Pacific Island Living Issue 30

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Islandliving pacific

SUMMER 2019/20 | ISSUE 30



AU$5 (incl. GST)

ISSN 2200-9566

9 772200 956005



PICTURE: The Palm House, Vanuatu.


riting a story on a visit to an island in Fiji it occurred to me that I am possibly under qualified as a Pacific Island travel writer. You see, I’ve never taken a holiday in the Pacific in my life. Sure, I’ve visited Pacific countries more times than most, from Micronesia to Majuro, Fiji to Samoa, Norfolk Island to Vanuatu and all in between, but all for work. The extent of my spare time on work trips is catching up with the locals at Cardo’s in Fiji or chatting to hoteliers in Vanuatu at a local cafe. I’ve just never had to time to holiday here. That is going to change in 2020 – I want to see what everyone else does for more than one or two nights. I want to be pampered at Six Senses, I want to enjoy the peace at The Palm House, I want to picnic on Likuliku’s private island and I want to go diving in Solomon Islands again. What’s prompted this sudden desire to be a tourist? Reading about all these magnificent things in this our annual Luxury edition of Pacific Island Living.

But it’s not all about Luxury, we have fantastic stories from Craig Tansley on growing up in the Cook Islands and Fiona Harper catching the bus in Samoa – where it’s perfectly normal to be offered a seat on someone’s lap. We also have the latest holiday news from around the Pacific including the revamped Waitui Club at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, Georgie Gordon’s tips on affordable beauty routines and the latest summer fashion by Olivia Waugh. Perhaps my favourite story in this issue is an interview with a young Samoan sportswoman breaking boundaries and glass ceilings and making a difference in her nation. So as we welcome the new year, from our team to you, have a fabulous 2020. To keep up to date with all our news and reviews on the Pacific, go to our website at Happy reading.

Tiffany Carroll

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Pacific Island Living No 30 | Summer 2019/2020 Cover photo: Likuliku Island Resort. Solomons edition - Gerald Rambert.

EDITOR Tiffany Carroll Email: ART DIRECTOR Nicole Brown FASHION + STYLE EDITOR Olivia Waugh FOOD EDITOR Christiana Kaluscha GARDENING EDITOR Carolyn Ernst CONTRIBUTORS Georgie Gordon, Toby Preston, Craig Osment, Pat Ingram, Damea Dorsey, Carolyn Ernst, Alex Bertoli, Christiana Kaluscha, Craig Tansley, David Kirkland, Tony Wilson, Elaine Wilson, Fiona Harper, Luke Senico, Liz Ah-Hi, Gerald Ramert, Georgina Auton, Luke Senico. EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Pat Ingram PUBLISHER: Craig Osment ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Email: Pacific Island Living, is published quarterly by Photogenic Limited PO Box 1698 Port Vila, Vanuatu Printed by APOL Find us on Facebook Twitter


and Instagram


Or read this and all our magazines online


COPYRIGHT All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Articles express the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Nauru Airlines, Samoa Airways or Pacific Island Living. Pacific Island Living is the official inflight magazine of Nauru Airlines and publisher of Samoa Airways’ inflight magazine Malaga.

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On page 74, watch out for colourful buses when crossing the road in Samoa.


0 2 0 2 / 9 1 Summer20 BEACHCOMBER

Check out how a local designer cottoned on to the perfect fabric for the tropics. Catch up with a newly developed trap for fruit flies, and take a look at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa.




Georgie Gordon tracks down some of the cosmetic world’s more extravagant offerings and then advises on how to get the look for less


BOOK LOOK: PICTURE PERFECT This issue Georgie Gordon has found a couple of classy tomes that will reduce your eco footprint in style.


PICTURE: David Kirkland





STYLE: SHELL SHOCK Olivia Waugh asks, Shell We Go Home? That’s because evrything’s shell shaped or shell themed, from vases to wall hangings to lamp shades and cabinets

SAILING THE SOUTH PACIFIC Living a nomadic lifestyle aboard a former round-theworld racing yacht, the Palmer family have carved a luxurious lifestyle upon the sea and are currently cruising Fiji. By Fiona Harper.

Olivia Waugh has summer covered head to toe, and then a she comes up with bunch of beautiful swim suits for when you’re planning to get wet in style.


LUXURY AWAITS Welcome to our round up of some the regions more extravagant offerings – when it’s time to indulge we have the sand-between-the-toes experience that’s right for you. Choose your venue – Likuliku, Six Senses, Palm House, Vomo or an island jaunt

COOK ISLANDS: SIMPLY SENSATIONAL Craig Tansley reflects on a childhood spent in the Cook Islands, and says nothing much has changed in the time since.

HEALTHY LIVING: ETHICAL EATING We can thank millennials for a lot of things: social media, $1500 sneakers and kombucha. We also have them to thank for veganism going mainstream.

From understated, spare design to celebrity stories with substance Georgie Gordon clicks on the cool.




HOLIDAY COMPETITION Your chance to win the ultimate Fiji holiday including flights with Fiji Airways, accommodation at Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa and Malolo Island Resort.

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Above left: On page 16 Craig Tansley fondly remebers a childhood spent in the Cook Islands. Right: On page 114 – grow your own organic food.


DESTINATION GUIDE Your portal to the Pacific. The Pacific is made up of some of the most spectacular islands in the world. We take a closer look at a regional selection. This issue we take in a custom festival on Malekula in Vanuatu. Then the Solomons to experience more diving before we move on to Samoa to discover the Pacific’s sleepiest island and look at their vibrant public transport. And finally we end up in the Marshall Islands.


CRUISING THE LAU ISLANDS Captain Cook Cruises Fiji has released new departure dates for their eleven nights Lau and Kadavu Discovery Cruise exploring the length of the Lau group and the island of Kadavu, a part of Fiji rarely seen by tourists with a unique mix of cultural experiences and water activities


CHRISTIANA COOKS: KUMARA These colourful tubers are plentiful throughout the Pacific, here Christiana Kaluscha gets inventive.


ABODE: LIVING BY THE BEACH Timber is tops in the tropics. Living by the beach has always been characterised by the simple, casual, slightly weatherbeaten, shabby chic aesthetic. From kit homes, to architect-designed trend setters.


BOARDING SCHOOLS We take a look at four Queensland boarding schools favoured by Pacific island students.

100 ART SMART: LANDSCAPE YOUR WALLS 4 | Islandliving pacific

Real estate with a view is highly sought after but you can create your own by putting some landscape photography on your walls. By Toby Preston.

106 LONG DISTANCE LOVE AFFAIR: HAWAII It’s in the Pacific but in another league when it comes to island life. Hawaii is a little chunk of America that revels in its big waves and big-city beachside existence.

112 PACIFIC PEOPLE Samoan champion Gabrielle Apelu is a regional role model for women in sport.

113 KEEP IN TOUCH We love hearing from our readers! You can get in touch via our website or follow us on social media – @pacisliving.

114 GLORIOUS GARDENS: HEALTHY EATING Carolyn Ernst grows any number of healthy organic veggies and recommends the best ways you can too.

117 THE CROSSWORD While you’re relaxing, that’s no excuse for not keeping your neurons nubile and your brain busy.

119 THE PEOPLE BEHIND YOUR MAGAZINE The behind-the-scenes scene, who makes your magazine every issue, contributors and staff details.

120 PAR AVION: THE NEW NUTRITION Toby Preston gets activated while probing the latest food trends, from the probiotic to the mildly erotic.


Rod Eime Rod has been travelling the South Pacific since his first cruise as a 10-year old. Since then he has travelled extensively throughout the islands to many remote and seldom visited atolls and lagoons in search of stories for his many outlets. In particular he finds the cultures, marine life and history of the vast ocean fascinating. Recipient of numerous accolades, including a coveted PATA Gold Award, Rod is ready to tackle the challenging stories for Pacific Island Living. Fiona Harper Fiona is an Australian travel writer specialising in travel, soft adventure, boating and outdoor lifestyles. Widely travelled, highly acclaimed and much published, Fiona’s articles and images are published across the globe. When not writing about travel she’s probably running a marathon, hiking a mountain or sailing into a tropical sunset blissfully disconnected from deadlines. She’s rather partial to mountains and mojitos, islands and highlands. Follow Fiona at Craig Tansley Craig Tansley is a freelance travel writer based in Melbourne, Australia. After gaining a journalism degree from QUT, Craig wrote for sports and music magazines before becoming a travel journalist in 2000. Craig grew up in the Cook Islands and travels throughout Polynesia and the South Pacific each year. He’s travelled to over 60 countries to research travel stories, including sailing a yacht to Bora Bora in French Polynesia, hiking the trails of Patagonia for International Traveller and climbing Mt Kinabalu in Borneo for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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B E A CH COMBE R Every issue we bring you the news, views, people, products and places from all around the Pacific.

CUT FROM THE CORRECT CLOTH Kim Van Loo is the creator of West Indies Wear a lable she launched from her 34-foot yacht in 2006. Here she tells of the inspiration for use of natural fibres, particulay cotton: “When I first sailed to the islands many years ago, I took all the sorts of things that I imagined would be perfect to wear in my new life cruising the islands. I had imagined I would spend my days exploring the secluded bays, swimming at different beaches, snorkelling the reefs, and a few boat chores in between. Evenings would be spent sipping ice cold beers, whilst listening to reggae music and watching the sun set over the horizon. As I was leaving behind my job as Head Designer at Billabong South Africa, I had packed an assortment of boardshorts, t-shirts, strappy singlet tops and a few bikinis. I had done enough backpacking prior to this trip, to know that some lightweight pants were important after dark for keeping the bugs at bay, and sarongs would come in handy for any number of things. Never once did I consider what fabrics these items were made of, which is ludicrous given the fact that at this stage, I already had nearly 10 years’ experience in the fashion industry. The one fairly significant detail that I overlooked was the relentless heat in the tropics. I had never lived in the tropics before, and nothing could have prepared me for how hot it was living on a boat without air conditioning in the tropical summer.

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The first thing I noticed was that my 100% polyester board shorts were not very cool and comfortable to wear, they were hot and sticky. My 100% rayon sarongs were heavy in weight and did not breath at all. Luckily I could spend most of my time on the boat in my bikini, but I did have to go to town some time. The dresses I had were made of rayon also. Although they felt soft and lightweight, in the humidity the synthetic fabric did not breath at all. With no way to escape, sweat ran down my body on the inside of the dress. This was the beginning of my obsession with natural fabrics. What I discovered was that by wearing natural fabrics like light weight pure cotton in the islands, my body stayed cooler, because these fabrics could breath. Air could flow through the weave of the fabric allowing my skin to breath. My skin could cool down and the sweat evaporated. Cotton is actually grown on a bush – you can’t get much more natural than that. So next time you are planning a trip to a tropical location, be sure to think carefully about the fabrics of the clothing you are putting into your luggage. Choose light weight cotton voile tunics and sarongs which can provide sun protection, but still breath, keeping you cool. And remember, sarongs are a versatile travel accessory, particularly if they are cotton, you can use them as a beach towel, you can wear it as a dress or a skirt, as a scarf and as a wrap. Happy travels “ KVL

SUPERHERO AVENGER OF THE FRUIT FLY Anyone who imbibes the odd glass of wine in the tropics knows of the dangers of swallowing various small bugs that appear to share an interest you sav blanc or merlot. The dreaded fruit fly is a constant pest when trying to take a mouthfull, and having to lift off a coaster or napkin to keep these bugs at bay. Well we’re not alone in having identified the problem, now a team of researchers from the Netherlands of all places have come to the rescue and created Fruit Fly Ninja. Just open the bottle and in they fly! Fruit Fly Ninja and Wageningen University have joined forces to take these annoying pests down. The Fruit Fly Ninja targets fruit flies with a natural, nontoxic liquid in a smartly designed container. Currently they are also working on eco-friendly mouse and ant solutions. The ultimate mission of the partnership is to make all environment-polluting pest control products obsolete. CEO Ferdinand van der Neut says “that the biggest challenge was creating a fruit fly trap that used a green, food-grade alternative to what was currently on the market. signs on the other traps back then were pretty scary,” he says. The greatest difficulty, Van der Neut points out, was the complex production protocol to guarantee quality and shelf life compared to the synthetic liquids other brands use. However, he says, “We’re willing to take up that extra effort because it means the world of difference.”

WAITUI WONDERFUL When the Softiel Fiji Resort & Spa opened their exclusive adults only Waitui Club a couple of years ago, the Fiji island of Denarau was in awe. A dedicated area for Waitui Club Room guests only, a gorgeous pool, swim-up bar, sun lounges and complimentary bottled water, sunscreen and towels were just part of the service. In late 2019, the revamped Waitui Club was opened complete with a fabulous new restaurant and bar. Waitui Beach Club remains an adults-only sanctuary located within Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa. Waitui guests experience the refinement of their own personalised welcome to Waitui at the Beach Club’s dedicated reception desk before being ushered to the newly renovated Waitui Club rooms. Our pick for a luxe stay on Denarau.

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We invite you to be our guests at The Palm House - Vanuatu’s first agro-tourism resort. Private and exclusive, our resort is reserved for our inhouse guests only. Situated on the pristine north-west coastline of Efate Island, The Palm House is surrounded by 3,800 hectares of organic farmland and 12 kilometres of private beaches and reef. Relax and unwind in one of our four individual villas, all boasting private verandahs with unrestricted views across the azure blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Our all-inclusive accommodation packages ensure our guests experience a ‘paddock to plate’ fine dining menu which has been designed and created by our resort’s inhouse chef. Located approximately 45 minutes from the capital city of Port Vila, the Palm House is close enough to enjoy local activities and entertainment, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life to appreciate your ‘down time’. We hope to welcome you soon. Lukim yu! (+678) 774 9755


The Style Files

From understated, spare design to celebrity stories with substance Georgie Gordon clicks on the cool. AIR MAIL Air Mail is a website and newsletter from Graydon Carter who was the editor of Vanity Fair for 25 years (he stepped down in 2017). It has been described as a ‘big glossy magazine stuffed into a single newsletter’ and by Carter himself as ‘international in flavour and easy on the eyes’ and it is all of these things and more, besides. There are celebrity profiles, travel advice, cartoons and long form articles on all manner of subjects. A subscription is required but you can sign up for a free trial first.

MODEST MIRA Fashion blogger Amira is a Manchester based stylist and the perfect antidote to all the unabashed lifestyle ‘influencers’ out there. Where the norm these days is showing too much skin under the guise of offering beauty, fashion or fitness advice, Amira offers a breath of fresh air. Proving that you don’t have to choose between style and modesty, Amira’s covetable fashion sense is to be admired not measured against. And in addition to her great style we love her super positive captions.

KINFOLK Kinfolk magazine can be single handedly held responsible for a certain, instantly recognisable look that is hugely popular on social media – all clean lines and muted tones, it is like a large cool drink of water for the eyes. The calming and covetable aesthetic is the same over on Kinfolk’s website where you can read about arts and culture and drool over dreamy interiors with no shouty headlines or garish colours in sight.

THE STYLE FILES Equally visually appealing is The Style Files, an interiors, travel, fashion and lifestyle blog by Netherlands based Danielle de Lange who scours the globe for inspiration and presents it all beautifully on her site. Interiors inspiration – from a log cabin in the USA to a light-filled beach house in Australia – mingle with the latest fashion looks and all the far flung places you’re yet to travel to but that you will, no doubt, soon be added to your bucket list.

SWEET CARAMEL SUNDAY Sometimes all you need is some inspiration for simple and delicious home cooked meals that the whole family will love. And that’s exactly what you will find at Sweet Caramel Sunday. Epic baking projects and fancy food that requires trickery and a whole Saturday to pull off make way for easy, appealing meals for the time poor. Think lunch box fillers such as zucchini slice, quick and easy snacks and, most importantly, dinners such as chicken thighs with creamy garlic wine sauce that are sure to become regulars in your repertoire.

MIGRATIONOLOGY For some people, like us, food and travel go hand in hand. Often the best way to learn about another culture is through food, and eating the local cuisine heightens the experience of travel enormously. Mark Weins is also definitely one of those people, passionate about both food and travel, he traverses the globe in search of best street food and documents it all on his website Migrationology. It is basically a city guide for eating that is a must-visit before arriving at any destination, whether it be for Peruvian chicken soup in Lima or dim sum in Hong Kong.

