MAMANUCAS AND YASAWAS
The Mamanuca (pronounced Mah-mah-noo-tha) islands lie in a majestic arc, only a short distance from the mainland of Viti Levu, curving to the north-west, and almost touching the Yasawa chain.
There are 13 islands in all, not counting those covered by the Pacific at high tide and they all share in common pristine white sandy beaches, waving palms, crystal blue waters and, at night, the cooling influence of the trade winds.
The Manacus are essentially volcanic outcrops pushed up from the ocean floor in a gigantic earthquake thousands of years ago. Some are especially significant in Fijian folklore.
From the air you can see that the Mamanucas group is in fact two clusters shown as Mamanuca-i-ra and Mama-nuca-i-cake.
Within the Mamanucas is the Malolo group, three miles inside the barrier reef, extending in a curve for about 75 miles.
A number of resort islands are scattered throughout the Malolo group, each offering comfortable casual bure (Fijian style cottage) accommodation, a relaxing holiday atmosphere and a range of water activities. There are boat excursion, fishing trips, and water sports including water skiing, wind surfing, snorkelling, diving, sailing, speed boat riding, and coral viewing.
Malololailai is the centre for most tourism to and from the Mamanucas. It has safe anchorage, a cosmopolitan community of Fijians and Indians and an airstrip serviced regularly from Nadi.
Other resort islands within the group include Beachcomber Island, Castaway Island, Malolo Island, Mana Island, Matamanoa Island, Musket Cove, Navini, Plantation Island, Tavarua Island, Treasure Island and Tokoriki, which is located in the furthest from the mainland.
The Yasawa Islands have a different ambience. They are a chain of 16 volcanic islands and dozens of tiny islets stretching 80 kilometres in a north-north east direction off the west coast of Viti Levu. They are special because of their beautiful, isolated beaches, cliffs, bays and reefs, unspoiled by much tourist development. Because they sit in the lee of Viti Levu, the Yasawas are dry and many with crystal clear waters.
It was from the north end of the Yasawas that two canoe-loads of cannibals appe4ared in 1789 and gave Captain William Bligh and his 18 companions a chase, less than a week after the famous mutiny. Two centuries later, cruise ships ply the island chain and its waters, while more and more luxury resort dot the islands' foreshores. The group was romanticise4d in the movie "The Blue Lagoon" twice, once in 1949 with Jean Simmons and again in 1980 with Brooke Shields.
The islands of the group are Waya Island, the highest in the Yasawas, Tavewa Island, a strikingly beautiful small island about two kilometres long. Turtle Island, which has the ultimate resort owned by Richard Evanson who bought the island in 1972. Yasawa Island, Sawa-i-Lau Island with its large limestone cave illuminated by a crevice at the top, Naviti Island which is the largest of the Yasawa and Viwa, the most remote, squatting alone 25 kilometres northwest of Waya.
THROUGH THE EYES OF AN EAGLE
An aerial tour of the islands and highlands will allow you to see Fiji as only the birds can. Island Hoppers offer a range of sightseeing trips ranging from a 20 minute 'buege' trip to a customised all day adventure.
Island Hoppers' Budget Package will take you for a 20 minute flight out over the rugged, picturesque Sabeto mountain range and into the waterfall-veiled gorges of Mt. Evans. En route you will hover over the pristine rainforested canopy and marvel at the stunning rock formations of the gorge, then return home over the Garden of the Sleeping Giant and the cane fields of rural Nadi.
Fly over Nadi Bay to the tranquil Mananuca group of islands on the Islands Highlands tour which will give you around 40 minutes of flying time with close-up views of Musket Cove, Plantation, Naitasi, Castaway and Navini Resorts.
Turning back east, you will pass over scattering of tiny coral islands.Vuda Point, the lush Sabeto Hills and spectacular gorges of Mt. Evans.
Island Hoppers will also take you to or from all the Mamanuca Island Resorts in breathtaking style on one of the regular fast convenient resort transfers from Nadi Airport and Denarau Island (Sheraton Resorts). It is possible for one or more persons to tag-a-l on one of these flights which can take up to 40-60 minutes. On the Tag-a-long Tour you will stop briefly at one or more of the offshore island resorts and view the beautiful Mamanuca island group en-route.
It is hard to beat the thrill of flying in a jet powered helicopter over the highlands, the resorts and the shimmering waters of inner reef with experienced helicopter pilots showing you their favourite spots. All you have to do is relax in comfort, keep your camera poised and enjoy the view.
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BLUE LAGOON CRUISES
It is in this remote corner of the world's most romantic ocean that the South Seas promise is fulfilled by Blue Lagoon Cruises, with day after day of brilliant sunshine and a thousand clear white beaches fringed by tall palm trees and calm blue lagoons.
Many liken a Blue Lagoon Cruise to a sojourn on a well appointed private motor yacht with a select group of international passengers. Blue Lagoon Cruises offers the Gold Club Cruise for your days around the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands and there is a choice of three day, four day and seven day Club Cruises. Private charters are also available.
