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Islandliving pacific

AUTUMN 2020 | ISSUE 31

TAKE A BLISSFUL BREAK INTIMATE CRUISING

RESORT REPORTS FASHION I FOOD ARCHITECTURE I ART STYLE I ADVENTURE

AU$5 (incl. GST)

ISSN 2200-9566

9 772200 956005

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FIJI | VANUATU | SAMOA | SOLOMON ISLANDS | MARSHALL ISLANDS


PICTURE: Six Senses.

F R O M TH E E D ITOR

e all have a different idea of adventure. To some of us, adventure is all about thrill seeking – getting the adrenalin pumping, perhaps by diving with sharks or white water rafting. In this issue we’ve put together a list of adventurous activities to tempt you, including shark diving and white water rafting, but also ziplining, sailing and even exploring World War II sites in Australia and the Pacific. I’ve been lucky enough to do most of the things on the list over the years. Diving, which some may consider an adventure, to me is one of the few places I’ve always been able to switch off. Admittedly not whilst doing the shark dive in Fiji! It’s funny what makes us relax. Forced relaxation such as meditation has never worked for me, but after reading Georgie Gordon’s story on page 96, I’m going to give it another try. I’m also going to continue using the relaxation techniques I learnt whilst staying at the truly gorgeous Six Senses Fiji.

My wellness stay there was just what I needed after a year of highs and lows. I arrived exhausted and stressed, but departed refreshed and full of probiotics – you’ll read why starting page 14. Also in this issue, Carolyn Ernst explains how to create your own ‘zen’ space in her regular gardening column and we road test some of the best kids activities in the region. Our fashion and style guides are back with some fabulous aspirational choices by Sydney stylist Olivia Waugh and Craig Osment catches up with some foodies that now call Vanuatu home. Also Jemma Senico takes us to the Pacific Runway Fashion show and introduces us to kava. It’s a big issue! Happy reading.

Tiffany Carroll

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Pacific Island Living No 31| Autumn 2020 Cover photo: Six Senses Fiji EDITOR Tiffany Carroll Email: tcarroll@photogenicpr.com 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, Carolyn Ernst, Christiana Kaluscha, Craig David Kirkland, Tony Wilson, Elaine Wilson, Liz Ah-Hi, Gerald Ramert, Jemma Senico, Rod Eime. EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Pat Ingram PUBLISHER: Craig Osment ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Regional Relationship Manager - Jemma Senico Email: jemma.senico@photogenicpr.com In Vanuatu: Eva Westfield Email: ewestfield@photogenicpr.com Pacific Island Living, is published quarterly by Photogenic Limited PO Box 1698 Port Vila, Vanuatu Printed by APOL Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/pacificislandliving Twitter

@PacIsLiving

and Instagram

at instagram.com/pacisliving

Or read this and all our magazines online www.pacificislandliving.com

at

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 18 you’ll find Tiffany Carroll’s mindful take on meditating in the luxury surrounds of Fiji’s Six Senses Spa

CONTENTS

0 2 0 2 n m Autu

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BEACHCOMBER

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Take a look at a sustainable resort in Fiji, this year’s official colour of the year from Pantone, a waterproof case for your phone and a must-visit restaurant.

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WELLNESS: AT HOME IN THE ZONE Welcome to one of the world’s most serene getaways for those wanting to find a little mindful peace while meditating on what a luxury break can offer the spirit.

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FASHION FLASH – TROPICAL ESSENTIALS

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PICTURE: Six Senses

STYLE – GETTING THE BEACH SHACK KNACK That washed out pale blue and white look that says beachside style is something we all imagine when contemplating seaside decor. Here’s how to get it.

CRUISE NEWS – DISCOVER FIJI Captain Cook Cruises has an amazing variety of destinations and activities for those wanting to visit parts of Fiji not usually easily accessible to tourists.

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ADVENTURE SPECIAL Looking for something a little more challenging than lazing by the pool this holiday? Why not try diving with sharks – heaps of them. Or going in search of a crocodile, flying down a zipline or whitewater rafting.

Olivia Waugh has rounded up a chic selection of beachy essentials to take you anywhere tropical.

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ABODE – BEACH HOUSES BY THE BOOK Toby Preston dips into Australian Beach Houses, a new book which celebrates contemporary, upgraded architectural takes on the iconic Aussie beach getaway.

BOOK LOOK: A NOVEL MIX Georgie Gordon reads the latest releases and finds things aren’t always what they seem.

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New plant-based beauty benefits are constantly being developed, some are based on age-old formulas, like Moringa, some recent derivatives. Georgie Gordon investigates the latest offerings for cellular care and skin repair.

NET ASSETS: WEB WONDERS From techy to tacky, to travel, fitness and fashion, Georgie Gordon scans her screen.

BEAUTY SPOT: CELL SAVERS

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WORLD WAR TWO HISTORIC SITES Roderick Eime says anyone who saw the thrilling HBO series, The Pacific, will know what a frantic time it was all across the South Pacific during WWII. Many relics and historic sites remain that can still be visited by adventurous travellers.

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Above left: On page 38 you’ll find just the dive you were always wanting, that’s one with sharks! Right: That’s a very special ‘hybrid’ paella, page 86.

KIDS SPECIAL

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Three dream destinations that will amuse the kids while the parents play guilt-free.

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CRUISING INTO HISTORY Blue Lagoon Cruises celebrates their 70th year in Fiji. Pioneers of small ship cruising, this line enjoys a rich and interesting history in the islands.

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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.

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VANUATU – DIVE INTO A DIFFERENT WORLD Home to stunning, healthy reefs, fascinating wrecks and a wealth of ecologically diverse marine life, Vanuatu’s teeming waters are the perfect destination for scuba diving

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NO NEWS, NO SHOES Two former Australian hospitality veterans decided to combine their passion for the Pacific and food to create an intimate jewel of a getaway on a pristine stretch of Vanuatu beachfront.

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RESORT REPORT + RESTAURANT REVIEW Two of Fiji’s best loved resorts get new faces in the kitchen while the Sheraton Samoa Resort showcases its food offerings.

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CHRISTIANA COOKS: CUCUMBERS Christiana says cucumbers are a deliciously refreshing veggie that taste amazing in salads, gazpacho, drinks and all on their own.

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SHELLING OUT AND CHILLING OUT Jemma Senico recalls her various encounters with kava, from after work chilled out nakamals to big Fijian ceremonies that last all night. It’s an island tradition that spans the Pacific.

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HEALTHY LIVING – JUST BREATHE Georgie Gordon ponders the best ways to achieve mindful relaxation in a world of ever increasing pressures and anxieties.

102 ART SMART: THE INFLATION RATE We all know the price of art is continually on the rise but inflation has truly caught up with the art world since Jeff Koons achieved a record $AUD131.8 million for one of his sculptures based on an inflatable rabbit in 2019.

106 PACIFIC RUNWAY The latest regional fashion on show in Sydney.

112 AT THE POINTY END When Tony and Elaine Wilson decide to indulge and spend extra in their quest for comfort on a long haul flight, they were impressed.

114 GLORIOUS GARDENS: ZONE OUT Carolyn Ernst knows the value of doing nothing, so follow her advice and create a special place for doing, well, nothing!

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

120 PAR AVION: HO HO HO COUTURE There’s fun to be had with this season’s menswear.

PICTURE: Top left, Brook Mathews; right, Craig Osment

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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 www.likulikulagoon.com or Telephone +(679) 672 0978 Email: likulikures1@ahuraresorts.com

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.

*

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!

AHU2481/VT–HPH

Malolo. This is the way the world should be. T +679 672 0978 | malolores1@ahuraresorts.com www.maloloisland.com

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


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

SUSTAINABLE LUXURY Nanuku, Auberge Resorts Collection, the South Pacific paradise set along the legendary serene coastline of Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, was the proud recipient of The Travel Awards 2019 Sustainable Tourism Company of the Year. Just weeks after also being recognised as the No.1 resort in Australia and the South Pacific in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards. Nanuku’s General Manager Logan Miller says of Nanuku’s win, “We extend our sincerest congratulations to all the winners and proudly accept our Sustainable Tourism Company of the Year award with heartfelt thanks.” “Nanuku’s commitment to responsible luxury is an inherent part of our DNA. Through the ‘Planet Auberge’ program, Nanuku is committed to leading the way in initiatives focused

SUVA’S FAVOURITE RESTAURANT EXPANDS Already renowned for its impeccable food and fine dining ambience, Eden, home to Suva’s most succulent gastronomic creations, has just expanded to house a sensational full service bar. Stepping into the brilliant new space where a mirrored half wall forms the base of the extensive seven-metre bar, believed to house the largest collection of single malts in this part of the world. In this new area created by owner Sangeeta, the cocktails are the centrepiece with the surrounding space acting as the picture frame. Crystal wine decanters and elegant stemware glitter under the delicate lighting and put diners in the mood to see one of the shiny copper Moscow mule mugs filled with Eden’s take on the classic. Sangeeta’s cocktail menu bespeaks a well-travelled palette incorporating sensory delights and modern influences from all over the world. While several restaurants in Suva manage to make a decent cocktail, Eden goes the extra distance elevating the proper cocktail to a poetic experience. >

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on minimising our environmental footprint, improving our surrounding environment and villages - while simultaneously enhancing our luxury guest experience.” Logan explains. When asked about future plans, Logan reveals, “Watch this space! 2020 is going to be Nanuku’s greenest year yet!” “With new innovations and advancements, sustainability will continue to forge forward, and so will Nanuku.” Logan concludes. Auberge Resorts Collection is a portfolio of 19 extraordinary hotels, resorts, residences and private clubs. While each property is unique, all share a crafted approach to luxury and bring the soul of the locale to life through captivating design, exceptional cuisine and spas, and gracious yet unobtrusive service.


Eden’s passionfruit mojito, a local twist on the original which still features plenty of fresh lime, mint straight from the garden out the back and local white rum with the addition of real passionfruit pulp is our pick. Eden is now the place to come to experience the freshest flavours from Fiji ranging from real house-infused Fijian vanilla rum, local chocolate martinis, pina coladas made with real coconut cream, local passionfruit, lime and kumquat mojitos and seasonal mango margaritas just to name a few. When it comes to cocktails, if your personal taste leans more toward the classics don’t let the tropical temptations

intimidate you. The new bar is the perfect place to sit for an afternoon aperitif where you will still find the definitive negroni, effortless gin and tonics and a range of champagne bubbles selected to elevate your palette in anticipation of your decadent meal to come. If you stay for dinner, Sangeeta has procured a distinguished collection of wines ranging across favourites from neighbouring Australia and New Zealand all the way to special vintages from California, France, Italy and Oregon from which you will find hand picked pinot noirs selected from the renowned area of the Willamette Valley, to cabernets from Napa Valley’s impressive Stag’s Leap vineyard as well as French specialties for red and white aficionados alike. And for those very special occasions, Sangeeta keeps on hand premium bottles from the highly collectible Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace offerings. Eden’s recent expansion affords you the opportunity to pull up a bar stool at the New York inspired bar and enjoy a sophisticated cocktail, an elegant glass of wine, or refresh with some local or German beer and small bites for dinner. Of course, you can always move to the main dining room beautifully accented with colourful paintings by local artists or reserve the extensive Fijian hardwood table nestled under a one of a kind handblown glass chandelier perfect for families or large parties.

BLUE CHIP INVESTMENT Perfect for the Pacific – Pantone the company which sets the standard in colour specification for printers, graphic designers and manufacturers has been announcing a colour of the year since 2000. This year the hero shade is Pantone 194052 Classic Blue. Already there is a huge range of products featuring the blue hue of the year, products range from radios to shoes, to clocks and coffee tables. There are throw rugs, beds, chairs, bags and cushion covers, socks and ottomans. As a designer, my favourite is the mug that says it boldly at the base. These ceramic souvenirs are beautifully designed and distributed worldwide by Danish company Copenhagen Design.