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Cardo s


Port Denarau Marina Complex, FIJI Phone (+679) 675 0900 || Web:


Picture Perfect

Georgie Gordon has found a couple of classy tomes that will reduce your eco footprint in style. BON VOYAGE: BOUTIQUE HOTELS FOR THE CONSCIOUS TRAVELER (Gestalten €40) When it comes to accommodation, a comfortable bed and a buffet breakfast are no longer enough for many travellers. These days not only is a certain level of comfort and service expected, we also want to know that we are going to have an experience to remember. Gestalten’s new book Bon Voyage: Boutique Hotels for the Conscious Traveler acknowledges that many of us pack our social conscience with us when we travel. Not only are all the stunning places to stay in this book bucket list worthy – from a lodge in the Namibian desert made from shipwrecks to a guesthouse in Beirut where guests are taught to cook local dishes – they take consideration in being friendly to our environment, too.

THE FORAGED HOME (Thames & Hudson, AU$50) is the ultimate guide to decorating your home using the beauty of nature and the objects around you. Oliver Maclennan encourages us to look around and see the discarded and disused with new eyes – an old carpenter’s bench can make a kitchen benchtop, for instance, and broken furniture can be repaired and re-loved. This beautiful book showcases homes from around the world that are both unexpected and inspiring in their lack of polish and perfect presentation, instead they a full of character, and the personalities of the people that dwell there.

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Seven Nights of Luxury It’s competition time again at Pacific Island Living. We’ve partnered with some of the best, it’s your chance to win the ultimate Fiji holiday. See page 48 for details. To enter visit


e m o H d An Islan

Simply Sensational Craig Tansley reflects on a childhood spent in the Cook Islands, and says nothing much has changed in the time since.


know I’m not the only adult who looked back on their childhood and wished life was still that simple. Everything seemed so safe when you were a kid. Though it was just the apathy of youth that saved us from reality. Terrible stuff was still happening; you just didn’t see it, or hear about it; you were probably pretending to be Batman. Unless … of course … like me, you were lucky enough to grow up in the Cook Islands. Even today, nearly four decades on, I go back to the place where I did my growing up, and find it really hasn’t changed much. The only thing that’s changed for me in Rarotonga is the size of the airport, it seems to shrink each time I arrive. I remember it as the biggest airport in the universe, when really it’s not much more than a big shed

Life is still as easy in the Cooks as it was when the author grew up here.

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PICTURE: Sean Scott, Cook Islands Tourism

Above from left: Should you ever tire of Rarotonga’s lagoons, don’t forget its mountainous hinterland. Above right: Rarotonga’s wild interior is as

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PICTURES: Cook Islands Tourism, Aro’a Beachside Inn, Craig Tansley and Luke Senico.

impressive as Tahiti’s. Below: Mountains drop straight into lagoons on Rarotonga.

people walk across the tarmac to get to, and the same old bloke (Jake Numanga) plays a ukele to welcome you all in. And when I ride a scooter around Rarotonga now, breathing in those same smells I remember as a child, I can’t believe it only takes 40 minutes to make my way around the island – was my world really that small? It might be tiny, but I can still get lost – it’s easy when you take to the back road, the Pacific’s oldest road, Ara Metua. Up there it’s another world entirely from where all the tourists congregate by the coast road, even though it’s only a couple of hundred metres inland. But up there locals live off the arrowroot, pawpaw and taro plantations they tend beside the roadway. Their pigs and goats were the only things I ever saw on the road, and that’s still the same today. Big mountains rise up behind their plantations … thick forest blocks anyone getting to them, though you can access them on the crossisland trek, the views from up there are worth the toil, and there’s a small waterfall to swim under, at the end of it. The Cook Islands have been spared the development of many other parts of the Pacific. Sure, things have changed, but even here on Rarotonga – the most ‘developed’ of the 15 islands that make up the Cooks – not much has changed since I started barefoot at Avatea Primary School in 1979. There’s a level of sophistication here, many of the resorts are five-star, but there are still no high rises (or chain hotels) – the constitution says no building can be higher than a coconut tree. There’re still more animals on the roads than cars, and

Cook Islanders can still manage to squeeze their entire families onto a scooter. The speed limit’s 50kmh – but few ever do it – and while tourists these days have to wear helmets on their scooters, locals (over 25) don’t because it ruins hair styles when the island drives to church every Sunday morning. At Muri Beach, one of Rarotonga’s best swimming spots, locals still ride horses bareback on the beach and local families race their tiny sailing boats between the coral heads here on weekends, just like my family did all those years ago. The Cook Islands are one of the world’s last great secrets, I think. There are parts of the 15 islands that make up the group, spread across two million square kilometres of ocean, that have never been seen by tourists. Only 15,000 people live here, 10,000 of whom live on Rarotonga. There are islands only 45 minutes’ flying time from Rarotonga – like Mangaia and Mitairo – which receive fewer than 100 tourists in a year. Lonely Planet calls these islands: ‘a castaway’s dream come true’. Cook Islanders used to share child-raising duties when I was young – I never could quite work out who belonged to whom. It’s still the same today – some families give up their babies to siblings who can’t have children. That epitomises the Cooks for me; no-one does more for their families than Cook Islanders. They’ll love your family too – especially if you have kids, don’t worry about baby sitters, here you have an entire island group of them. It’s the locals I remember most of all

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Above: The best lagoons in the South Pacific can be found in the Cook Islands. Below left: Relaxing under the palms. Below middle: Roadside

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from my childhood; they giggle like school girls, especially the biggest men. They live for conversation … and food. Outrigger canoe racing might be the national sport of the Cooks, but I’d counter that eating’s every bit as important a pursuit. Dining out is a national pastime; though best of all were the island feasts we’d go to in friends’ backyards; called umukais. Locals dig an underground oven (umu) and bury pork, chicken and fish, and kumera and breadfruit and arrowroot on smoking ashes, then cover it all with banana leaves, and drizzle everything in coconut cream. These days, I recreate my childhood days by booking a progressive dinner, where you can visit three families on Rarotonga for three courses; the main course cooked in an umu is always my favourite. I left Rarotonga for Byron Bay when I was still a child; these days it’s one of the trendiest coastal towns on Earth, but I don’t find it nearly as utopian. There’s traffic there, and insane holiday crowds and even crazier prices for accommodation, while the Cook Islands is still affordable, and provided you avoid the times when school holidays in New Zealand and Australia cross over, it’s never very crowded. In a world gone slightly mad, I find myself clinging tighter to the possibility that some things might never change. • More:

markets are scattered around the Pacific’s oldest road. Below right: Muri Lagoon on Rarotonga looks about as good as it gets.

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Image Skye and Staghorn

Summer: e o t o t head

Jamais tie top $149.00

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On the Island by Marios Schwab Senneh shorts $399.43

ChloĂŠ gold-tone sunglasses chain $204.93

Prices in $AUD unless otherwise specified.

Hot new looks for the season by fashion editor Olivia Waugh.

Casino Sunglasses ÂŁ187

Esiot Itonia sandal $220.00

Lommer bag $235

Fantasy pant $169.95

Tropical print mesh beach dress $695.00

Blanc, fine leather visor $230

Le Lien beach towel $240.00

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Solid off shoulder top, $150.00

Victoire bikini $184.22

Water Babies

Solid Ruched Bikini bottom $140.00

Forbode beaded tri, $210 and pant $110

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Sophia one piece $250.00

By Olivia Waugh

Rose Carmine crochet-knit triangle bikini $508.20

Eden Ephemeral top US$119.00

Pomline Phoebe one piece $179.00

and bottom US$119.00

J.Crew halter one piece ÂŁ187

Lady Deluxe one piece $209.95

Stefania Frangista Maloo black pique bikini 149 euro

Norma Kamali swim dress â‚Ź183

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Decorative shell wall hanging $219.95

Poster Summer Resort (Anglais) de Travel Collection, â‚Ź7,95

Shell Wehome go

By Olivia Waugh

Blenko Glass Emerald Shell Form Vase $375

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Dinosaur Designs Pipi marbled-resin shell jar $140

Richard Ginori, X Luke Edward Hall set of four shell bread plates â‚Ź204

Fauteuil ch07 armchair wegner style. Various colours in leather $599

Mother of Pearl white wall paper. POA

Elgin placemat white – Set of 2 by Uma Cantik ₏59

La Rochere set of six, 14-ounce Versailles Tasting Glasses, US$85

Arteriors Ponce 1 Light 15 inch Egg Shell pendant ceiling light, US$1300

Caracole Shell sideboard, ivory $4,785.00

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r o f s t n e i d e r g n i t n e g Indul

Luxe Looks

Georgie Gordon tracks down some of the cosmetic world’s more extravagant offerings and then advises on how to get the look for less.

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uxurious beauty products aren’t always expensive, but more often than not if a product is deemed a luxury it will also have a price tag on the higher side of ‘reasonable’. Caviar, diamonds, gold and champagne might sound like the key players in an indulgent night out, but they are so much more, besides. All these things, that epitomise luxury, are found in beauty products – skin care, make-up or fragrance, many with a cult following, and all with a hefty price tag. Here we take a look at whether they are worth it.

Diamonds If rubbing smashed up diamonds onto your face for exfoliation purposes sounds like the equivalent to cleaning dog poo off your shoe with fresh dollar bills – i.e. completely mad – just stick with us for a minute. Diamond powder (and yes, this is a thing) exfoliates so gently and effectively that professionals use it for microdermabrasion in salons, and cosmetic dentists use it for removing stains on teeth. Does this mean that at-home products containing diamond powder is worth the money? Not really, no. Firstly there’s no way of knowing exactly how much magic diamond dust is in that expensive little bottle (assume very little) and secondly, there are plenty of other perfectly good exfoliating products on the market for a mere fraction of the price. Beauty brands are also partial to using diamond powder as an optical diffuser (buzzword alert!). This translates as something that provides luminosity and brightens the skin, usually by sitting on the surface and disguising fine lines by reflecting light. Celebrity approved: Mila Kunis once famously treated herself to a US$7000 diamond and ruby facial peel to get her skin in tip top shape for the Golden Globes. Pure indulgence product: Natura Bisse Diamond Life Infusion, $1006, Luxe for less: Beauty Lab Black Diamond Eye Serum, $62,

Caviar In terms of food to beauty ingredients, nothing is more decadent than caviar. The eggs contain concentrated doses of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which have long been used to fight the signs of ageing, and it is this, in addition to high levels of vitamin B12 and many other beneficial nutrients, that make it an effective skin care ingredient. Since Swiss brand La Prairie launched its Skin Caviar Dermo Beads in 1987, numerous studies have been done on its caviar extract (sourced from sustainably farmed Siberian sturgeon, no less) with results that prove it to be an even more effective tool in the fight against ageing than first thought. The company first began using caviar as an ingredient because it is so nutrient rich, they have since discovered that not only

does caviar enhance the production of collagen it also boosts the skin cells production of ceramides. In short, all these things lead to smoother, suppler, younger looking skin. Celebrity approved: Angelina Jolie is a fan of La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Luxe cream and the actress is said to have had full body caviar wraps to tighten her skin after losing a lot of weight. Pure indulgence: There are many brands that make effective products containing caviar extract but it’s hard to go past high tech and results driven brand La Prairie. Our pick is the White Caviar Illuminating Pearl Infusion, $775, Luxe for less: Alterna Caviar Replenishing Moisture Shampoo, $50, Or if you’re lucky Aldi’s notoriously hard to get Lacura Caviar Cream at $19 – it sells out within minutes

Gold A few years ago, gold face masks popped up on every selfrespecting supermodel and beauty blogger’s social media and then promptly faded away, as most internet fuelled beauty crazes tend to do. But were they on to something? Yes, and no. Gold is an anti-oxidant so applying products that contain the metal may give your complexion a glow but so will many other, arguably more effective, antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as green tea and vitamin C. Celebrity approved: Kate Hudson posted a gold-faced selfie on Instagram in preparation for the Met Gala in 2017. Pure indulgence: Rodial Rose Gold Serum, $308, Luxe for less: Skin Inc Soothe-n-Purify Black Gold Mask, $16,

Champagne As far as we know the bubbly stuff has no beneficial beauty properties, in fact, drinking a lot of it can have a decidedly un-beautifying effect. There are some beauty products that do, inexplicably, contain actual champagne, such as Cuvee Beauty, but most are champagne-inspired, relying on its celebratory nature for their allure. Jonathan Adler’s Champagne candle, for example, emits an appealing pink grapefruit, champagne and raspberry fragrance. And Yves Saint Laurent has a rather lovely perfume called Yvresse with sparkling top notes of lychee and nectarine. Celebrity approved: Marylin Monroe took the occasional champagne bath. Fun fact: it takes 350 bottles of champagne to fill a tub. Pure indulgence product: YSL Yvresse, $148, yslbeauty. Luxe for less: Burt’s Bees Champagne Lip Shimmer, $10, All prices are in Australian dollars unless otherwise stated.•

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n a g e V g Goin

Ethical Eating We can thank millennials for a lot of things: social media, $1500 sneakers and kombucha .. We also have them to thank for veganism going mainstream.


ccording to The Economist a quarter of 25-34 year old Americans now say they are vegans or vegetarians. Worldwide figures are going up too, recent Roy Morgan research found the number of Australian adults that eat completely or almost meat-free diets has also risen in recent years, from 1.7 million people in 2012 to almost 2.1 million in 2016, or 11.2% of the population. The definition of a vegan is ‘a person that does not eat or use animal products’ therefore a vegan diet excludes meat, fish, dairy and eggs. And it’s never been easier to follow a vegan diet than now. Meat substitutes are on the rise, where you used to have to poke around the back of health food shop to find a pack of Quorn, now supermarket shelves are groaning with vegan sausages and ‘meat’ patties that ooze beetroot blood. McDonalds even has a McVegan burger. Every week another book is released touting the benefits of a plant-based diet and a raft of vegan recipes. And restaurants have more vegan options than ever. Some claim following a vegan diet is good for your health, and the environmental and ethical benefits are far reaching too. If you’re considering going vegan, you may be thinking about the animal-based foods you will be eliminating from your diet, like meat, dairy and eggs. “These foods are rich sources of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients that are needed in a healthy diet,” Australian Public Health Nutritionist Mathew Dick said. "If you do decide to go vegan your focus will soon shift to

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the foods you will be eating as part of your new lifestyle. The meat and dairy food groups shouldn’t be eliminated from the diet entirely. There are myriad health benefits from following a plant based eating regime, here are a few that may have you rethinking your current diet:

Healthy heart Eating an abundance of fruit and vegetables has many benefits for the heart. Not only do many of the nutrients obtained from a vegan diet protect the heart, the antioxidants and phytochemicals actually reduce the risk of heart disease. A plant based diet also reduces the plaque build-up in your blood vessels that can lead to stroke and diabetes.

Digestive health Thanks to an increase in fibre intake, a vegan diet means good gut health which in turn means less inflammation (goodbye bloating and gassiness). Not only does a fibre rich diet containing plenty of roughage help with digestion and prevent constipation, it also lowers the risk of heart and blood vessel disease and bowel cancer.

Weight loss Many people become vegan purely to lose weight, and for good reason. Studies show that people on a vegan diet lose more weight (and are more likely to keep it off) than those who follow calorie restrictive diets. There are still a lot of empty calories and bad food choices available to vegans so

its important to try and stick to a wide variety of whole foods, rather than those that are created in a lab or factory.

Energy There’s a common conception that vegans have a low protein and low iron intake resulting in low energy levels. However, like any diet, if a wide variety of food (within the plant based parameters) is consumed then a vegan diet should be adequate. Beans, wholegrains, lentils and nuts are all important energy sources, especially when consumed with nutrient rich fruits and vegetables. Anecdotal evidence suggests that when vegans follow a healthy diet they in fact have more energy to burn.