Each vessel has been specially designed to accommodate only 40 to 70 passengers in air-conditioned staterooms or cabins, all with en suites. The newest addition to the fleet brings unrivalled luxury cruising to the South Pacific with the Gold Club Cruise aboard the custom built MV Mystique Princess.
THE ULTIMATE SOUTH PACIFIC EXPERIENCE
The MV Mystique Princess is an elegant and luxurious mint cruise liner which offers passengers the many comforts and refinements associated with international and first class cruising. Designed to create the ambience of a millionaire's private motor yacht, the Mystique Princess features 36 spacious air-conditioned state rooms with kingsize or twin beds, a sofa, an international self-dial telephone system, individual stateroom temperature controls, a personal safe, mini bar, a video and audio system as well as sensational views from the large panoramic windows. Guests' comfort is extended to the bathroom with state-of-the-art fixtures, a large mirror, dual power supplies and a hairdryer.
Public areas of the Mystique Princess include a stunning entrance foyer, an air-conditioned dining saloon with adjacent bar, two large sundecks, a well stocked boutique as well as an elegant forward lounge and a specially-designed wrap-around rear boarding platform for easy access to and from the ship.
All the vessels are available for private charter around the Yasawa and Mamanucas as well as other islands in the Fiji group. After more than 40 years of cruising the sheltered lagoons, passages and reefs of the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, Blue Lagoon Cruises has perfected leisurely and carefully planned itineraries with a maximum cruising time of four hours each day. So there is plenty of time to go ashore and enjoy the Yasawa Islander's song and dance performances (meke), which recount the Island legends, the battles fought and even the love found. No island visit is complete without a traditional yaqona (kava) ceremony which is performed for honoured guests.
While at anchor there is a choice of activities from bushwalks to a game of volley ball or a swim in the crystal clear lagoons and a snorkelling expedition with the tropical fish.
Fijians have an international reputation for fun-loving friendliness and Blue Lagoon Cruise's professional crews are no exception. Their service is first class and they are as eager to explain legend or sing a song (sere), as they are to serve a refreshing cool drink or share true island hospitality with a delicious traditional earth oven feast, the lovo.
Perhaps this is why Blue Lagoon Cruise is known as the ultimate South Pacific experience.
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BLUE LAGOON CRUISES
VOMO ISLAND RESORT
Situated between the Yasawa and Mamanuca groups of Islands, 30 kilometres from Nadi International Airport, Vomo and Vomo Kaulai (small Vomo) cover approximately 90 hectares which are the exclusive preserve of al Vomo guests.
Perfect for the more discerning traveller, Vomo Island Resort lies amid a gentle slope of mango forests, coconut groves and golden unspoiled beaches with pristine reefs extending right up to the island's spectacular shoreline.
SAVOUR PARADISE IN STYLE
A mere 30 spacious villas dot the island, with 21 nestled tropical gardens just steps away from the beach and even villas located on the slopes of Vomo's mountains.
Interiors feature exotic natural timbers with exquisite hardwood floors, tropical furniture and original oil paintings and each villa opens onto its own spacious private lanai offering stunning ocean views. All villas are air-conditioned and have ceiling fans, in-room mint bar, refrigerator, ISD/IDD telephone tea/coffee making facilities, a separate living room, luxurious bathroom with shower and spa bath, separate make-up/vanity area and hairdryer. With in-villa dining, maid service and complimentary pressing service. Vomo guests are pampered in style.
Three restaurants are perfectly positioned to take advantage of their natural surroundings and offer a range of delectable dining prepared with flair, imagination and only the finest ingredients. Beyond the Reef Restaurant offers a la carte all day dining, the Gazebo serves fine international fare in the evenings, or for more casual dining. On the Rocks Restaurant is an open air restaurant serving a seafood buffet. Live music can be enjoyed nightly before or after dinner at the Reef Lounge or the Rocks Bar.
Once reserved exclusively as the playground for Fiji's kings of old, the history of Vomo is recalled in the cultural evenings with traditional entertainment that can be organized by Vomo staff.
Today this playground has the added attractions of an outdoor fresh water swimming pool, spectacular snorkelling and scuba diving, deep sea fishing, windsurfing, paddleboards and sailing if you don't feel like getting wet, there is volley ball, a tennis court, table tennis, croquet, board games, petanque, a morning stretch/jogging group, mountain hikes, bushwalking, coconut tree climbing, shopping at the resort boutique and a par 3 golf course. Also available is the therapeutic massage services for all guests.
Join an island safari, a sunset cruise, one of the schooner and speed boat trips to neighbouring islands, or order a gourmet picnic basket and explore Vomo Lai Lai. If this sounds too active, you can sink into one of the deluxe double hammocks which are scattered along the fringing beaches and just laze in the sun with a good book and a delicious cocktail in hand.
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VOMO ISLAND RESORT