Mamanuca Islands

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The Mamanuca (pronounced Mah-mah-noo-tha) islands lie to the west of Nadi and off the mainland of Viti Levu. These volcanic outcrops follow a very majestic arc, curving to the northwest and nudging the Yasawa chain. They formed thousands of years ago, and through the passage of time and generational change, they hold major significance in Fijian folklore. The archipelago of islands is comprised of two distinct groups known as Mamanuca-i-ra and Mamanuca-i-cake.  The famous movie Castaway, released in the year 2000 and starring Tom Hanks, placed these islands on the world stage, having been filmed on the Monu and Monuriki…

Whether you are on your honeymoon or vacationing with your family, the Mamanuca Islands offer a wide range of accommodations. From the budget party islands, catering to the young at heart who wish to dance into the early hours of the morning, to the family-oriented resorts designed for the little ones and the parents alike, leading to the five-star top-end adult-only luxurious venues when you want to completely escape with someone special.

Mamanuca Islands Weather & Climate

MonthMin Temp *Max Temp **Water TempPrecipitationRainy DaysSunshine Hours
January22°C (71.6°F)31°C (87.8°F)28°C (82.4°F)300mm (11.8in)17214
February23°C (73.4°F)31°C (87.8°F)28°C (82.4°F)303mm (11.9in)18184
March22°C (71.6°F)31°C (87.8°F)28°C (82.4°F)324mm (12.8in)19190
April21.0°C (69.8°F)30.0°C (86°F)27.0°C (80.6°F)173mm (6.8in)14198
May20.0°C (68°F)29.0°C (84.2°F)27.0°C (80.6°F)80mm (3.1in)9212
June19.0°C (66.2°F)29.0°C (84.2°F)26.0°C (78.8°F)62mm (2.4in)5206
July18.0°C (64.4°F)28.0°C (82.4°F)26.0°C (78.8°F)47mm (1.9in)4218
August18.0°C (64.4°F)28.0°C (82.4°F)25.0°C (77°F)59mm (2.3in)5231
September19.0°C (66.2°F)29.0°C (84.2°F)25.0°C (77°F)77mm (3.0in)7215
October20.0°C (68°F)30.0°C (86°F)26.0°C (78.8°F)103mm (4.1in)8227
November21.0°C (69.8°F)30.0°C (86°F)27.0°C (80.6°F)139mm (5.5in)11222
December22.0°C (71.6°F)31.0°C (87.8°F)27.0°C (80.6°F)159mm (6.3in)15225
Table: Mamanuca Islands Weather & Climate – – Usually the minimum temperature is noted during the night ** – The average maximum daytime temperature °C – Celsius, also called centigrade, scale based on 0° for the freezing point of water and 100° for the boiling point of water. °F – Fahrenheit temperature scale, scale based on 32° for the freezing point of water and 212° for the boiling point of water, the interval between the two being divided into 180 equal parts. Primarily used in the United States

Getting to and around the Mamanuca Islands

Tavewa Seabus
Tavewa Seabus | Image: Supplied

With the distinct turquoise water, mild, gentle breezes, coconut palm trees hugging the coastline, and all-year-round sunshine, some of the islands are significantly enveloped with dense forest, home to many unique flora and fauna only found in Fiji.  Explore the beauty of the Mamanuca islands, skim through the crystal clear waters via ferry, or experience a breathtaking low-flying scenic transfer via helicopter or seaplane.  We have created a shortlist of the different transports available to and from the Mamanuca Islands to start your Fijian adventure in style.

Ferries and Water Taxis

AWESOME ADVENTURES | DEPARTS FROM PORT DENARAU – Explore the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji at your own pace.  Awesome Adventures offer a range of Passes and Packages. Be it a spur-of-the-moment flexible trip or something a bit more organized, they have the right travel options for you.

TAVEWA SEABUS  | DEPARTS LAUTOKA DAILY – provide transfers between the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands.  The vessel is a fully licensed passenger catamaran taking a maximum of 60 passengers at any one time.

SEAFIJI | DEPARTS FROM PORT DENARAU – Sea Fiji offers a fast boat transfer service from Port Denarau to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands They have been in operating for 16 years.

Helicopter Island-Hoppers Transfer

ISLAND HOPPERS | DEPARTS FROM NADI AIRPORT – Island Hoppers is simply the fastest way to and from your Resort Holiday. Experience the thrill of flying in one of our helicopters over the shimmering waters of the inner reef. Our own air-conditioned courtesy transport operating on Denarau & Nadi Airport ensures fast, seamless transfers between Island Resorts.

Scenic Seaplane Transfer

TURTLE AIRWAYS  | DEPARTS FROM WAILOLOA BEACH, NADI – Our mission is to offer our passengers a breathtaking low-flying scenic transfer that is safe, reliable, convenient, fast, and affordable. With limited holiday time in Fiji, our passengers are looking to get more out of their stay. We deliver on this, with flights departing every other hour to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands.

Definitely Do Not Miss

Large Decks at Seventh Heaven Fiji
Large Decks at Seventh Heaven Fiji | Image: Supplied

The Mamanuca Islands are a world-class destination for surfing and diving, and with internationally recognized instructors available at several resorts, this is the perfect time to learn several different watersports, opening up a world of adventure.

