ARRIVING at the pristine private paradise, Castaway Island, in the heart of Fiji’s Mamanuca Island group, was the stuff my travel dreams are made of.
Beautiful Fijian voices serenade us as we step onto the beach and marvel at the azure water, coral reef and talcum white sand.
Checking into my Beach Bure, I am impressed by the fine soft furnishings scattered over day lounges. The king-sized bed is layered with a “Bula Family” welcome sign and there’s a bathroom large enough to satisfy most couples and small families.
With just enough time to take in the bure and the ever-changing sunset beach views, it’s time to enjoy a private Kava ceremony at Mokimokiti, followed by a beautiful dinner at Castaway’s 1808.
The next morning, I discover breakfast at Castaway is an experience not to be missed. The aptly named Water’s Edge restaurant hugs the shoreline and it feels as though you are eating your poached eggs and sourdough on a seaside cliff.
More sun and relaxation ensue and without even realising it, it’s midday and time to leave Castaway for an even more private island paradise.
Modriki Island was made famous in the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away, hence the name of our resort. We travel in true James Bond style, via speedboat, which takes 30 minutes to reach the island. Along the way we are lucky to see a pod of over 30 dolphins, which we are told is a rare sight.
Arriving at Modriki Island, I am taken aback by the sheer size of the cliff face made famous in the movie. The water seems bluer, if possible, than Castaway, which can be seen in the far distance.
There are a few people around, brought in by other tours and resorts, but you do still feel as if you’re the only one inhabiting the island, waiting for ‘Wilson’ to wash up on the shore.
Castaway Island provide a picnic lunch on the tour however their idea of picnic is much fancier than my old blanket and a sandwich in the park.
Inside the intricate Japanese box, there is a smorgasbord of delights such as fried chicken, prawns, fresh salad and fruit. A Champagne cork pops and I have to pinch myself that places like this even exist.
Even though you could spend a lifetime on Modriki, it’s time to leave once the late afternoon sun goes down.
Sun kissed and a few Champagnes down, the boat ride is a little choppier on the return journey but nothing can wipe the smile off my face.
It is a lovely thought knowing a place as beautiful as this - and a culture of people who put your wellbeing and happiness before their own - is just a four-hour flight from Sydney.
I know I will return to Fiji and my new ‘family’ very soon.