Mamanuka Islands Fiji (What You Need to Know Before You Go)

When you see images of Fiji in movies and magazines you’re probably looking at the Mamanuca (or Mamanuka) Islands. They’re the picture-perfect ideal tropical island holiday location with lots of options for the traveller looking for relaxation or adventure amongst the white sand, rhythmic waves and swaying fronds under blue skies. There are 13 islands in the Mamanucas which stay above water at high tide including Tavua, Vomo, Mana, Malolo and Treasure Island. Let’s take a closer look shall we?

Welcome to Mamanuca Islands

Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands are the very portrait of a tropical paradise. With their exquisite white sand beaches and majestic turquoise waters, these islands offer you a postcard-worthy experience in the heart of the Pacific.

Monuriki, the site made famous by the movie ‘Cast Away’, is part of this spectacular archipelago. Wherever you are in the Mamanucas, the views are quintessentially sublime with a backdrop of gently swaying palms and the soft serenade of the ocean.

The Mamanuca Islands map reveals a chain of about 20 islands, each offering its unique allure. While many islands are inhabited, providing world-class facilities and activities, some, like Vomo Island with its luxury resorts, are a haven for those seeking exclusivity and tranquility.

Activities in this tropical paradise are plentiful. Your days can be spent snorkelling amongst vibrant coral reefs, feeling the rush of excitement during a beach volleyball match, or simply lounging on pristine sands. For the thrill-seekers, the islands’ cliffs provide an opportunity for adventures like rock climbing.

Travel to Mamanuca is seamless, with Nadi serving as a gateway for stress-free connections to the islands. Here, the spirit of Fiji welcomes you with open arms and sun-kissed smiles, inviting you to discover its hidden treasures and local culture. Make sure to soak up every moment in these Pacific jewels, where each sunset promises another day in paradise.

How to Get There

To experience the beauty of the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji, your adventure begins with convenient travel options. You’ll typically start at Nadi, which is the gateway to the islands, and then choose from port, air, or private transfers to reach your idyllic destination.

Nadi International Airport

Upon landing at Nadi International Airport, you’re a stone’s throw away from the Mamanuca Islands. Numerous transport services are available here to take you to Port Denarau, where you can catch a ferry to the islands. The airport is well-equipped with amenities and offers a comfortable layover before you embark on the short journey to the coast.

Port Denarau

Port Denarau serves as the main hub for sea transfers to the Mamanuca Islands. Located just 20 minutes by road from Nadi International Airport, this port offers a variety of scheduled ferry services that will transport you directly to the numerous islands in the Mamanuca chain. Here you’ll find vessels ranging from high-speed catamarans to private charters that suit a range of budgets and preferences.

Seaplane and Helicopter Transfers

For a quicker and more scenic route to the Mamanuca Islands, consider a seaplane or helicopter transfer. These flights offer stunning aerial views of the Pacific and can whisk you away to your island resort in minutes, offering a memorable start to your holiday. Seaplane services typically operate out of Nadi, and both seaplanes and helicopters provide a picturesque journey right to the beachfront of your chosen island.

Accommodation Options

Mamanuca Islands offer a diverse range of accommodations to match your preferences, whether you’re seeking family-friendly stays, luxurious retreats, or unique overwater experiences.


Within the Mamanuca Islands, you’ll find a variety of resorts that provide a perfect balance between comfort and Fijian hospitality. Mana Island is home to superb resorts set against stunning backdrops, ideal for both relaxation and adventure.

Family-Friendly Resorts

For those travelling with children, the Mamanuca Islands boast several family-friendly resorts, designed to create an enjoyable and safe environment for all ages. These resorts typically feature kids’ clubs, safe swimming areas, and family-oriented activities.

Luxury Resorts

Indulge in unparalleled luxury at the Mamanuca Islands’ high-end resorts. Places like Six Senses Fiji offer exquisite accommodations, fine dining, and world-class spas, ensuring a lavish stay.

