Monuriki Island
Around the World,  Fiji

Trip to Tom Hanks Island

A trip to Tom Hanks Island is simply a must on a holiday in the island state of Fiji! Although you can never really be sure which name is currently used for the island. If you ask someone about Tom Hanks Island, there will be a huge question mark on their forehead until they tap it and say: “Oh, you mean Cast Away Island! Of course, I know that!”

Then you want to book a trip to Cast Away Island, and again you see raised eyebrows on your questioning face. “Oh, you definitely mean Monuriki Island! Sure, you have to book in booth number six.”

So let’s go straight to booth number six – we’re in Port Denarau! “We would like to book a trip to <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener”>Monuriki Island</a>.” – “…Huh? Oh, you mean Modriki” And so it goes on with several variations of “Monuriki”. And all we really wanted to do was take a trip to Tom Hanks Island. Every local knows that the film “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks was filmed here.

By the way, “US Survivor” was also filmed on this island, but far fewer people are aware of it.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter, we want to go on a boat tour for a reasonably reasonable price on a ship that can accommodate a maximum of 30 people. Such excursions are now also undertaken with boats that can accommodate up to 400 guests – terrible idea!

One of the few providers of such a tour is <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”></a>, who actually run their excursions in booth number 6 for sale. The asking price for this is initially quite high. “We don’t want to buy the ship, we just want to book a tour!” Ok, the business-minded person understands this and his offer is acceptable.

This includes transfers to and from the hotel, a “Traditional Fijian Lovo Lunch”, fruits and snacks, wine, beer, soft drinks and water and rental equipment for snorkeling. If you add all of this up, the price of around 99 euros with three stops for snorkeling and the above-mentioned included services actually looks quite reasonable.

The pickup at half past eight is on time, the check-in at booth number 6 also goes smoothly and ten minutes late because a guest shows up late, we finally go on a manageably small catamaran with two 300 hp outboard engines on the stern.

We’ve barely driven for a few minutes when the first people are already getting beer and wine. You can be excited…

But the mood among the passengers is good and why not have a beer before ten o’clock?

We pass a number of small islands where there is at least one hotel almost everywhere. On the Mamanucas archipelago there are mostly resorts in the upper price range. For example, you can easily pay from 2000 euros per night for the Likuliku Lagoon Resort. In comparison, the Sheraton on Tokoriki Island is almost cheap again at around 400 euros… By the way, the film crew of the film Cast Away lived in the Matamanoa Island Resort on the island of the same name.

Our first stop is Mana Sand Island, a small pile of sand perhaps 100 x 40 meters in size. At the northern tip of the islet we meet a group of small sharks that hunt around us but show no interest in us. There are also many colorful fish and masses of coral, which fortunately are not all colorless.

Due to the weather conditions – there are quite heavy waves building up – the travel plan will be changed slightly at short notice. The trip to Tom Hanks Island finds its destination here. Once again, snorkeling is popular and here too the underwater world is still largely intact.

Some time later we fared much better than William Bligh, who was probably the first European to be stranded here with his barge in 1789 after the mutiny on the Bounty. We are offered a pretty good lunch from which everyone can take as much as they want.

During an impromptu tour after dinner, we learn that this and the neighboring island are private islands that belong to the residents of Yanuya. Some of the wealthiest people in the world have already offered a lot of money for the islands, but the islanders have so far remained steadfast. In return, they receive at least 10 FJD from the tour providers for every visitor to the islands, and that adds up over time!

Unfortunately, the sky is getting darker today, the wind is getting stronger and the skipper is heading home. So the third stop falls into pretty turbulent waters. Although the cutter has a kind of tent roof, it can’t do much to counter the increasingly violent forces of nature, and when we finally reach the harbor we are dripping wet to the skin. Oh, if only we had gone to Greece

Hilton Fiji
Hilton Fiji – Thank you

Despite the rather watered down ending, it was still a very interesting and eventful trip to Tom Hanks Island! Now we’ll quickly go to the hotel and take a warm shower so that we don’t have to spend the rest of our vacation in bed!

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