After just a four-hour plane ride from Sydney, I arrived in paradise – hundreds of Fijian jewels scattered across an aquamarine cushion. Fiji is made up of 332 islands, many of which are uninhabited and have become popular for their snorkelling, diving, hiking and untouched beaches. Greeted with “Bula” by the locals, I set out to discover its most enchanting and secluded islands.
A private and secluded haven, Matamanoa is located in the beautiful Mamanuca group of islands. Surrounded by crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches this breathtaking island is perfect for honeymooners and those looking for a relaxing beach holiday.
Matamanoa is small enough to explore from top to bottom and private enough to swim in your own hidden cove. I find a great way to explore the island is by hiring a kayak and paddling to private beach spots where you can jump off and swim in the warm, tropical Fijian waters.
The snorkelling and diving are also excellent: the reefs off Matamanoa swim with marine life – I floated among colourful tropical fish and over exquisite coral reefs.
Just a short flight from the main island of Fiji lies Matangi Island. Private and secluded, it has a unique horseshoe shape that is marked by white sandy beaches.
This family-owned luxury island hugs a beautiful aqua lagoon. Hiking trails offer spectacular views over Horseshoe Bay and the rainforest is a haven for bird watchers.
Interested divers can experience Matangi’s lively reefs flourishing with hard and soft corals, fish, turtles and impressive local manta rays.
This privately owned island ensures complete seclusion and relaxation by restricting its visitors to couples and single adults only. In fact, it only allows 14 couples on the island as there are only 14 beaches.
From arrival to departure I found the resort staff to be incredibly friendly and helpful, organising private beach picnics, horseriding trips, mountain biking and kayaking.
The private villas look out over Blue Lagoon (made famous by the 1980 movie of the same name) where you can enjoy complete serenity and privacy with breathtaking views.
At the northern tip of the Mamanuca Islands lies Tokoriki. Accessible only by seaplane, boat or helicopter, the island ensures you are isolated in pure paradise.
Fijian hospitality is seamless at Tokoriki and its staff welcomes you to the island with a beautiful Fijian song and musical serenades during lunch and dinner. Tokoriki may be secluded but its dining options are impressive – I can’t go past their famous sandy ice-cream dessert. Enjoy snorkelling, private island picnics, fishing or just relaxing on the pristine, white-sand beaches.
Located in the Lomaiviti group of islands, Wakaya is small and exclusive. A 40-minute plane ride took me from Nadi International Airport to this private retreat. With just 12 rooms on offer at the resort, this island offers seclusion and a place to wind down and relax. Enjoy excellent snorkelling and diving in its crystal-clear waters, or a round of golf at the nine-hole course – just beware of falling coconuts.