Looking for a real “Treasure Island” escape but with the conveniences and amenities of a more commercial destination? Do consider the Mamanuca Islands, located off the coast of the main Fijian island of Viti Levu. Fiji’s romantic and carefree Mamanuca Islands are a group of around 20 very small idyllic islands, of which 7 are covered by the ocean at high tide. Those, naturally, are the ones that don’t have accommodation! They can all be reached from Port Denerau in Nadi – most by boat and some by small aircraft.
You’ll notice on your Fiji vacation, that you can pretty much sum up the attributes of all the islands with this description – clear waters, palm fringed sandy beaches, and live coral reefs. However, you can get an idea of their characteristics apart from those just mentioned, by noting that the movie and tv program, Cast Away and Survivor, have both used the Mamanucas as a location.
Who Would Enjoy a Stay in the Mamanuca Islands
As long as you are not expecting a dynamic day and night scene, the Mamanucas are suitable for couples, families, honeymooners, and singles. They are perfect for those wanting to enjoy a relaxing vacation with time on the beach, or, for the more active, with a whole host of water sports available such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and surfing, to name just a few. Many of the resort hotels are the only one on their particular island – that’s how special these islands are.
The Specific Islands Are….
Malolo Lailai: Also known as Plantation Island, Malolo Lailai is the second largest and most developed of the Mamanuca Islands group. It is a privately-owned island and offers accommodation choices at five establishments. Besides these, there are a few residential houses, a marina, and a golf course. Then there are the white sandy beaches and a palm-fringed lagoon. Malolo Lailai is a place for everyone – couples of all ages, families with children, and groups. All the resorts are built on the shores of a beautiful, but extremely tidal lagoon.
Castaway Island: For a completely peaceful vacation, the small exclusive Castaway Island is covered in rich, tropical rainforest and most importantly, surrounded by wonderful white sandy beaches, coral reefs, and azure-coloured waters. It is a private island catering to romantics and families. Because of the island’s small size, there is only one resort hotel, called simply Castaway Island Resort, which offers good food and comfortable accommodations.
Beachcomber Island: This is a very tiny island with one hotel, namely the Beachcomber Resort, which has the usual water sports facilities.
Mana Island: The beautiful Mana Island is home to two up market resorts, the Mana Island Resort and the Tadrai Island Resort. Walking around the island isn’t really an option because of rocky points on the coast, but there are a couple of 20 minute hikes to Sunset Beach and to a lookout point.
Tokoriki Island: The small, hilly island of Tokoriki has a beautiful, fine white sand beach facing west to allow for fantastic sunsets. There are two upscale hotels here, the Sheraton Resort and Spa and the Tokoriki Island Resort.
Namotu Island: Namotu Island is very tiny, so if you enjoy solitude and peaceful surroundings, this is the place. The Namotu Island Resort caters to a maximum of 26 guests.
Tavarua Island: This heart-shaped island is surrounded by a coral reef and is reserved for surfers. Activities include surfing but also fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. The Tavarua Island Resort here has a pool, spa, workout facility, and tennis court, along with a restaurant facility and two bars.
Treasure Island: Treasure Island offers the Treasure Island Resort, with again all the facilities for water sports enthusiasts. It also offers live band performances and cultural shows.
Monuriki Island: This island is where the movie, Cast Away was filmed. It is totally uninhabited and has a volcanic cone jutting out of the azure waters of the unspoiled marine sanctuary. The Matamanoa Island Resort here has adopted a year round policy of not permitting day-trippers or children under the age of 16 years.
So Mamanucas Anyone?
There are other small islands with typical Mamanuca Islands resorts and facilities – the list goes on. However, swimming close to coral reefs, colourful sunsets, good accommodation, and many more reasons, could just be what the doctor ordered for your Fiji vacation.