A new pri­vate is­land in Fiji

Paradise - - In Paradise | Contents - Air Niugini flies from Port Moresby to Nadi, Fiji, three times weekly, via Ho­niara. See airni­ug­ini.com.pg. – BELINDA JACK­SON

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Hear the words ‘pri­vate’ and ‘is­land’ and usu­ally they’re be­ing spo­ken by some­one with a far health­ier bank ac­count than yours. How­ever, a new day club in Fiji now of­fers a slice of is­land par­adise for around $US100 per day. Mala­mala Beach Club is the coun­try’s first is­land beach club, set in the Ma­manuca Is­lands off Fiji’s western coast, a 25-minute boat ride from the tourism hub of Port De­na­rau.

Take a dip or use the club’s snorkelling gear, kayaks and stand-up pad­dle boards, or join the DJ as the mu­sic ramps up around the in­fin­ity pool while bar­tenders marry lo­cal co­conuts, pa­paya and rum to be­come the Momi Can­non cock­tail.

PNG-born, Aus­tralian-trained chef Lance Seeto drives the menu. He is renowned for

reviving Fi­jian cui­sine – try his ‘is­land fries’ of taro, sweet potato and cas­sava, dusted with co­conut sugar salt and smoked pineap­ple sauce, or go all-out with the Fi­jian na­tional dish, kokoda, where Span­ish mack­erel is cured in cit­rus juice and served with ferns, sea grapes and smoked co­conut milk. Gen­eral en­try lets you lan­guish by the in­fin­ity pool, or you can pre-book a day bed or ca­bana – com­plete with but­ler – with seven of your clos­est friends. Those wish­ing to make a state­ment can even get the he­li­copter to drop in on the he­li­pad (cun­ningly dis­guised as a long jetty, which lets you trot from boat to bar, with­out get­ting your feet wet).

The beach club is owned by South Sea Cruises, which runs a cata­ma­ran be­tween the is­land and Port De­na­rau un­til sun­set.

See mala­mal­abeach­club.com.

Mala­mala Beach Club … a he­do­nis­tic slice of sun, sand and sea in Fiji.

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