CALLING ALL UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHERS This is a neat idea and possibly essential if you are so attached to your phone that you can’t bear to have it out of your hand even when swimming. Yep, with the new Seaquatix waterproof case for phones and valuables lets you take underwater photos, check emails and make calls while the phone is in the case. Great for anyone involved in water sports like kayaking, paddleboading or surfing. The case is perfect for providing protection against water, sand, dust or snow and obviously a must for millennials wanting to capture the occasional selfie for their social media feed while in the pool or on the reef. The case is airtight for up to 20 metres in depth for two hours and comes in eight vibrant colous.www.seaquatix.com

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NET ASSETS:

Web Wonders

From techy to tacky, to travel, fitness and fashion, Georgie Gordon scans her screen. THE FIT FOODIE New year’s resolutions might be a distant memory but that doesn’t mean that we should give up on our good intentions entirely. The Fit Foodie is a hub for all things health and wellness, perfect for getting you back on track. The author Sally began the blog as a way to share healthy recipes with friends, it is now a popular site for keeping up with the latest trends, informative articles and of course, those delicious yet nutritious recipes. the-fit-foodie.com

REFINERY 29 Refinery 29 is a fashion site but it is also so much more besides. There’s everything you need to live a stylish life as well as breaking entertainment news, beauty tips and career advice. Discover the latest trends, best buys and style hacks while staying up to date on all the celebrity gossip you could ever hope to know. The site also has great coverage of the fashion shows and how to get all the latest looks for less. refinery29.com

STYLIST Stylist is a weekly magazine in the UK that covers the latest issues and news affecting women including politics, entertainment, fashion and more. For those of us not in Blighty the online version is the next best thing, if not better thing. Keep up to date with news crucial and trivial, the latest fashion and beauty trends and, our favourite, recommendations of the best new books, podcasts and shows to stream. stylist.co.uk

PLACEPASS BLOG The problem with most travel blogs is that although they might be full of wanderlust-worthy pictures and dreamy destinations, the actual places featured are quite limited or restricted to certain parts of the world. Not so with Placepass Blog. A spinoff of the travel booking site placepass.com, this blog features every destination you could ever wish to go, and some you’ve never heard of. A must visit for tips and recommendations before embarking on any journey. placepass.com

THE VERGE Nerd alert! The Verge is a relatively new website that takes a fresh approach to covering technology. From the latest gadgets to everything world wide web related, The Verge is your tech info go-to. Read about Elon Musk’s latest escapades, find out how many people watched the latest Netflix movie and search helpful reviews on the newest hard and software. The Verge is so well designed and the headlines so clickbait-able, even non geeks will find themselves enthralled. theverge.com

THE STRATEGIST Brought to us by the editors of New York magazine, The Strategist is a handy site that rounds up the best deals, product reviews and gift guides from around the internet. The cool-hunting authors of the site are self-professed obsessives, and every recommendation from salad plates to surf boards is independently selected. Also, their gift guides are extraordinarily and hilariously specific, such as ‘The Best Gifts for Bookworms, That Aren’t Books’ and ‘The Best Gifts for Grateful Dead Fans, According to Deadheads’. nymag.com/strategist

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Fiji’s Premier Air Transport Service For more than 35 years Island Hoppers Fiji have been safely operating in Fiji and have built a wealth of knowledge about Fiji and its stunning 330 Islands. Island Hoppers Fiji offer express transfers from Nadi Airport or Denarau to the Mamanuca Island Resorts, Coral Coast and beyond. Sit in the comfort of our reception lounge and relax with a cold drink before being flown to your resort in style. At Island Hoppers Fiji, we maximize your “Island Time”. No unnecessary delays or over-nighting waiting for other forms of transfers. From scenic flights to the more adrenaline seeking adventure or to get where you need to be in style and without the queues visit www.islandhoppersfiji.com for more information


BOOK L O O K :

A Novel Mix

Georgie Gordon reads the latest releases and finds things aren’t always what they seem. SWEETNESS AND LIGHT by Liam Pieper This intoxicating story of two lost souls thrown together in India, explores the space between morality and corruption, love and lust, and light and dark. It follows Connor an Australian expat with a brutal past who spends his days running scams on unsuspecting tourists, and Sasha an American in search of spiritual guidance. When one of Connor’s grifts goes wrong, the two end up in an isolated ashram negotiating gangsters, gurus and secret agendas. (Hamish Hamilton) HOUSE ON ENDLESS WATERS by Emuna Elon This is the poignant and at times heartbreaking story of an Israeli author who visits Amsterdam, the city where he was born, and comes across a clue about his mother that triggers a search for his origins. Instructed by his mother to never visit the city that they were forced to flee, Yoel settles there after her death, determined to make sense of the past, no matter how difficult the truth. (Allen & Unwin) YOU ARE NOT ALONE by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen This compulsive psychological thriller follows Shay Miller who, with no job, no apartment and no boyfriend needs to drastically change her life. Who better to align herself with than the glamourous Moore sisters, Cassandra and Jane, they seem to have it all and on their own terms. But as Shay is pulled deeper and deeper into their seductive thrall she realises there is a high price to pay for having it all. (Macmillan)

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GROWN UPS by Marian Keyes Part romance, part laugh out loud comedy, Marian Keyes turns her wit and candour on the Caseys in her latest must-read book. Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together – birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they’re a happy family. Johnny’s wife, Jessie – who has the most money – insists on it. Under the surface, however, things are not quite what they seem. Everything comes to a head when Ed’s wife Cara, gets concussion and can’t keep her thoughts to herself. (Michael Joseph) THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE by Abi Dare This is a beautifully written tale about a young women finding her strength and shaping her future in modern day Nigeria. Fourteen year-old Adunni wants an education but instead her father sells her to be the third wife of a local man who is eager for an heir. When Adunni runs away she finds that her only option is to be a servant to a wealthy family. Still she won’t give up her dream of a better life. Adunni and her story will stay with you long after the last page is turned. (Sceptre) RIPTIDES by Kirsten Alexander In this gripping family drama, two siblings are forced to reconcile a past they can’t escape. Beginning in 1974, Abby and Charlie Campbell are on their way to visit their father when they swerve into the path of another car, forcing it into a tree. The pregnant driver is killed instantly. In a decision that will haunt them and effect more lives than they could possibly know, they flee the scene. (Bantam)


Cardo s

STEAKHOUSE AND COCKTAIL BAR

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


IS L A ND S E R E N ITY

s s e n l l We

At Home In The Usually a self-proclaimed unrelaxed Tiffany Carroll immerses herself in Fiji’s Six Senses experience and finds her kind of spa, one that’s pampering and peaceful rather than proscriptive. She emerges a relaxed convert.

Aerial view of Six Senses spread over 120 lush acres encompassing an expansive bay.

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Zone

W

ellness programs have been around since the 1960s when employers including Boeing, concerned about their staff smoking, introduced programs to encourage workers to quit the fags for a healthier lifestyle. Since then, and with the increase in stress and other non-communicable diseases, we are all encouraged to enrol in wellness courses – whether they be a lunchtime yoga session, meditation at home or a full-blown holiday at a wellness camp. More and more Australians are choosing wellness holidays over sipping cocktails by the pool, but the expense of such holidays can be prohibitive to many. And not just the financial cost – who wants to devote their entire leave time and holiday budget to diet and exercise? Certainly not me. Last year I went on my first wellness retreat, to Bali. It was five days of gluten free eating, yoga, Pilates, counselling, holistic healing and mindfulness. In order to prepare for this, I tacked on an extra couple of days before and after the retreat for what would be my real holiday –

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Above from left: Beachfront pool villa; yoga on the deck – perfect start to the day; chargrilled lobster with curried pumpkin, there’s no need to

OUR MAN JOHNNY The program really does start in your villa, ours a beachfront pool villa, complete with block out blinds, thermostat controlled air-conditioning, nourishing bathroom products and energy

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boosting snacks. Our Guest Experience Maker, Johnny took us through ‘check-in’ in our villa and explained how everything worked, from the well-stocked minibar with gorgeous tonics and bottles of wine, champagne and spirits (yay – it’s not one of ‘those’ wellness retreats), to the lighting, the indoor and outdoor bathrooms and our own private pool. Johnny made appointments for a wellness screening for me, an alchemy lesson for us both and a massage for my friend. We had his direct number for the duration – no need to call reception, guest services, housekeeping or the Spa – Johnny was our go-to for everything. ORDER A COCKTAIL AND MAKE PLANS Walking from the lounge room out to the pool, the view is breath-taking. The gorgeous hues and views of the Mamanuca water out the front are stunning. We quickly change and head straight past the pool and down to the beach. We have it to ourselves. The only sounds are the occasional bird chirping and gentle waves from distant boats passing beyond the reef. With my wellness screening not scheduled until day two, we decide to take it easy; order a cocktail and plan for sunset yoga. After the best night’s sleep I’ve had in years, thanks no doubt to the natural hand-made mattress by Naturalmat and cotton bedding, I head towards the spa, a gentle five minute walk from

PICTURES: Six Senses

cocktails by the pool with a girlfriend. We in fact arrived at the retreat after downing a couple of margaritas over brunch, it’s fair to say our commitment was questionable. However, after the initial shock of the schedule and rules sunk in, I left the retreat in a much better state of mind, body and overall wellness and thought there is something to this whole mindfulness thing. Since then, that same friend and I have scoured magazines and websites looking for another wellness experience, this time one which allowed the freedom to still have a cocktail by the pool if desired and absolutely not restricted to gluten free food only. The Six Senses brand has been synonymous with wellness whilst on holiday since its inception. Their philosophy is simple. “Relax, be curious or commit to a complete refresh. Your wellness journey can be anything you want it to be; we’re here to offer you the best base possible to flourish.” So with this in mind, we booked a stay at Six Senses Fiji (on Malolo Island) and signed up for a wellness program. Six Senses does wellness differently. You can lock in to several programs, from sleep to eat to spa to mindfulness to growth. Or you can tailor your own program to suit your needs.


starve yourself here; Old Spice Living Cocktail. Below: one bedroom villa with luxurious bed.

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Above from left: Sunset dining on the beach; the alchemy bar; aerial yoga in the pavilion. Below: The Spa reception area.

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the villa for my wellness screening. Six Senses Spa is in a tranquil ‘wellness village’ of its own, sprawled out over 3300 square metres. You’re greeted with a refreshing lemon-infused water and taken to a small room overlooking the spa gardens by the spa’s wellness coordinator. The wellness screening process is explained in detail, monitors are applied to your temples and chest; your hands and feet placed on sensors. This non-invasive analysis measures your key biomarkers and helps to understand what your body really needs. Created by the Six Senses Spa team along with respected medical doctors who form the Six Senses Wellness Board, each guest’s personalised program may include spa treatments, exercise, yoga, meditation, Eat With Six Senses or Sleep With Six Senses. Not surprisingly, for a journalist who spends what seems like half her life on aeroplanes and the other half juggling two kids, deadlines, an ex-husband and possibly, occasionally over-indulging in the good things in life (eating and drinking with family and friends and the like), my wellness screen results showed room for improvement. My stress levels were in the danger zone it seemed. Sleep more. De-stress. Take Vitamin D and probiotics. Be mindful. Practice yoga and meditation. Try a gluten free diet … and a few others I won’t mention. But the wellness screening is not a test nor is it designed to make you feel bad. Instead, the wellness co-ordinator at Six Senses, Niranjan Das speaks with such dulcet tones you instead feel relaxed and happy after being told you have a cardiac age four years older than your actual age. Armed with advice and support, Niranjan suggests how to maximise my time at Six Senses and get the most out of my wellness experience. “We’re not here to tell you not to enjoy a cocktail or avoid dessert, we’re here to make sure you leave more relaxed than when you arrived,” he says.

MY KIND OF WELLNESS CO-ORDINATOR First up, he explains the activities on offer that would help me sleep better (yoga and meditation), feel better (gluten free offerings on the menu and probiotics) and look better (treatments at the Spa, an array of low-medium impact activities including walking, swimming, stand up paddle boarding (SUP), trekking, kayaking and more yoga). He encourages me to join the walking meditation group, rather than jump straight in to regular meditation, assuming correctly, I’m not a person who switches off easily. “And when you feel like it, join me for yoga, or simply relax by your pool. This is your holiday.” Niranjan is my kind of wellness co-ordinator. So leaving the Spa feeling four years younger than my cardiac age, I join my friend at the bar and share my results. “Probiotics you said?” She asks. “Yes, apparently I have to add them to my daily routine.” “Well look at this – the drinks menu has a whole section devoted to cocktails with added probiotics!” Six Senses is my kind of wellness retreat. Over the next few days I ensured I added plenty of probiotics to my diet, my favourites included the Old Spice Living Cocktail and the Living Colada Cocktail, I joined yoga in what has to be Fiji’s most stunning pavilion, attempted to SUP, walked the length and breadth of the resort and dined on the recommended gluten-free offerings as much as possible. Our final day at Six Senses, I realised sitting alone on the beach that I could not recall a time in recent years where I had been so relaxed. I’m not a relaxed person, I don’t do relaxing holidays. I’d slept well each night, ate well each day, exercised, was pampered and yes, I’m quite sure I’ve had enough probiotics in my system to last me several months. Six Senses Fiji offers 24 spacious villas and suites all with private pools. Resort villas and suites range in size from 1,200 to 1,600 square feet (110 to 150 square meters) including interior and exterior space. There are five food and beverage areas, a kid’s club, watersports including diving and surfing, tours, cooking classes, alchemy classes, an ice creamery, outdoor cinema and open air yoga pavilion all set out on over 120 acres of tropical beauty.•

Getting There Check the Six Senses website at sixsenses.com or call on + 679 666 5028 or email: reservations-fiji@sixsenses.com There are flights to Fiji from Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands, the USA and Asia serviced by Fiji Airways, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Air Vanuatu, Aircalin and Nauru Airlines among others. A four-month visa is granted automatically to most visitors and you’ll need six months validity on passport from your return date and a return ticket.

