The 10 minute flight from Nadi International Airport to Mana Island hardly seems worth it. The preparation is far longer than the actual flight, and to top it off the island looks much to small to land on from the air. I’m also glad the pilot is able to find it amongst the dozens of similar looking islands in the fading tropical light, and wonder briefly if he has ever got it wrong!
So how did I choose Mana Island out of the many choices available in the Mamunaca’s? The year before I was in Denarau for a few days and booked a trip on South Sea Cruises, which started with a half day Scuba Diving and sunbathing on South Sea Island with buffet lunch, and ended with a ferry tour of many of the holiday island resorts.
The ferry passed many of the well known holiday destinations, including Hideaway Island, Treasure Island, Castaway etc.. etc… which gave me good overview of the area. They were all nice places, some of them smaller than I would be comfortable spending a lot of time on, but all with their individual strong points.
The only one for me though was Mana Island. It was just so lush and green, with a beautiful sandy beach leading into crystal clear blue water, that I fell for it straight away, and immediately began conspiring my return.
North Beach Mana Island
Fiji is only a short flight from Sydney, relatively speaking, and cheap deals are often available on the various carriers that fly there, so it wasn’t too long before I arranged a short break on Mana Island.
We booked four nights at Mana Island Resort, staying in a Island Bure, which was the less expensive of the accommodation options. The rooms were fairly basic, but we got them cheaper than expected and besides, we didn’t plan to spend much time inside. We also purchased a meal plan, which included buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner in some of the various restaurants.
The food was fine, without being exceptional, which is typical of many all you can eat buffets. The resort itself was comfortable, with a nice tropical feel, a couple of swimming pools and easy access to the beach.
Mana Island Pier
The real local attraction though is not the resort, the food, the swimming pools or even the reasonably priced happy hour cocktails, but the amazing natural beauty of Mana Island itself. On a sunny day the island is the dictionary definition of tropical wonderland, with lush forest and coconut palms lining a clean white sand beach that trails into crystal clear coral waters.
There are some great walks around parts of the island, including a trail to the best vantage point to watch the sunset. There is great snorkelling right off the beach, and even better diving run out of a bar/dive shop on the other side of the the island. Needless to say the sunbathing and swimming is excellent.
Bar/Dive Shop/ Restaurant on Mana Island
We really enjoyed our stay on Mana and would recommend it to anyone looking for a typical relaxing tropical island beach vacation. It is reasonably priced for the what you get. The only time we struggled was when it rained for an entire day non stop, but that’s the luck of the draw in the tropics.
Next time I would like to explore the Yasawa group of islands further to the north, but I would have no problem visiting Mana again for a couple of days.
Mana Island Snorkeling
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