Blood sugar Going vegan seems to also help with declining kidney function and warding off type 2 diabetes. Studies show that those who follow a purely plant based diet tend to have lower blood sugar levels, higher insulin sensitivity and up to 50-78% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly when combined with exercise. Meanwhile try this recipe for vegan bolognaise:

Vegan bolognaise INGREDIENTS: • 1 tablespoon coconut oil • 1 large onion, diced • 2 celery sticks, diced • 2 carrots, diced • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely • 400g tin chopped tomatoes • 400g tin lentils, drained • ½ cup vegetable stock • Zucchini noodles, to serve • Salt and pepper, to taste METHOD: Heat coconut oil in a heavy based saucepan then cook onion, carrot, celery and garlic with a pinch of salt over medium heat, stirring frequently until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, lentils and stock and bring to the boil then simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Season to taste and serve with spiralized zucchini.•

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n i g n i g n Lou

The Lap Of Luxury The Pacific Island Living team of hard working resort reporters had the enviable task of taste testing some of the Pacific’s most desirable holiday properties for that little luxury break.

Your own desert island Malolo Islands Resort and Likuliku Lagoon Resort in Fiji are now offering unique luxury escapes for couples, in 2018 the resorts secured the lease of Mociu Island (pronounced ‘Moor-thiew). This tiny, private, uninhabited island is only a 15 minute boat ride from the resorts, Mociu is a protected nature reserve and the stunning waters and reef that surround it have been declared a marine sanctuary ‘na tabu’ by the Paramount Chief of the Mamanucas. Mociu Island is for the enjoyment of Ahura Resorts’ guests only. There are options available for couples to enjoy this incredible island experience, guided snorkelling adventures to explore the abundant marine life and exquisitely colourful coral gardens, snorkel directly from the beach or from the other side of the island. If getting a sweat up is on the agenda then leave early morning for a hike to enjoy a perfect Fijian sunrise (a perfect setting for a proposal), enjoy a picnic to follow on the beach. Daytime trips can also be planned, let the team take care of absolutely everything, lounge on the beach or go exploring to come back to a picnic lunch washed down with some bubbly, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy your honeymoon. Mociu Island is blissful, beautiful, private and romantic. Visit for more info from these stunning resorts in Fiji, get swept away and take advantage of the Mociu Island luxury escape.

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Six Senses ticks the luxe list • Guest Experience Maker – your very own GEM to offer a helping hand for every step of your stay. Taking care of your every need whether it’s organising activities, making a spa booking or accompanying you on a fishing trip. • Sunset Sail – a truly out of the ordinary luxury experience not to be missed. Book a private charter and sail across the South Pacific on your very own 40 foot catamaran. Sit back and hear about Fijian history and culture as you sip on a cocktail and enjoy canapés prepared by the Six Senses team, watching the sun set over the ocean. • Destination dining – make it a night to remember, from dining with the sand between your toes, to sundowner drinks with expansive views of the resort. Destination dining is a truly memorable experience, wherever you decide to enjoy. • Tasting menu with the chef in residence – opt for a five course tasting menu tailored to your preferences by the executive chef. Allow the team to do the hard work in the residence as you relax and enjoy a once in a lifetime meal surrounded by your loved ones. • Try the spa - 24K Gold Age-Defying Facial – Invigorate the skin and restore emotional balance with this exotic facial using the healing properties of Mogra, the Queen of Jasmines, to boost collagen production and stimulate cell renewal. Combined with the restorative powers of 24K gold leaf, this sensory experience penetrates and revives the deep layers of skin, reducing the fine lines and wrinkles. • This is the place for sustainable, barefoot luxury. Feel guiltfree when you stay at Six Senses Fiji in the knowledge they’re making every effort to reduce your carbon footprint without compromising the luxury resort experience.

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Barefoot And Laissez-Faire… At The Palm House, Vanuatu, time slows down, sea breezes flow throughout the entire house, and every detail is considered. The Palm House features two stunning private beaches directly in front of the villas, as well as several more dotted along the property for you to explore. 12 kilometres of pristine reefs beaches, surrounded by 3,800 hectares of organic farmland could be all yours. This beautiful property has been privately used by one of Vanuatu’s

Be free at Malolo! Malolo Island Resort is about a bure near the beach, surrounded by the world’s friendliest people with a living and authentic culture. Perfect for families and couples alike, you can fill your day with a myriad of activities or simply unwind and do nothing at all. Year round choose from F$200 resort credits, Kids Eat FREE with 5 night stays, or between November and March, stay 5 nights and receive 1 extra night FREE!


Malolo. This is the way the world should be. T +679 672 0978 |

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For reservations and information visit *Conditions apply. Approx rates only – check daily FOREX rates.

oldest families for the last 15 years but now they have unlocked its doors so you can hold the key to this untouched paradise. There is truly no other place on earth like it. For those who want to experience private luxury, you can book an individual villa or the entire house with your family and friends. With your own private chef, this is the place you can truly unwind and leave the rest to the staff. Every detail can be arranged, from complimentary airport transfers, private picnics on one of the beaches, or a boat tour to one of the neighbouring islands, all with a personalised butler service. The villas are all about the details of a by-gone era, decorated in a colonial style, with subtle nods to the island’s history and style. Within each spacious villa, you will find a private veranda each with ocean views, a beautiful day bed, a bar table and stools should you choose to dine in-villa, rather than in the house or in one of the private dining locations and there are also lounge chairs for you to relax in. The resort offers that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that will leave you wanting to return to again and again. Laissez-faire luxury awaits you at – The Palm House.

AHU2132 -IT

Fiji’s first and only authentic over-water bures. Luxury. A special place in a magical location for adults only. Proudly Fijian owned and traditionally designed amidst a pristine and protected natural environment, surrounded by azure ocean. For reservations and information visit or Telephone +(679) 672 0978 Email:

Stay 7 nights and receive free helicopter, seaplane or private speedboat transfers*. Or between November and March, stay 5 nights and receive a sixth night FREE. From AUD $620pp* per night including all meals. Conditions apply. Approx rates only – check daily FOREX rates.


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Vomo Beach w e f t c e l e s a r o f n e

Now op

Tiffany Carroll spent the day at Vomo Island Resort’s Beach Club, Rocks and found a new level of luxury, style and fabulous food.

Aerial view of The Rocks Beach Club at Vomo Island Resort.

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Club Rocks

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’ve got a confession to make. I’ve never holidayed in the South Pacific. As an ex-expat, I spent nearly 20 years living in the Pacific so holidays were always north of the equator. But lately, every time I’m in the islands for work I have a pang to stay and actually enjoy the place. Pull up a sun lounger, order that cocktail, read a book, graze on the delicious food. Recently a friend and I got the opportunity to do that for a day at Vomo Island Resort’s new Rocks Beach Club. I’d been to Vomo before, another rushed work trip where I got a glimpse of what it would be like to be a guest. The clientele is very eastern suburbs Sydney and Melbourne, families and couples enjoying a break from the stress of jobs, traffic and day-to-day life in the city. There’s something special about Vomo. It starts with the location - right between the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands groups in Fiji. Stunning crystal clear waters surround the lush mountainous island. White sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and magical sunsets. It’s postcard perfect. Impeccably styled, the main resort area is understated and elegant. About a dozen sun lounges either side of the pool beckon guests to simply relax. Attentive staff offers drinks and snacks and the nannies quietly play with the kids. There is someone on hand to pander to your every need. A couple of years ago the owners of Vomo thought whilst they’d nailed the families market, an adults-only area would add another dimension to the resort. Meticulous planning followed and last year The Rocks Bar was opened.

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The area took advantage of Vomo’s best sunset views and again, had that winning Vomo decor – natural colours and elegant stripes. Guests could enjoy sunset drinks, a light meal and mingle child-free with other guests. The timber decking, built-in day beds and open air bar and restaurant area ensured a cool afternoon or evening, with warm breezes, cool cocktails and great canapés. But as Vomo does, they knew they could do better. Not content with being one of Fiji’s leading five star island resorts, they decided to extend The Rocks and build an exclusive day club. The addition of a gorgeous infinity pool, oversized day beds and cabanas and a full grazing menu transformed The Rocks in to an area to completely unwind. Chill-out tunes, Vomo’s signature cocktails and an Asian-fusion light menu ensured this was the area guests would flock to. With just 28 villas and four residences on the island, The Rocks was never going to be crowded. The decking area surrounding the 25m infinity pool could easily accommodate 100 guests – but that’s not Vomo’s style. Intimacy is key. So with that in mind, the resort has opened The Rocks Beach Club to a select few day guests for the ultimate, intimate beach club experience. Up to 12 visitors can spend a day lapping up luxury. For us it started with helicopter transfers with Island Hoppers from Denarau Island with Vomo’s ‘Rocks Stars’ on hand to provide cold towels and serve you delicious Rocktails or

PICTURES: Vomo Island Resort

Above: The restaurant area at The Rocks Beach Club takes in views of the stunning Mamanuca islands. The pool area is never crowded

with enough sun lounges, cabanas and day beds for the lucky few. The Rocks is located at the end of Vomo Island.

champagne throughout the day. For lunch we shared plates of lort cha meon – chicken stir fry with rice noodles, spring onion, cabbage and bean sprouts, a crispy rice salad – lettuce, fresh herbs from the Vomo garden, shallots, peanuts, chilli and nuoc cham chay dressing. That could have filled us, however we were encouraged to graze more, so after a quick swim we continued with the bahn mi tom – lemongrass marinated prawns served with a baguette, mayo, coriander, pickled carrot, onion and daikon. Other options on the day included mu ping – pork skewers with kaffir lime and a daily sushi. We certainly didn’t leave hungry. As day guests, all non-alcoholic drinks are included in the day pass along with the all day lunch. We ordered cocktails of course and a delicious rosé – both were on par with pricing at the Denarau marina, which really surprised us. The Ginger Mule was my pick – vodka, ginger beer, limejuice, mint and angostura bitter. But I also enjoyed the Frosty Lemon Martini and the Mango and Basil Fizz. What can I say? It was that kind of day. The Resort provides towels and snorkelling equipment should you wish to dip your toes in the ocean. We chose to hang by the pool for the afternoon, but having snorkelled at Vomo in the past, I can assure you it’s stunning. Colourful reefs and plentiful fish. As the day was drawing to a close we thought we’d go the

whole way and have something sweet before our flight home. The kanom tuay – a steamed coconut and pandan pudding was served with salted coconut cream, pineapple toffee and a lemongrass sorbet. Simply, it was perfect. If you’re visiting Fiji on a yacht, or staying at a nearby resort, you too can experience the heaven that is The Rocks Beach Club for $FJD375 per person inclusive of taxes. Reservations may be made up to 24 hours in advance and will be subject to the availability of the transfers. Enquire via email at or call (679) 666 7955. Transfer options: • Awesome Adventures Yasawa Flyer ex Port Denarau - $410 return per person in Captains Lounge • Island Blu VOMO Speedboat - $700 return per person ex Vuda Point or Port Denarau (min 2 people) • Island Hoppers helicopter ex Nadi Airport or Port Denarau $1100 return per person (min 2 people)•

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Sailing The South Pacific Living a nomadic lifestyle aboard a former round-the-world racing yacht, the Palmer family have carved a lifestyle upon the sea and are currently cruising Fiji. By Fiona Harper.


onsidered the ultimate nautical marathon, racing around in the world in a yacht is not for the faint-hearted. Round-the-world sailors are about as tough as they come. So too are the yachts they sail. Built to withstand the harshest conditions of the Furious 50’s and the Screaming 60’s where liquid mountains of boiling ocean pummel the unprepared yachtsman, ocean racing yachts are designed to be bullet proof. In 1981, newly launched 80 footer Ocean Greyhound sailed out of Southampton at the start of the third Whitbread Round the World Race with an enthusiastic crew led by a skipper on his third attempt to win the prestigious race. Had these hard-core sailors known that they’d be sustained by little more than stodgy porridge for the next 72 days, their fervour may have been tempered. This was before freeze dried food was invented and ocean-going racing yachts had to carry provisions for large crews for up to two months at sea. As the casualties mounted and one third of the original 29 yachts withdrew, Ocean Greyhound sailed back into Southampton nearly five months later. She had a new sponsor’s name blazoned on her stern, FCF Challenger, and presumably with a crew who had developed an abhorrence of oats. Fastrack 37 years and this 80-foot thoroughbred has been transformed into a floating family home. Renamed Camara after 14 year-old Cameron and 11 year-old Tara, the former

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racing yacht has undergone a massive refit at the hands of Peter and Christina Palmer. Laying in New Zealand in frightful condition in 2015 and then named Crieghton’s Naturally, Peter and Christina rescued the yacht from a certain scrapheap, spending more than three years restoring and converting her into a cruising yacht to accommodate their family of four. “We poured our souls and funds into the ‘new’ Camara and after three and a half years had almost depleted both,” said Peter. “But now, we are in beautiful Fiji, enjoying what this awesome way of living afloat has to offer. We know this is our lifestyle of choice and suits us in every way.”

A Formidable Undertaking This intrepid couple had met in the Caribbean when Peter had sailed from his native South Africa and Christina was on holidays. They fell in love and continued sailing as a couple for another 16 years, having a family on the way and living a nomadic ocean-going life as they worked their way across the Pacific Ocean. Working when they had to, to replenish their funds and sailing whenever they could, they eventually built a home in New Zealand and ‘moved ashore’. Avid outdoor enthusiasts who adore kite surfing, scuba diving, surfing and sailing, the cruising life still beckoned,

despite enjoying the comfort of living in a house. “We realised when we lived in the house we’d built that our hearts really belong to the ocean and the sailing lifestyle that really suits us. The real highlight is getting to live the milliondollar cruising lifestyle every day (even without the million dollars)!” says Christina. Refitting a large yacht is a formidable undertaking, and as their expenses and challenges mounted, the couple had to remind each other of their final goal. “Most people thought we could never finish the project. But little did they know that this only fueled our motivation. Any goal and dream is achievable with motivation and dedication. Often Christina and I would remind each other of our end goal of sitting in the tropics living the life of our dreams on a beautiful boat that is our home,” Peter said. “The financial pressure and all the stress on our relationship from working seven days a week and often nights was the biggest challenge,” chimes in Christina. “Cruising for 16 years previously on a very small budget had already made us into a very solid team and was the best preparation for the rebuild project and all its challenges,” she adds. Launching Camara on Christmas Day 2015, they decided that Fiji was the ideal destination for their first season living aboard. After all the hard work, long hours and stress, they

were desperate to enjoy the fruits of their labour. “After nearly seven years of projects, building a house, having full time jobs and then the boat rebuild which we mostly did ourselves, we just needed to go sailing and have an easy holiday in a stunning location! Having been to Fiji three time previously we knew this was where we'd find everything we love in one easy place,” said Christina. “Fiji has friendly people, a variety of excellent free diving spots, kitesurfing in tropical warm waters and pretty locations and is one of the most stunning tropical island groups.” The Palmers plan on cruising the Pacific Islands for many years to come, though will spend the Pacific cyclone season in New Zealand. “We are planning on exploring the Marshall Islands and potentially the Solomon Islands, but also Vanuatu and New Caledonia too. We are hoping to find likeminded couples who would like to come aboard and share our experiences sailing, kiting and surfing in these stunning tropical locations,” Christina said. Cruising the tropical South Pacific on a newly refitted racing yacht promises to be a far more comfortable adventure than the one those Whitbread sailors encountered. One presumes that porridge is to be an option this time round. Follow the Palmers and their adventures onboard Camara at •

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y s a t n a f f o s Flight

Arrive in style Island Hoppers in Fiji offers resort transfers – but they are far more than that. The flights are a scenic tour that just happens to get you from A to B


ver wonder how the other half live? I'm sure we all do, but the simple fact is, living like the other half is entirely possible in Fiji. Whether you're staying at a mainland hotel or a remote island resort, chances are you'll see or hear an Island Hoppers aircraft flying over you, ferrying passengers to their destinations. They call it 'resort transfers' but after being surprised by just how affordable these transfers are and hopping aboard an Island Hoppers helicopter recently, I realised they are selling themselves short. In a picturesque location such as Fiji, a flight from Nadi to a resort in the Mamanucas is not simply a transfer. It's a sight seeing tour with the added bonus of going from point A to point B. We were headed to Vomo Island Resort after a stay on Denarau island and booked a helicopter transfer. It included a private pick up from our hotel and a short drive (literally across the road – we could have walked!) to the helicopter 'terminal' on the Denarau Golf Course. After checking our bags in, our driver offered us a cool drink and updated our on-time departure. The chopper arrived and the pilot disembarked to greet us. A young man with a thick Aussie accent talked us through the safety procedures, explained the life vests and helped us on board. The last time my companion had been on a chopper it was

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mustering cattle in Queensland. This would prove to be a completely different experience. We departed Denarau on time and flew over the island, the pilot pointing out all the other resorts and islands below us and the other aircraft we could see in the distance. "That's the world's first island beach club down there Malamala ... and that's Bounty and Beachcomber to the right and up ahead is Malolo – home to Six Senses, Malolo Island Resort and Likuliku." We flew over some of the most magical scenery, with yachts sailing below and closer to resort islands we could see Hobi Cats, SUPs and people snorkeling. We arrived at our first stop, Tokoriki Island Resort where the pilot masterfully put the chopper down right on the end of the jetty. This really was something else, especially for my Outback Jack companion. Two more guests joined us and we were on our way. The chopper had views in every direction with glass windows beside and above us. The commentary from the pilot was informative and fun and we didn't want the trip to end. Arriving at Vomo's 'airport' the pilot landed gently and told us we were in for a great stay at one of Fiji's best resorts. We waved him and his other two guests goodbye and realised there really is no other way to get from A to B in Fiji. Island Hoppers offer scenic flights, joyflights and resort transfers. For more see their ad in this magazine.•

in style and comfort. Their fleet includes helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Island Hoppers is based in Nadi and Denarau.