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new new

airbus airbus a350 xwb a350 xwb

Fly the most modern and most comfortable aircraft from Sydney, Australia to Fiji and Los Angeles Fly the most modern and most comfortable aircraft from Sydney, Australia to Fiji and Los Angeles

FLYING FLYING FROM FROM FLYING FLYING DEC 2019 DEC 2019 FROM FROM DEC DEC 2019 2019


our future takes flight The A350-900 is the cornerstone of Airbus’ all-new A350 XWB family, which is shaping the future of air travel. The new addition to Fiji Airways widebody fleet will primarily service popular routes between the US and Australia. The Airbus A350 will feature 33 Aerospace Super Diamond, fully lie-flat Business Class beds, with each offering direct aisle access. Economy Class will feature 301 Recaro seats, which are ranked among the most comfortable long-haul economy class seats on the market. The A350 XWB’s Airspace by Airbus cabin is the quietest of any twin-aisle aircraft and offers passengers and crew the most modern inflight product for the most comfortable flying experience. The aircraft will be the ultimate in luxury air travel to and from Fiji.

Extra Comfort

Extra Entertainment

Extra Connectivity

Extra Quiet

Reconnecting you to the comfort of flying with our business class fully lie-flat bed and the most comfortable economy class seats for long haul.

Boasting the all new generation inflight entertainment system, you can expect the latest and greatest in-seat monitors.

Stay connected with family, friends or business at 30,000 feet using your Wi-Fi enabled personal electronic device.

With the advanced design, the modern quieter cabin provides you with a more relaxing environment.

*Rendered images of A350

For latest fares and schedules visit FIJIAIRWAYS.COM or contact us from: NZ: 0800 800 178 | AU: 1 800 230 150 | FJ: 679 672 0888 Email: reservations@fijiairways.com


FA S HION FLASH

Tropical s l a i t essen Main image: Al Fresco Circle skirt, $399 www.luxedevalentina.com

Dunes beach chair $129 www.sundaysupply.co

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Sun Ray travel beach umbrella $199 www.sundaysupply.co

Prices in AU$ unless otherwise specified.

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


Charm visor, $79 www.neueblvd.com.au

Dior cat eye Style 2 acetate sunglasses, $599 www.mytheresa.com

Towelling tri cup top, $80 and bikini brief, $80 www.zuluandzephyr.com

Melissa Odabash Lillie embroidered cotton dress, $575 www.mytheresa.com Kilometre Paris embroidered gradient cotton khadi sarong $150 www.matchesfashion.com/au

Fine Line Frutta Fruity bandeau bikini, $88 www.cleonie.com

Heidi Klein Savannah Bay mini bamboo handle raffia bag, $336 www.matchesfashion.com/au

Posse St Tropez leather slides, $139 www.theposse.com.au

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Main Image: Paloma pleated skirt ivory cotton lace, $299 www.luxedevalentina.com

Beach Cart in stone , $255 www.thebeachpeople.com.au

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Abrams ‘Escape’ by Gray Marlin hardcover book, $151 www.net-a-porter.com/au


Chloe Rosie scalloped-square metal sunglasses $580 www.matchesfashion.com/au

Spinner again hat $588 www.lolahats.com Marysia Mexico swimsuit, $495 www.mytheresa.com

Castaner Chiara 80 canvas wedge espadrilles, $193 www.net-a-porter.com/au State of Escape bag, $329 www.modesportif.com

Su Paris Syakati fringed cotton tencel blend kaftan, $441 www.net-a-porter.com/au

Coco Blue Seahorse bikini top, $115 and brief, $115 www.fischswim.com

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay e8 wireless earphones, $479 www.net-a-porter.com/au Ariel beach towel, $70 www.sundaysupply.co

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STYLE

e h t g n i t t Ge

Hyams Beach side cottages, www.hyamsbeachseasidecottages.com.au

The Beach Shack Knack By Olivia Waugh

Ko Lanta sunlounder, $2595 www.lujo.com.au

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Studio Story ornamental concrete apple, $91 www.wolfandbadger.com


Raawii Strom large ceramic bowl, $112 www.matchesfashion.com

Mode Prints Tropical Jungle Peacock art print, $51 www.wolfandbadger.com

Owl paper lamps parrot DIY kit, $79 www.wolfandbadger.com

Once Milano dot stitched linen quilt, $577 www.matchesfashion.com

Lujo tulum collection bean bag indoor + out, $625 www.lujo.com.au

Dinosaur Designs Pipi marble resin serving spoons, $125 www.matchesfashion.com

Lisa Corti Paloma floral print cotton bolster cushion, $75 www.matchesfashion.com

Gucci herbarium printed wallpaper, $275 www.mytheresa.com

Bendo Woof Pop bowl, $28 www.altliving.com.au

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VANUATU’S MOST SOPHISTICATED

BEACHFRONT VILLA RENTALS

Red Corner, Luganville Ph (+678) 36 911 Stay@TheBeachfrontResort.com TheBeachfrontResort.com

Air Conditioning Free Wifi Bungalows Family Apartments Restaurant & Bar Swimming Pool Beach Frontage The Coolidge Bar & Grill Close to Town GREAT FOOD - COLD BEER & Airport PIZZAS - EAT IN OR TAKE AWAY Sea Breezes For orders & bookings 36 881

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Paua Villas offers a range of spectacular private, absolute beachfront villas in the Whitesands/ Narpow Point area of Efaté. On-site staff and en-suite accommodation in-ground pool plus private beach available. Contact Christiana or Toga. T (678) 555 4001 or (678) 555 4002 E contact@pauamc.com W www.pauaholidayrentals.com 5-star TripAdvisor rating


B E A UTY S POT

Cell Savers

Anti-Ageing Naturally New plant-based beauty benefits are constantly being developed, some are based on age-old formulas, like Moringa, some recent derivatives. Georgie Gordon investigates the latest offerings for cellular care and skin repair.

Moringa

The Moringa plant has been utilised for its many health benefits for thousands of years, however, more recently another surprising advantage has come to light, skin rejuvenation. It’s the plant’s unique structure and high levels of anti-oxidants that make it a natural powerhouse against the signs of ageing. And not only that, it has a raft of other beauty benefits too. Dubbed the miracle tree, Moringa oleifera is found in India, Asia, Africa and South America. Used medicinally for centuries, the benefits of Moringa are far reaching, from anti-depressant, to anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. It has gastro-intestinal benefits, contains niazimicin – thought to suppress cancer, is known to help maintain blood sugar levels and even help with weight loss. And although these are all amazing advantages, it is how rich the moringa plant is in freeradical fighting antioxidants that has the beauty world buzzing. Moringa oil is derived from the seeds of the moringa tree. When pressed the seeds produce a pale non-drying oil that has a high concentration of fatty acids, is incredibly nutrientdense and due to antioxidants, a natural preservative, has a long shelf life. It may seem that every month there’s a new wonder oil, but it’s a well-earned title in this case. Here are just some of the ways moringa can boost your beauty routine: HYDRATION PLUS Not only does Moringa have excellent moisturising properties, it is also a great cleanser and emollient. As the oil absorbs easily, it helps to soften dry skin quickly and also maintain moisture. It is also beneficial for skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis. REJUVENATION As we age our cells regenerate at a slower rate and our bodies produce less collagen and elastin (the important things

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that keep our skin firm and supple). Antioxidants helps to stop the damage to cells and encourages the skin to repair itself. Further to this the proteins found in Moringa actually accelerate the regrowth of new cells, while the vitamin A assists in collagen production. Which, science aside, equals tauter more youthful looking skin. REDUCING LINES Another powerful nutrient found in Moringa is Vitamin C which


nutrient dense oils such as Virgin Coconut and Macadamia for a powerful formulation that is not only extremely hydrating for the skin but that has all the anti-aging weaponry. We particularly love the beautifully fragranced Pure Fiji Hydrating Body Lotion, find it at purefiji.com

Kakadu Plum

Kakadu plum, found in the Australian outback, has been found to have 100 times more vitamin C than an orange. These high levels of antioxidant rich vitamin C as well as gallic acid and ellagic acid make it great for promoting elasticity and suppleness. Product pick: Rohr Remedy Kakadu Plum Vitamin C Face Serum, $54, rohrremedy.com

Mushroom

Due to some positive clinical trials that found two powerful antioxidants present in mushrooms, fungi is the latest darling of the beauty world. Porcini mushrooms in particular are an effective tool in fight against ageing with the highest incidence of free-radical fighting levels. Truly a superfood, they also have moisturising, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory characteristics. Product pick: Empowder Vitality Mushroom of Life powder, $15, setthebar.co

Pomegranate

Pomegranate is an extremely popular ingredient in Asian skincare products due to the discovery of a molecule that prompts cells to recycle and rebuild essentially slowing the ageing process. Pomegranate extract has anti-viral and antioxidant properties. Product pick: Esmi Pomegranate Brightening Serum, $65, esmi.com.au

Ginseng

Ginseng is an ancient Chinese medicine that has been used for centuries to treat all manner of ailments. Recently, studies in Korea showed a compound in ginseng with powerful anti wrinkle and moisturising properties. Products containing ginseng also utilise the roots caffeine-like energising factors to brighten dull skin. Product pick: Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Hyaluronic Cream, $32, haruharu.com.au

stabilizes collagen and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and repair damaged skin cells. Product pick: Many skincare companies are harnessing Moringa’s powerful properties and it can be found as an active ingredient in everything from shampoo and lip balms to wrinkle creams and deodorants. Pure Fiji, known for sourcing the planet’s best botanicals for its products, has a new Moringa Infusion range. Pure Fiji combines moringa oil with other

Green Tea

A powerful player in the fight against wrinkles, green tea – with its exceptionally high level of anti-aging antioxidants – dramatically increases cell turnover. Not only that, it also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin damage. Matcha is a potent concentrated form of green tea. The Chinese call it ‘the elixir of immortality’, and for good reason. Product pick: Physicians Formula The Perfect Matcha Cleansing Balm, $32, amazon.com.au•

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ABOD E

Beach Houses By The Book Toby Preston dips into Australian Beach Houses, a new book which celebrates contemporary, upgraded architectural takes on the iconic Aussie beach getaway.

PICTURES: left, Ben Wrigley, opposite page top: Jeremy Weihrauch; right: Andrew T Boyne

Below: The Shack in Corney Point South Australia by architects Contech. The name in this instance might be slightly ironic given it is a bit

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more splendid than the title suggests. Above: Moonlight Cabin, Western Victoria by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects. Gorgeous simplicity.

F

rom ultra contemporary down to nostalgic echoes of the traditional beach shack – that’s how Australian Beach Houses, by Barry Stone, summarises this collection of 25 of the country’s most striking homes. Australia's love affair with the beach began early and was accelerated by the 1903 declaration by Sydney’s Manly council finally legalising daytime swimming on the famous beach. It wasn’t until after World War I that the shift from bush culture to a coastal culture took off and with a fibro building boom. Fibro was the cladding of choice (inside and out) because it was cheap, portable and resisted coastal corrosion. It was also eventually found to be lethal. But by that stage Australia was the world’s highest per capita user of this material. So it’s no surprise that you won’t find any houses featured in this book made of asbestos. There’s still timber and corrugated iron in a nod to the original beach shacks but many of the structures are made from much more durable materials like masonry and brick but they all share an ambition to be at home near the water and take advantage of the location, the views and access to the beach. The book is arranged into chapters dedicated to a single house and architect with detailed plans, lavish photography and the back story to the building. For anyone interested in architecture and specifically casual, open waterfront designs then this book is a delight to browse and inspire. The beach is there for everyone, the lucky ones get to live in close proximity, others can dream – or rent. • Left: The nautical Augusta Beach House, Flinders Bay Western Australia by architect Andrew T Boyne. It won’t surprise that the owners are boat builders and pre-fabricated the house in modules in their boat building workshops and trucked them to the site.

