bora Bora’s most romantic resorts, the St Regis Bora Bora Resort, also have a kids club for children between five and 12 as well as a calm ‘lagoonarium’ for family-friendly snorkeling. Resorts on Moorea and Tahiti also offer world-class kids clubs.
French Polynesia offers families a large number of activities, primarily based around the water. Families can take snorkeling and diving tours, swim with marine animals like sting rays and reef sharks, go kayaking on calm lagoons or take horse rides or land-based excursions into villages and French Polynesia’s mountainous hinterland. Families can also hire bicycles to explore the quiet back roads of French Polynesia’s many islands, or take quad bike tours through French Polynesia’s rugged, undeveloped hinterland.