Spending a half-day at either Cloud 9 or Seventh Heaven Fiji is a must when navigating across the islands; the two-level floating platforms, each surrounded by turquoise blue water and Instagrammable views, have internationally stocked bars and an Italian wood-fired pizzeria.

Malamala Beach Club, the world’s first beach club, and Rocks Beach Club Event on Vomo Island throughout the week provide individuals with the opportunity to experience 5-star resort facilities, including infinity pools, delicious cuisine, an array of local and international beverages, a mix of upbeat tunes, and occasional live acts from local talents.

Star Rating Mamanuca Islands Accommodation

Poolside at Six Senses Fiji
Poolside at Six Senses Fiji | Image: Supplied
2-2.5 StarRatu Kini Dive Resort
3-3.5 StarPlantation Island Resort, Beachcomber Island Resort, Treasure Island Resort, Octopus Resort, Funky Fish Beach and Surf Resort
4-4.5 StarMana Island Resort & Spa, Musket Cove Island Resort & Marina, Malolo Island Resort, Tropica Island Resort, Castaway Island, Lomani Island Resort, Matamanoa Island Resort
5 StarTadrai Island Resort, Wadigi Private Island Resort, Six Senses Fiji, Tokoriki Island Resort, Vomo Island Fiji, Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Sheraton Resort & Spa Tokoriki Island
Table: The table above has categorised all the venues in the Mamanuca Islands by their star rating.

Mamanuca Group of Islands | Location of the Resorts

Beachfront Activities shed at Malolo Island Resort Fiji, Mamanuca Islands, Fiji
Beachfront Activities shed at Malolo Island Resort Fiji, Mamanuca Islands, Fiji | Image: Supplied
BEACHCOMBERBeachcomber Island Resort
MALAMALAMalamala Beach Club
MALOLOMalolo Island Resort, Tropica Island Resort, Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Six Senses Fiji, Funky Fish Beach Resort
MALOLOLAILAIMusket Cove Island Resort & Marina, Plantation Island Resort, Lomani Island Resort
MANATadrai Island Resort, Mana Island Resort & Spa
MATAMANOAMatamanoa Island Resort
NAMOTUNamotu Island Resort
NAVININavini Island Resort
CASTAWAYCastaway Island Resort
TAVARUATavarua Island Resort
TOKORIKITokoriki Island Resort
TREASURETreasure Island Resort
VOMOVomo Island Resort
WADIGIWadigi Island Resort
Table: Mamanuca Group of Islands | Location of the Resorts. Other Islands | EORI, BOUNTY) ISLAND, KADOMO, MANU, MODRIKI, MONU, MONURIKI, YADUA. NAVADRA, SOUTH SEA, TAVUA, TIVUA, VOMOLAILAI

Historical Snapshot – Likuliku Island Resort

Aerial View of the Over Water Bures at Likuliku Lagoon Resort in Fiji
Over Water Bures at Likuliku Lagoon Resort | Image: Supplied

Fiji Islands Beginnings:

The history of Fiji and her islands, according to mythology, begins about 1500 BC with a voyage of giant war canoes from Taganika north of Egypt. Leading the armada on the giant double hull canoe “Kaunitoni” was warrior Chief Lutunasobasoba assisted by his General Degei. Legend has it that the armada was carrying some special cargo – treasures from the Temple of King Solomon in Judah including a special box called the Katonimana (“Kato” meaning case and “Mana” being magic), which in Fijian literally means the “Box of Blessings”.

The armada carried rations, families, warriors, and skilled craftsmen including Lapita Potterers.

The armada traveled via the Yasawas and as the reefs were treacherous around Vita Levu, they had to keep traveling South West to find a passage to enter the Fiji Waters. This passage was the Momi passage. It was here around Matamanoa, Mana and Likuliku, that the giant outrigger canoe “Kaunitoni” met inclement weather and the “Box of Blessings” slipped off the outrigger canoe. Lutunasobasoba gave orders to let it go, believing it was the will of the gods.

Lutunasobasoba then named the 3 Islands Mata-manoa (“Mata” means eye, “Manoa” means wind), which literally means “eye of the strong wind”, the other island “Mana ” means magic, to mark the area where the Box of Blessings fell and Likuliku because it was here the armada experienced calm waters again.

The convoy landed at Vuda Point a beach 13km (8 miles) from Nadi airport on the big Island Viti Levu. Lutunasobasoba gave specific instructions that no one was to ever try and retrieve the “Katonimana” that was in the Mamanuca seas. The Gods made their decision clear that it was to remain in the Mamanucas, and anyone who tried to tamper with the box would be cursed. Lutunasobasoba also predicted that this group of islands would be a great source of prosperity for the Fijian people in the future.

Degei returned to the Mamanucas to retrieve the box of blessings but only retrieved a big diamond outside the box. Immediately he was cursed and transformed into a snake with the diamond marked on his head for eternity. For the rest of his life he would crawl on his stomach, and be trapped in an ocean cave in Sawa-i-lau in the Yasawas (visitors can visit this cave today).

The Fijians believe that this box is still buried today in the oceans between Likuliku and Mana guarded by two giant clams. It is this box that they believe has brought great blessings to all the villages in the area and the people who visit the islands. So if you enter the waters around Likuliku, keep an eye out for this special box.

Video: Fiji Islands Drone Travel Video