Magnificent Mamanuca Islands
All celebrities have starred in something cringeworthy in their careers, and while Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands are often known for being the setting for Survivor, they also starred alongside Tom Hanks in Cast Away – where for the majority of the film they were easily the most visually appealing character.
But we guarantee you won’t have to resort to humanising a bloody volleyball for company on these cherry islands, which are only a short float from Nadi city centre and the beautiful resorts of Outrigger. For a day trip from Mamanuca Islands, visit the white sands of Bounty Island or the smaller Yasawa Islands, or make the journey to Castaway Island. Resist the urge to snap a picture with a Fed Ex package here – ironically, this is not the setting of the movie.
Mamanuca Islands’s Top 10
10. Plantation Cove You’d be hard pressed to find a better spot to learn to dive.
5. Scenic Flights Via helicopter you can see where the celebs hang out and get a look at the uninhabited islands.
9. Parasail the Beach The views are incredible (if you can manage to keep your eyes open).
4. Fishing It’s done with rods, not spears, but is still a great way to see some hidden parts of the islands.
8. Cloudbreak Catch a set at one of the most popular and famous surfing spots in Fiji.
3. Sunset Beach Another beauty, this is a popular site for snorkelling as well as watching the sunset.
7. Dolphin Safari Leaving from most major islands as the sun rises. If you’re lucky, you’ll see some turtles, too.
2. South Beach This amazing beach on Mana Island is a sight for sore eyes, although you’ll still probably want to wear sunglasses.
6. Malololailai Island This is the place to head for shopping and, if you need it, a slight return to civilisation.
1. Castaway Island This beautiful resort island features bars, beaches, babes and traditional Fijian food.
Mamanuca Islands History
- Beachcomber – Be ready to experience this island, which is a marine sanctuary.
- Bounty Island – Uncover treasures in the coral island within Mamanuca Islands known for its turtles and a breeding ground for thousands of birds.
- Hibiscus Festival – Celebrated in August, this is one of the most important events in the calendar of Mamanuca.
- Wadigi – A unique and unforgettable private island renowned for honeymooners, it provides exclusive accommodation, gourmet cuisines and first-class service.
- International Triathlon – The island provides an ideal environment for triathletes and is held every February.
Mamanuca Islands Art & Culture
- Nads handicraft – Get quality accessories in this shop that specializes in making and selling Fijian pottery, souvenirs, pottery and clothing.
- Suva Handicraft Centre – Mall in Mamanuca Islands that offers beautifully handcrafted items, such as Fijian baskets and kava bowls.
- Nadi Handicraft Market – Famous place known for black pearls and leather items made in Mamanuca Islands.
- Musket Cove Regatta – A sailing race for yachts held annually in Malololailai, Mamanuca Islands.
- Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day – The last Monday of May is set aside to commemorate this hero, who received the highest award in the French military and died in the First World War.
Mamanuca Islands Shopping
- Morris Hedstrom’s City Centre – Have a great shopping experience in this mall that has a variety of shops, from boutiques, supermarkets and food courts to hardware stores.
- Victoria parade – Shopping street in Suva, Mamanuca Islands, where jewellery, artwork and electronics are sold cheaply.
- Port Denarau – Find brand names and high-end handicrafts.
- Jacks at Fiji – With a worldwide reputation for good customer service, find souvenir clothing and handicrafts.
- Tapoo City – Even the most demanding shopper will be satisfied at this shopping mall in Suva due to its elegance, wide product range and high standards.
Mamanuca Islands Gay & Lesbian
- Viti Levu – Hotel in Mamanuca Islands with assorted gay and lesbian activities.
- Viti Levu Properties – Exclusive gay- and lesbian-owned houses found on Mamanuca Islands.
- Nadi – A place in Mamanuca Islands with many gay pubs and resorts.
- Suva – Hotel and resort near Mamanuca Islands accommodating gays and lesbians.
- Coral Coast – Hotel near Mamanuca Islands for gays and lesbians.
Mamanuca Islands Outdoors
- Scenic Flights – Nothing can beat the thrill of sightseeing trips flying over Mamanuca Islands as you enjoy the scenic white sandy beaches.
- Game Fishing – Enjoy fishing in various traditional fishing villages and beach resorts, which provide an intimate environment.