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Right: Hart House, Great Mackerel Beach, New South Wales, architect Casey Brown Architecture, photography Rhys Holland. This place overlooks the idyllic waters of Pittwater to the north of Sydney and sits on a steep slope above Great Mackerel Beach. The main interior of the house features soaring double height ceilings in the main living spaces which also contains a ‘utility pod’ which has a bathroom and pantry. Far right: The dramatically photographed Dunalley House, shot by Brett Boardman and designed by STA Architects sits on the Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania. This stunning structure replaces a previous holiday retreat which was destroyed in bushfires of the summer of 2012/13. It is rightly described, because of its low profile and design as having a Prairie-style Frank Lloyd Wright look. Below left and middle: Boomer Beach House, Port Elliot, South Australia – architects: Max Pritchard Gunner (MPG) Architects, photographer Sam Noonan. Boomer house owes its distinctive look to the hundred year-old vernacular masterpiece, the Nissen Hut, it also follows that great Australian tradition of using corrugated metal. Below, far right: Phillip Island House, Phillip Island, Victoria. Architects, Modscape, photographer, John Madden. Sitting on a windswept hill overlooking Bass Strait this modular home’s design does nothing to belie its pre-fabricated origins which see seven individual modules assembled as two rectangular volumes spanning 131 feet in just 12 weeks.

Australian Beach Houses by Barry Stone, RRP AU$49.99, available from all good book retailers or online at www.newhollandpublishers.com.

“Here is a fibro cement paradise under a rainbow of plastic paint. It’s any Australian country town plus optimism. It is Utopia” A quote from

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renowned Australian architect, Robin Boyd. Sums up the informal and insouciant approach to the country’s attitude to living out of town.


CR UIS E N E WS

o t s t h g i Seven n

Discover Fiji Captain Cook Cruises has an amazing variety of destinations and activities for those wanting to visit parts of Fiji not usually easily accessible to tourists.

W

e know it’s a common cliché but it’s true – unpack once and wake up in a different picturesque location each day when you’re cruising. On a Captain Cook Cruises’ seven-night Fiji cruise, you’ll be able to visit parts of Fiji larger ships can’t go and are rarely seen by tourists. To discover Fijian culture, deserted beaches, the most amazing snorkelling and diving and some of the most dramatic scenery in the South Pacific board the 130-passenger, fully accommodated MV Reef Endeavour cruise ship. Seven-night cruises include the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands cruise, the Four Cultures Discovery Cruise and the Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise. The Yasawa Islands and Mamanuca cruise departs every Saturday and Tuesday and visits the private Island of Tivua, Monu Island, Naviti Island, Brother Island, Drawaqa, Sacred Island and Mononki – the island where Tom Hank’s movie Cast Away was filmed, for snorkelling, diving, swimming, paddle boarding, escorted glass bottom boating and Kayak tours. Explore the limestone caves at Sawa-l-Lau and visit the islands of Yasawa and Waya for a guided walk through the villages and local schools. Hike to the top of the mountains for amazing views at Mt Tamasua on Yasawa Island and at Monu Island experience a special village choral service. At the Fijian Village of Gunu, enjoy a traditional Fijian Feast, Lovo and a cultural performance – Meke. The Four Cultures Discovery Cruise is the first ever Fiji cruise to circumnavigate Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island and provides the ultimate chance to discover four distinctive Fijian cultures, Ellice Islanders (Polynesians), Banabans (Micronesia), Fijian (Melanesian) and Indian. Be taken on a cultural journey through a show of song and dance by the Polynesian’s (Ellice Islanders) of Kioa Island and discover the home and history of the Banabans people on Rabi Island.

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Left top: explore the limestone caves at Sawa-I-Lau; below: a floral crowning on the Four Cultures cruise. Above: Meet the locals.

At Labasa Town, home to a vast number of Fijian Indians, visit a Hindu snake temple and see the growing rock, before shopping along the main street and at the produce market. Then be entertained by a Bollywood style dance troop. Visit a local school, see the kids’ classrooms and schoolwork, before being entertained by the children with an amazing cultural song and dance show. Departure dates for Four Cultures Discovery Cruise include 23rd May, 25th July and 21st November 2020 and 23rd January 2021. The Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise reveals over seven nights, the unique history, art and culture of remote northern Fiji. Visit the recent UNESCO Heritage listed old capital of Levuka, featuring 19th Century colonial architecture and waterfront promenades from colonial rule. Explore Makogai Island a past leper colony and now giant clam farm and turtle sanctuary before snorkelling in the clear blue waters. At Savusavu positioned on an extinct volcanic crater, choose from a selection of optional tours including Pearl Farming and Hot Springs. Visit Bouma Waterfall National Park. View or hike its series of natural waterfalls and swim in the Tavoro Waterfall Lagoon. Join the special choral church service at Wairiki before the ultimate experience – standing on the famous 180th Meridian, the arbitrary Dateline between today and tomorrow on Taveuni Island. 2020 departure dates for the Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise include 25th April, 20th June, 22nd August, and 19th

December. All cruises include amazing daily guided snorkelling and escorted glass bottom boating tours by the ship’s expert marine biologist. The ship is equipped with a hydraulic platform ensuring boarding and disembarking the glass bottom boating is easy. Avid divers and beginners can experience the underwater world with scuba diving operated by Viti Water Sports, a PADI Five-Star Dive Centre. Enjoy alfresco lunches, casual barbecues and à-la-carte dinners all prepared fresh aboard with specially designed menus using fresh local ingredients. A complimentary Kids Club is also available for children 5-9 years and the resident ocean ambassador helps educate passengers and locals in reducing the amount of plastics in our oceans. Until 31 March 2020 Captain Cook Cruises is offering three nights free with travel valid until 31 March 2021. All seven-night cruises start from AU$2145 per adult twin share, normally AU$3565 per adult twin share. Fares include shipboard 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, onboard entertainment, kids club (5-9yrs), onboard Wi-Fi, 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, spas, mini gym, sun deck, cocktail bar and library. For further information and bookings visit www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com •

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A D V E N T UR E S PE CIAL

t r e l A y Activit

Adrenaline Rush Holiday pastimes to move your metabolism and get your heart pumping

Aquatrek Not for the faint hearted, swimming with sharks has to be right up there for anyone looking for an adventure, and Aqua-Trek in Fiji’s beautiful Beqa lagoon delivers this with their Ultimate Shark Encounter dives. This dive features up to eight different species of shark: bull shark (largest in the world), white-tip reef shark, black-tip reef shark, nurse shark, lemon shark, grey reef shark, silver-tip shark, and even the elusive tiger shark. As divers descend through the clear waters to a landing at 18m/60 ft, they will see sharks circling below them along with hundreds of jacks, snappers and over 300 other fish species swirling around the feeding area. Some divers are rewarded with rare sightings of the huge Queensland grouper and humphead wrasse. Divers are not in a cage, but


situated on the reef around the perimeter of the dive site called The Arena. Once settled in, the feed begins. Tawny nurse sharks are abundant and not shy as they crowd around the feeders. Lemon sharks attend in ones or twos. Silver tips dart in and out from the blue. The main attraction, the huge bull sharks, arrive in numbers as far as the eye can see. They purposefully move in, opening their enormous jaws to take the food from the feeder in direct view of the diving guests. After 20 minutes of bottom time, divers ascend up the beautiful reef ledge where grey reef, black tip and white tip reef sharks swim freely. After diving among the big boys (and girls), this part of the dive seems like the nursery. The dive lasts about 50 minutes and provides divers and ‘shark lovers’ award-winning photo and video opportunities. After the hour-long surface interval, the dive is repeated. However, you never know what the second dive will bring as the tide has changed and the chum trail has travelled far. Aqua-Trek pioneered shark diving in Fiji over 25 years ago, and their team of Fijian dive masters have a unique connection with the sharks based on love and respect. Fijians traditionally believe that they are protected by the Shark God Dakuwaqa, the guardian of the reef entrance to the islands and one of the

most well-known gods in Fijian legend. It is said that Dakuwaga frequently changed himself into the form of a shark and travelled around the islands to protect Fiji’s people from harm when fishing or swimming. For that reason,they like to think of sharks as friends, keepers of the ocean, and critically important apex predators. Aqua-Trek’s Ultimate Shark Encounter dives run on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays, departing at 8:30am and returning at 12:30pm. Book online at www.aquatrek.com or call +679 773 0324

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AD VEN T U R E S P E CI A L

Dive Munda Diving into a crocodile den is not something I ever saw myself doing. In Australia, we avoid them! Yet, on my last trip to the Solomon’s, that is exactly what I did. Diving with sharks, wakeboarding, waterskiing, surfing and trekking through the jungle were all part of my adventure on board the MV Taka. On my first trip, I didn’t know what to expect other than fun, adventure and a little relaxing in paradise. From that one trip, I was hooked and have since been back multiple times. Solomon Islands might be a small, remote country but it is big on adventure, fun, culture, crystal clear water and happiness. Only three hours from Brisbane, it is my favourite destination. After getting my diving certification with Dive Munda, I was keen to experience more in these gorgeous, tropical waters. As we approached Mirror Pond, my nerves grew. This is where Tracey the crocodile lives. While the dive guides had been numerous times before, I had not. The idea of diving into her cavern and surfacing where the water is so perfect you can see the jungle clear above you and come up as if passing through a mirror was not something I could pass up. Right before we went in, I was told it would just be the two of us venturing in, Justin my guide and myself because the other divers had decided to skip this particular spot. He and the cruise directors reassured me it was totally fine, showing me pictures and talking about Tracey as if she was a pet dog. Jumping in, my heart racing, I followed Justin down into the cave. Looking around, I didn’t see the crocodile anywhere and assumed she simply wasn’t there. As we began to surface I looked up, the sunlight streamed in through the canopy straight onto us under the water. The water was so flat and clear it was as if I was on one side of the glass, surfacing on the other. Removing our regulators, I heard “Oh, she’s not here.” Looking at where he was pointing, it was then that I realised of course a crocodile isn’t just going to hang out in the cave underwater! She’d be up on land or in the shallows. Partially relieved, partially disappointed at not seeing her, this particular dive was mesmerising, the most incredible surface from a dive into an isolated paradise inside an island. Despite not actually diving with a crocodile (that I know

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of), it was still my most memorable dive and not the only heart-racing thing I did in the Solomons. Right before another dive, Shemiah asked me to come try skurfing, similar to wakeboarding, you essentially surf on a short board holding onto a rope at the back of a boat. First, we ran through a few surfing basics then it was my turn. Convinced I was about to faceplant it into the water the second the boat took off, I had to do it. I’d agreed with a 15 year old on the trip if I tried it she would, so there was no backing out. Shemiah helped me position my legs, gave me a confidence boost saying I’d be great, then it was off. Those few seconds I skimmed across the water were incredibly freeing. My first attempt I went a few metres, my second was similar but it was so much fun! Meanwhile, Shemiah showed us how it was done, looping around while balancing a 6 year old guest as well. I might not be as graceful as he is but I am definitely keen to do more. As the sunset that night, we had a bonfire and BBQ on a private island. Little torches lit up the water as we played and reminisced on our trip, all of us already planning to come back. Find out more at www.sidcruises.com The author, Kylie Travers is an avid traveller, diver and journalist. You can find her at www.kylietravers.com.au

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AD V E NTURE SP EC IAL

Vanuatu Jungle Zipline Fancy hanging upside down and soaring over the top of a tropical jungle? That’s what’s in store for adventure seekers in Port Vila who brave Vanuatu’s Jungle Zipline! The original Treetop Canopy Zipline is over 1km long and consists of six ziplines and two suspension bridges, taking around three hours to complete. Then for the real adrenaline junkies there is the Big Zip Trek which is a whopping 1.3km log with seven ziplines, a 300-metre Gravity Canyon crossing and lots of trekking involved. Both of these tours give you breathtaking views overlooking the ridgeline down to Mele Bay In early 2020 they welcomed their brand new Jungle Walking Tour that includes traversing over a 120-metre long canyon crossing bridge! This activity is suitable for both young and old of average mobility and strength, as long as you are in reasonably good health. Bookings recommended. Online at www.vanuatujunglezipline.com or call +(678) 555 0423.

www.vomofiji.com

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Rivers Fiji Get ready to experience the cultural and adventurous heartland of Fiji with Rivers Fiji, who offer unique river and sea kayaking trips that are perfect for experienced paddlers and novices alike. On these tours you can explore and experience remote highland villages and dense tropical forests, battle class II-III white water rapids or venture on sea kayaks across turquoise-blue waters and snorkel incredible coral reefs. The Upper Navua Gorge trip is a favourite for thrill seekers. Slicing a deep chasm through the island’s tropical interior, rafting this river is roughly a 25km trip shrouded by lush rain forest, fed by at least 40-50 waterfalls and protected by challenging rapids and deep, narrow canyons with black volcanic walls. Tours range from US$90 up to US$239. Dates vary, check availability online www.riversfiji.com or call +679 345-0147

SOUTH SEA ISLAND FIJI’S MOST POPULAR FAMILY DAY CRUISE DESTINATION

ONLY

25 min from Po s Denara rt u

Full & half day options available To book or for more information visit ssc.com.fj

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IS L A ND H ISTORY

t s e B e h t Five of

World War Two Historic Sites

EAST BATTERY, DARWIN, AUSTRALIA Most of us know that Darwin was bombed during WWII, but fewer will know that some 100 raids took place all across the top end from 1942 until late 1943 everywhere from Broome to Townsville. In Darwin you can visit East Point Reserve where the huge gun emplacement still sits forlorn and exhausted after the frantic activity during the war. A comprehensive museum is housed in the old command post. In a wonderful twist of irony, the 9-inch gun was sold to the Japanese Fujita Salvage Company as scrap in 1959 so a replica is now in its place. The former naval facility at Winnellie in the Northern Territory is now the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre that miraculously survived both the war and cyclone Tracy and houses an impressive display of both modern and vintage aircraft including a massive B-52 and what’s left of Sergeant Hajime Toyoshima’s Zero that crashed on Melville Island. Captured and disarmed by Aborigines, Toyoshima was the first Japanese POW and later died in the Cowra breakout.