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WIN s t h g i N n Seve y r u x u l of

It’s yours to win: airline travel with Fiji Airways, luxurious resort stays, white water rafting, golf, a spectacular waterpark and a private beach club.

Pacific Island Living’s business supporters have come up with a fabulous suite of prizes for your chance to win the ultimate Fiji holiday simply visit our website for all the entry details.


t’s competition time again at Pacific Island Living. We’ve partnered with some of the best to offer you the chance to win the ultimate Fiji holiday. To enter visit

Fiji Airways Fiji Airways is the flagship carrier for this Pacific nation, enjoy return flights for two from any direct ports to Fiji from Australia or New Zealand. Blackout periods will apply and be dictated to from the airline at time of booking, these will also be in line with the hotel partner black out periods. Winners must pay all taxes.

Malolo Island Resort An idyllic Fiji island paradise where you can escape the stress of modern living and relax amongst golden sandy beaches, abundant coral reefs, swaying coconut palms and azure seas.

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Part of your journey will be three nights in the adults only Tadra Beach Bure including a complimentary welcome bottle of premium sparkling wine and tropical fruit bowl on arrival. At Malolo Island Resort, you can fill your day with myriad activities or simply unwind and do nothing at all. Transfers from Denarau are included in your travel.

Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa The famed Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Denarau merges luxury hotel facilities with the destination’s natural beauty, vibrant local culture and an elegant French touch. Experience a holiday in paradise at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, here you will enjoy four nights in the newly renovated Waitui Beach Club rooms, breakfast included along with beach club access, and a 60-minute couples massage with a glass of bubbly.

Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course Natadola Golf Course Natadola Bay blends world class golf architecture with dramatic landscapes from rolling pastures through to absolute beachfront. With the sparkling backdrop of coral reefs and the Pacific Ocean on 15 out of the 18 holes, keeping your concentration will certainly be a challenge! Your journey here includes a round for two people inclusive of shared golf cart, Premium Club Hire and use of the driving range before play. Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course will be etched in your memory forever.

pool and views across the Mamanucas from Fiji’s best located island. Transfers to the beach club are included.

Rivers Fiji Rivers Fiji will take you away on the ultimate Fijian adventure, a fantastic day white water rafting down the upper Navua River inland from the Coral Coast. Your transfers will be arranged from the resort and the day out includes snacks and drinks and a leisurely paddle down the river. This is a great part of the prize pack, a true adventure and a chance to see the true beauty of Fiji.

Malamala Beach Club

Big Bula

Surrounded by Fiji’s famous crystal clear waters, Malamala Beach Club introduces you to the world’s first island beach club located just 25 minutes from Port Denarau. Enjoy the beach club with a day pass for two and experience their white sand beaches, beachside cabanas, a resort style infinity edge

The Big Bula Waterpark will ensure you have one of the best days while on Denarau, a double day pass to the waterpark, enjoy the Fijian Falls a fiberglass and steel structure in addition to the world’s largest inflatable water park. An awesome day out that will bring out the big kid in all of us. •

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THE ULTIMATE DAY TRIP just 25 minutes from port denarau

MBC19155 Half page advert_Pacific Island Living_170 x 117.5mm.indd 2



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11/09/19 2:33 PM


Your Portal To The Pacific PICTURE: Gerald Rambert .

From the Marshalls to the Mamanucas, to Santo sunsets, all the stuff you need to know across the region.

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The Art OfoDance a l u k e l a M n n u f l a v i t s e F

Alex Bortoli reports on one of the Pacific’s most original festivals in celebration of traditional customs and culture which he finds a truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring experience.

PICTURES: Alex Bortoli


early a thousand performers from just about every large island in Vanuatu converged on Malekula recently for the ultimate ‘kastom dance off’ as part the Fourth National Arts Festival. This was an event ten years in the making and it didn’t disappoint. From the incredible masks and costumes to the passionate dancing and story-telling, the festival proved without doubt that Vanuatu kastom and culture is not only alive and flourishing but perhaps among the most unique and colourful in the world. In fact, it seemed altogether fitting the organisers chose Malekula as the host venue for the festival, given the island (Vanuatu’s second largest) has more kastom languages per capita than anywhere else on Earth. The opening parade and ceremony set the tone for the week-long festival with hundreds of dancers and participants converging on Lakatoro’s main showground, in a powerful display of singing, chanting, tam tam drumming and national pride. The sheer force of literally thousands of feet enthusiastically pounding the ground set off earthquake-like tremors along the parade route and resulted in a sonic wall rising to the heavens (thanks to the dozens of seed rattles tied around their ankles). A truly breath-taking and awe-inspiring

Vanuatu’s flag colours feature on this dancer’s mask.

A sustainable eco-experience for the whole family, set in a stunning tropical paradise

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Islandliving pacific

Islandliving pacific



Australia & NZ, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Inflight magazines for Nauru Airlines and Samoa Airways



For advertising and distribution enquires contact us via our website or email

SUMMER 2019/20 | ISSUE 30



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“Vanuatu is a special place, it’s one of only a few places left on Earth where you can still experience these kinds of ancient and unique kastom

experience. “It made my heart sing with pride when I saw this parade and so many dancers performing together here on Malekula,” said Chief Owen Rion Lapuenmal, who presided over the opening ceremony and is the chairman of the National Arts Festival as well as the chairman of the Island Council of Chiefs on Malekula “Organising and hosting a National Arts Festival is incredibly important to the people of Vanuatu and to my people here in Malekula because there are many kastoms and ceremonies that are being lost or forgotten and this is one way to revive them,” he said. “The festival reminds us of the value of kastom in our community, it teaches respect of our elders, of traditions, of our ancestors and the environment around us. By hosting events like these, we can encourage our villages and chiefs to continue practicing and teaching kastom to the younger generation.” Perhaps one of the most uplifting and moving displays at the festival was a series of dances performed by the students of the Lycee LAB French school based in Port Vila. Not only did the students prove their passion for kastom but they also

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made a direct appeal to Prime Minister Charlot Salwai (who was in attendance at the festival) to include kastom teachings in the classrooms around the nation. They even convinced him to join them in a kastom dance. Not to be outdone, the incredible ‘mudmen’ tribes from around Malekula also put on a display worthy of the Prime Minister’s approval, with spectacularly painted mud masks, shields, ornately decorated clubs and colourful body paint. As one visitor pointed out, they literally looked like they’d stepped out of the pages of a National Geographic magazine. Another crowd favourite was a group of around 20 dancers from the village of Vinmavis, on the west coast of Malekula, who decorated their bodies with white paint and covered their heads in stunning grass ‘nests’ adorned with giant papiermâché-like seabirds. The wings of the seabirds cleverly flapped along in time to their dancing and music and earned them a standing ovation from the huge local crowd. The title of most colourful mask however belonged to the dancers from Uripiv Island (just off Malekula). Their crazy triangle-shaped and feather-covered creations (some in the shape of mystical animal spirits) combined with their outrageous body paint proved to be a show-stopper in the

ceremonies and dances being performed, not for tourists but for ourselves ... Ours is a living culture, it is part of our way of life”

latter half of the festival. Other highlights included displays of traditional weaving and food preparation, outrigger canoe racing and a recreation of inter-island canoe trading with a sailing canoe race from the Maskelyne Islands to Lakatoro (a 16-hour overnight marathon). “Vanuatu is a special place, it’s one of only a few places left on Earth where you can still experience these kinds of ancient and unique kastom ceremonies and dances being performed, not for tourists but for ourselves,” said Richard Shing, director of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and a trained archaeologist. “Ours is a living culture, it is part of our way of life … and like any culture it is evolving and changing and adapting. But we are very proud of our origins and our heritage … and we are working hard to make sure it continues to be passed on. I believe we have a Government that is committed to what we are doing here and to cultural education for our future generations.” Vanuatu is currently considered to be one of the most culturally diverse countries on earth, with a population of around 230,000 and over 113 distinct languages (including dozens of dialects). The next National Arts Festival will be held on the island of Tanna in five years’ time.•

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Cruise Discovery le y t S s ’ n o m o Sol

As Kylie Travers cruised the seas around the Solomon islands she was greeted by playful dolphins, a gliding whale and fabulous diving experiences.


eeking adventure and relaxation in a tropical paradise, I knew this trip would be one to remember. As the sun sunk beneath the waves on the first night, the rest of the world, along with all my worries and cares melted away. For the next seven days, I was free to explore the crystal clear waters, dive or snorkel colourful reefs, meet gorgeous people and be welcomed at each island we stopped at. Welcome to Solomon Islands. Laying on a hammock on the top deck, watching the islands smoothly pass by as we cruised to our first stop, I can’t help but relax. The friendly staff on Solomon Island Discovery Cruises were taking care of my every need from the moment I arrived. With an outstanding menu carefully prepared by chefs who are passionate about their craft, combining local produce and recipes with international cuisine, every meal was an experience.

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As we cruised along from island to island, dolphins swam over, playfully jumping in and out of the water around our boat. Followed by a whale, gliding past. We could not believe our luck to see one so close and immediately the captain stopped cruising so we could watch it without disturbing it as it swam out further. With such amazing marine life being so close, I couldn’t wait to get in the water and explore more under the ocean for myself. Diving had never been easier. All my gear was ready to go, the staff, who was fast becoming friends, helped with everything then we were off. Sinking down into the ocean, colourful reefs, schools of fish, stingrays, manta rays and more came out to say hello and my guide pointed each one out beautifully so I didn’t miss a thing. After a perfect dive, we were whisked away for a BBQ on a private island. Whilst waiting for it to cook, we swam,

PICTURES: Gerald Rambert .

With such amazing marine life being so close, I couldn’t wait to get in the water and explore more under the ocean for myself.

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Whilst cruising Solomon Islands, the ship stops at several villages, where the local pikininis are bursting with smiles.

snorkelled and used stand up paddleboards to explore the ocean around it. Asking my snorkel guide, Pedrose, where his favourite spot was, he took me around the corner where the rocks and reefs parted a little. As we floated along, he suddenly pointed and there, in the crack of a rock was an octopus feeding, it moved so gracefully and was amazing to watch. Later, being heavily interested in WWII, I was keen to dive wrecks and climb to the top of Hill 281 in Tulagi to see what

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our soldiers saw, view relics and walk through foxholes and Japanese U caves used in the war. With so much WWII history throughout the Solomon Islands, you never know what you will discover as you are taken around each island. After our walk up Hill 281, the cool drinks at Raiders Hotel and Bar were a delight. At Roderick Bay, the wreck of the MS World Explorer is slowly being taken back over by nature. Despite the wreck not being a natural part of the island, the villagers have created a


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Despite the wreck not being a natural part of the island, the villagers have installed ziplines between it and the trees for the kids.

world of wonder with ziplines between it and the trees for kids to play on. Ropes hang off the trees, with kids swinging out over the impossibly clear water as we approach. Being warmly greeted with cool coconut drinks, we were treated to singing, dancing and music then a walk through the lush greenery to the other side of the island. Coming from a cool climate, I was sweltering but loving every step of the way. As we started the return journey, Captain Ezi called to me. While I was touring the village, he had woven a fan from a palm leaf for me to use to cool myself walking back through the forest. With diving, stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling, WWII history, village visits, water skiing and surfing, it was an

outstanding trip, ending with a bonfire on a private island. Sipping champagne with my friends in the gentle waves as the sun set and the bonfire started was the perfect way to end the trip. In the morning, as we boarded the tender to go back home and waved farewell to our new friends, I knew I would return again and again. Kylie Travers is an avid traveller, diver and mother of two. You can find her at • MORE INFORMATION Solomon Islands Discovery Cruise:

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History and Heritage Danielle Norton checks into Honiara’s Heritage Park Hotel and is impressed. THE HISTORY: In previous times, the Heritage Park Hotel was the site of the Governor’s residence and the grandeur befitting a person such as this still exists in its modern reincarnation. This is a place for business travellers or those in transit or those interested in the history of the region. Guadalcanal was the site of many battles between the US and Japanese soldiers in WWII but the Heritage Hotel bears none of the scars. The reception area of the hotel is a wide expanse of shining marble and staff are warm and hospitable. A welcome drink floats over to us on a tray and we sit in the high backed cane chairs in the reception area, sipping our drinks and noting the time on the array of world clocks on the adjacent wall. The hotel is set on five acres of well maintained tropical gardens. Lawns are manicured and the resort’s pathways are lined with hibiscus and palm trees. From the swimming pool one can look out to sea, and observe boats on the water. With a decent collection of white lounge chairs, the poolside Splash Bar and Grill is the obvious place to enjoy a sundowner and soak up the tropical vibe as evening descends and the cool ocean breeze flows in. THE ROOMS: The rooms are perfectly cooled when we arrive, and a lovely arrangement of pink frangipanis and a deep red tropical flower decorate the comfortable queen size bed. The room is spacious and clean, and equipped with a desk and an occasional chair. The balcony has simple chairs and a table and is an obvious place to prop oneself and take in the ocean view. The bathroom is compact but elegant, housing a shower (no bath) and a toilet. The modern benchtops are decorated with a fresh bouquet of tropical flowers and Heritage Park branded hand wash, soaps and toiletries. Two bedroom suites with connecting doors are also available. THE FOOD: Drinking an ice cold Solbrew in the Terrace Restaurant of the Heritage Park Hotel is a true pleasure after a hot day in Honiara and ordering from the extensive menu is even better. The open air restaurant is cooled by overhead fans which give a breeze and help to keep the evening mosquitos away. The lime green cane chairs and tables add a fun, vibrant ambience but this is very much a business hotel. Despite a dedicated meeting room onsite, business people are gathered here with fresh bush lime juice or watermelon juice as the refreshments during the day but veer towards the beer, wine and cocktail menu in the evening. For my first meal in the Solomons we decided to eat in the

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Terrace restaurant and I chose a spicy chicken soup entrée and a main meal of duck and vegetable curry. Both were delicious but I did suffer meal envy when my companions ordered crustaceans and a pod of bright red lobster arrived at the table. The more formal GGs Restaurant is indoors, airconditioned, and offers à la carte dining with European and international cuisine in a more formal environment. The breakfast buffet is laid out in the Terrace Restaurant at 7am. It has a generous assortment of American style menu items and there is also a coffee machine that can create a decent flat white if you’re a coffee connoisseur. A large flat screen TV hangs on the wall behind, for the international news addicts. THE VERDICT: If you are in town on business or in transit to one of the Solomons’ 900 other islands, the Heritage Park Hotel is a good choice. It’s central, clean, modern and has free wifi. HOW TO BOOK: Online or call +67724007 THE PRICE: Ocean view rooms from around $300 •


