PA­CIFIC PAR­ADISE

Weight Watchers Magazine (Australia) - - Travel Special -

I was rowing a hand-carved kayak early in the morn­ing, lis­ten­ing to the oar softly bub­bling through the pris­tine Pa­cific wa­ter, trop­i­cal birds trilling in the trees, when a sea tur­tle – a me­tre wide or more – glided un­der the boat and took off, away from the shal­low bay and fur­ther out into the ocean.

Tur­tles are just one of the lo­cals to ac­quaint your­self with at Ratua Pri­vate Is­land, a lux­ury bare­foot re­sort that prides it­self on pro­vid­ing a‰world-class ex­pe­ri­ence with­out tak­ing too much from the en­vi­ron­ment, and work­ing along­side neigh­bour­ing tribal com­mu­ni­ties when sourc­ing food‰and sus­tain­able sup­plies for guests.

Af­ter fly­ing from Port Vila to Espir­itu Santo, a small mo­tor­boat takes you to the re­sort in 30 min­utes. Forty an­tique In­done­sian houses sit on the is­land, nes­tled among lush green sur­rounds, while an open din­ing room, lounge and bar, un­der soar­ing thatched roofs, is the‰is­land’s so­cial hub.

A re­mote is­land it may be, but you won’t run out of things to do to make you feel re­laxed and re-en­er­gised. Ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude fish­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, pad­dle­board­ing, horse­back rid­ing (about 20‰horses roam freely around a ranch on the is­land), snorkelling and kayak­ing.

Or just grab a book from the games room, take it back to your pri­vate beach deck and read while en­joy­ing the cool ocean breezes. The food cel­e­brates lo­cal or­ganic in­gre­di­ents and the is­land’s kitchen gar­den pro­duces pineap­ples, co­conuts and leafy greens.

The over­wa­ter spa is a sub­lime place to have a mas­sage while tak­ing in un­in­ter­rupted sea views. While you’re there, you may spot an­other lo­cal: a‰dugong swim­ming by. – Louise Che­ung #

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