Best holiday ever. Castaway Island, Fiji is just magic, a private island in the heart of Fiji’s Mamanuca Island group. Rainforest, white sandy beaches, coral reefs, the bluest of water and the most welcoming family of staff. Our Fiji holiday ticked all the boxes – family time, adventure, play, couple time, amazing food, culture, relaxation and of course fun.
The quality of our family time can be less than we wish for running through the swift pace of daily life. I often say that I wish the clock would slow down and our island paradise seemed to have that effect on all of us. We held hands while we walked, gazed at the stars, followed lizards, collected hermit crabs and counted fish – together.
Our family all has a big sense of adventure and there was a list of action items we had to get through before our week was up on Castaway! The big girls fell in love with the underwater world that surrounded us and were forever donning their mask, snorkel and fins. Lucky for the little fella, he didn’t miss out on all the fun riding in the glass bottom boat ride, which offered a crystal clear view of what hides beneath the surface of that azure sea.
The kids seemed to grow wiser on our holiday, perhaps it stemmed from the view, seeing them relish in all these new experiences and embrace new foods, sports, traditions and friendships.
We circumnavigated the island by kayak, zipped around on the hobi cat, bush walked and spent hours playing ball games in the pool and seaside. The boys were in heaven with a great swell forecast and surf trips to Cloudbreak. Lots of tall tales were told and by the end of the holiday, I am sure they were in the pros, surfing 15 foot barrels!
We lived like rock stars one day and took a speedboat trip to a bar in the middle of the south pacific. This is us at Cloud 9, a two level floating platform (which we jumped off the top of!) where we soaked up rays, sipped cocktails and adored the view. An experience like no other.
Any tension from our ‘real life’ was quickly kneaded away with coconut oil massages under the sheer cloth and tropical thatch roof island bures. Total bliss and relaxation wasn’t hard to find and the option to indulge in some beauty fixes such as manicures, pedicures and our kids loved the iconic Fijian hair braids. We had time to devour a novel and mingled with other guests at the swim up bar.
Kid’s Club offered different daily activities such as sandcastle competitions, races, ice cream eating contest, banana leaf weaving, cooking, coconut hunting, cops and robbers and so much more. The kids would check out the daily schedule and plan their day to perfection.
Confession time. I have one negative from the trip – the few kilograms I gained eating amazing food and overzealously taking up the options to eat and drink my way through the day! We booked a meal package, a set price for each person in our family to eat unlimited meals throughout the week. The main restaurant was the Water’s Edge Restaurant, and true to its name it was beachfront with a stellar view and sublime food. By the second day the chef remembered how I liked my eggs and the fresh produce was delightful. Each night there was a different buffet theme: roasts, Asian, traditional Fijian or fresh seafood – the chef and his team offer amazing choice for an island, the freshest of ingredients and reinventing traditional dishes with a modern twist. Most lunches we spent poolside, as the kids didn’t want to go far from the ice cream bar and loved the burgers and sushi! Happy hour and early dinners were devoured at the Sundowner Bar – one of the only times I saw a TV the whole week (Fiji was playing in the rugby).
Dinner dates and happy hour laughs gave us some couple’s time to recount the day and reconnect. Kid’s Club ran into the evening hours so it offered more peaceful time for us parents and the kids couldn’t finish their dessert fast enough to race to Kid’s Club and enjoy the games. The resort also offered babysitting at such reasonable rates it was easy to sneak away during the day or after the kids went to bed. Each night there were activities for the adults too, cane toad races (which we sadly lost some money gambling on!), beach races and hermit crab duels.
Fijian culture boasts the joy of music and you would not pass a family staff member without a kind Bula being shared. Frankly I still catch myself saying Vinaka (thank you) at the local Woolies! Each meal we were serenaded with the soft sounds of drums and strings and one evening we were hosted at a Fijian barbeque, dance show and kava ceremony, which was just amazing! You could day trip to local villages and also try hook your own dinner with traditional Fiji hand line fishing.
The exquisite experience we shared on this island paradise will be cherished. Until next time Castaway …
A 5 night Castaway Island accommodation package starts from A$3630 for 2 Adults and 2 kids under 12 in an Island Bure. Meal plans are available year round via Castawayfiji.com. To book visit castawayfiji.com or visit your local Fiji specialist travel agent.