Natural Beauty On Screen: Meet The Real Movie Stars Of Fiji

Natural Beauty On Screen: Meet The Real Movie Stars Of Fiji

By fijivillage
Wednesday 22/11/2023

Fiji’s islands have attracted the attention of movie makers since the 1940s, and celebrities ranging from Jean Simmons and Burt Lancaster to Brooke Shields and Tom Hanks have passed through on their way to stardom. But the real stars of the screen have been the movie locations, upstaging the actors with their natural beauty and dramatic landscapes.

We think they deserve an Oscar of their own. See for yourself – here are some Fijian stars of the screen and where you can stay to feel just like an award-winner.

Yasawa Islands

Escape civilisation in the Yasawa Island Group, which consists of about 20 volcanic islands in Fiji’s west. It worked for Brooke Shields in 1980’s Blue Lagoon (and Jean Simmons in the original 1949 film), as well as Richard Thomas, who starred in The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson TV series of the 1990s. The Brooke Shields film was shot around the islands of Nanuya Levu and Nanuya Lailai (where Swiss Family Robinson was also filmed). The stunning Sawa-i-Lau limestone caves have also been used in the films.


Gaze at the lagoon from Nanuya Lailai. Picture: Getty Images

There are no roads, cars, banks or shops but endless divine beaches, and stereotypically turquoise waters. The islands can be reached by the Yasawa Flyer ferry, as well as cruise ships, yachts and seaplane.

Stay like a star: Stay at Yasawa Island Resort & Spa on Yasawa Island, which features 18 luxury bungalows mere steps from white sand, clear water and colourful coral, not to mention its beachfront spa.

Viti Levu

Viti Levu is the main island of Fiji, and incorporates the tourist hub of Nadi, as well as the capital, Suva, and Pacific Harbour. The 1954 Burt Lancaster film His Majesty O’Keefe was shot at the marvellous – and recently resurrected – Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, as well as at Pacific Harbour, which is now Fiji’s adventure capital, where you can try surfing, shark feeding, four-wheel-driving or jet-skiing.


Sunset in Suva. Picture: Getty Images

The 1974 film The Dove (produced by Gregory Peck) was also shot in Suva, as was the 1983 Tommy Lee Jones flick Savage Islands. Here you can look for local crafts at the Suva craft markets, or discover life more than 3,700 years ago at the Fiji Museum, within the Thurston Gardens.


Milla Jovovich came to rugged Taveuni – otherwise known as the Garden Island – to film Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1991. Think steaming rainforest and teeming reefs, world-class birdwatching, waterfalls and a 200-year-old fortified village.

Try horse-trekking, diving, or hiking to the top of a dormant volcano. The island is accessible by boat, plane or ferry.


Taveuni is not called the Garden Island for nothing. Picture: Getty Images

Mamanuca Islands

The Mamanucas have the honour of hosting film shoots for the 2000 movie Cast Away, which earned star Tom Hanks an Oscar nod. They also have the rather more dubious honour of hosting the 2013 flick Bula Quo – a crime caper starring Status Quo and Jon Lovitz.


Malolo Island in the Mamanucas. Picture: Getty Images

The chain of 20 islands near Nadi offers parasailing, windsurfing, dolphin-watching, famous dives and top surf breaks (Kelly Slater named ‘Cloudbreak’ off Tavarua as one of the most perfect waves he’d ever surfed). If you want to live out your Wilson moment, visit the uninhabited Monuriki island (everybody and their dog offer day trips), where you can also try your hand at snorkelling and iguana spotting.

Vanua Levu

Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-largest island after Viti Levu, is rural Fiji at its best, with few roads, one street of shops, sugarcane plantations and little villages set amid forest and never far from the sea. Visit Savusavu town in a protected bay popular with yachties, hike through the rainforest of Wasali Nature Reserve, tour the Snake Temple near Labasa, or dive into the blue. The village of Vunivutu played host to the Survivor: Fiji crew in 2006.


Savusavu's bay is popular with yachties. Picture: Getty Images

Source: Flight Center.AU

Magistrate Puamau rejects Kishore Kumar’s request to play video which was doctored using AI
Magistrate Seini Puamau decided against playing a video of what former school teacher, Kishore Kumar alleged featured Assistant Minister for Fore...
5 hours ago
Taking meaningful steps together is vital for a greener and more sustainable future - Deo
Collective responsibility to safeguard the environment and practice sustainable waste management will ensure a better future for Fiji. This has ...
35 minutes ago

Parents should teach children their own mother tongue - Vasu
People the practice their mother tongue should begin from home with parents teaching their children their own language. This has been highlighted ...
52 minutes ago

No more learning in tents for Nukubolu Primary School students
Students of Nukubolu Primary School in the interior of Cakaudrove will now no longer have to study in tents after the commissioning of their new ...
2 hours ago

Firefighters rescue driver trapped in truck near Waisali Settlement
National Fire Authority firefighters have assisted in the rescue of a driver who was trapped inside the cab of his truck 200 metres down a steep ...
2 hours ago

Tech Giants pledge to combat deceptive AI use in elections
Twenty leading technology companies, including Google, Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI, TikTok, X, Amazon and Adobe vowed Friday to help prevent deceptive ...
3 hours ago

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Kishore Kumar Trial
Kishore Kumar is charged with allegedly making false claims on his Facebook page, Kishore Kumar Publications that there was a porn video of ...
2 days ago

Concerns raised regarding the state of CWM Hospital
General and Chief Pediatric Surgeon at the CWM Hospital, Dr Josese Turagava says due to the increase in the number of people who are moving to the ...
3 days ago

HSBC Perth 7s 2024
The Fiji Airways Men’s National 7s side secured a 4th place finish at the HSBC Perth 7s while the Fijiana 7s finished 8th in the Women’s ...
19 days ago