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5 Reasons You Need to Add Fiji’s Malolo Island to Your Bucket List

A sparkling gem in the Pacific Ocean, Fiji’s Malolo Island is simply unmissable – here we reveal five reasons to visit.

The lullaby-like welcome song ‘Bula Maleya’ is as warm as the weather as you arrive on Malolo Island. With swaying coconut trees, the sound of the ocean lapping at your bure door and stars so bright and plentiful it’s like someone has exploded a glitter bomb in the sky, it’s not hard to see why the largest island in the Mamanuca archipelago should top your list when visiting Fiji.

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Dining at Likuliku in Fiji's Malolo Island
Some of the decadent food you’ll find at Likuliku Lagoon Resort

It’s home to some of the best dining in the South Pacific 

Leave the kids at home and head for the adults-only Likuliku Lagoon Resort which sits in a natural ocean lagoon. Here, fresh South Pacific seafood and lush tropical fruits and vegetables are turned into an art form on the plate. Think salmon tartare, soba noodles, wakame seaweed and togarashi dressing, followed by pan-seared mangrove jack, celeriac, enoki and sumac. Two outdoor beachside decks are the perfect place to rekindle romance or take a picnic lunch to nearby Mociu, Likuliku’s private island. If you’re bringing the little ones, head to the family-friendly Malolo Island Resort. Dine barefoot in the sand at the Beach Bar while you watch the sunset, or head to the old plantation homestead for a Pacific Rim dining experience. 

The picture-perfect overwater bungalows at Likuliku Lagoon Resort

You can stay in Fiji’s first overwater bungalows 

From Denarau Island, it’s just a 45-minute speedboat to Likuliku Lagoon Resort – or you could arrive by seaplane or helicopter. The Fijian, family-owned resort is a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, the only in Fiji, and one of only two in the Pacific to be accepted into the group. It’s also home to Fiji’s first overwater bungalows perched over a turquoise lagoon teeming with marine life. Or, you can choose a beachfront bure with supersized living rooms where you pull back the curtains to turquoise ocean as far as the eye can see and waves gently lapping metres from the door. The only thing between you and white sand is a deck with a huge day bed to one side and, in some rooms, a private plunge pool on the other. Could there be a better reason to visit Fiji’s Malolo Island?

The sunrise view from the tiny Mociu (Honeymoon) Island is reserved for Ahura guests

It’s the perfect base for island hopping 

Your first stop should be the tiny Mociu (Honeymoon) Island, which can only be accessed by Ahura guests (Ahura owns both Likuliku and the neighbouring Malolo Island Resort). The island is a nature reserve and its crystal-clear waters have been declared a marine reserve by the local chief. Or, make a day of it and head to Qalito Island, home to Castaway Island Resort, and then further north to Mana Island, where the US Survivor crew stay when they are shooting at Monuriki. It was also the location for the movie Cast Away featuring Tom Hanks. The island has also been listed as a national site of significance due to its biodiversity. For the active, Namotu Island is where you can access Fiji’s best surf breaks (including Cloudbreak). If soft adventure is more your thing, head to Malamala Beach Club, the world’s first beach club on its own island, where you can snorkel, paddleboard or simply while away the day under a swaying palm. To step it up a notch, try Fiji’s only two-level floating platform, Cloud 9, among the sparkling waters of Vanua Malolo on Ro R Reef. Here, you’ll be entertained by DJs playing chilled-out tunes while you sip top-shelf drinks. 

Malolo, the island’s critically endangered iguana, brought back from the brink of extinction

It’s a haven for endangered wildlife 

Back at the resort, meet ‘Malolo’, the island mascot and one of the island’s critically endangered iguanas. This specific species was thought to be extinct, as no one had seen one for 25 years. Then, one happened to fall out of a tree and tests confirmed it was the Malolo species. A program was initiated to save the population by controlling cats and rats and establishing a breeding facility. Now, when you visit, you can not only meet the mascot (be warned, he likes to crawl onto people’s heads), but you can plant trees to help the population’s survival, along with the entire diversity of the island. Fun fact: the iguanas distribute seeds in the forest through their faeces. The island’s sustainable initiatives also extend to producing its own honey in onsite beehives, growing its own vegetables and herbs, and establishing a coral reef restoration program.  

Copyright to Kirstie Bedford.
There are no shortage of rugged islands to watch the sunset, but Mociu has to be one of the best

You’re rewarded with jaw-dropping sunsets and sea life when you visit Fiji’s Malolo Island 

Take the short, but very steep guided hike to the hilltop on Mociu (Honeymoon) Island for a pale pink sunrise that is sure to take your breath away. For spectacular underwater sights, stride straight out from your bure (or climb down the stairs if you’re in an overwater one) and snorkel with angelfish, parrotfish, turtles, and blacktip sharks. Life doesn’t get much better than that. 

Fiji's Malolo Island, Copyright to Kirstie Bedford
You don’t even have to get wet to see the incredible sea life on one of Likuliku’s glass-bottom kayaks

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