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LUGANVILLE, ESPIRITU SANTO, VANUATU Immortalised by James Michener with his 1946 Pulitzer Prizewinning novel, Tales of the South Pacific, the island of Espiritu Santo’s wartime history is now forever part of local folklore. Michener was stationed for a period on Santo while serving in the US Navy during WWII when Luganville was a massive forward supply base in what was then the New Hebrides. The island is full of stories from the period and two that will always feature large are also renowned dive sites: First, the wreck of the SS President Coolidge. The giant, luxury ocean liner converted to a troopship wandered into a ‘friendly’ minefield, striking two and finally sinking after the captain deliberately ran the vessel aground. This ensured 5,340 troops could disembark safely with only two casualties, but it later rolled over and sank, taking many tons of valuable supplies with her. The ship is now one of the most famous dive sites in the world. The other is the remarkable so-called ‘Million Dollar Point’ where many tons of war surplus, including brand new vehicles and machinery, were dumped into the sea.

PICTURES: Roderick Eime and right; the Norther Territory Library

Roderick Eime says anyone who saw the thrilling HBO series, The Pacific, will know what a frantic time it was all across the South Pacific during WWII. Many relics and historic sites remain that can still be visited by adventurous travellers – lest we forget. Here are five of the most famous accessible ones.


Above: Aircraft wreckage on Munda, the Solomon Islands. Below: Damage to the Bank of New South Wales building in Darwin, 1942.

SamoaAirways | 45


Above: Left, Tarawa Beach, Kiribati; right, the beached SS President Coolidge and underwater relics. Below: Left, Solomons relics; right: Gun at Momi, Fiji.

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PICTURES: Roderick Eime and left above: Allan Power

MOMI BAY BATTERY HISTORICAL PARK, FIJI When Japan’s Imperial Army stormed through South East Asia and headed into the Pacific, it seemed every island was a target. So in May 1941, two 6-inch Mark VII naval guns became operational at Momi Bay on the westernmost point of Viti Levu. The two long range guns could fire a 45kg shell more than 12 kilometres and did so only once in possible anger in late 1943 when something suspicious popped up on the sonar screen. The site was closed in 1944 when Japanese forces were on the retreat and Fiji was no longer under threat of invasion. In 2017 the whole emplacement was restored and is now a museum. The site is remarkable in that the original guns are still in place. Many were dismantled and sold for scrap after WWII. RED BEACH, TARAWA, KIRIBATI In November 1943, the otherwise unremarkable atoll of Tarawa became the scene of one of WWII’s most intense battles when US Marines stormed ashore to retake the island from the entrenched Japanese garrison. With the US Forces was Australian cinematographer, Damien Parer, famous for his Academy Award winning documentary on the Kokoda Trail. After 76 gruelling hours, the US prevailed, leaving 6000 soldiers dead from both sides.

Today you can still see relics of that tremendous event in the form of bunkers, pillboxes, gun emplacements and relics scattered across the island. Many of these ageing structures have been repurposed by the locals as storage and accommodation. Most poignant of all is the actual landing beach, Red Beach, on Betio Island where, at low tide, you can still see the rusting superstructures of American landing craft and even a foreverstranded Sherman tank, with its turret slumped dejectedly in the sand. GUADALCANAL, SOLOMON ISLANDS In many ways, the brutal Solomon Islands campaign was the turning point in the war in the Pacific and it all started with a drawn-out battle for the airfield at Lungga that would later be known as Henderson Field. You can see relics all around Honiara with some in private collections and it’s not unusual for the remains of fallen soldiers to be found occasionally. Collections are at Vilu and at Lungga as well as Willie Besi’s and the Markwarth brothers, now moved from their former location near the airport. Ask at the Tourism office for locations and guides who can assist you. Be sure to make the trek up to Skyline Ridge where memorials to both the fallen US and Japanese soldiers are located. Mount Austin was the scene of heavy fighting as both sides sought to dominate the high ground. •

Below: the Coolidge as she was before the Santo sinking.

SamoaAirways | 47


K IDS S P E CI A L

Lai Lai Kids Club SHERATON RESORT AND SPA, TOKORIKI ISLAND FIJI Located in the idyllic Mamanuca islands, there are a range of family-friendly activities at this resort, from a private mini-golf course to the beachside infinity pool and gorgeous coral reefs just off a Tokoriki’s white sandy beach. Lai Lai Kids Club has a couple of unique factors that sets it apart from a regular kids club. Firstly, their programs are focused on educating children on Fijian culture and heritage. Activities include collecting shells from the beach and nature walks to sulu painting, learning to sing Fijian songs and much more. There is also an evening program at an additional charge (FJ$25) that includes dinner and activities, giving parents a chance to have a relaxing evening meal together during their stay.

Finding Nemo Family Cruise SOUTH SEA ISLAND, FIJI This half day trip is perfect for families with small children staying in Denarau. In just 30 minutes you’ll be at South Sea Island where you can spend two hours and be back at Denarau in time for lunch. In the two hours, you can see the stunning underwater world of the Marine Sanctuary that surrounds the island with its colourful coral and magnificent fish life. You don’t even have to get wet a you’re taken to view all this in a semi-submersible vessel, where you can sit beneath the surface viewing the coral and fish through large panoramic windows. Then spend some time ashore relaxing, go kayaking, take a swim in the pool or go snorkelling. This cruise departs daily with South Sea Cruises from Denarau Marina at 9:00am and returns at 12:00pm. Bookings essential. Phone: (679) 675 0500.

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Grow With Six Senses Kids Club SIX SENSES FIJI What could be more perfect for a family holiday of a lifetime than on Malolo Island at Six Senses Fiji. Rally the troops and book a trip that accommodates the whole family, with an extensive kids program to keep the little ones happy. The magical Grow With Six Senses kids club is where little learners can enjoy a range of activities, from yoga to solar oven making, coral planting to pizza making and everything in between. Holidays are a great time away from routine for youngsters to understand more about what’s going on inside them and in the world around them. And who says it can’t be fun? Grow With Six Senses incorporates the six dimensions of wellness (social, environmental, physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual) so our future leaders are set to reconnect with themselves, others and the world around them. It’s an adventure, and as they journey through each activity, they’ll get a new stamp for their personal Six Senses passport.

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C R U IS I N G IN TO H IS TORY

g n i l i a s f o s r a e y 70

Anniversary Celebration

Blue Lagoon Cruises celebrates their 70th year in Fiji. Pioneers of small ship cruising, this line enjoys a rich and interesting history in the islands.

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lue Lagoon Cruises is the founder of small ship cruising in the Fiji Islands and 2020 marks their 70th anniversary which also makes them one of the oldest tourism providers in the South Pacific. The history of Blue Lagoon tells the story of a love affair with the islands of Fiji – and of a man who dared to dream about creating one of the most enchanting cruise experiences in the world. Captain Trevor Withers, a young New Zealand stockbroker with a passion for the sea, founded Blue Lagoon Cruises in 1950. Withers and his friend, Harold Gatty, a renowned Australian aviator, came to Fiji at a time when tourism to the pacific nation was virtually unknown. Visitors to Fiji, for the most part, were in transit at Nadi Airport or were ship passengers enroute between North America and New Zealand or Australia. Withers and Gatty had a vision to establish a fishing industry in Fiji. To start the venture, the duo visited the islands to pay respects to the Chiefs. It was at the magnificent Yasawa Island, Waya Lailai, where they enlisted the help of a young villager, Epeli Voli, as an interpreter. With Epeli’s help, Captain Withers obtained the full support of the Yasawa people for his fishing venture and established firm friendships with the chiefs and the people of the Yasawa Islands. After four years of effort, Withers and Gatty concluded that their hopes of establishing a tuna fishing industry in Fiji were not viable. But, both men had fallen in love with Fiji and wished to remain in the islands. Gatty went on to establish Fiji Airways, the forerunner to Fiji’s national airline, Air Pacific (now once again called Fiji Airways). However, the future for Withers was not so clear. He still had his mind on the sea and began to dream of taking visitors on a cruise through the idyllic Yasawa Islands: a dream that was to become Blue Lagoon Cruises.

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Left: The way we were, and above: the way we are. Join the anniversary celebrations and see Fiji in style.

The current main vessel, M.V. Fiji Princess is a far cry from the ships of old and moving into this 70th year of operation, Blue Lagoon Cruises has also taken the bold move of becoming ‘single use plastic free’. Providing all guests with reusable drink bottles (that they then take home with them) and the installation of filtered mineral water stations throughout the ship will remove the need for plastic water bottles and the glass crusher on board also aids in reducing waste and their impact on the environment. To celebrate their anniversary, Blue Lagoon Cruises has the following special deals and cruises planned for 2020: 1. Celebrate Your Anniversary on Ours – Book a four- or seven-night cruise to celebrate your wedding anniversary and receive complimentary inclusions of a candle-lit dinner for two* at our beach on Nanuya Lailai, a celebration cake as well as commemorative champagne flutes and French sparkling wine to kick start your cruise. *Valid for all four- and seven-night

cruises departing between 1 April and 31 December 2020, subject to availability. 2. Welcome Back to Paradise Cruises – two cruise dates that invite previous Blue Lagoon Cruises guests back on board for a custom seven-night itinerary taking in their favourite sites and locations and a few new ones. Family cruise departs 25 September 2020, Adults Only cruise departs 20 November. 3. Cheers to 70 Years – Celebrate with a wine tasting cruise with Villa Maria Wines and their chief wine maker on board for this four-night cruise to run daily wine tastings, wine matched dinners and wine themed after dinner entertainment. Departs 26 October 2020. 4. Photograph the Fiji Islands – tailored to guests with a love of photography, guests can improve their skills and take some great shots of the Fiji Islands with our professional photographer and educator on board for the duration of this seven-night cruise. Departs 13 November. •

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D E S T IN ATION G UIDE

Your Portal To The Pacific PICTURE: Whitegrass Ocean Resort & Spa, Tanna

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

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D E ST INAT IO N VAN UAT U

t r o p e R t r Reso

Reno Revival

One of Vanuatu’s most sophisticated smaller resorts is shutting up shop for a couple of months while renovations are underway. The results will make for some big improvements to an already great place.

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ratap Beach Resort has closed from 29 January 2020 to 27 March 2020 for construction works. During this time, the restaurant is receiving a renovation and upgrade and a new gym, shop complex and tennis court will be completed. The restaurant building, the focal point of the resort will have a ‘freshen up’ with a new roof, new tiles throughout and updated interior furnishings. “We are really excited about bringing on line our new activities centre. This building will have a superb gym with all the latest equipment allowing guests to continue their gym routines while on holiday,” Erataps owners said.

