One of the very best off-beach hard coral places we have snorkelled anywhere.
Even photographs do not do Matamanoa's underwater, panoramic views of thick, healthy, beautifully
coloured, coral justice. Blew us away.
Matamanoa is 30 mins taxi from Nadi then 45 mins on a fast, air-conditioned catamaran.
The resort is mid-upper range (rather than luxury), but service is excellent.
means 'now' here. Above all, it is sociable. We guickly got to know others. I
prefer this to 'luxury'.
What's not right? Appalling, paid-for, internet (WIFI is being installed). No TV. So,
a short list.
A bird of only two Fijian islands. A few are on the neighbouring, uninhabitated, Modriki island but
the majority are on Matamanoa.
The Matamanoa bird, or Nocturnal storm petrel, breeds on these islands from December to mid-May.
At low tide they feed on seeweed and plankton.
They can set up an unholy racket at night, particularly on the North side of the island.
Apparently are more visible in the resort during bad weather.
This coincided with the night this picture was taken, when five individuals were clumsily bumbling
around on the ground near the North side villas and could be very easily approached.
They would be easy prey for dogs or whatever.
Presumably, with their 5' wing span, they are more elegant in flight.
Despite the cost we chose one of the new villas above the north-facing
beach. (Click magnifying icon above right thumbnail for large map.)
This is by far the best part of the island for snorkeling. It can be reached from the older villa
areas (long swim, walk or a boat).
The villas are a 7 minute walk back to the main resort restaurant and bar area. When this walkway
is properly finished it will be no problem.
Plunge pool, beautiful villa, lawn, 24 steps from a fantastic, often deserted, beach and that coral, more
than makes up for the walk.
(captions below needn't be read as you will have seen them with the gallery pictures -
repeated below so are visible to Google/ search engines)
captions to Matamano - Mamanuca Islands - Fiji - snorkeling 'fish and critters' gallery pictures
captions to left 'fish' thumbnails
- another Freckled hawkfish (Paracirrhites forsteri), but this time the darker colouration matching
the rubble and algae in the area
- a pair of Pacific double-saddle butterflyfish (Chaetodon ulietensis)
- usually fairly solitary, here Six-bar wrasse (thalassoma hardwicke) feeding among Staghorn coral
as a group
- 3 orange-finned anemonefish (Amphiprion chrysopterus) among their anemone and a Fiji blue devil
damselfish getting in the way
- a Longnose butterflyfish (Forcipiger flavissimus) unusually, on it's own and not upside down
with its snout deep in a coral
- a small school of Fringlip mullet racing past
captions to right 'critters' thumbnails
- a Freckled hawkfish (Paracirrhites forsteri) nicely camourflaged, sitting on Acropora coral
waiting for prey to swim by
- Equisite butterflyfish (Chaetodon austriacus), almost invariably in pairs - here the exception
to the rule
- a Lined surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus) showing a bit of 'attitude'
- three longnose filefish (Oxymonacanthus longirostris) over acropora
- Eclipse butterflyfish (Chaetodon bennetti)
- Spotted porcupine fish (Diodon hystrix) deciding discretion is the better part of valour
- having gone into hiding, the Spotted porcupine fish (Diodon hystrix) is checking that the coast
- Blackbar damsel (Plectroglyphidodon dickii) and Fiji blue devil damsel
captions to Matamanoa island - Manucas - Fiji - snorkeling'seascape' gallery pictures
captions to left 'seascape' thumbnails
- white staghorn upper centre, acropora middle layer and plate coral at the bottom
- seascape primarily of light mauve plate coral in the centre surrounded mainly by staghorn
- pink staghorn coral surrounded by white and mauve staghorn
- essentially a beige plate coral going through a delicate pink to white edges
- mauve staghorn coral
- rolling underwater dunes of staghorn and plate coral
captions to right 'seascape' thumbnails
- yellow elkhorn coral among mauve and beige plate coral and staghorn coral
- mauve version of elkhorn coral, with beige and pink plate and mainly white staghorn coral
- boulder coral upper left, white staghorn centre-left, plate coral lower right and acropora
- mauve plate coral formation, staghorn terrace behind and brown mushroom leather coral lower left
- central white staghorn coral with large plate coral slightly behind and acropora in front
- staghorn coral slope - with a tiny bit of pink plate coral
captions to Matamanoa island - Mamanucas - Fiji resort gallery pictures
captions to left 'resort' thumbnails
- off the boat and the entrance - bula
- first level beach balcony - great in the evening as well - the place to seek a waft of evening
breeze with a juice or a tipple
- the next level - pool, loungers, bar and restaurant
- view out towards Mana island from the upper level, pool, restaurant and bar area. a small Fijian
band played appropriate music in the evenings
- can think of worse places to have breakfast!
captions to right 'resort' thumbnails
- three of the east-facing, beach-front villas on the beach, but not the best place for snorkeling
- the North-facing beach with the best off-beach coral I have ever seen
- the 'north' beach villas' backyards and the 24 steps down to that coral
- villa yard with balcony, outdoor lounge area and a nice plunge pool
- well-appointed villa, split-level interior, with air-con and well-postioned fans plus desk