Things to do on the Mamanuca Islands
This set of Fijian islands has so much to offer visitors of all ages. You can enjoy an abundance of water sports from diving, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, parasailing and windsurfing to cruising and fishing.
It’s also ideal for those seeking pristine beauty and total peace and tranquility.
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Diving and snorkelling in the Mamanucas
Diving and snorkelling is impressive around the Mamanuca Islands with an inner calm reef and outer edges and passages. There are more than 30 dive sites of coral reefs to explore. Almost all of the resorts in the Mamanucas have access to PADI-associated dive centres where you’re in great hands of local diving experts.
Castaway Passage is a large gap in the outer reef that allows ocean water to enter the natural lagoon and here divers will see manta rays, sharks, marlin and other pelagics.
If you’re wanting to dive with sharks, then visit the site called The Supermarket, home to grey reef sharks, white tip reef sharks and black tip reef sharks. Barrel Heads is an impressive dive site, home to impressive hard corals, sea fans, turtles and reef sharks. If you’re lucky, tuna may be swimming through closely followed by larger sharks.
Namatu Coral Cay is a spectacular outer reef slope right on the edge of an impressive 1,000 metre drop into the Pacific Ocean. Divers will come across reef sharks, turtles, barracuda and an abundance of other fish life.
For beginners, we highly recommend snorkelling over on Monu island. Enjoy the full island beach picnic excursion. Just 15 minutes by boat, you’ll have 4 hours to savour wandering the sandy beach, snorkelling on the calm water fringing reef and feasting on a delicious lunch with bottle of champagne.
Surfing in the Mamanucas
The Mamanuca islands is home to two of the ten top waves in the world, namely “Cloudbreak” and little brother “Restaurants”.
Cloudbreak is located on a sheltered reef just three miles south of Namotu Island and depending on the swell direction and power, it can be a long wall with tubing sections or a long and critical barrel. It is surfable up to 20 ft but is also fun at 2 ft for beginners. Over 6 ft and it is recommended for experienced surfers only. There’s a south to south west swell and the more west the more critical the wave. The north east to south east winds make the wave great at any tide.
Restaurants only breaks in a large south west ground swell but when it does, it’s known as “perfection in motion”. It’s suited for advanced surfers.
Cruising or day floating
Day cruising or sailing around the islands is hugely popular while others prefer to simply relax and lie in the sun on Cloud 9, a floating boat with two sundecks. You fly by seaplane to reach it and the day is spent snorkelling and swimming in the warm tranquil waters. There is a bar and pizzeria on board serving up refreshments and as the sun sets, you board a boat back to the Denarau marina and onward to your island.
A romantic way to end a day is a sunset islands cruise. Enjoy sparkling sine and refreshments as you sail around the islands and the sun disappears behind the Pacific Ocean.
Spas on Mamanuca’s Islands
The Mamanuca Island resorts have absolutely taken advantage of there paradise settings and created some impressive spas. Tadrai Island Resort offers beach massages, reef massage at mid-tide or massages and treatments in the privacy of your villa. Choose the setting and relax as your therapist spoils you with natural Fijian plant extract products.
The award-winning Senikai Spa Fiji has Veidomoni Spa at the Matamanoa Island Resort. You can be pampered amongst the tropical forest or in your private room.
The largest day spa is located at the Sheraton Resort. It is called Tokoriki Retreat Spa and specialises in Fijian rituals with local essential oils for total rejuvenation. Beauty treatments are also available.
Tropica Day Spa offers couples the opportunity to relax and be spoilt together. This adult-only resort is ideal for honeymooners seeking island romance and the traditional Fijian Bobo massage is brilliant for relaxing tense muscles and stimulating circulation.
The Mana Spa at Mana Island resort has a number of treatment rooms from couples spa suites with plunge pool, day bed Bure and shower Bure. The plunge pool of coconut milk revives the skin and a great experience.
For some of the most luxurious treatment rooms, visit Tokoriki Spa at the Tokoriki Island Resort. Each treatment bure has volcanic rock walls with water tumbling down and tropical greenery. There is a sunrise couples’ massage – a great way to start your day.
VOMO Island Resort is home to the award-winning Kui Spa and it’s ideal for all ages. There is a children’s spa menu so mum can be pampered with the kids also indulging in a rejuvenating spa treatment.
Malolo Island Resort has Leilani’s Spa, an ideal escape for adults while the children are playing at the kids’ club. There is an extensive menu that ranges from contemporary classics to traditional Fijian favourites.
Hiking and walking
The Mamanucas has some fantastic hiking trails that take you through forests and along beachfronts. A morning walk is peaceful as singing birds herald the new day. Afternoon hikes offer stunning views and stunning sunset light.
Each of the resorts offer free use of sports equipment and courts, so you can get active as much or as little as you like. There are tennis courts on Castaway Island and Mana Island, beach volleyball at the Sheraton or go cycling at Six Senses Fiji. There’s even a 9-hole golf course at Vomo Island.
Mamanuca Islands for foodies
Food says so much about a culture and Mamanuca Islands is ideal for food lovers.
There are a number of activities geared towards foodies. Fijian cooking classes are on offer at many of the resorts and some even have cocktail classes where you learn to mix your own tropical drinks. You can visit local villages and share a meal – it’s an authentic way of engaging with the Fijian culture. Kava is a local drink made up of ground Yaqona root and mixed with water. The result is an acquired taste, somewhat earthy and it makes your lips and tongue tingle! Kava ceremonies are performed when you enter a new village and many resorts put on a kava night for guests to try.
You can also dine under the stars for a private experience, indulge in a private island beach picnic or simply savour the flavours served up using local fresh ingredients.