This is also where guests will come to get their snorkelling equipment, bikes, surfboards and tennis racquets. The new tennis court will be located next to this centre and will have lights allowing tennis to be played during the balmy tropical evenings. Also included in this complex will be the resort’s new shop. This will sell Vanuatu-made and Eratap Beach Resort products and stock all the key small items guests regularly need, which will hopefully save the need to run into town for forgotten holiday items. The completion of these works will mean guests get to enjoy a huge range of facilities and an even better holiday experience.•

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

Join us for the Eden Experience, Port Vila | Contact +678 7710765

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Islandliving pacific

AUTUMN 2020 | ISSUE 31

TAKE A BLISSFUL BREAK INTIMATE CRUISING

PACIFIC ISLAND LIVING | AUTUMN 2020 | LIVING THE DREAM

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

pacific

ISSUE 31

For advertising and distribution enquires contact us via our website www.pacificislandliving.com or email jemma.senico@photogenicpr.com

Islandliving RESORT REPORTS FASHION I FOOD ARCHITECTURE I ART STYLE I ADVENTURE

FIJI | VANUATU | SAMOA | SOLOMON ISLANDS | MARSHALL ISLANDS

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D E ST INAT IO N VAN UAT U

Taste Tour

Taste of Tanna is a new hands on experience exploring the sustainable, organic production of local fruit, vegetables, coffee, fish and bread on Vanuatu’s Tanna Island.

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hite Grass Ocean Resort & Spa has joined forces with local producers to create Tanna Island’s first tour specifically designed to appeal to visiting foodies keen to discover the local produce and cuisine. Available from May to October 2020, the new Taste of Tanna experience will include visits to and tastings at a wood fired bakery and local markets, tours of coffee and peanut processing facilities and an interactive cooking demonstration and lunch at White Grass. “Our Taste of Tanna tour will give guests first hand insights into the land and people behind some of the most incredible organic and sustainable food and produce, all of which are featured daily on our menu,” White Grass owner Euan Marsh said. “It will be a very hands on experience which explores the raw, organic and sustainable production of local fruit, vegetables, coffee, nuts, fish and bread. This culminates with an interactive cooking demonstration at the resort followed by lunch with a glass of wine.” Taste of Tanna tour participants will depart White Grass at

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around 8am. First stop is the local Imaelone Bakery where the resort’s wood fired bread is prepared each day. Then the group will head to colourful Lenakel Market where guests can explore and shop at their own pace or join head chef Charley and his team as they select ingredients for the resort’s renowned kitchen. From here the tour continues to the Tanna Coffee Processing Factory at Loukatai where the ‘seed to sip’ experience includes behind the scenes insights into one of Vanuatu’s most famous products. Following a caffeine fix, guests will visit local villages and the market gardens that supply the resort’s organic fruit and vegetables, as well as the Nasi Tuan Factory at Imanaka where locally harvested peanuts are processed. The tour concludes back at White Grass’s five-star commercial kitchen where Charley and his team will demonstrate how to prepare two local specialties, fish Laplap and Simboro, for guests to enjoy with a glass of wine for lunch.•.


Vanuatu’s best beachfront dining.

Reservations | Phone 27279 Email tr@tamanuonthebeach.com

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U N D E R WATE R WON D E R S

Dive into a Different World anuatu in V

While snorkelling can offer a glimpse into the world below Vanuatu’s gentle waves, scuba diving immerses you in it.

Home to stunning, healthy reefs, fascinating wrecks and a wealth of ecologically diverse marine life, Vanuatu’s teeming waters are the perfect destination for scuba diving.

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hile snorkelling can offer a glimpse into the world below Vanuatu’s gentle waves, scuba diving immerses you in it. Outstanding locations for diving can be found off Santo, Efate and Tanna, with tours suitable for every level from novice through to expert. From colourful reefs alive with darting fish and gentle sea turtles to underwater caves and forgotten shipwrecks, these places are just begging to be explored. Here is a list of arguably Vanuatu’s top dive sites to whet your appetite.

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BLUE HOLE ONE + BLUE HOLE TWO, TANNA The volcanic island of Tanna offers a dramatic underwater landscape with blue water caves, swim-throughs and reef walls. Opened in 2015, Volcano Island Divers provides access to the dive sites located off the island. Blue Hole One consists of four connected sinkholes. Access between them (and to the outer reef) is via swim-throughs and tunnels, providing an exhilarating dive.  If you’ve got time, Blue Hole Two is also worth a visit. At low tide, this dive site is accessible from shore with another array of


TWIN BOMMIES, EFATE This popular dive site about 15 minutes from downtown Port Vila consists of two large coral ‘bombora’ as well as a steep wall peppered with brightly coloured coral formations. There’s a huge variety of fish here to keep you company as you explore, including butterflyfish, lionfish, leaf scorpionfish and colourful nudibranchs. Dive trips to both Twin Bommies and the Tasman seaplane wreck, as well as many of the other dive sites off Efate, can be arranged through Big Blue.  CINDY’S REEF, SANTO A dive not to be missed, there is a huge variety of corals to be found here, from staghorn corals to large plate corals and even ‘potato head’ coral, which has only been identified in Vanuatu. A relatively simple dive that’s great for beginners, Cindy’s Reef is also home to an abundance of marine life, with a myriad of tropical fish as well as turtles and sharks.  TUTUBA POINT, SANTO This reef is found off the northern end of Tutuba Island, just a short boat ride from Santo. Depth starts around 6 metres and descends the wall to a maximum of 30 metres, with visibility at this site often outstanding. As well as spotting an array of crayfish, divers at Tutuba Point also have the opportunity to explore plenty of underwater caves and chasms. Santo’s dive operators provide regular dive trips to the sites off Tutuba Island, including both Tutuba Point and Cindy’s Reef. MV SEMLE FEDERSEN, EFATE  This cargo trading vessel was sunk off the Pango Coast and now forms an artificial reef located not far from Port Vila. This is another deep dive at between 40 and 60 metres but offers spectacular visibility the whole way. If getting a magnificent view of the whole ship as you descend isn’t exciting enough, making your way through the cabins and stern of the wreck certainly will be.

interconnected tunnels as well as intricate caverns and grottos to explore. Throughout your dives in Tanna, keep your eyes peeled for turtles, moray eels, reef sharks, blue-spotted ray and even the elusive dugong. TASMAN, EFATE Shipwrecks are one thing, but how about the opportunity to dive a plane wreck? The Tasman offers just that. This is a deep dive, down to 40 metres, and visibility is often not the greatest, so the Tasman is best tackled by experienced divers. For those willing to take it on, the wreckage of the ill-fated Qantas S26 Sandringham Flying Boat (which hit the reef on takeoff in 1951) is mostly intact, and divers can climb through the cockpit, making this dive one for the bucket list.

MELE REEF, EFATE Off the coast of Mele Bay sits a sizeable reef that offers divers a vast range of corals and marine life to explore. The main reef rises to around 6 metres below the surface and a dive here is ideal for beginners. The bay that surrounds Mele Reef is also home to two major wrecks, both worth exploring while in Vanuatu, the MV Konanda and the Star of Russia, with Nautilus Watersports coordinating dive trips to both. The MV Konanda was purposely sunk, creating a safe diving experience that’s ideal for those new to wreck diving. Exploring the cabins and holes and bridge areas makes for a fun dive. For the more experienced wreck divers, the 90-metre long sailing ship Star of Russia sits 30-metres down in Mele Bay. This grand vessel was crafted by the same builders as the Titanic and it is now home to schools of tropical fish.  For more information and to make bookings on dive operators in Vanuatu, visit http://vanuatu.is/diving •

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D E ST INAT IO N SAMO A

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 fia fia 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 tradition itself. You can even take home a memento from the local markets, with handicrafts, fashion, jewellery and handmade artefacts 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 and a strong culture. There’s plenty to see and do in Beautiful Samoa.


D E ST INAT IO N SAMO A

Palolo

Caviar of the South Pacific Above: catching palolo in the dawn light in Samoa.

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f there is one annual event that is revered in the Samoan traditional calendar – it is the mysterious phenomena of palolo rising. Palolo are annelid sea worms that inhabit tropical ocean waters and are a part of Samoan cuisine with the addition of tradition and mystique. The way to pinpoint exactly when it spawns isn’t exactly a fine science but there is a small window of opportunity in the days following the first moon of every October. Known as the caviar of the Pacific, it is Samoa’s most prized fish and also an acquired taste with its pungent flavours that many have likened to taking a big bite of the

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ocean. From ocean to table, the harvesting of these annelid sea worms is as adventurous as those who dare to sample these delectable creatures, either raw or cooked as is the case in Samoa. My palolo adventure started under a blanket of stars in the early hours of the morning in mid-October on the shores of Paradise Beach in Lefaga, Samoa. Having never gone to ‘ka palolo’ (catch palolo ) I was more excited at the prospect of swimming in the sea at 3am under the moon rather than actually catching or eating palolo. Dressing carefully for the event, I realised I was missing

PICTURES: Liz Ah-Hi.

Early one October morning Liz Ah-Hi ventured into the dark waters of the Pacific to take part in a gastronomic ritual for the first time. She emerged a convert to sea worms.


D E ST INAT IO N SAMO A

A couple make one last attempt to catch palolo before the sun rises fully.

one important accessory when I looked around to see palolo hunters, wearing leis of fragrant mosooi (ylang ylang) and pua (frangipani) which is an ancient tradition that was apparently meant to ‘woo’ the palolo with their enchanting aroma and thus bring about an abundant catch. Despite at least a hundred or so palolo hunters along the same stretch of beach, I quickly surmised the first rule of palolo hunting is ‘you never talk during palolo hunting’ having to make do with hand signals and whispers from my guide as I waded over the rocky shore and into the water. Catching one’s first palolo worm is purely delightful until

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you realise you have about a thousand more to go as the delectable worms swarm in hoards (during a good season). One good way to figure out which spots along the beach the palolo are congregating is to watch where the groups of palolo hunters are gathering and with stealth and speed, head towards that direction. Now there is a catch to all this palolo harvesting in the predawn hours which explained the urgency in everyone’s haste to harvest and store the slimy creatures. Palolo as I found out, are nocturnal creatures and will dissipate when the sun has fully risen (Bram Stoker fans


D E ST INAT IO N SAMO A

Below: the not so appetising live palolo. Above: on the plate and ... delicious.

would thoroughly enjoy this) and to make matters even more complicated, they must be drained of the saltwater which would otherwise cause the precious worms to liquefy. One of the great things about palolo harvesting is watching the sun rise and in Lefaga at Paradise Beach – this is guaranteed to be a spectacular sight for a place known for it’s stunning sunrises and sunsets and its no surprise that it was the location for the famous classic movie, Return to Paradise. Following the harvesting of palolo, a hunting of a different sort ensued as locals and restaurateurs alike hit the grapevine and social media to see how much the palolo was selling for. Overseas Samoans were on the phones enquiring who of their families were lucky enough to catch the mystical worms and locals were scanning restaurant guides to see which eatery was serving up the seafood delicacy. Having never eaten palolo before, and I certainly was not going to eat it raw as some palolo purists prefer, I headed straight to the Island Grill restaurant at Fugalei to sample their palolo tapas. The little marine creatures resting on dainty slices of taro had transformed into a seafood dip the colour of midnight. Before I could entertain the memories of the wriggly worms from the night before, I took my first bite of palolo and … it

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was delicious. The stories are true, it is truly like taking a bite of the deep blue mysterious ocean encompassing all of the flavours of abalone, seaweed, oysters and something else I couldn’t quite pinpoint. If your travels are in October, be sure to experience the once in a blue moon phenomena of palolo rising and end it on a unique note, savouring the Pacific’s own caviar cooked by the people who have been catching and serving up this seafood delicacy for centuries.•


THIS BUD’S FOR YOU.

ENJOY RESPONSIBLY


D E ST INAT IO N SO L O M O N I S L A NDS

s t a o b d e e p s d n a s o d Spee

From Strength to Strength Danielle Norton goes to Solomon Islands to attend the Lagoon Festival, a week-long celebration of the culture, customs and pastimes of people in this region.

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he sound of a conch shell echoes across the sparkling blue lagoon and the 10th annual Roviana festival begins. Three tomokos propel rapidly through the water toward the wharf where the waiting crowd has gathered. The war canoes are removed from their sacred resting place, launched in the water only once a year. The crew has dressed for the occasion. Their faces, arms and torsos are striped with white war paint and their heads are adorned with wreaths of coconut leaves. As the tomokos glide into shore, the grunting and shouting of the men is a reminder this is a serious business;

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these are warships, not toys and their oarsmen are warriors, not boys. People come from far and wide to celebrate the annual Roviana Lagoon Festival at the repurposed marketplace in Munda in the Western Province of Solomon Islands, at the water’s edge. Dignitaries fly in from the nation’s capital and villagers arrive by sea from every village on the lagoon; in speedboats, banana boats and dugout canoes. The festival is a week-long celebration of the culture, customs and pastimes of people in this region.