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Talofa Samoa L

ocated in the heart of the South Pacific, Samoa has long been regarded as the birthplace of Polynesia, with a culture as alive today as it was 3,000 years ago. At the heart of this culture lies respect and hospitality, and the Samoan people cannot wait to demonstrate this the Samoan Way. Witness the creative expression of this tradition and join in the celebrations at a fiafia night, where delicious Samoan food, surf and turf style, is served and the culture is celebrated through traditional song, dance and storytelling as distinct and unique as the culture itself. You can even take home a memento from the local markets, with handicrafts, fashion, jewellery and handmade artifacts made in Samoa. Known by many as Mother Nature’s Playground, Samoa has an abundance of pristine beaches, lush gardens, majestic

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mountains, powerful blowholes and stunning seascapes, all in place waiting to be explored and enjoyed and offering a plethora of activities catering for all types of travellers. But in order to truly appreciate the beauty of Samoa, you must tap in to the Samoan Way of living – to slow down and to faifai lemu, which literally means ‘take it easy’. Relaxation has been turned into an art form and travellers who visit Samoa soon rediscover the pleasure of simply watching the world go by. Only then can we really appreciate the beauty of nature, the importance of family and why the Fa’a Samoa culture exists to protect these. If you’re up for a family adventure, a couple’s escape, a spiritual or cultural experience or just a piece of paradise to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, beautiful Samoa awaits!•

PICTURE: David Kirkland

Samoa has an abundance of pristine beaches, lush gardens, majestic mountains, blowholes and markets.


s ’ a e S h t u o Th S

Sleepiest Island

Craig Tansley discovers an island to himself in Samoa where tourists rarely come, and cars never have.


lectricity only came to Manono in 2003 … cars haven’t made it across – though what’s the point on an island without any roads? I’m not sure why they bothered with electricity to be honest, when the sun sets the island slips into an early slumber; within a blackness us modern worlders know nothing about (you should see the stars shine with so few lights). While this tiny island (it’s three square kilometres) is only a 20 minute boat ride from Samoa’s most populated island, Upolu, it has me travelling back at least a couple of hundred years in time. There’s a walking track that goes around the entire island, each morning I like to walk it to take in all the detail of my tiny world; villagers call out greetings from their fales, and children have taken to following me around. After two days I know them all, it’s not hard on an island with so few tourists – we tend to

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stick out. The track takes about 90 minutes to walk, but then, I never make it the whole way round without stopping. There are four fishing villages along the way and I stop and talk to locals, and the walk to Manono’s interior and its highest peak takes you by archeological sites; and the section along the northern edge of the track has the best beaches on the island. I swim here, taking in the views of the island of Apolima next door, it has even less people living on it (there are barely 75 there, compared to 900 on Manono). Life seems simple here on Manono; when locals aren’t cleaning to keep their island spotless, they sleep a lot; siestas aren’t just afternoon occasions to escape the heat, they’re taken at the slightest of impulses – in fact, it’s not unusual to see a whole village napping by the side of the track. When they’re vertical, not horizontal, locals tend farming plots, or fish the lagoon or hang clothes out to dry on lines hung between

PICTURES: Craig Tansley

Above: Manono’s coastline is striking - looking out towards Apolima. Above right: The kids aren’t shy. Below left: Tattooed

Samoan warrior; Right: The kids take to the trees between lessons, and everyone talks to the rare foreign visitor.


Washing hung out between coconut trees.

coconut trees. Their children, meanwhile, move with a frenetic energy their parents once had, and I see every game I ever played from my own 70s and 80s Polynesian childhood played out here still – hopscotch, marbles, British bulldog etc. In the evenings as the sun sets across the lagoon, I make my way to Manono’s only proper store for a warm Vailima (Samoan beer). They’ve had electricity for 16 years but locals seem to prefer to drink it warm. It’s this time of the day I look forward to most on Manono. I walk around the village observing everything as life plays itself out. Extended families sit out by the one walking track and gossip and giggle while their kids play brutal games of rugby that end with grass burns that bleed. Out on the horizon, storms thrash about, but the rain and lightning never quite make it to Manono. There’s only a few accommodation choices on Manono and they’re basic at best. Each morning at mine - Sunset View Fales - I’m woken at 8.15 by the owner blowing into a conch shell. The views from my front porch high above the lagoon amongst fruit trees are the first thing I see. This week I’m the only palangi (foreigner) here. After three days I begin to wonder if I’m the only palangi left on Earth. I like feeling that way; just a few kilometres away on Upolu’s more developed southern coast, there are plenty of tourists

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sleeping in air-conditioned villas, having massages and playing golf, but on Manono I don’t have to share Samoa with another foreigner. Samoa can be different things to all kinds of visitors. Adventurists have got diving, and waterfalls to leap from, and world-class waves to surf and mountainous hinterlands to explore, culture lovers can see Polynesia the way it’s always been in traditional villages ruled by paramount chiefs; but here on Manono the experience is all about being a hermit, you can live out the wildest Robinson Crusoe fantasies on an island few tourists seem to know about. The lagoon here is as good as it gets in the South Pacific, I take boat rides on it and circle the island; though some days I prefer just to swim out as far as I can from the shore and watch the fish swim beneath me. I intend to read the books I’ve been saving for this sort of solitude, but there’s always something better to look at on Manono than words. And when I leave, I can’t believe this island’s only 20 minutes by speedboat across the water. It’s not like there’s traffic when I land at Manono-Uta on the west coast of Upolu, but there are cars … so I must be back in the 21st Century. More: •


Samoa’s buses are bright, loud and not really comfortable but they are a great way to meet the locals and experience the Samoan way of life.

Brushing Bottoms s e s u B s ’ oa Fiona Harper gets up close and personal with some large Samoans on their uniquely colourful buses but reassured by their names expressing Christian sentiment she carries on regardless to wherever it is she wants them to take her.


ondon has its ubiquitous taxi cabs and tube, New York, has the subway, San Francisco’s vertigo-inducing streets rumble with cable cars while Bangkok’s roads are besieged with tuktuks tooting and touting for attention.

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Then there is Apia. Capital of Samoa and serious contender for one of the world’s most relaxed capital cities, Apia’s public bus system is as colourful as they come. There is no chance of not seeing, nor hearing, Samoa’s

PICTURES: David Kirkland

On Sam

public buses as they rumble along oft-rudimentary roads of the capital or the ring road that circles the big island of Savai’i. Public buses come wholly pimped, some more so than others. Buses come with trailing flames across the bonnet over the roof and down each side. Others are entirely swathed in air-brushed murals with thoughtful messages emblazoned on their flanks. Some of these remind me of those ‘shaggin wagon’ panel vans from the 1980’s my parents warned me to stay away from. You know the ones that had bikini clad women on tropical beaches framed by palm trees whose male owner’s intentions were questionable? The Samoan version however is far less risqué and more Christian in intent. These clunkers are mostly decades old and are built neither for speed nor comfort. The old-fashioned kind with protruding squarish bonnets and windows removed, their diesel engines can be phlegmatic and flatulent. All come with their own unique signwriting, none of which gives any indication of the bus’s actual route or destination. Some give a clue to driver’s religious leanings. Timetables are tightly held secrets that

these same drivers seem reluctant to reveal. Particularly if you happen to make the mistake of waking a dozing driver whose bus is parked by the side of the road under a palm tree ‘Sunrise Transport’ sounds like a promising ride until I notice the driver peering out of a windscreen framed by long tendrils of lime green shagpile carpet, his own ample frame wedged between three men well enough proportioned to play front row for the national Samoa Sevens rugby side. I quite like the sound of ‘Blessings Transport’ and imagine bumping along to my destination and arriving bathed in the goodwill glow of fellow passengers. Others promise ‘Paradise in Heaven’ and ‘Glory to God’ while another still assures me that ‘Jesus is the Way’ in large lettering above the Toyota badge on the bonnet. But I’m not certain I’m heading in that direction today. I bypass ‘Storm Express’ and gravitate towards ‘Beyond the Blue’ which looks like an alluring cocktail with its faded scarlet bonnet, cornflower blue roof and window frames painted sunshine yellow. The only thing missing is a paper umbrella

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and a fragrant frangipani lei. Meanwhile, ‘Lady Samoa’ beckons seductively with an image of a lithe woman draped in a floral sarong, a red hibiscus tucked behind an ear and lustrous locks cascading over bare shoulders. I wonder what the Christian missionaries would make of her come-hither expression. Rear end panels are adorned with gothic creatures with skeletal frames peering from mysterious cloaks. Bumpers carry inspirational messages like ‘Be strong n stay humble’ or ‘Don’t give up. Try again bro’. Onboard comforts are few. The seats are uncushioned pew-like wooden benches, ostensibly made to seat three or four, but Samoans tend to be plus sized so it’s virtually impossible to prevent your bottom from rubbing against another. There’s also a rather disconcerting practice that would probably have you arrested if you tried it in New York or London. As the bus fills up, people just sit on one another’s laps rather than stand in the aisle. It’s considered normal. Friendly Samoans nearly always offer their laps to travellers or ladies burdened with bags of vegetables or a swaddled infant. It would be rude to refuse. Beyond a couple of bus stations, there are no designated stops – when you want to board, simply stand on the side of the road and wave the bus down. When you reach your destination, just pull the cord to ring the bell when you want the driver to pull over. Apia’s downtown bus station is rudimentary. Raucous laughter rings out from a circle of men sitting cross-legged on the concrete floor playing cards. They seem oblivious to the coming and going of buses disgorging and collecting passengers. Their gazes are directed inwards before erupting with thigh-slapping hilarity as hands are revealed. They don’t seem to notice the women labouring with heavy loads of vegetables. Nor are they fussed by unruly kids running hither and thither between the buses or skittish dogs scavenging for scraps. Mid-morning the bus station is abuzz. Above the sound of idling diesel engines a tinny-sounding ukulele rings out from a handheld radio. The open-sided pavilion is peppered with stalls selling soft drinks and snacks. Creamed coconut wrapped in taro leaves and baked breadfruit are popular. Everywhere, people patiently await their ride, sprawled across tables, slumped in plastic chairs or sitting on the ground leaning up against a grubby wall. No-one seems perturbed by the interminable wait. It’s true that it took some Samoans time to adapt after 2009 when the entire country switched from driving on the right hand side of the road to driving on the left. Some buses are yet to make the conversion, meaning you’ll board and disembark from the middle of the road. But Samoans don’t get stressed or uptight about such inconveniences. In a country guided by Christian principles, where they are accustomed to walking, traffic mostly gives way to pedestrians. Can you imagine such a preposterous occurence in New York, London or Bangkok? •

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Everywhere, people patiently await their ride, sprawled across tables,

slumped in plastic chairs or sitting on the ground leaning up against a grubby wall. No-one seems perturbed by the interminable wait.


s d n a l s I l l a h s r a M e Th

Remote Control Photographer Damea Dorsey spent a month in the remote Marshall Islands. He found the clearest water in the Pacific, stunning beaches, uncrowded surf, World War II wrecks and time to do absolutely nothing. He spoke to Tiffany Carroll on his return.

One of more than 1100 islands in the The Marshalls group which lies between the Philippines and Hawaii.


t’s quite the journey from Bali to Marshall Islands, but I wasn’t the first to do it and I wont be the last – surfers will travel anywhere on the promise of great waves and good times. A chance meeting in Indonesia with Aussie surf explorer Martin Daly saw me join his crew on the Indies Surveyor and sail to Solomon Islands. During the trip, he spoke of his resort, Beran Island in the Marshall Islands and showed me photos and videos of the surf – unbelievable water and waves, a stunning private 45-acre island, five star service and no more than 16 guests at a time – of course I just had to see if for myself. So a month later, an overnight flight from Bali to Brisbane then a Nauru Airlines flight to Majuro saw me island hopping

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my way to the promised remote wonderland of Beran Island. The flight from Brisbane stops at Nauru and Kiribati before finally arriving at Majuro’s airport. The runway looks like something out of Top Gun, with military aircraft parked on the aprons. But flying in, it’s easy to see this former outpost of the United States is a sleepy hollow. The capital Majuro is a bucolic place, but the harbour is a hive of activity with fishing boats and lots of local people walking around. Many locations can be reached on foot, but the local informal taxi service is fun, economical and functional. Taxis stop to pick up passengers anywhere along their island-long route and will never cost more than a few dollars.



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Beran Island Resort will organise everything from massages to fishing and surfing charters along with a fridge full of Dom Perignon.

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Beran Island Resort has hosted big name surfers and celebrities but it too has a laid back feel to it. With just 16 guests at any one time, the service is personal and attentive. Surrounded by stunning white sand and coral beaches, sunset BBQ’s, hammock lounging, sun tanning and meandering strolls are the norm. Beran has a nice stretch of white sand beach that wraps around the South Western tip of the island and ends at the boating dock. It’s perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and day walks. The island offers several included charter boats, which take guests out fishing, diving or surfing. A floating hotel of sorts, you can surf all day without needing to go back on shore with lunch and snacks catered for. In fact, all meals and standard drinks are included in the $3200 per person, per week tariff. There’s even a fridge full of Dom Perignon – but that’s not considered a standard drink quite rightfully. A week at Beran feels like a month and it’s difficult to leave. With patchy phone service throughout the Marshalls you’re forced to switch off, engage with others and take in one of the most beautiful scenes in the Pacific. Martin has got the mix right here – privacy, luxury, adventure, service and relaxation. I’ll be back. •

The essentials

Where to stay in Majuro: Robert Reimers Hotel, Marshall Islands Resort, Lojkar Hotel & Apartments Flights – Air Marshalls & Nauru Airlines Best time to go: October to April for surfing, year round for fishing and relaxation.

PICTURES:Damea Dorsey

The Marshallese are known for their laid-back nature – no one is in a rush here and for a tired American, I had to chill and realise everything will happen eventually here. The next day I’m on an Air Marshall Islands Dash-8 flight to Wotje – the nearest airport to Beran. Most of the flight is headed to Beran; global sports brand owners, a country music star and his entourage and a few others. All had the same look on their faces – excited to be on this adventure and blown away by the scenery below. The Marshall Islands are about as remote as you can get, most of us know and certainly older Marshallese still remember the post-war atomic tests such as the famous Bikini Atoll explosion, where an entire fleet of captured and retired warships was obliterated in a single blast. There is also a persistent, but lesser known story surrounding the disappearance of Amelia Earhart in 1938, which places her forced landing in the Marshalls. But today, this plane is full of keen surfers and fishermen, ready to enjoy spectacular sport fishing, amazing scuba diving and perhaps to explore the poignant war relics left behind after the fierce battles of WWII. The landing at Wotje is a blatant reminder we’re not in the first world. The runway is straight off the reef, with a little more grass than coral but the plane lands safely and reasonably smoothly. Beran’s staff is waiting to greet us, with a truck to take our gear directly to the resort. However the guests are loaded into local taxis at the airport and headed for the sea to board Martin’s other boat, the Indies Trader – it seems we’ve come to surf and Martin is adamant we’re going to get our money’s worth. So before check-in, before laying eyes on the resort, we’re on a boat heading for what promises to be magnificent surf.

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i j i F f o e r o m e e S

Multi Island Tour Renowned Fiji cruise operator, Captain Cook Cruises has announced new dates for island exploration.


aptain Cook Cruises Fiji has released new departure dates for their eleven night Lau and Kadavu Discovery Cruise. Explore the length of the Lau group and the island of Kadavu, a part of Fiji rarely seen by tourists with a unique mix of cultural experiences and water activities. Departure dates include 3 March and 20 October 2020 and 16 March 2021. Early bird rates are available. Visit Makogai Island, an old leper colony, closed to lepers since mid-last century, snorkel over giant clam gardens in the turtle sanctuary and enjoy traditional song and dance from local primary school children Explore a beautiful beach on the rugged southern coastline of Taveuni at Lavena, hike to a spectacular waterfall and freshwater pool and take part in a guided Kayak tour. Snorkel in the caves and adjoining coral gardens at the Bay of Islands at Qilaqila, known for its pristine waters, limestone caves and mushroom shaped islands. Want more? Enjoy a Methodist Tongan church for Sunday service and at Wailagilala explore the ruins of an old lighthouse and snorkel untouched reefs at the top of the Lau group. The cruise visits Fulaga Island or Komo island, both extinct volcanic craters and known for their crystal lagoons and amazing corals, then sails on to spend the afternoon at one of the Yagasa Islands, snorkelling, swimming, coral viewing or kayaking. The 11-night cruise allows you to explore uninhabited Vuaqava and its centrally elevated saltwater lake and view turtles, snakes and bird life, taking part in an island walk to explore the relics of this sacred island. Be entertained by the people of Naikeleyaga Village on the island of Kabara known for their woodturning and Tongan heritage and experience a traditional Tongan Meke, Sevusevu and lovo. On Totoya Island visit a local school and see the children’s creative schoolwork. At Kadavu, famous for its wildlife and underwater world, be amazed by the traditional ceramic craftsmen from a local Village. On board, Viti Water Sports a PADI 5-Star Dive Centre dive is there to guide you every step of the way. Two dives are offered daily and always in different locations.