- Luxury Cruises – Enjoy a luxury cruise as you sightsee in spacious boats in well-planned trips.
- Sailing Charters – Charter yachts are available in Malololailai, Mamanuca Islands.
- Paraflying – Some resorts in Mamanuca Islands offer paraflying equipment and training.
Mamannuca Islands Sport
- Enjoy a round of golf at the Plantation Island Resort
- Snorkel around Beachcomber Island.
- Take pleasure in diving at PADI schools.
- Play a game of volleyball at Navini Beach in the Mamanuca Islands.
- Experience windsurfing at Wadigi.
Mamanuca Islands Events
The Hindu Community celebrates Thaipusam in January by jabbing hooks through their faces and backs. Probably best just to watch, then…
The Mamanuca Islands play host to the Rip Curl Surfing Championships in January. Beach bodies abound.
When April rolls around, the Auckland to Musket Cove Yacht Rally sails in. Give them a warm welcome – they’ve come all the way from New Zealand.
July brings with it the Bula Festival.Cue parades, performances, food stalls and, most importantly, parties.
New Year is a big celebration all across Fiji, with plenty of opportunities to get just as disorderly as you would back home.
When To Go
- The weather is warm and sunny, with winter often just a few degrees cooler than summer.
- Winter is still warm, but not as unpleasantly humid as the summer months.
- In summer, there is a higher chance of tropical rain. However, this often provides welcome relief from the sticky heat.
- It’s easy to catch a taxi in Nadi, but make sure it’s a registered one ordered by your hotel. Unscrupulous locals will gladly rip you off if you look like an easy target.
- If you’re island hopping, everything you need is usually within walkingdistance.
- Boats will get you from island to island if you don’t fancy forking out for a helicopter. All transport options are available from hotels.
Fiji is more than just a postcard paradise incarnate. While the seductive scenery is the principal lure for international visitors who yearn for primo beach time, consider that the country is one of the most eclectic in the South Pacific.
Once the minority, the native population of Fiji now comprises a good half of island inhabitants. However, Indian, Chinese and European influence, for better or for worse, unite with the Melanesian, Micronesian and Polynesian heritage of the country to form one funky and tasty stew. Although a 2006 military coup gave the tourism industry some bad press, the fact of the matter is that conditions are no worse now for visitors from abroad in popular resort areas than prior to the revolt.
One supreme example of the incessant appeal Fiji presents to tourists is the archipelago known as Mamanuca. The network of volcanic islands offers some of the most picturesque spots in the entire South Pacific, let alone Fiji. At 20 islands strong, the tight collection features 7 that disappear under the Pacific Ocean at high tide.
Most visitors to the Mamanuca Islands will enter via Nadi International Airport. As such, attractions in the popular Fiji town of Nadi, from the Sri Siva Subramaniya Hindu Temple, to the Waqadra Botanical Gardens and Garden of the Sleeping Giant, may entice some to stay for a day.
Within the Mamanuca Islands proper, the main attractions revolve around the natural environment and the recreational pursuits they proffer. Pristine coral reefs reveal a kaleidoscope of aquatic wildlife to avid snorkelers and scuba divers.
Luxury catamarans provide those who prefer to lay back a chance to observe the spectacular scenery in style. Rides are available from most resorts on the islands.
Beachcomber Island is a popular day-trip for lunch, water sports and lush beachfront leisure. With a reputation as a backpacker paradise, the island offers nightlife entertainment more suitable for the college set.
The main event on the Mamanuca Islands is rest and relaxation. Most festivals in Fiji celebrate national and spiritual holidays and occur in the capital of Suva. Recreational enthusiasts can of course, choose from a vast array of options. Hotel tour operators can arrange for coral reef excursions, treks into the interior, with requisite peeks at endemic fauna and flora, as well as more adventurous trips to proximate islands.
Most of the action in Mamanuca takes place on Beachcomber Island. A notorious party island, Beachcomber heats up after dusk. For seclusion and a more tranquil brand of fun, Matamanoa Island offers beachfront huts or luxury hotel rooms.
Other than the odd cyclone between the months of November and April, in addition to more intense humidity, the Mamanuca Islands have ideal weather. As is the case with Fiji in general, temperatures stay above 20°C and below 32°C for most of the year.
Mamanuca Islands official guide
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