Overwater Bungalows

Experience a unique stay in the Mamanuca Islands’ iconic overwater bungalows, such as Likuliku Lagoon Resort, which offers an intimate setting and direct access to the sea.


For budget-conscious travellers, there are a few hostels in the area that offer a friendly, communal atmosphere at a lower cost. These are ideal for backpackers or those looking to meet other travellers.

Activities and Experiences

The Mamanuca Islands offer a playground of sun-soaked activities and rich underwater experiences. From lounging on exquisite white sand beaches to embarking on thrilling water sports, you’ll find unparalleled ways to enjoy both the land and sea.

Beachside Relaxation

The Mamanuca Islands are synonymous with relaxation. You can unwind on the pristine white sand beaches, let the rhythm of the waves calm your mind, or indulge in a rejuvenating spa session. These sanctuaries of peace allow you to disconnect and recharge amidst breath-taking natural beauty.

Water Sports

If you’re craving excitement, the water sports in the Mamanuca Islands will not disappoint. Try your hand at kayaking, harness the wind with a bit of sailing, or feel the thrill of jet-skiing. The clear waters make for an ideal playground for water-based adventures.

Diving and Snorkeling

The underwater world of the Mamanuca Islands is a marvel with vibrant marine life to witness. Take a scuba diving trip to explore coral reefs, or enjoy snorkelling closer to the surface. Both will provide you with up-close encounters with a variety of tropical fish and multi-coloured corals.

Island Hopping

Take a cruise and experience the joy of island-hopping. Travel between the various islands, each with their own character and hidden coves to explore. It’s the perfect opportunity to see more of the region’s natural diversity and bask in the serene beauty of the South Pacific.

Land Adventures

The islands are not just for water enthusiasts; land adventures abound as well. Embark on a hiking journey for stunning panoramic views, challenge yourself with a round of golf, or enjoy a game of tennis. The options are plentiful for those looking to stay active and engaged on land.

Dining and Cuisine

Embarking on a gastronomic journey in the Mamanuca Islands offers you an enticing blend of traditional Fijian fare and a variety of international cuisines to satisfy your palate.

Local Fijian Delights

In the heart of the Mamanuca Islands, you’ll encounter a rich tapestry of local dishes that are sure to delight. A staple you must try is kokoda, Fiji’s answer to ceviche, made from fresh fish cured in lime juice and coconut cream. Surrounded by coconut palms, it’s no surprise that coconut features prominently in the local cuisine, providing a sweet, rich flavour to numerous traditional dishes.

International Dining Options

For those with a penchant for international flavours, the Mamanuca Islands do not disappoint. You’ll find Italian restaurants serving up wood-fired pizzas that are a treat for your taste buds. The light, crispy crust combined with fresh, vibrant toppings creates a perfect dining experience, especially when enjoyed with seaside views.

Whether you’re indulging in local delicacies or savouring international dishes, the Mamanuca Islands cater to all cravings amidst their stunning tropical backdrop.

Learn how to cook Fijian cuisine in a cooking class

Try a Fijian wood-fired pizza

Cultural and Historical Insights

Before setting foot on the Mamanuca Islands, familiarise yourself with the deep cultural roots and historical context that these islands are steeped in. From traditional Fijian villages that maintain centuries-old customs, to landmarks whispering tales of the past, your understanding of these islands will be enriched through these insights.

Fijian Villages

Within the Mamanuca Islands, you’ll encounter traditional Fijian villages where communal living is paramount. In these villages, the ‘Bure’, a thatched Fijian hut, serves as both dwelling and central social point. Respect for village protocols, such as presenting a ‘sevusevu’ (gift), often kava root, to the village chief upon entering, is expected.

Historical Landmarks

The Mamanuca Islands not only offer stunning vistas but are also home to pivotal historical landmarks. Significant sites include ancient ceremonial grounds, known locally as ‘maraes’, along with remnants of early Fijian fortifications. These historical treasures provide a tangible link to Fiji’s rich pre-colonial era, offering a window into a time that shaped the nation.