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Also onboard, guests can be pampered at the ships Senikai Day Spa, work out in the ship’s mini gym or simply relax on the sun deck by the jacuzzi or pool and grab a cocktail at the pool bar. Food is prepared using fresh local and imported produce and guests will enjoy alfresco luncheons, casual barbecues and table d’hôte dinners. The cruise departs Port Denarau Marina at 1.00pm and early booking saver fares in a porthole cabin start from AU$4,700 per adult, per person, twin share. Cruise fares include accommodation, all meals, guided village, school and island tours, snorkelling and glass bottom boat excursions, daily island stopovers and water activities, hikes and Kayak safaris, on board entertainment, kids club (five -10yrs), 24-hour self-service tea and coffee bar, post cruise transfers to Nadi and Denarau hotels and Nadi airport and use of the ship’s facilities including a swimming pool, jacuzzi, mini gym, sun deck, cocktail bar and library. For further information and bookings visit •

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he Waitui Bar and Grill at Sofitel Fiji’s Waitui Beach Club is the latest offering on Denarau island for really good dining. Featuring mouth-watering cocktails and a selection of prestige wines and champagnes, in-house guests and visitors are encouraged to enjoy the sunset at the new bar area. With a certain colonial feel, Waitui’s open air timber bar is almost like an renovated plantation cottage. Weatherboard slats and a pitched roof ensure the bar is airy and breezy. We chose to sit outside and enjoy the sunset, sip on a cocktail and chat to other guests at the resort. After the sunset, the pool area is transformed into a open sky restaurant, with gorgeous lighting and white linen tablecloths adorning intimate tables. Completely exposed to the elements, I imagine the restaurant is not open when it rains. The menu is extensive, but the focus is meat and seafood. The Sofitel custom built their own chargrill and as such, the

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menu includes options such as famed Australian Cape Grim beef as well as pork, lamb and chicken. There are at least nine side dishes to choose from including hand cut fries, roasted field mushrooms, broccoli and sautéed mixed local vegetables. Jean-Christophe Tomasi, the executive chef and his team have sourced fresh ingredients within Fiji as well as imported items when necessary. The menus will be sure to satisfy all palates with a wide range of fresh, healthy and delectable dishes along with the finest selection of grilled meat and seafood from their house built charcoal grill. For guests staying at Sofitel Fiji, the newly refurbished Waitui Club rooms offer stylish, spacious accommodation with designated check in and Club benefits. The bathrooms have been complety renovated and all rooms offer either garden, Waitui Club or beach views. The Waitui Club rooms cater for adults only. •




uva’s leading restaurant Eden has always offered a kaleidoscope of flavours from all around the South Pacific region. Specialising in Indo-Fijian favourites along with dishes from Samoa, Vanuatu and beyond owner Sangeeta Maharaj says she is constantly training and traveling to keep her menus fresh and up to date with the latest trends. In keeping with that, Sangeeta recently invited a chef from Thailand’s renowned Blue Elephant to come to Suva and train her and her chefs in authentic Thai cooking. Visiting Chef Chay spent a week in Eden’s kitchen introducing and refining the team’s skills in Thai cooking but learnt from the team also about using local Fijian ingredients to enhance cooking Sangeeta visits the Suva markets early every Saturday to

get the freshest catch, most aromatic spices and crunchy vegetables to ensure her restaurant guests enjoy a fabulous meal. A walk through the Suva markets with Sangeeta is a true Fijian experience – her favourite farmers all greet her with huge smiles and save their best catch for her. Chef Chay accompanied her to the markets and said they rivalled the best of the best in Thailand and was able to purchase fragrant herbs and spices along with super fresh seafood and vegetables. The result is new Thai options on Eden’s already long list of menu. The toughest part for diners now is what to choose. Eden is located near the American embassy, on the corner of Bureta and Maharaj Streets. Bookings are required for most nights due to its popularity. •

“Sinfully Good Food”

P: 338 6246 | Facebook: edenfiji E: Cnr Bureta & Maharaj St, Tamavua, Suva

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Colourful Kumara o t a t o p t ee sw

These colourful tubers are plentiful throughout the Pacific, here Christiana Kaluscha gets inventive.


umala or kumara, also known as sweet potato, isn’t related to the potato but to the vine plant, morning glory. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. It has a smooth skin and colours range between yellow, orange, red, brown, purple, and beige. Its flesh ranges from

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beige through white, red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, and purple. Sweet potato varieties with white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red, pink or orange flesh. When cooked, its flesh is soft and buttery. The sweet potato is one of the most versatile vegetable groups. Its inherent flavour blends with herbs and spices to produce delicious dishes of all types of soups, casseroles,

Above left: Kumaras have a smooth skin and colours range between yellow, orange, red, brown, purple, and beige.

colourful salads and breads to name only a few. Its brilliant yellow and orange hues liven up almost any dish. For the most food value, choose sweet potatoes of a deep orange colour. Sweet potatoes not only taste great, but also are exceptionally good for you. They are low in fat, cholesterolfree, low in sodium and a good source of fibre. The Maori name is Kumara and it was once a key ingredient of their diet. In Vanuatu they are called Kumala, but there are many different names for it around the globe. At Port Vila’s local market, you can find different varieties, sold in hand woven coconut leaf baskets or already prepared as chips, perfect for a snack with a ‘sundowner’ drink. The first time I really started loving those sweet potatoes was in Ecuador, South America, where they are served boiled with ‘ceviche’, a salad of white fish marinated in limes, onions and chilli. The sweetness of this root mixes perfectly with the tartness and spicy flavour of this salad. Try it with the similar Pacific version of this salad, called ‘Tahitian Salad’ or ‘Kokoda’ in Fiji. I have tried to use it with many other combinations. Sweet potato is very versatile and can be steamed, mashed, baked or fried, or even used in cakes. Here are some easy and delicious recipes.

Sweet Potato Gratin Great with grilled meat or fish or as a vegetarian dish accompanied by a green salad! INGREDIENTS • 1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly • 2 tbsp olive oil • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes - not powder • 250ml single light cream • salt and black pepper • ½ cup fresh coriander METHOD • Once sliced, toss immediately (they tend to blacken quickly) with the oil and all the other ingredients until the slices are well coated and the garlic and chilli well distributed. • Transfer to a lightly oiled gratin dish, spreading out the slices with your fingertips, to ensure that the slices are mostly lying flat. • Pour over the cream and trickle the remaining oil over the gratin. • Bake in a preheated oven (180 C) for 40-50 minutes until completely tender and the top are browned and crispy. • Just before serving, sprinkle with the coriander.

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Above: Spicy sweet potato soup with tomato and coriander. Above right: Sweet potato chips which are a healthy alternative to the regular potato version.

Spicy sweet potato soup (serves 8) INGREDIENTS • ½ cup sour cream • 1 tsp grated lime zest • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed • 1 tbsp butter • 1 onion, sliced • 2 cloves garlic, sliced • 4 cups chicken stock • ½ tsp ground cumin • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger • 1 lime, juiced • 2 tbsp peanut butter • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander • salt to taste • 8 baby tomatoes, cut into quarters

METHOD • In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and lime zest. Set aside in the refrigerator to allow the flavours to blend. • Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add sweet potatoes, and chicken stock. Season with cumin, chilli flakes and ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. • Puree the soup using a blender. Whisk peanut butter into the soup, and heat through. Stir in lime juice, and salt. • Ladle into warm bowls, and top with a dollop of the reserved sour cream, a few pieces of diced tomato, and a sprinkle of cilantro (coriander).

Sweet potato chips (serves 4) Much healthier than the deep fried version with regular potato! TIP: Peel or scrub skin well and remove ends before use. Sweet potatoes discolour quickly once peeled, so place in water until ready to use. INGREDIENTS • 4 medium sweet potatoes • ¼ cup rice bran or good quality vegetable oil • ½ tbsp sugar • ½ tbsp salt • 1 tbsp 5-spice powder, ½ tsp.Cayenne Pepper (optional)

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METHOD • Preheat oven to 240 degrees. • Peel and slice sweet potatoes into matchsticks. The skinnier you make them, the crisper they’re going to be. • Mix your spices in a large bowl. Pour oil over the spice blend and combine well. Throw in your potatoes and toss until they’re completely covered. Lay them out in a single layer on baking paper. Use two sheets if they’re looking crowded. • Place in a hot oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Take out after 15 minutes and turn them over with tongs. Keep an eye on them at the end so that they don’t burn.




y l e v o l e b t i n e d o o W

Living By

Timber is tops in the tropics. Living by the beach has always been characterised by the simple, casual, slightly weatherbeaten, shabby chic aesthetic. From kit homes, to architectdesigned trend setters, to traditional holiday cottages, wood is the way to go when living by the seaside says Toby Preston.

Above: Shabby chic faux weathered beachy decor items are everywhere.


he wonders of wood are apparent not just because it is beautiful to look at and has terrific tactile qualities, it can also make you feel warm inside because you know it’s better for the planet. It's a natural and sustainable material that uses less energy in its processing than other building materials, this is known as embodied energy, and results in a lower carbon footprint. So it's a feel-good product on several levels and it's been around for thousands of years While it has until recently been seen as someting more suited to domestic use there are now high rise timber towers, as Australia's ABC said recently of a nine-storey office tower made almost entirely of wood – 'from skyscraper to plyscaper'. In this case the construction consists of thousands of prefabricated panels that have been bolted together and screwed into place on-site. It also has a higher insulation rating than either steel or plastic as result of its natural cellular structure and weathers beautifully when left to sea breezes and sunlight. That beautiful grey patina that comes with a bit of age is the perfect foil for the colours of the sand and sea. The emergence of island-style housing over the centuries has been a story of natural materials as palm leaves and tree timber have been fashioned into simple shacks and large custom meetng spaces in villages all over the Pacific and increasingly sophicticated versions created for expatriate use and holiday accommodation. The tradition of the weatherbooard beach shack is just as ubiquitous in western culture with almost every country employing some form of this style, from the Scandinavians to the South Africans and throughout the Americas and Asia.•

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The Beach Above right: Louvres and thatch at the end of an island boardwalk. Below left: Trad two storey timber beach cottage; right, Malolo Resort, Fiji.

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Top: Simplicity on stilts, cute beach shacks in Capetown’s Muizenberg. Above: Something a little more sophisticated at Vomo Resort in Fiji.

Right: Tokoriki Island Resort in the Mamanuca islands, Fiji has used plenty of carved local timber in their foyer. Far right: The spectacular waterfront events room at Taumeasina Island Resort in Samoa with its timber floors and walls.

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Top left : Tamanu on the Beach, Vanuatu: Traditionally braided Fijian beams. Above left: Eratap Resort Vanuatu; right, White Grass Ocean Resort, Tanna.

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any kids from the Pacific islands complete their secondary education in Australia and New Zealand. Here are four Queensland schools with long relationships with island kids.

Stuartholme With only 680 students, Stuartholme is small enough for each girl to be personally known, yet large enough to offer an extensive, relevant and dynamic range of opportunities. Away from the classroom, the range of enrichment and co-curricular activities allows each girl to build self-confidence whilst developing her talents and interests. Only six kilometres from Brisbane’s CBD, Stuartholme provides the girls with a quiet, safe environment where they can live and learn. In many ways Stuartholme functions like a village, it is a highly relational, inclusive educational community where everyone knows and cares for one another. Boarders have been at the heart of the school since it opened in 1920. Today, the Boarding House is a home-awayfrom-home for 120 boarders. New Dean of Boarding, Karen Davies, brings to the school a passion for developing wellbeing amongst young people that

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will strengthen the comprehensive holistic care of Stuartholme girls. The Boarding House vision is to inspire all boarders to do their personal best, to aim for excellence academically and/or vocationally, to develop high level inter-personal skills and to become compassionate and inclusive young women. Stuartholme employs boarding staff who are skilled and passionate about providing expert care and support for adolescent girls. The wellbeing program is designed to help boarders develop a set of wellbeing skills through a strengths-based approach so that girls believe in their own potential, know that making mistakes is part of life and are confident that they can adapt their mindset and behaviour when needed. Stuartholme School encourages students to recognise their responsibilities as global citizens who are passionate advocates for social justice. A Stuartholme education allows students to develop an in-depth awareness and understanding of international issues, develop their capacity to recognise another person’s perspective and communicate ideas across diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Students are empowered to make a profound difference to the communities they come from and to the wider world. To find out more please visit

Boarding at St Peters Lutheran College opens doors Co-educational Brisbane boarding school St Peters Lutheran College has a proud boarding tradition—one that opens the door to a vast range of educational and co-curricular opportunities. Since 1945, St Peters has been a home-awayfrom-home for students from all around the world. Currently, we house over 170 boarding students from rural and regional Queensland, the Northern Territory, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Southeast Asia and beyond. St Peters is a place where the whole family can stay together. Our approach to boarding is modelled off the family unit, with opportunities for boys and girls to interact at meal times, study sessions and during organised activities. There are a range of support systems in place for each student—it is essential that each St Peters boarding student, from Year 6 to Year 12, receives the care and support they need throughout their schooling years and our unique mentorship initiatives ensure this. By boarding at St Peters, your child will learn independence and organisation. They will have access to nutritious food, onsite healthcare facilities, a dedicated pastoral care team, weekly worship opportunities and a wide range of recreational

activities. St Peters boarders develop a strong sense of selfbelief and friendships bonds that last a lifetime. The sense of community displayed by our boarders is unlike anything else. St Peters has an enviable reputation in the community for providing a high-quality education where we challenge minds, nurture hearts and build futures. Students in Years 6 – 10 follow the Australian curriculum whilst students in Years 11 and 12 can choose to follow either an ATAR, International Baccalaureate or Vocational Education pathway. The comprehensive co-curricular program on offer involving sports, music, robotics and service learning is second to none. St Peters boarding is a true home away from home for our boarders. To find out more about boarding at St Peters Lutheran College, visit:

St Peters Lutheran College

Excellence in Prep–Year 12 Co-Education. Day: Prep–Year 12 | Boarding: Years 6–12 LUTHERAN COLLEGE

2020 & 2021 Boarding Places Available

Apply Now Consider St Peters Lutheran College in Brisbane. Offering excellence in co-educational boarding for Years 6–12 since 1945. Contact Ross Thomson, Director of Community Engagement on islandliving | 97 pacific

BOAR D IN G SC HOO L S Boarding at Brisbane Grammar School At Brisbane Grammar School, students from diverse backgrounds live the School’s core values of endeavour, learning, respect, leadership and community. The School’s ambition to be the best school for boys in Australia creates an environment where boys realise their promise and pursue their talents. Brisbane Grammar School’s proud boarding history began when the School opened in 1869. Today, a modern relevant boarding program engages and supports boys on their school journey. The Harlin House boarding precinct is set in the heart of the School’s inner-city campus. The House caters for 100 students, with individual rooms for senior boys and three dormitories for boys from Years 5 to 10. Brisbane Grammar School’s broad liberal education aims to develop multi-literate students who are critical, reflective and creative thinkers. Each boy is challenged to fulfil his potential and achieve his best. Student wellbeing is central to the School’s mission. Teachers support boys to be happy, confident and resilient, both at school and as lifelong learners. A dedicated student

wellbeing team implements the School’s formalised wellbeing program, which aims to monitor each student’s progress. Beyond the classroom, boys are encouraged to make the most of the School’s co-curricular activities, which include sport, the visual and performing arts, and special interest clubs and activities. By developing their talents and pursuing their interests, boys make friendships and learn teamwork and leadership skills. The School takes part in a variety of competitive sports and activities. As part of its unique educational experience for boys, BGS also provides students with adventure-based education at its Outdoor Education Centre at Moogerah, west of Brisbane. Visit

Discover the opportunities for boarding students at Queensland’s leading school for boys. Brisbane Grammar School Gregory Terrace Brisbane QLD 4000

Telephone +61 7 3834 5200


For more information email CRICOS Provider Number 00489C

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Boarding at St Margarets, Ascot For Allysah Toua of Papua New Guinea attending Australia’s St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School has been an incredible experience brimming with opportunities that will help her foster her full potential. “Studying in Brisbane has been great because of the amount of opportunities the school and living in Brisbane have to offer,” she said. Allysah loves that she gets to play volleyball and cricket for the school and also enjoyed her stint on the basketball team. The Year 11 student, who first joined St Margaret’s as a boarder in Year 8, also embraces the city’s many experiences and events. “Brisbane is a very multicultural city and I love the fact that I get to experience amazing culture and tradition at places like Eat Street and through festivals such as the BrisAsia Festival, Cinco de Mayo, Paniyiri and the Pasifika Gold Coast,” Allysah said. Earlier this year Allysah was appointed as a Brisbane International Student Ambassador which has opened the door to a wide range of activities and lifestyle experiences across the city.

