What kept me up all night long in Fiji?


By Kelly Ayers

Last month a friend and I were in need of a quick getaway with a short flight that would still leave us feeling like we were a million miles away from home….

We decided to head to Fiji and stay at Matamanoa Island Resort, an adults only resort located in the stunning Mamanuca Islands!  The resort has its own helipad so you can arrive in style by helicopter, but we took the 1 hour catamaran transfer from Denarau which was easy and affordable.  We were lucky enough to be upgraded to one of the newly renovated and absolutely beautiful Beachfront Villas. The natural styled Villas are private and spacious with a king bed, internal steps leading to a sitting area with  minibar, a bathroom with dual sinks, separate toilet and shower, plus an outdoor shower, a private plunge pool and daybed overlooking the white sand and azure water below. It was the perfect setting for a quiet girls getaway.

Sound like heaven?  It was, until night fell...

After switching the lights off for a peaceful sleep we heard what sounded like eerie baby cries.  How could there be babies on an adults only resort?   It turns out that the cries were the calls of the ‘Matamanoa bird’, this ground dwelling nocturnal bird migrates to Matamanoa Island around the beginning of November for roughly 3 months during mating season.  Staying low to the ground they would occasionally scurry across our deck in case we had momentarily managed to drift off to sleep, we felt completely surrounded by these birds and their cries which continued through the night!

If you want to avoid these birds, I recommend travelling to Matamanoa Island resort outside of mating season, take a good pair of earplugs or do what we did and downgrade to the Beach Bure!  The Beach Bure is located on the other side of this small island  next to the main area, also overlooking the beach with a private plunge pool and daybed, the Bures are not as luxurious and private as the Villas but they are also lovely – and there were no signs of the Matamanoa birds! 

Aside from the picturesque island and beautiful resort the staff really made my stay memorable, fun and special.  They were genuinely helpful and interacted with the guests as well as hosting organised daily activities such as basket weaving lessons, green coconut tasting, snorkelling trips, pool games, beach games, table tennis tournaments, etc.  At night the talented Fijians played music and entertained the guests during dinner followed by a kava ceremony, dancing and games.  This was great to socialise with the staff and other guests and make new friends.  The traditional Fijian lovo buffet dinner was incredible, the Fijians cook all the food underground with fire heated river stones for 3 to 4 hours.  The cocktails were also amazing! 

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Matamanoa Island resort and would highly recommend this tropical paradise for a relaxing Fijian get away (just avoid those birds!).  It is perfect for honeymooners, couples or friends looking for a quiet and relaxing holiday.


Would you like to find out more about where to stay and when to go to Fiji?

Call Kelly directly now on 02 8268 2722

Jenna Setford