Namena Island Resort was severely damaged by Cyclone Winston and will not be operational until further notice
hen Captain Bligh
sailed through Fiji after the Mutiny, perhaps he was startled by the
distant image of a dragon lurking out of the depths of the Koro Sea.
This apparition on the fringe of Bligh Waters (named for the unlucky
captain set adrift from the H.M.S. Bounty on April 28th, 1789) is the
mile-long 110 acre island of Namenalala, surrounded by one of Fiji's
most pristine diving and snorkeling reef ecosystems - the Namena
Island is home to a beautiful small and environmentally friendly
six bure resort. The island is private
and save for the other guests you will only share your experience
with the animal residents of the Namena Nature Reserve and the
underwater denizens of the Namena Marine Reserve.
he resort takes up less
than 10% of the island’s total area and only
a maximum of 6 couples. A stroll around the island on one of
the many hiking trails could reward you with sightings of
anything from nesting Hawksbill turtles to the elegant long-tail Tropic Bird, or from the
Red-footed Booby to agile flying foxes. Those with an archeological
bent will enjoy the ruins of an ancient settlement with artifacts
analyzed to be over 2000 years old. If you love nature, this is
some of Fiji’s finest powder-soft white sand beaches, Namena Island
Resort was created by Tom and Joan Moody. The hexagonal bures
constructed of bamboo and cane are situated on “the dragon’s back”,
are all exceptionally private, and each has stunning panoramic views.
walls in each bure have floor-to-ceiling sliding louvered doors so by
fully opening the doors, one has a 180 degree view out to sea. The
lighting (which reminds one of the styles at the turn of the 20th
century) and hot water are gas-driven for 24 hour accessibility.
There are solar-powered
reading lights and each bure has a ceiling fan, although the trade
winds provide a refreshing breeze most of the time. The bures feature
a king-size canopy bed and bathroom area with His & Her toilets and
sinks joined by an over-size shower.
'ale ni kana' (the
clubhouse) is the gathering place for the resort. It is here that you
will dine, enjoy evening drinks, be regaled with Tom's wonderful
stories and pour over the fish and marine ID books in
the resort library in an effort to identify that new species you saw
on the morning dive. In fact, there are books on birds, animals, and
local history as well as a large collection of paperbacks. For more
romantic dinners, the staff will organize a private table on the
patio. The kitchen staff bakes
bread, pastries, and cakes daily. If you have any special dietary
requirements, the resort will be happy to accommodate you if
possible. The resort grows it's own bananas, pineapples, lemons,
limes, papaya, soursop, sugar apples, hearts of palm, coconuts and
other tropical fruits and vegetables in season, and their supply is
supplemented by other fresh produce from local Fijian markets.
he surrounding Namena Barrier Reef is one of Fiji's most diversified
and impressive reef ecosystems with bommies and walls in excess of 30
kilometers. Compared to only around 30 varieties of coral in the
Caribbean, the South Pacific has over 300 varieties- many in forms
that are unusual and strikingly beautiful. Just minutes away from the
island's beaches and tropical forests are
sites in many dive publications as among Fiji’s best. At North
Save-a-Tack Passage, the wall drops to over a mile deep – a site aptly
named the Grand Canyon. On wall dives Pelagics are frequent visitors
to the area, and it is not uncommon to see barracudas, trevally, tuna,
sharks, walu or even
- if you remember to look over your shoulder. But that can be hard to
remember since the walls are so dense with coral, reef fish,
nudibranchs and crustaceans that your attention is usually riveted to
urtle nesting season runs between December to March and
it is possible see either the female laying her eggs on the beach or
even to watch a hatching and witness the babies making their way out
to sea. Of course, since the area is also a feeding ground for both
the green and hawksbill turtles they are seen year round while
snorkeling and diving. A giant clam 'farm' is right around the jetty
with some in only
a few feet of water with mantles of a variety of colors and patterns
ranging from brilliant blue to purple or gold. For the 'muck diving'
enthusiasts (you know who you are!) you won’t want to miss the shore
diving near the jetty with new coral forming and all sorts of cool and
unusual marine life to see. As in Palau and Bonaire a Marine Preserve
License is required to dive (F$20), and is valid for a year.
Other activities include
canoeing, ocean kayaking, fishing and beach volleyball, or have a
picnic lunch sent to a remote beach!
his resort with it's dramatic cliff top bures and spectacular diving
will leave you breathless!
Namena's new boat - the "Salt Shaker" -
will now be providing transfers from Savusavu!