The St Margaret’s boarding house is just as culturally diverse as the city in which it is situated with students hailing from rural and regional areas of Queensland, NSW and the Northern Territory as well as overseas locations including Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Asia. Each year, the boarding house hosts a ‘See my difference, See my worth’ festival designed to celebrate the boarding community’s vibrant cultural diversity through activities and experiences. Boarders also have the chance to visit their friends’ homes during a special boarders’ long weekend, allowing them the chance to experience a very different life outside the city, often in rural and regional centres in Queensland and New South Wales.•

St Margaret’s PRE-PREP - YEAR 12


A leading Australian boarding school for girls

A local school with a global outlook • 11 Petrie Street Ascot QLD 4007 T: (07) 3862 0777 • E: St Margaret’s School Council Ltd ABN: 69069684019 CRICOS Code: 00511K

99OP1-15 % 2018 Seniors

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Landscape Your Walls Real estate with a view is highly sought after but you can create your own by putting some landscape photography on your walls. Some of the world’s greatest photographers are renowned for their pictures of scenery but you could always create your own. By Toby Preston.

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PICTURES: Peter Essick, Light and Land, Voyages Avec Nous


t was the influence of a landscape photographer, William Henry Jackson, that was instrumental in the USA congress declaring Yellowstone as the country’s first national park in 1872. His famous counterparts Ansel Adams and Edward Weston were equally responsible for creating an appreciation of nature through their stunning landscape photography, capturing some of America's most spectacular scenery in black and white. Copies of their original photographs now sell for upwards of US$70,000 but modern day replicas are available for as little as US$130 for Ansel Adams prints from his online store – see Edward Weston's oeuvre covers a much wider subject range from nudes to fruit and shells but his landscape photographs can be found for sale at Without wanting to suggest that just anyone can replicate works of the quality of these masters, it is one of the easier forms pf photography to master if you're lucky with the light. Mostly what's needed is a memorable piece of scenery, good natural light and a reasonably wide angle lens. If you're wanting get more serious and take longer exposure pictures then a tripod is a useful accessory and possibly a couple of filters, I find in the tropical sun a polarising filter is a must but you could also include some neutral density filters for longer exposures too. A quick search of the internet reveals any number of dealers selling landscape pictures which can bought at very reasonable prices and printed on a variety of surfaces from paper to canvas, so bring the view inside.•

Left: Esteemed National Geographic photogapher Peter Essick revisited the Ansel Adams Wilderness, an area in the Sierra Nevada of California named in honour of the famous photographer and took a series of tribute photographs to celebrate the great man. This shot was taken at sunrise and features the minarets reflected in a small pond near Cecile Lake. Above: That’s Ansel Adams at work, setting up his tripod on the roof of his woody early last century. Adams was born in 1902 and at age 17 joined the renowned Sierra Club, a group dedicated to protecting wild places. Below left: French lavender fields. Below right: With those vivid blues and white sand, could that be anything but a Greek beach?

Left: Edward Weston’s Dunes Oceano 1936. Weston, born in 1886 was described as “one of the most innovative and influential American photographers...” As of 2013, two of Weston’s photographs feature among the most expensive photographs ever sold. A nude taken in 1925 was bought by the gallerist Peter MacGill for $1.6 million in 2008. Nautilus of 1927 was sold for $1.1 million in 2010, also to MacGill. Apart from his landscapes and nudes he famously shot close-ups of vegetables and fruits as well as shells and pebbles. Right: a free image of beach pier from pxhere. com

Below left top: Victoria’s (Australia) Touquay Beach entitled ‘Torquay SLSC 1956 No. 3’, copyright Leonid Olijnyk; Below left, bottom: Tranquil lake with

dinghies. Below middle: Dramatic coastal rock at sunset; Below right: Another free image from which has a library of over 1 million images.

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long distance love affair

High Rise Hawaii lds r o w h t o b f o t bes

One of the world’s most famous stretches of sand, Waikiki Beach reclines in the sunshine and the shadows of iconic hotels and towering high rise apartment blocks, an all-American culture blended with a generous dose of Pacific informality which makes for a perfect shopping paradise.

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PICTURES: Craig Osment

It’s in the Pacific but in another league when it comes to island life. Hawaii is a little chunk of America that revels in its big waves and big-city beachside existence while still enjoying all the benefits of sun, sand and surf. Craig Osment goes shopping and sightseeing in the fiftieth state.

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Haleiwa on Ohahu’s North Shore is where old Hawaii lives on, plantation style buildings, galleries, coffee shops and a cool ambience are in


f you already live in the Pacific, well, south of the equator, chances are you’re in your own chosen paradise which in clichéd terms means palm trees and beaches, a warm climate in a relatively unspoilt environment that’s sparsely populated, limited shopping opportunities and not exactly architecturally sophisticated. About 21 degrees above the equator in the central Pacific, sitting on the Tropic of Cancer, is another kind of Pacific island state, its population is around 1.4 million, it’s got palm trees and beaches and unspoilt areas but it’s pretty highly evolved with lots of stunning high-rise buildings and huge shopping malls filled with all the latest fashion items and stores usually found in some of the 48 contiguous states of the USA. Since joining the mainland in 1959 as the 50th state, Hawaii has benefitted from the sort of infrastructure and lifestyle generally demanded by their more cossetted and urbane compatriots to the east. This has made for a unique mix of tropical informality and big-city sophistication around Honolulu on Ohahu, with a population of almost 1 million, this is where most tourists land in the archipelago. If you’re staying somewhere near Waikiki or along Kalakaua Avenue the peachy, beachy vibe is always apparent, locals in board shorts and T shirts mix it with tourists in, err, board

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shorts and T shirts or American ‘leisure suits’ or Japanese kiddy-porn street-wear teamed with designer labels but the atmosphere remains sub tropical in spite of the glitzy stores and the all-you-can’t-eat fast food joints. This is shop-till-youdrop Shangri-La or a consumer’s heaven, it’s Fifth Avenue in the fiftieth state. It’s all here from Macy’s to Max Mara, from Tod’s to Tiffany. From ukuleles to you-beaut loud shirts. Most of the downtown retail strip is concentrated along Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues which makes for a simple and reasonably compact exploration of the big-label emporia along with the local markets and the ubiquitous ABC stores which are combination mini-marts, souvenir shops and clothing stores. There’s the inevitable DFS Galleria, the Royal Hawaiian Centre, The Waikiki Beach Walk complex, the International Market Place with its craft and food stalls and shops, and there’s any number of lavish hotels on the beachside for pit stops. There’s so much shopping and eating the beach is just a distraction, if a welcome one when it comes to sitting down with a drink or a meal. When I was last here I don’t think I even got my feet wet in spite of staying right on one of the world’s most famous stretches of sand, probably too busy buying shoes and lounging in beach bars.

contrast to Waikiki which is all high rise and hot, rods and at the end of the beach home to one of the world’s biggest craters on Diamond Head.

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Surfboards are everywhere in Hawaii, from the eached to the top of the Chevy woody (below right). Rent a Mustang for the day and

But wait, there’s more! When you’ve done the outdoor retail strip head off to Ala Moana, which is just up the road on Ala Moana Boulevard. This is home to one of the biggest multi-level malls you’re going to see for a while. There are 290 stores, 35 luxury brands and 80 ‘dining options’. Here you’ll find American favourites Neiman Marcus, Sears, Harry Winston, Nordstrum and Williams Sonoma along with a few of the usual European suspects like Botega Veneta, Chanel, and Louis Vuittton. If recreational consuming is your thing then this is the place to get serious. Although … There’s more again, this time it’s at bargain prices, not far out of town (about 15 minutes by car) you’ll find the Waikele Premium Outlets centre which promises discounts of 25%65% on a huge range of well known brands. There’s even a Barneys New York outlet. And when you’re thirsty pick up a

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bucket-sized cup of coffee and a Spam musubi (Hawaiians are reputedly the second biggest consumers of Spam in the world) and consume them in your immense rental SUV or convertible Mustang on the way out to the North Shore to finally see some of the real Oahu where the surf set come for big winter wave action. This area is home to those places of legend, Waimea Bay, Haleiwa and the Banzai Pipeline; the name alone brings shivers to the surfing spine. The little village at Haleiwa is a picturesque slice of ‘old’ Hawaii with plantation-style wooden buildings and a cultured, crafty feel, which is completely at odds with what’s on display in Waikiki. There are surf shops and coffee shops, galleries and understated little restaurants, which contribute to the laid-back slightly in-the-know-cool ambience of area. If you’re looking for more big-scale glamour

cruise to the North Shore; Call it at Roy’s Waikiki for a cocktail.

on this side of the island then just up the road to the east is Turtle Bay Resort where you can actually sit with your feet in the sand while eating lunch or dinner at the Ola Restaurant but the real charm of being in the area is the respite from the glitz and clamour of the south. That’s not to say that big isn’t beautiful, particularly if you contrast it with the simplicity of the South Pacific, Hawaii is a wonderfully easy way to engage with the full-on US of A lifestyle on a more manageable scale. In some ways it’s American to its snakeskin Cuban-heeled bootstraps with everything from mega malls to hot rods and Corvettes, from monster SUVs and freeways to 40-story buildings overshadowing the beach, fast food, fast talk and big bottoms, hey dude it’s the real deal. But it’s also in the middle of the ocean and it’s been influenced by countless Japanese, indigenous Hawaiians and even the British after Captain James Cook ‘discovered’ the place in 1778 and named it the Sandwich Islands, the legacy of this event is the Union Jack in the corner of the Hawaiian flag. So just like mainland America it’s cosmopolitan as well as corny. Back in Waikiki there are certain obvious attractions which are not to be missed, apart from Diamond Head, the world’s most famous crater which can be seen from almost anywhere without a high-rise in front, there are historic military sites and memorabilia connected to Pearl Harbour like the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and the Aviation Museum. The renowned Honolulu Museum of Art is also worth a visit to see everyone from Warhol to Gauguin and van Gogh up close. More obvious but equally important in the local culture is the Duke Kahanamoku statue on Kuhio Beach where the country’s greatest aquatic hero welcomes all to Waikiki with open arms. Fortunately for those of us who like to eat and drink with a view there are a few iconic hotels along the beachfront which are definitely worth a visit. Most famously there is the Royal Hawaiian or Pink Palace of the Pacific, try the Surf Lanai for a Sunday brunch or a few doors away try the Beach Bar at the Moana Surfrider. Here you can sip cocktails or snack on Wagyu Sliders or Guava Glazed Pork Ribs under their signature, enormous banyan tree right on the beachfront and in the early evening listen to the live entertainment. The Halekulani is another landmark property on the beach with a gorgeous garden setting, live music and great atmosphere at their House Without A Key for a sunset mai tai. So, as I said at the outset Hawaii is just like any other island, except it’s not. If you want a typical island break and you don’t want to venture out of your own ocean, it’s a great way to see the world while never being out of sight of the beach, best of both really! Fiji Airways flies to Honolulu direct once a week, taking just over six hours. Another weekly flight goes via Apia, Samoa. The airline offers very competitive connecting fares from Australia and New Zealand to Hawaii as well and can include an overnight stopover in Nadi. See •

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She’s A Champ! Gabrielle Apelu is a regional role model for women in sport, from grass roots rugby to mentor and international champion. By Liz Ah-Hi.


he 2019 16th Pacific Games in Samoa was a showcase of the best in high performance athletes from around the Pacific. It also proved to be a highlight for women in sport particularly for the Samoa Titans Womens Sports club which churned out 14 players across five disciplines during the games. Leading Samoa Titans Women’s Sports club is local champion athlete turned mentor and sports consultant, Gabrielle Apelu who has been a pioneer for women’s rugby codes in Samoa. Apelu, a Rugby League International, Samoa National Touch Representative, Samoa and New Zealand Tag Rugby International and former Manusina Rugby Captain, has been a pioneer for women’s rugby codes in Samoa. She came up through grass roots rugby in the 1990s during a time when it was unusual to see females playing rugby in Samoa to now running and coaching the only women’s sports club in our little island nation. She has been a powerful voice in advocating for women in sport and has been fearless in her approach to using sport as a vehicle to drive and address gender equity. Seven years ago she started the Samoa Titans Women’s Sports Club and since then has mentored and trained women and girls to reach their full potential across many different sporting disciplines. “Three years ago when the new young girls joined the club, I set out targets for Pacific Games for them to work towards, and it’s a testament to their commitment and mindset that they stayed on this journey with me and the results speak for themselves,” says Apelu. “From our club alone we have 14 of us who competed in the Pacific Games over five disciplines and that’s something we are proud of. We have churned out elite athletes in the space of three years and that says ‘yes, Samoa can do it!’” Titans Women’s Sports Club represented Samoa across three sports that have the metal work to prove their success, securing silver medals for touch rugby and taekwando as well as winning gold in tag rugby. Being impacted by, and learning from those earlier

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challenges in rugby prompted the formation of the Titans to help nurture, support and train women and girl athletes to pursue excellence in sport while learning life skills. “We wanted to create a space where women and girls can come and feel safe and secure,” she said. “Playing sport was a way for us to get together but now we are looking beyond that – we are creating productive, positive role models for young women.” One of the young women being empowered through the club to set her sights on achieving her full potential, is 19 year-old Frances Gaufa Salesa who represented Samoa in touch rugby at the 16th Pacific Games. “When I joined the Titans, my mindset changed,” said Salesa. “I realised I can accomplish anything and being there (in the club) helped me make the under 21 National Rugby Team for Samoa and the World Cup team for touch rugby. “Now I’m an ambassador for tag rugby with a (Pacific Games) gold medal. It’s been a privilege to have a family and sisters within the Titans.” Apelu balances the demands of sport and family with enthusiasm and up until recently had also occupied the role of Samoa Games Development Manager for the Australian National Rugby League in Samoa, which earned her the accolades of being the first female manager for the NRL in the Pacific and the first in the football division across the entire region. She hopes to mentor the next generation of sportswomen who will take up the mantle of leadership in sporting organisations. Currently there are eight sporting organisations that have women at the executive level in Samoa and Apelu believes that creating safe environments where women and girls can feel supported and empowered will help increase that number. “I’ve heard the viewpoint that sport has no place in our culture but I disagree with that because sportspersonship mirrors our culture,” Apelu says, adding that Samoan culture is ‘fealofani’ to walk hand in hand. “Our job as a community and family unit is to grow stronger together and lift each other up.” •

K E E P IN TOU CH We love hearing from our readers! You can get in touch via our website or follow us on social media – @pacisliving. And here’s where you can find us at home.


