Splen­did start to the day

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

For Chuck Noland (the char­ac­ter played by Tom Hanks in the 2000 film, Cast Away), soli­tude was a daunt­ing and ul­ti­mately trans­for­ma­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

As we stare at his co­conut-crafted “Help Me” sign, still in place on Fiji’s Mo­driki Is­land 15 years af­ter film­ing, soli­tude is some­thing else en­tirely. This for­mer movie set and idyl­lic is­land is un­in­hab­ited, but day-trip­pers can fol­low in Chuck’s foot­steps, al­beit by a zippy mo­tor­boat rather than storm-rav­aged plane crash. This morn­ing we are a party of five — my fam­ily plus new friends, Zac and Jess, who are key mem­bers of Malolo Is­land Re­sort’s fab­u­lous team.

As Zac lays out our break­fast, Jess shows us around, paus­ing at the spot where Chuck pre­pared his food and be­neath the cliff he climbed with a plan to end his life. Back on the beach, we hoe into fresh trop­i­cal fruit, pas­tries and cof­fee. While there’s no guar­an­tee that other small tour groups might not ar­rive at the same time (se­cluded pic­nics can be ar­ranged on nearby Hon­ey­moon Is­land), we’ve hit the jack­pot with a de­serted is­land and the most at­mo­spheric break­fast imag­in­able.

Chuck may well have had a hard time here but on a glo­ri­ous Sun­day morn­ing in Novem­ber, this is lit­tle short of bliss­ful.

SHARON FOWLER

Mo­driki Is­land

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