Monuriki ‘Cast Away’ Tour
- Days:Wednesdays & Saturdays
- Price:$99.00 per person
- Private Charters are available.
Made famous by the Tom Hanks movie ‘Cast Away’, Monuriki is a stunning uninhabited island, with a pristine white sandy beach and swaying palm trees.
On arrival at Monuriki you’ll explore the island on foot with your guide who’ll tell you about the making of the movie, by taking you to key locations. Full of anecdotes and stories it’s an interesting tour even if you haven’t seen the film (incidentally you can borrow it from Tokoriki Island Resort’s film library)!
For many it’s the flora and fauna that makes the island so interesting.
Monuriki Island is one of only three islands in the world where the endangered Fiji Crested Iguana (Brachylophus vitiensis) lives. The Crested Iguana feeds on a wide range of plants and insects and spends most of it time high up in the branches of trees where they are well camouflaged. Unfortunately their numbers are decreasing, but recent efforts to remove goats, which compete for food, and rats, which eat eggs and young, should help. There are also plans to return captive bred Crested Iguanas to Monuriki.
The most commonly seen turtle is the hawksbill turtle (taku); it feeds on sponges and ascidians on the reef crest and is a CITES listed endangered species. Sightings whilst touring around the coastline of Monuriki Island are common. Also observed in breeding time are turtle nesting sites, which are closely monitored by local environmental groups.
The sandy soil of Monuriki Island is riddled with small tunnels. These are the nesting burrows of the Wedgetail Shearwater. At least 2000 pairs are thought to nest on Monuriki, this is by the far the largest population in Fiji.
As you explore the island you’ll notice curiously shaped plants and seed pods. Growing widely is a species of pandanas (voivoi). This bizarre looking tree with its aerial roots provides the raw material for making mats, baskets, fans and a wide array of other plaited wares.
You’ll also see the vuturakaraka tree —or fish poison tree. The beautiful flowers that open at night have a perfumed sweet scent. But it is the seeds found in the four sided pyramidal shaped fruit, which are used as a fish poison in many parts of the South Pacific. The seeds are crushed and placed in tidal pools where they cause suffocation of fish.
Most distinct is the Niu or coconut palm cocos nucifera. The nuts are used for food and drink, the dried kernel provide copra. The shell is used for cups and making charcoal, the leaves are made in to baskets, mats, brooms, hats, fans etc. The wood, although difficult to cut, can be used to build houses and furniture. The oil, obtained from copra is used for cooking and as a body lotion or skin tonic. Monuriki Island Nature Fact File.pdf
After your land–tour, you can cool off with a snorkel or swim in Monuriki’s marine reserve. It’s easy snorkeling ideal for the beginner, with coral and impressive small reef fish life only metres from the beach. A marine guide is in-water with you to introduce beginners to the rudiments of snorkeling, as well as to point out interesting aquatic life.
Finally you’ll cruise around the impressive coastline of Monuriki and Monu Islands—two of the most scenic in Fiji. Photographic opportunities abound.
Monuriki ‘Cast Away’ Tour Checklist
- Snorkeling Gear
- Sun screen
- Swimming things
- Flip-flops, sandals or similar
- Iced water carried on boat