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f o s t fi e n e b e h t y o Enj

Healthy Gardening T

he Food Revolution is here. NCD’s (Non Communicable Diseases- High blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases sugar diabetes, cancer, etc) are creating havoc in the Pacific and to combat them we are being encouraged to take a good look at what we eat and the amount of exercise we get. Smoking and alcohol contribute to the problem but the main cause is the types of food we are consuming. Processed foods are high in sugar and salt and have little or no nutritional value. There are many reasons for the change in our eating habits. In many cases it is the convenience of it, especially if the cook of the family is employed full time. It is so easy to drop in and buy a pizza or something in a packet. The medical statistics in the Pacific paint a grim picture. The figures show that in 2015, the Pacific had six countries in the ten top countries in the world, for the rate of sugar diabetes of 20-79 year olds, with Tokelau the highest at 30%. Unfortunately these numbers are rapidly getting worse. NCDs are also the major contributor to premature death in the Pacific. There are also the additional costs to society of lowered productivity, increased absenteeism, lowered educational learning and the high costs to our health departments. There is a huge push for us to understand the connection between the food we eat and our health and the value of the food our ancestors ate. With this aim, there are an increasing number of food events from slow food festivals to international cooking competitions. Even without this we are are all becoming more conscious of the food we put in our mouth and the single easiest way to control the quality of this food, is to grow it yourself. Along with the types of food we eat is the concern of how it is grown. The word organic has become very popular and it is much overused. Someone once told me that they had just bought an organic cookbook. This is not possible, organics is a technique not a product. To be able to make the right choices you must be informed and understand the differences.

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‘Organic’ – of food or farming method – produced without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides or other artificial chemicals. ‘Open pollinated’ generally refers to seeds that will produce plants that are the same as their parents. ‘Hybrids’ is a cross between two unrelated plants resulting in seed that carries one or more favourable traits. F1 is the result of two unrelated open pollinated plants. Then of course there is the baddie in the bunch – ‘GMO’ – genetically modified seed - this is seed that has been modified with non-plant DNA. Many people use organics to cover food that is grown using healthy sustainable methods but not technically truly organic. Once you know and understand the difference it is easy to make the choices that suit you. Some vegetable varieties can be easily grown without the use of any chemicals and it is important to note that a small amount of insect damage is not a problem. There are however certain families of vegetables that are almost impossible to grow, here in our warm climate, without the use of some sort of chemicals. The worst are the cabbage and cucurbits groups; insects, moulds and mildews love these family groups. If you need to use pesticides or fungicides then you need to do your homework and find out the friendly safe sprays that are available to you. There are also many DIY sprays that you can make, that are quite effective. All of these solutions have one problem, if you live in a high rainfall area, you need to respray after every shower. If the organic sprays are not working for you, you will need to use something stronger. Before deciding on what chemicals to use, do some more homework, most of them are perfectly safe if used correctly. Mixing instructions are to be followed correctly, and the withholding periods are important. A withholding period is the time between spraying and eating your vegetables. Vegetable growing is very rewarding and there is nothing

PICTURES: Craig Osment and Carolyn Ernst.

Carolyn Ernst grows any number of healthy organic veggies and recommends the best ways you too can enjoy eating what you grow.

“In Vanuatu we have a tiny wild tomato that produces baby sweet tomatoes the whole year. Beans and cabbage are also easy to grow.�

as good as eating your own home grown vegetables. It does not take a lot of time and it is a great thing to do as a family, everyone can help prepare the soil and even the youngest can help plant the bigger seeds; like beans, peas and pumpkins. Children love watching seeds grow, first the tip, as the seed first emerges, then followed by the first two leaves. Children learn early which are the good plants and which are weeds. They absolutely adore munching freshly picked beans and peas, so much so, if your household is like mine, no pea ever makes it to the kitchen. It is important to make sure you understand the growing requirements of each plant. The room each plant requires

is important, so they can be spaced correctly and many require some form of support. Tomatoes need to be stacked and also the side shoots nipped out, so the plant puts all is effort into the one main stem. Also where it gets a bit hot and humid, this keeps the plant open to improve the airflow, so controlling mildews and mould. I have also seen tomatoes grown up and onto a supported horizontal trellis. There are a huge rang of support options, check out the internet for the type that suits you and your growing area. Also get out of your comfort zone, there is a huge range of different vegetables that you can grow. Some of these are the traditional crops grown throughout the Pacific and there is the

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If your space is limited, many vegetables can be grown in containers. – an old bath tub is perfect.

growing availability of different vegetables traditionally grown in the Asia region. The good thing about Asian vegetables is that many of them will grow and produce during the rainy hot season, unlike a lot of the traditional European types. There has also been much research done in growing varieties of some of the European vegetables so that they will grow during the hot season. There are now varieties of leafy lettuces and tomatoes for the whole year and more types of tomatoes suitable for the wet tropics. In Vanuatu we have a tiny wild tomato that produces baby sweet tomatoes the whole year, nothing seems to eat it and it has a natural immunity to mildews. I am currently trialling growing them in my garden. The tomato is tiny but oh so sweet and tasty. Island cabbage is another favourite, sautéed or used like you would cabbage in any cooked dish, it comes in a mile of shapes and colours and is delicious and also good for you. It is very productive and easy to grow. Choko is another interesting vegetable. They are a short lived perennial and are very productive. The choko has a million uses from salads to sautéed in garlic and is only limited by your imagination. I am really enjoying my winged beans or dragon bean; the baby beans are delicious in a salad or in any other recipe that calls for beans. Also I have just planted a tub of water spinach and eagerly await the result. It is supposed to be easy to grow and very delicious. It likes lots of water but does not need to be grown in water. Then there are the root crops, our first manioc is due to be harvested just three months after planting. The kumala (kumara) is thriving and the choice of varieties is endless. Our café has trialed many sorts but finds the white types makes the best chips so we are currently busy propagating. We use

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a shoot tip cutting to propagate.Then there are many different varieties of taros and yams. I like the African yam which is smaller and very sweet, I have just managed to find some planting materials so will get them planted this week. Your vegetable garden doesn’t need to be huge, if your space is limited, many vegetables can be grown in containers. Concentrate on the vegetables that you like and use a lot of. Remember a lot of different lettuces do not need to be pulled out and eaten all at once. I often just harvest the leaves that I need and let the plant continue growing, they will eventually go to seed but you will get many weeks’ worth of use from just a small area. Tomatoes and cucumbers can be grown up or left to hang from their basket, this will produce a very productive hanging basket for you patios and verandas. If you live in any of the major cities there are many community gardens. This is a great way to produce your own food but also to meet people and get involved in the community. And, don’t forget the added health benefits of gardening, it is a form of exercise and there is nothing more relaxing than five minutes spent in your garden. You don’t always have to do anything, just stand still and let the peace and serenity sooth your soul. It is a proven fact that gardeners live longer and healthier than non-gardeners. Have a healthy day and enjoy your garden.•

Gardening editor Carolyn Ernst owns and operates Eden on the River, an open-garden, petting zoo, cafe, mini zipline, waterfall adventure park in Port Vila. It is a mustvisit whilst in Vanuatu for a great day out.

Crossword Puzzling questions to while away your holiday. Solution on page 118 ACROSS 1 Paper money (5) 5 Italian aniseed-flavoured liqueur (7) 9 Fashionable (4,2) 10 Alluvial deposit (5) 11 Shone (7) 12 Berthing area for yachts (6) 15 Gives support (7) 17 Division or disunion (6) 19 Polynesian dance performed by women (4) 21 Dispenser of drugs (10) 25 Creative works (3) 27 Very angry (3) 28 Catwalk star (10) 31 Front part of a plane (4) 32 Travel organisers (6) 35 White water thrillseekers (7) 39 Sampler (6) 42 Shoulder bag (7) 43 Large body of water (5) 44 Pacific Ocean climate cycle (2,4) 45 Riotous festivities (7) 46 Basil-based sauce (5) DOWN 1 Largest airport in Fiji (4) 2 Stories (5) 3 Religious teacher (5) 4 Commencement (5) 5 Indication (4) 6 Map collection (5) 7 Sandy shore (5) 8 Dairy products (7)









9 10

11 12 15









25 28










34 39






38 41


42 44 45

13 Right now with some exceptions (4) 14 Samoans, for example (9) 16 Portion (5) 18 Shellfish used in chowder (4) 19 Owns (3)


20 Pool length (3) 22 Paddled boat (5) 23 Traditional nuptial agreement (1,2) 24 Starting place in golf (3) 26 Slow running pace (4) 29 Better plane seat (7) 30 Vitality (4)

33 34 36 37 38 40 41

Mother-of-pearl (5) Pilot (5) Loft (5) Group of soldiers (5) Coral structures (5) Friendly nation (4) Cancel (4)

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theessentia lvanuatu.c


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Behind Your Magazine

Behind the scenes, or should that be the scenery, since we’re in the Pacific, we’re making your mag. TIFFANY CARROLL | Editor Tiffany began her career in journalism at GTV 9 in Melbourne before switching to print media with Rural Press newspapers in NSW. Later she joined the private office of the Premier of Victoria as Press Secretary in the second term of the Kennett Government. She has been editing Air Vanuatu’s inflight magazine Island Spirit for nine years as well as Pacific Island Living, Malaga and The Essential Vanuatu. NICOLE BROWN | Art Director Nicole has worked as a senior designer in many areas of publishing prior to becoming immersed in island life on both Pacific Island Living, Malaga and Island Spirit. Nic’s a graduate in graphic design with an advanced diploma to her name as well as a string of consumer magazine design credits. GEORGIE GORDON | Features Editor Georgie’s university studies in communications, journalism and publishing were followed by a successful career in advertising. Georgie now spends much of her time writing about the things she has a passion for - design, food, travel, books, health and beauty. She now resides part time in the region, allowing her to pursue her enthusiasm for promoting the pleasures of the Pacific. CHRISTIANA KALUSCHA | Food Editor Christiana studied languages and economics at Cologne University before taking up the life of a sea gypsy, sailing the Mediterranean from Spain to Turkey and onwards around the world. Fluent in several languages plus the language of food, Christiana now runs the exclusive boutique B+B, Sarangkita, on the beachfront outside of Port Vila, from where she also conducts cooking tours and classes as the creator of Vanuatu Food Safari. OLIVIA WAUGH | Fashion + Style Editor Olivia Waugh is a highly regarded fashion stylist with a career in both retail and editorial. She has been Fashion Editor for the top-selling Australian weekly Woman’s

Day and Fashion Director of the glossy monthly SHOP TIL YOU DROP. She is currently freelancing for a variety of Australia’s top magazines and manufacturers as well as island-hopping. CAROLYN ERNST | Gardening Editor Carolyn Ernst is a passionate gardener and farmer. Originally from New Zealand, Carolyn has called the Pacific home for well over 25 years. She is a married mother of four children and two grandchildren and operates Eden on the River - an outdoor adventure and garden experience in Port Vila. PAT INGRAM | Editorial Director Pat Ingram has a long and passionate association with magazines. She edited Australian Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar before her 10-year stint as Publishing Director for ACP Magazines’ 16 women’s titles including Woman’s Day and The Australian Women’s Weekly. She currently works as a publishing consultant and editorial director for Fairfax Media. She is a resident of Vanuatu and dreams of spending most of the year there. CRAIG OSMENT | Publisher Craig has over thirty years’ experience as an independent publisher of consumer magazines, books and trade titles. Originally a graphic designer, he was art director of Australian Cosmopolitan, The Bulletin and POL magazines. Now a Vanuatu resident, he is also the publisher of Island Spirit, the Air Vanuatu in-flight magazine and The Essential Vanuatu. JEMMA SENICO | Relationship Manager Jemma has joined the team at Pacific Island Living and Malaga magazines as our regional relationship manager. The Fijian/Aussie has lived and worked across the Pacific in sales and marketing roles and is the co-founder of Pacific Island Tourism Representation. Jemma loves to travel and is quite the Pacific expert, from Tonga to Vanuatu and everywhere in between. You can read her insider tips each issue in Pacific Island Living.

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The New Nutrients Toby Preston gets activated while probing the latest food trends, from the probiotic to the mildly erotic, he finds keeping up with gastronomic fads and fashions almost impossible.


admit to having fallen victim to the odd food fad, and even some very odd food fads but as I mostly eschew those Instagram and Pinterest feeds that feature food that’s been assembled by graphic designers I usually stick to things that are actually edible. Things that claim a few health benefits to offset my excessive wine and protein intake, so the man who lives on lard and cabernet sauvignon has tried probiotic kimchi, fibre-filled steel cut oats, the ‘functional beverage’ kombucha and seaweed salad among others. But recently I keep encountering things that have been ‘activated’. From turmeric to charcoal to nuts – the nutrition nuts are advocating getting activated everywhere from your almonds and protein powders to your mattress topper and pillow and even your toothpaste. Yep, I’m using activated charcoal, black toothpaste to make my teeth whiter. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay abreast of all the new nutrients and healthy, eco-friendly foodstuffs that are de rigueur among the newly ‘woke’ and mostly millennial consumers. For instance I didn’t even get to take up matcha tea which has to be whisked with a bamboo brush before I read that it is about to be supplanted by Moringa which is another powdered plant transformed into a superfood which needs to be steeped and drunk as tea. Guess I’ll just stick to peppermint tea, although it’s hard to pass up on 27 vitamins and 46 antioxidents plus essential amino acids reputedly crammed into a cup of Moringa. It’s not called Instagram for nothing Among other supermarket superfoods making claims to any number of miraculous health benefits ranging from cancer prevention to impotence improvements are a lot of exotic berries, seeds and plants. Goji berries, açaí berries, chia seeds or spirulina, which is an algae extract often used to add a bit of colour to ‘mermaid’ foods which is yet another Pinterest and Insta-worthy sub group of wacky polychromatic cuisine. Indeed mermaid foods are threatening to upstage unicorn fare according to aficionados, so once again you have to be quick or you’ll miss it – it’s not called instagram for nothing! But what exactly are you missing? If you are a child (or suffering from arrested development, or a Starbuck’s customer), in the case of ‘unicorn’ creations it could be anything from multi-coloured rainbow bagels or variegated sushi with red and blue rice or even more distressing the multi coloured pizza with a topping of icing, sprinkles and

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fairy floss – appetising! Whereas mermaid food, also for the littlies is slightly less vivid, concentrating on its namesake’s ocean environment it seems to stick to shades of blue and green thanks to lots of spirulina. It can be as seemingly mundane as crab sandwiches made with croissants with any kind of filling but with the addition of eyes on toothpicks so that they vaguely resemble a crab. But it can also feature all sorts of ‘butters’ in the full colour spectrum as well as an even fuller spectrum of health claims like this one for Fairy Butter which contains ‘slow-churned coconut flesh + ripe, juicy strawberries + libidoenhancing maca = the sexiest coconut butter alive. Perfect for fairies and humans alike’. Not that those properties should be promoted to the kiddies. So, after kale and kombucha (tea fungus and tastes like it), seaweed and marine munchies, what’s next? I’m thinking everything that’s faux food; for instance meatless meat products, milkless milk drinks and fishless seafood. And we’re all aware of the vegan trend to burgers made from soybeans, tofu, nuts and grains and something called mycoprotein, a ‘single cell fungal protein’ which leaves me wondering where’s the beef? Then there are all those lactose alternatives for making milk without having to wrestle a cow’s udder – soy milk, coconut, quinoa, cashew, and hemp milk for those who don’t know how to roll a joint. Seafood hasn’t been ignored by the faux food brigade with the arrival of puffed water lily seeds, kelp noodles and a plant-based tuna alternative made with algae. And while we’re down there (in the water that is) let’s not forget the Pacific’s own trending culinary creation – poke, (pronounced poh-kay) which is commonly attributed to the Hawaiians but in fact is part of a wider Polynesian cooking tradition with links to kokoda in Fiji, ika mata in the Cook Islands and oka in Samoa. There’s nothing fake about poke, the name simply means to slice or cut into pieces which explains the diced raw fish (usually tuna) which is the base of this bowl-borne dish. The good news is that poke isn’t the only regional gastro fad, American chain Whole Foods Market has just put Pacific Rim Flavours at the top of its trend predictions list. So, being at the centre of all things Pacific we’re in the right place for the next big incredible edible. Get out your guavas, coconuts, pineapples and dragon fruit plus all the seafood you can eat along with your Asian fusion spices and Indonesian curries and you won’t have to activate anything other than your taste buds. Real foods rule!•

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