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Monuriki Island In Fiji – Visit The Island Where Tom Hanks Filmed Castaway

The tiny island of Monuriki Island, also known as Modriki Island, is one of the most famous islands in Fiji as it is the island where Tom Hanks filmed the movie ‘Castaway’!

It’s an incredibly picturesque and rugged island, and the great thing is that it is very easy to visit Monuriki on a day trip when you’re in Fiji!

Monuriki Island is honestly stunning and is definitely worth a visit – here’s all you need to know!

monoriki castaway island day trip Fiji Mamanuca Islands

Where is Monuriki Island?

Monuriki Island is a small, uninhabited island in Fiji – a country made up of over 300 islands!

The islands in Fiji are split into several island groups, with Monuriki Island being part of the Mamanuca Islands group.

The Mamanuca Islands are the closest island group to the main touristy area of Fiji known as Denarau, located on Fiji’s main island (Viti Levu), making them the most popular choice for day trips.

Monuriki Island is approximately 25 kilometers west of Denarau, and can be reached by a 30-45 minute boat ride.

Why is Monuriki Island Famous?

Monuriki Island gained international fame as the filming location for the 2000 blockbuster film “Cast Away,” starring Tom Hanks.

The island’s stunning beauty and remote location provided the perfect backdrop for the movie’s desert island setting.

Since the movie, Monuriki Island has become a popular destination for day trips, attracting travellers and film enthusiasts alike who wish to experience the real-life setting of this iconic movie.

Some tourists will also call Monuriki Island the “Castaway Island” even though that’s not its proper name. They just call it that as they don’t know its proper name.

Do note that there is another island in Fiji called Castaway Island, so make sure when you’re booking a trip that you’ll be heading to Monuriki Island and not Castaway Island!

What Is There To Do At Monuriki Island In Fiji?

Despite its small size, there is lots to do at Monuriki. The island boasts stunning white sandy beaches, lush green vegetation, and crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life.

Snorkelling & Enjoy The Water

You have to get in the water when you visit Monuriki Island, whether it’s for a snorkel, swim, paddle board or kayak – the water here is crystal-clear!

monoriki castaway island Mamanuca Islands fiji

The waters surrounding Monuriki Island are rich in marine life and coral reefs, making it a fantastic spot for snorkelling. Spot vibrant coral, tropical fish, and even the possibility to see reef sharks and turtles.

There are two sides to the beach – one with choppy waters and one with calm waters, so make sure you stick to the one with calm waters, which is usually the side where your boat docks.

Relax On The Beach

Modriki Island is full of pristine white sandy beaches so it is the ideal place to take a stroll along the beach, or simply pop your towel down on the sand, relax and unwind. 

If you want some shade from the sun, there are a couple of shacks with a table and chairs where you can enjoy the views and be on ‘Fiji Time‘ as the locals say!

Explore The Walks On The Island

Modriki Island is full of lush vegetation and scenic trails, but the best walk is definitely up to the lookout viewpoint at the island’s highest point, that offers stunning panoramic views of the ocean and neighbouring islands.

The walk to the top of the island takes around 20-30 minutes.

However, if you don’t fancy walks and just want to relax (which I don’t blame you!) – at least have a little stroll around the island and find the ‘Help Me’ sign written in coconuts in the sand!

The are not the original coconuts from the movie (they got damaged during the 2012 cyclone) but a replica and still awesome to see!

monoriki castaway island Mamanuca Islands fiji help me sign coconuts

There are signs around the island saying that Monuriki Island is a turtle nesting site from November until April.

The Mamanuca Islands are where the majority of turtles nest are in Fiji, so if you are here during this time please take great care where you walk.

How To Get To Monuriki Island

Located in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands, Monuriki Island is relatively easy to visit, especially for visitors staying in Denarau or nearby resorts.

Of course being an island, the only way to visit here is by boat (or jet-ski!).

The majority of the day trips to Monuriki Island depart from Port Denarau, which is located near many of Fiji’s popular resorts. 

The boat ride to the island takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes, and the views along the way are truly stunning, although the currents can be strong so if you’re travelling in a speedboat, the water can sometimes be a little choppy!

Depending on the tide, you may have to wade a couple of metres through the water to get on and off the boat, but the staff will help you and usually have a ramp to make it easier.

Resorts located on nearby islands in the Mamanucas will also provide day trips to Monuriki.

How To Do A Monuriki Island ‘Castaway’ Day Trip Tour

Tour operators such as Cruisin Fiji, South Sea Cruise’s Seaspray Adventure Tours, and Vuda Water Taxi & Island Hopping Fiji provide day trip packages to Monuriki Island from Port Denarau.

The tours will often include a round-trip boat transfer from Denarau, snorkelling gear, guided tours of the island, and a picnic lunch or BBQ on the beach.

You can also visit with Jet Ski Island Adventures if you fancy arriving in style on a jetski!

One thing I recommend before booking your trip is tide times! Visit at mid or high tide – it’s just not the same at low tide!

Another really convenient way to visit Monuriki Island is to visit as part of a cruise!

Fiji has two small ship cruise companies that both take you out to Monuriki Island on their 7 day cruises around the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, or 3 day Mamanuca Islands cruises.

You can book the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands cruise with Captain Cook or with Blue Lagoon Cruises.

Was the Castaway TV Series Filmed There?

While the movie “Cast Away” was filmed on Monuriki Island, the “Castaway” TV series was actually not filmed on the same island, like many people think it was.

The TV series was shot on a nearby island in the Mamanuca Islands group.

Some parts of the US TV show ‘Survivor’ were however filmed on the other side of Monuriki Island, although the majority of ‘Survivor’ is filmed on Mana Island.

Can You Stay Overnight On Monuriki Island?

Monuriki Island is an uninhabited island and there are no accommodation options available on the island for you to stay overnight.

What To Bring To Monuriki Island

There are absolutely no facilities, shops or anything on the island, so bring whatever you need for your day trip to Monuriki Island.

Suncream, sunhat, towel, plenty of water, your camera/go-pro, a drybag and anything else you may need.

Other Islands To Visit In The Mamanucas

As mentioned earlier, Monuriki Island belongs to a group of islands in Fiji called the Mamanuca Islands.

The Mamanuca Islands are very close to the main island of Fiji (Viti Levu), so they are the most convenient islands to visit on a day trip if you are staying in Nadi or Denarau.

There are some incredible places in the Mamanuca Islands to visit on day trips, such as Malamala Beach Club – the world’s first island beach club with an incredible infinity pool.

A day trip to Malolo sand bar with South Sea Sailing is also a fantastic day trip to do in the Mamanucas.

Enjoy all you can eat and drink on the sailing boat, slide down the water slide into the ocean, snorkel amongst the reef, and swim over to the sand bar for a beer!

Also not to be missed are Cloud 9 and Seventh Heaven – both floating bars in the middle of the ocean where you can listen to great music, go snorkelling, and jump off their jumping platforms! A great way for the adults to let their hair down!

Conclusion

With its stunning beaches, vibrant marine life, and iconic film connections, Monuriki Island has something to offer for everyone.

Whether you’re an avid snorkeller, a nature lover, or a film enthusiast, a day trip to Monuriki Island is sure to be a memorable experience during your visit to Fiji.