Marine Conservation and Wildlife

In the stunning Mamanuca Islands, your attention to marine conservation can have a profound impact on preserving the delicate ecosystems found there. These efforts are crucial for the sustainability of vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine life that call this area home.

Coral Reefs

The Mamanuca Islands are home to breathtaking coral reefs, guardians of marine biodiversity. Rapid response to coral bleaching and implementation of coral propagation projects are essential. Several resorts and local conservation programs actively engage in restoring these underwater rainforests to their former glory. Your participation, whether through conscientious snorkelling or volunteering, supports these vital efforts.

Marine Life Observation

The opportunity to observe an array of marine life awaits you in the Mamanuca Islands. Transparent, turquoise waters serve as a looking glass to a world teeming with tropical fish and turtles. Prudent ecotourism is the backbone of local practices, ensuring that your encounters with these marine inhabitants are conducted in a way that respects their habitats.++]=

Special Events and Activities

In the heart of the Pacific, the Mamanuca Islands offer a mosaic of special events and activities tailored for romance, family enjoyment, and water-adventure seekers.

Romantic Getaways

For your romantic escape, indulge in unparalleled experiences such as a private picnic on a secluded beach. Relish the intimacy of a serene seaside setting and make memories to last a lifetime. Elevate your romantic adventure with a sunset cruise; glide along the waves as the sky transforms into a vivid canvas of colours—a perfect end to the day with someone special.

Family Fun

Family outings are a breeze with engaging options at the kids’ club, where children can participate in creative, supervised activities and make new friends. Join in on the fun or take advantage of a little “me” time knowing your kids are in good hands. For a complete family experience, the floating bar, Cloud 9, provides an exclusive setting to enjoy the sun and surf together, whether lounging or snorkelling in the crystalline waters.

Water-based Excursions

Embrace the beauty of the Mamanucas with water-based excursions that showcase the islands’ marine splendour. Dive into crystal-clear waters to explore vibrant coral reefs or partake in an exhilarating kite surfing session. The archipelago is also a haven for surfers, with world-famous breaks like Cloudbreak beckoning the brave to challenge their formidable swells.

Practical Information and Tips

Before you embark on your adventure to the picturesque Mamanuca Islands in Fiji, it’s vital to arm yourself with up-to-date information and savvy travel tips to maximise your experience. From understanding the local weather patterns to navigating travel options effectively, this section will provide you with essential knowledge for your trip.

Weather and Climate

The Mamanuca Islands boast a tropical marine climate, which equates to warm temperatures year-round, averaging between 26°C and 31°C. The wet season spans from November to April, marked by heavy downpours and high humidity. If you’re keen on basking in the sun, May through October offers drier weather and is considered the best time to visit. Bear in mind that these islands have served as idyllic backdrops for films like Cast Away and Survivor, so don’t forget to pack your camera to capture the stunning scenery in any weather.

  • Dry Season (May – October): Less rain, lower humidity, ideal for outdoor activities.
  • Wet Season (November – April): Periodic downpours, higher humidity, lush landscapes.

Travel Guide and Recommendations

When travelling to the Mamanuca Islands, it’s recommended to fly into Nadi International Airport and then take a boat transfer to your chosen island. There are numerous transfer options, from budget-friendly ferries to private water taxis, each offering a different experience and price point. Accommodation-wise, options range from luxurious resorts to more budget-conscious choices. Immerse yourself in the island culture with kayaking, snorkelling, and village tours. Remember to respect local customs and the environment to ensure these islands remain pristine for generations to come.

  • Transfers:
    • Ferries: Economical, scheduled services.
    • Water taxis: Flexible, private but more expensive.
  • Accommodation: Wide range, from budget stays to luxury resorts.
  • Activities: Snorkel safaris, kayaking, beach volleyball, island hopping.
  • Local Customs: Be culturally sensitive, dress modestly in villages, always ask before taking photos.

