Cast Away Into the Paradise of the Mamanuca Islands

March 20, 2019

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Captain Cook Cruises Fiji | Blog

Clear waters, bright coral gardens, pristine beaches and lagoons – sound like the holiday you’re dreaming of? The Mamanuca Islands are renowned for such natural beauty and have even been the scenery of choice for films like Tom Hanks’ Cast Away. It’s no wonder this volcanic archipelago is the location where, according to local legend, a mythic box of blessings was lost into the sea.

The Mamanuca Islands are a chain of about 20 islands, many uninhabited, off the west coast of Fiji’s main island. They’re the first stop on our 3 Night Yasawa Islands cruise, where you’ll get to enjoy some of the highlights of the region. However, if the charm of the Mamanuca Islands is too much for you, book a few nights on one of the many resorts and spend some time relaxing and exploring this tropical paradise at your own pace. As part of our 3 Night Reef Endeavour Cruise, we can pick up passengers from a number of resorts in the Mamanuca Islands, so you can even use them as the starting point to your Fiji adventure.


There’s so much that these islands have to offer and we’ve picked some of our favourite beauty spots from the islands to include on our cruise. Here’s some of what you can look forward to if you’ve signed up for our 3 Night Cruise on the Reef Endeavour.

Monuriku Island:

A destination worthy of an Academy Award – or at least an Academy Award-winning film. This is the island where Tom Hanks’ character found himself stranded in the movie Cast Away. We’ll take you on a kayak tour around this idyllic island, which is also home to the endangered Fiji Crested Iguana. There are only two other islands in the world where this Iguana is found.

The Sacred Island:

Be struck by the wondrous beauty of this uninhabited island. Legend tells that this is where the first Fijians landed in their war canoes. Now it’s a paradise where you can swim in the blue waters of the lagoons, discover the live coral gardens by snorkel or glass bottom boat, or simply walk along the white sands of the island’s beaches.


If you plan to stay on one of the resorts at the Mamanuca Islands, there’s plenty you can get up to. Most of the resorts will run their own activities like snorkelling, fishing or scuba diving. Here’s a few other things to do and see on your Fiji holiday in the area.


Village visit to Tavua:

The village of Tavua still holds on to many traditional customs including pottery making. They have been making pottery for the last 100 years. For a special cultural experience visit the village on one of their Shell Market days to browse their local arts and crafts, and even catch a pottery demonstration.

Scuba diving spots:

The Mamanuca Islands are home to some of Fiji’s most spectacular diving sites. One of the most famous is ‘The Supermarket’, just off the coast of Mana Island. Here you’ll be lucky enough to catch sight of white tip and black tip reef sharks who frequent the area, as well as schools of barracuda, red bass snappers and other South Pacific reef fish. Or explore the gullies among the reef at ‘Gotham City’, home to a large number of batfish. You’ll also spot fan, staghorn and elkhorn corals, as well as moray eels and green sea turtles.

Feed endangered turtles:

Treasure Island is home to a turtle protection program that helps to maintain the local endangered hawksbill turtle population. Visitors can help feed the young turtles who hatch on the island’s beaches.



The proximity of the Mamanuca Islands to the main island means it’s easy to travel between locations. From Nadi International Airport you can fly to the Mamanucas direct by helicopter or seaplane. Or you can head to the Denarau Marina, about 20 minutes drive from Nadi, and take a water taxi or catamaran over to one of the islands.


There are a number of luxury resorts you can stay at in the Mamanuca Islands. Our top pick for a relaxing trip is Matamanoa Island Resort. Featuring more pristine waters and secluded beaches, the island also has a policy where guests must be aged 16 years and older making it the perfect destination for honeymooners or couples wanting to escape into the quiet of paradise for a few nights. The Matamanoa Island Resort is also one of the pick up locations on our 3 Night Reef Endeavour Cruise.

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