PICTURES: Gerald Rambert .

The crowd on the jetty swells as the canoe races begin. All are keen to watch and encourage their friends and relatives in their endeavours.


D E ST INAT IO N SO L O M O N I S L A NDS

“Seeing the youth of the community dancing makes my heart sing. In the sharp movements of the boys I can envisage their warrior ancestors

I’ve been invited here to meet the Roviana people and observe as they celebrate with traditional dancing, sporting events and an important speech competition. Over the next four days I will watch as kids come to town to learn from their elders; how to make a canoe, how to carve the paddles, how to weave with coconut leaves. A major initiative of the festival is the inaugural speech competition. Young people from lower primary to upper secondary level have prepared speeches on the festival’s theme: the importance of reviving and preserving Roviana culture. Youth speak about their ancestral history, about learning from their elders and being careful not to be drawn too much into western lifestyles. One little girl speaks about processed food and how villagers should revert to fishing and eating from their gardens in an effort to maintain good health. Another reminds

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the crowd about the natural remedies for specific ailments. Every speech further reinforces the Roviana people value their culture enormously. One speaker declares that: “Our culture is the voice of our ancestors, guiding us through our life from birth to death. Do not let their voices fade away. We must learn from our Roviana elders, before we lose that knowledge forever.” Between speeches, groups of teenage girls perform dances, their routines perfected after weeks of practice, flipping their hands and swaying their hips to the rhythm of much more modern music than their mothers would have danced to in the villages. Even the confident girls display a shyness as they look out at the large crowd, the members of their community, who have gathered to hear the speeches and be entertained en masse.


and the warriors they too may become.”

Seeing the youth of the community dancing makes my heart sing. In the sharp movements of the boys I can envisage their warrior ancestors and the warriors they too may become, if the need arises. When the girls move their hips and flick their wrists gracefully, I see the mothers they will be, the laughter and love in their hearts, I see them cooking by their fires and bending and swaying as they harvest in their gardens. All of it is there in the dance, even though these kids are doing a very modern interpretation of dancing. There’s no string band, no brother, uncle or father beating the drum, it’s modern music blaring from speakers, but the ancient stories and the Roviana culture runs through these young people and is kept alive for another generation. At the edge of the Agnes Gateway Hotel in Munda, a boy in traditional warrior dress runs past me waving his spear, his big

smile and cheeky “hello” juxtaposing with his fierce costume and weapon. He is about to perform on stage with a dozen of his friends. He pauses to pose for me, a huge grin spreading across his face before he stops and assumes his warrior stance. Proudly, this boy represents his ancestral tribe which values strength and honours the bravery of its fighters. Sporting prowess is celebrated here in the Roviana region and all members of the community have an opportunity to compete and display their strengths in the canoe races, swimming races and the ironman contest. There is even an underwater breath holding competition. “Some of the kids are very good at holding their breath,” a woman tells me, proudly, her smile wide. The crowd on the jetty swells as the canoe races begin. All are keen to watch and encourage their friends and relatives in their endeavours. The contestants float at the start line, paddles at the ready, waiting for the starter to give them permission to go. “Get set, Ready, Go!” he calls. They dip their oars in the water and launch, sometimes colliding with each other, sometimes sinking or capsizing. Each mishap brings a great cackle of delight from the whole crowd and causes others to come running to see what is going on. People hoot with laughter when a kid emerges from the water in Speedos. People run over to see the spectacle and point at him. The Solomon Islanders are a modest people and most swim fully clothed but this boy wears his costume and his win, with pride. He was the only boy in the race to be different and his people celebrate his motivation. “I like him,” says Jonathan Taisia, who works for the ministry of culture and tourism. “He’s thinking smart, like he’s in a competition.” As well as being entertaining, there is a teaching and learning element to the festival. The canoe carving contest draws great crowds of boys mainly, all gathering to watch a relay of men hacking away at a log with their tiny axes, shaving and shaping the vessel, tapping it with the wooden handle every so often to hear the echo and judge their next stroke until it has been chipped into a functional canoe. Elsewhere in the marketplace, three men spend two days building a traditional Solomon village house. Kids watch on, learning quietly, as the men pause during the heat of the day and rest under the half thatched roof. Moment by moment, the culture, the Roviana way of life, is being modelled and passed on from one generation to the next. As I sit at the water’s edge and watch the glorious sky change from bright blue to orange then pink, I reflect on how lucky the Roviana people are. The strength of this community is the mutual love and respect for each other and their rich heritage .The Roviana Lagoon Festival occurs every year in October..• islandliving | 71 pacific


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D E ST INAT IO N SO L O M O N I S L A NDS

From the IvoryadCoast ise to par

Expats Bob and Yvie Norton fell in love with diving in Solomon Islands. So much so they bought a dive hotel. Their tale however started in NZ, and continued through the Ivory Coast before finding paradise.

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t’s a long way from the dangers of the Ivory Coast in West Africa to the sleepy island of Tulagi in Solomon Islands, but that’s where Kiwi expats Bob and Yvie Norton found themselves after more than 20 years in the airforce. “We had worked all over the place before I moved to the Solomons to work for Toll as the country manager,” Bob explained. “Yvie and I were working in Sudan when I took the contract in Honiara, she moved to Abidjan, Ivory Coast and ended up getting caught in the middle of their civil war. “One day she rang saying she was headed for the border and would call me when she made it. I didn’t hear from her for three days and it was unbearable. When she finally made it, I said that’s it – you’re coming here to the Solomons.” For the first year, the reunited couple spent their weekends learning to dive and fell in love with the sport, which is easy to do in the Solomons. “When RAMSI (Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands) was winding down, Toll wanted to move me to Canberra, and I thought no way!” Bob laughed. “We’d been diving a bit with the Tulagi crew and saw an opportunity to take over the only hotel on the island – Raiders.” Bob and Yvie have completely turned Raiders hotel around, and refurbished all eight rooms, with a total of 14 beds, comprising three ensuite and five standard rooms, all featuring ensemble beds, soft linens and air conditioning. A choice of fresh breakfasts are made daily to your liking, and quite often, freshly caught kingfish will feature on the lunch time or dinner menu – most often caught that day by Bob himself. Tulagi offers plenty of activities, but is also perfect for relaxing

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and doing nothing at all. The large airy and shaded verandah features hammocks and seats overlooking the small coral garden right in front of the inn. Children will be entertained snorkelling out the front and playing on the small white sandy beach next to the verandah. The inn also has a kayak and a stand up paddle board for those looking for a little adventure. But it’s the diving I had come to Tulagi for and Raiders’ dive shop is full of modern dive equipment and on the doorstep of some of the regions best diving. The Solomon’s is known for its wreck diving, the Iron Bottom Sound was named by Allied troops during World War II because of the many planes and ships sunk there during the battle for Guadalcanal. Today it attracts divers from all over the world, but not as many as you would expect for a region with some of the best diving in the world. I took a banana boat from Honiara’s yacht club over to Tulagi; you can organise this through the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau if you’re heading over for a day trip, or Raiders will pick you up if you’re staying there. The crossing of Iron Bottom Sound is quite spectacular, with the neighbouring islands of Savo and Malaita visible on a clear day. The seas are generally calm, but if it’s a sunny day go prepared with hat, towel for shelter and sunscreen as often the boats have no cover. An hour after departing Honiara the nation’s former capital Tulagi (during British rule from 1896 to 1942) comes into view. A scattering of buildings along the water and up in the hills, ruins of old commercial buildings and a wharf shows this once bustling town has a rich history. Continued over page...


EXPLORE • DISCOVER • RELAX • TULAGI • SOLOMON ISLANDS

PHONE (677) 32070 or 7594185

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RAIDERS HOTEL & DIVE

REEF & WRECK DIVING • ACCOMMODATION • BAR & DINING • SNORKLING • HIKING & MORE LOCATED 1 HOUR FROM HONIARA, ON THE WATERFRONT OF THE HISTORIC TULAGI HARBOUR, SOLOMON ISLANDS

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islandliving | 75 pacific


D E ST INAT IO N SO L O M O N I S L A NDS From previous page... Tulagi was attacked by the Japanese in May 1942 with Allied forces fighting back and failing to regain control of the small island. This attack lead to the devastating Battle of Guadalcanal campaign. Bob took me on two dives, the stunning Twin Tunnels lava tubes and the wreck of the Catalina seaplane. Both were magical and I wished I had time to see more. Whilst a day trip is possible, staying at Raiders gives divers the chance to experience so much more than just the underwater world. Should you wish to experience life in a typical village, Bob and Yvie will happily arrange to take you and your travel companions to a nearby village by hotel boat, where they have an arrangement to provide the village with some financial

Dining guide HERITAGE PARK HOTEL 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

assistance in return for guests being welcomed for a day trip. Upon arrival, the local villagers will eagerly scale a nearby coconut palm to husk fresh drinking coconuts, while the happy carefree pikininis gather around to watch and giggle at the visitors. At the end of the day, after a freshly cooked dinner and cold beer, you can wash the day away, climb into the most comfortable of beds and drift off to sleep in the luxury of cool air conditioning, ready and fresh to wake up the next day and do it all over again. To book your next stay at Raiders Hotel & Dive Tulagi, please call (677) 32 070 or mobile (677) 749 4185 or email raidershotel@solomon.com.sb for more information, visit www.radiershotel.com by Tiffany Carroll.

Staying in Honiara? Check out the Heritage Park Hotel for a cold drink or delicious meal. 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.•

Experience magical Munda at Agnes Gateway Hotel. Award winning service and pristine diving. SSI instructor training centre. WWII wrecks, caves and reefs – untouched and unspoilt.

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ENJOY A NIGHT OR 10 YEARS AT HONIARA’S FINEST

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D E ST INAT IO N K IRIBAT I

From the air, Kiribati is simply stunning. On the ground, friendly people, a strong culture and pristine water awaits you.

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he island nation of Kiribati, comprising 33 atolls straddles the equator stretching 3235 kilometres across the Pacific Ocean. With traditions and culture thriving and visitors regarded as a curiosity, it is the Pacific of yesteryear. South Tarawa is the urban hub of the nation with a large concentration of the population crammed into rows of houses squeezed together. Land is scarce here, the lagoon suffering under the weight of people, but this is where government and commercial activity is focused, where the hustle and bustle of Kiribati prevails. Venture away from south Tarawa and you escape this commotion, finding the unspoilt tranquillity of north Tarawa. To visit only south Tarawa is to miss the gentler side of Kiribati, the Kiribati where time flows with the moon and tides. Located on Abatao in north Tarawa, our family homestay accommodation is delightful. The road halts abruptly at a passageway between the ocean and lagoon. A prompting whistle and a motorised canoe emerges from across the water to ferry us to the other side. During the new moon, the crossing is magical as phosphorescence lights a trail behind us, swirling round our feet in the water; a step in the wet sand stirs a shower of phosphorescent dust. Our guesthouse looks over the lagoon. A raised floor, roof of pandanus leaves and a mattress. Woven palm shutters keep out the rain, the lagoon breeze provides natural air conditioning! Home for a while. Privacy is pretty much nonexistent but it all adds to the Kiribati charm. It is quite normal to wake up, see several pairs of eyes

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staring back from beyond our feet, hear a shy ‘Mauri’ and then children running away giggling! The bathroom is shared and the toilet has built-in entertainment as hermit crabs scurry around our feet. Meals are local food: pancakes made with ‘toddy’ served with coconut syrup, fish, rice, breadfruit, pandanus and coconut. Sunset over the lagoon is spectacular with a ball of fire resting on the horizon, the sky blazing with shades of orange, red, pink, purple. Serenity – apart from the lapping of the water on the lagoon edge and the distant crashing of waves on the ocean side. A receding evening tide brings fishermen into the lagoon, wading the shallows with a lamp, trailing a fishing net between them or slowly drifting in a canoe to catch the next meal. In the dark of the night, tiny lights shine out in the middle of the lagoon. Beyond the homestay, the village and North Tarawa stretch out. Traditional houses cluster together, a school, a church and a small shop, little else. Children line the street as we pass, quietly whispering or boldly shouting ‘I-Matang’ (foreigner) before running away. Others crowd round in friendly curiosity, following until we reach the edge of the village or they lose interest. Beyond the village houses are sparsely spread along the track. I-Kiribati sit talking or carrying out daily chores; men climb trees for toddy; women sit weaving mats; children play, patiently practising skills passed down to them. There is no need here for TV or fancy toys – the children seem content with what their imagination and natural environment provide. Calm and tranquillity reign. • by Vanessa Nuttall


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D E ST INAT IO N MARS H A L L I S L A NDS

The Prince Eugen’s watery grave in the Marshall Islands’ crystal clear water during an oil recovery operation.