Discovering the Surrounding Regions

While you revel in the tropical splendour of the Mamanuca Islands, consider that a whole host of experiences awaits just a short journey away. On either side, each distinct destination, Viti Levu and the Yasawa Islands, offer their own unique adventures, strongly appealing to your sense of exploration.

Viti Levu Exploration

Viti Levu, the largest island in Fiji and not far from the Mamanucas, teems with a vibrant mix of natural and cultural experiences. You might start your journey in Nadi, the hub for travellers where you can immerse yourself in local markets bursting with colour and life. To your east, the capital city of Suva presents a blend of colonial architecture and modern-day Fiji. Don’t miss the chance to traverse the Coral Coast – a stunning stretch of beaches, coral lagoons, and lush forestation.

Yasawa Islands Adventure

North of the Mamanucas lie the ethereal Yasawa Islands, a chain of volcanic isles famed for their dramatic peaks and crystal-clear waters. Here, you can explore secret caves, dive in unspoilt coral gardens, or just laze on secluded beaches. The Yasawas are more remote, offering a serene escape and a chance to connect with nature on a deeper level. Whether you’re up for an energising day of water sports or yearning for relaxation, the Yasawas won’t disappoint.

Extended Stay and Long-term Visits

When contemplating a longer stay in the Mamanuca Islands, whether you’re considering real estate investment or seeking an extended vacation, there are specific avenues and packages designed to cater to your needs.

Real Estate and Ownership

Purchasing property in the Mamanuca Islands invites you into a world of pristine beauty and exclusive living. However, it’s imperative to understand Fiji’s property laws, which state that while foreign nationals can own property, there are restrictions on buying freehold land. You can purchase leasehold land, typically offering leases up to 99 years. It is strongly advised to engage with local real estate experts to navigate the specifics of such transactions.

Extended Vacation Packages

For extended stays without the commitment of property ownership, many resorts offer extended vacation packages. These tailored solutions can include accommodations and amenities for multiple weeks or months, offering a cost-effective way to immerse yourself in island life without permanent relocation. These packages often come with added benefits such as cultural tours, water sports and discounted rates for longer stays.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before planning your getaway to the beautiful Mamanuca Islands in Fiji, it’s important to have some key information to make the most of your visit. These frequently asked questions can guide you through what you need to know.

What should one consider when visiting the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji?

When visiting the Mamanuca Islands, you should consider the type of experience you’re seeking. These islands offer options from relaxed family holidays to adventurous water sports. Pay attention to the season to avoid the wettest months, and choose an island that aligns with your desired activities.

Which island in the Mamanuca group was featured in the TV show Survivor?

The Mamanuca Islands gained fame as a filming location for the TV show “Survivor.” Specifically, Monuriki was featured on the show, which is uninhabited and known for its pristine conditions.

Where can I find a map of the Mamanuca Islands?

To find your way around, a map of the Mamanuca Islands can be essential. You can get a detailed map from local tour operators, or you could visit travel guides online that offer maps with notable attractions and resort locations.

What are the resort options available in the Mamanuca Islands?

There’s a diverse range of resort options available in the Mamanuca Islands. Whether you’re looking for luxury accommodations or a simple beachfront bungalow, resorts cater to varying tastes and budgets, with some tailored specifically for families, couples, or solo travellers.

What types of accommodations are available in the Mamanuca Islands?

From five-star adults-only retreats to backpacker dive resorts and family-friendly resorts, the Mamanuca Islands offer a wide spectrum of accommodation types. Choices include overwater bungalows, traditional Fijian bures, and contemporary hotel rooms.

What is the best method to travel from Nadi to the Mamanuca Islands?

The most practical method to travel from Nadi to the Mamanuca Islands is by boat. Providers offer a variety of services, from speedboats to ferry services, that depart from Port Denarau. For a quicker transfer, seaplanes and helicopters are also available for charter.