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he Marshall Islands is unique among island nations being made up of 29 coral atolls and five single islands spread out over an exclusive economic zone of nearly 1 million square miles (one of the largest in the Pacific). The Marshall Islands is one of only four atoll countries in the world and is also one of the world’s youngest nations. Approximately 2,000 years ago, these islands were first discovered by skilled ocean voyagers who searched the horizons for new land. By the time the first European explorers arrived, in the mid-1500s, almost all 29 atolls were colonised, and the people here had developed their own unique language and culture. A young nation politically, the Marshall Islands gained its independence in 1986, after a long history of colonisation by Germany, Japan and the United States, beginning in the late part of the nineteenth century. Marshall Islanders are known as one of the friendliest and most peaceful people on earth. Inherent to their culture are the important principles of caring for one another and kindness to others. These make the Marshall Islands one of the safest places to visit. While the local population is mostly indigenous, there are many mixed German, Japanese and American Marshallese. With almost a million square miles of ocean, over 800 reef systems, and countless species of coral and marine life, the Marshall Islands is without question a scuba diver’s dream. The 30-plus metre visibility and year-round 27 degree water temperature make diving here exceptionally pleasant. One of the Marshall Islands’ key dive attractions is the abundance of WWII ship and plane wrecks. Atolls such as Bikini, Jaluit, Kwajalein, Mili and Wotje are home to dozens of famous wrecks that have just recently been explored by visiting divers. With only three scuba diving operations based on Majuro and Bikini atolls, the vast majority of the country is just waiting to be discovered.

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Name your own dive site

If you’re a diver who’s looking to escape the crowds and to tread new waters, this is the place to be. Indeed, there’s nothing more memorable than discovering a new dive site, and naming it yourself. And nothing beats the thrill of finding a new wreck. Without a doubt, your diving appetite will be quenched, or shall we say ‘drenched’ after a visit to the Marshall Islands. If you yearn for exploration, discovery and learning about new cultures, you’ll find a visit to the Marshall Islands very rewarding. More specifically, a trip to one of the ‘outer atolls’ as they are called, will provide an unforgettable experience. Here, you can find Marshall Islanders living, for the most part, in the same form and fashion as they have for hundreds of years.

The outer atolls are completely unspoilt

While Western products and technology have slowly made their way into the outer atolls, the island culture and traditional lifestyle still prevail. People here continue to rely on the sea and the land to provide for most of their needs. Men still sail their traditional canoes while women continue to weave crafts from native material. On atolls such as Mili, Jaluit, Maloelap and Wotje, you will find a multitude of WWII relics, including anti-aircraft guns, coastal defense guns, Japanese Zeros, bunkers and more. On Majuro Atoll, the nation’s capital, you’ll find the major hotels and facilities. Here, there is an array of restaurants, bars and local craft shops. You will also find the Alele Museum, which houses pictures and artefacts from the nation’s past. Majuro is home to nearly half of the entire Marshall Islands’ population, and it is, therefore, quite developed in comparison to most other atolls. •


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B IJO UX BE AUTY

d i r g e h t f Of

No News, No Shoes Two former Australian hospitality veterans decided to combine their passion for the Pacific and food to create an intimate jewel of a getaway on a pristine stretch of Vanuatu beachfront. By Craig Osment.

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any resorts and B&Bs claim to offer the ultimate in understated island getaways but not many achieve their goals to the level of perfection offered by Papaya Villa on the Vanuatu island of Efaté's east coast. The proprietors, Marcus and Stoney Xavier, first considered a move to Vanuatu in the eighties but the hotel they were looking to buy blew away in a cyclone, so that was a deal breaker – but not the end of their ambition to relocate from Australia. Fifteen years later they found their ideal location and after sealing the new deal on a serviette at the Grand Hotel in Port Vila, over the next three years brought their dream to fruition. Their joint hospitality credentials include having operated businesses on Hamilton Island, being involved in the opening of Brisbane’s Hilton Hotel, running a catering company on Queensland's Gold Coast, overseeing Alan Bond's former hotel group and for the last nine years operating a cooking school on the Gold Coast which they have re-branded in Vanuatu as Papaya Loco Cooking School. The focus being on Caribbean, Spanish, Portuguese and Island food styles. Papaya Villa is very much a partnership but one gets the sense it is Marcus's passion for food that dominates the gastronomy end of the business, although Stoney does produce a pretty stunning sangria to keep guests lubricated while Marcus enthuses about what's about to emerge from his recently built outdoor wood-fired pizza oven His commitment to cooking has a long and illustrious history which is worth recounting – Marcus claims that at age 10-12 when his mates were getting bikes for Christmas he was getting pots and pans. After his parents split he moved in with his uncle and godfather Leorardo, a Paris trained Cordon Bleu chef whose neighbour was none other than famous Australian television chef Bernard King who along with Marcus learnt many of his cooking skills from Leorardo. So, the training started early and was undertaken by experts. In spite of having been inculcated with these skills Marcus decided to take up dentistry – as you would! Eighteen months later he came to his senses and decided he preferred cooking to taking out teeth and has been providing teeth with something to chew on


ever since. His Portuguese background flavours the menu and derives from what Marcus refers to as his being first generation ‘Macanese’ Australian. Macanese = Portuguese rooted in Macau which is the island his forebears moved to from Hong Kong. After having fled to a monastery when the Japanese invaded during the war his grandfather “sent the family to Australia in fear of further invasions”. But the Portuguese genes live on in the form of his Macanese inspired dishes one of his favourites is translated as ‘fat rice’ a kind of hybrid paella that has so many little surprises when you eat it that it is like a ‘discovery with every spoonful’ says Marcus. And he's right as there is “a mountain of protein in a dish of fat rice ... not that uninspiring yellow, so-called paella that seems to find its way onto restaurant menus”. As it is he's not the first Portuguese to arrive in Vanuatu it was they who named Espiritu Santo in 1605 so he's simply continuing a tradition. Papaya Villa is not entirely about food though, the location shares equal billing with the cuisine. It's situated on a 1.6 km stretch of private beachfront within a development known as Eton Reef which encompasses numerous perfectly manicured acres of tropical garden and a plethora of trees. The perfect backdrop for this little piece of paradise at the heart of which is a Portuguese-inspired two-storey building, designed by Marcus, which is finished with a render applied in handfuls which looks like a million hand-made stones, all white with bright blue doors – and a delight to look at. The two guest rooms are equally gorgeous and ooze simple

Opposite page top: The Portuguese inspired architecture is perfect for Papaya Villa’s beachfront location. The walls are rendered by hand and resemble a million hand-made stones; below: the outdoor pizza oven services a table made for 24 people. This page above left: Marcus in the kitchen; right: lunch – squid ink rice and a meaty ‘hybrid’ paella.

sophistication (and soul thanks to Stoney’s unique design memes) while being completely ‘off the grid'. The entire place is serviced by rainwater or from a natural aquifer, electricity is solar powered, they say you could call it a battery operated house while the septic system is self contained and run by "some amazing technology that we purchased from an old farmer in NZ. Incredible technology that uses no power.” On arrival guests are briefed by Stoney (her original full name was Sharon Stone! So hence the Stoney label) on how easy it is to live off grid even down to little portable solar lights in jars for night time excursions. None of this is at the expense of comfort with the most expensive items in the two rooms being the beds which Stoney believes “must be comfy ... so our guests can have an amazing night’s sleep after a busy day of beachcombing and eating”. Speaking of beaches, there are any number of small ‘nakamals’ and fares discreetly scattered along the beach which can be used by guests for sunset drinks or seaside breakfasts there is also a stunning 60-metre lagoon pool hidden among the coral outcrops. All this makes for a sense of total peaceful perfection backed by Stoney and Marcus’s personal ethos which they explain as “we want our guests to feel like they are staying with old friends and can be comfortable ... our mantra is ‘no news – no shoes’ so you can feel at home”. And you do. PRACTICALITIES: Book at www.papayavilla.com or email marcus@papayavilla.com. They do have satellite so guests can keep sending up those amazing reviews! And they arrange transfers, special trips around Efaté, Pele and Nuna islands and cooking classes. The extremely reasonable rates include breakfast, while guests can just let Marcus or Stoney know if they are in for dinner and they will be in for a treat – there are no menus, just what’s fresh from the sea (lobsters straight from the reef anyone?) and the markets on the day. Lunches can be provided but most can’t eat all of that food.•

islandliving | 87 pacific


R E S OR T R E POR T

LIKULIKU WELCOMES NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF

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yan Ward has been appointed Executive Chef of the multi award-winning Likuliku Lagoon Resort in Fiji’s Mamanuca archipelago - the luxury Fijian-owned resort with Fiji’s only authentic over-water bures and a part of the prestigious collection of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. Prior to coming to Fiji two years ago, Ryan devoted five years as Chef de Cuisine for the then 2-hatted GOMA Restaurant at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. In the early stages of his career, he was drawn to the precision and rivalrous nature of London’s kitchens, including Mayfair’s Sketch, and spent time in boutique hotels on the Cornish coastline. Born in Queensland, his formative years were heavily influenced by his grandmother, a sculptor and artist, and his grandfather who had a genuine love of nature and understanding of the land, raising cattle on his property in Queensland. His upbringing and his time at Sketch and GOMA have shaped Ryan’s simple yet beautiful expression of ingredients.

Ryan draws inspiration from his time living on Malolo Island where he began his Fiji affinity at Likuliku’s sister property – Malolo Island Resort. Ryan re-shaped the culinary offering at Malolo Resort with an increased focus on local produce and flavours. During this time, Ryan gained an appreciation and true understanding of local ingredients stretching from Malolo to the tip of the Yasawa Islands. Moving next door to Likuliku is a dream for Ryan because with that comes a daily-changing menu, a flourishing garden and a supply of fresh honey from the Resort’s bees. “For me, the key is to focus on the origin of the ingredient and take inspiration from the Fijian people, culture, customs and tradition to create a dish that has a sense of place.” Ryan says.

MALOLO ISLAND RESORT APPOINTS NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF

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hura Resorts has announced that Gregory Llewellyn has been appointed Executive Chef of the Fijian owned and multi award-winning Malolo Island Resort in Fiji’s Mamanuca archipelago. US-born Gregory has lived and worked in Sydney for almost a decade but began his cooking career in New York where he honed his skills at restaurants including Mix by Alain Ducasse. Highlights of his international career include his role as Chef de Cuisine at leading Puerto Rican restaurant, Marmalade, as well as his appointment as Executive Chef of Santa Monica’s Shutters On The Beach – one of Southern California’s premier beachfront dining destinations. Gregory joined Malolo from vibrant Sydney eatery, Wish Bone, which he co-owned and operated with friends; he was formerly Head Chef at Wildfire, owner/operator of Sydney’s The Gretz and 5-times ‘hatted’ restaurant Hartsyard. Joining Gregory is his Australian wife, Naomi, and their three young children. He says he’s delighted to be moving to the Pacific island nation and is looking forward to discovering the local produce, new flavours and authentic Fijian dishes.

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‘I’m excited to learn about local produce and ingredients from the crew and find ways to increase their presence on the Malolo menus. I’ve seen the kitchen garden and I’m keen to get involved with that. It’s a chef’s dream – having the ability to grow specific things for a menu idea you’ve got.’  He says sustainability is important. ‘I was trained to always cook with seasonal, local ingredients and to use the whole of the produce, whether it’s animal or vegetable. I’ll be doing that on Malolo.’ Malolo Island Resort, with its sandy beaches, abundant coral reefs, coconut palms and pristine turquoise waters, is a family favourite. Gregory says, ‘most of Malolo’s guests are of course, families with many multi-generational groups, so family style shared feasts could work really well.’


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SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

o matter what day of the week it is, there is something for everyone when dining at Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort, the sister resort to the much loved Sheraton in downtown Apia – Aggie Greys. The resort is set amongst 224 acres of manicured gardens on its own exclusive beachfront just five-minutes drive from Faleolo International airport. SOUTH PACIFIC RESTAURANT Take in dazzling views of the beach as you sample the traditional flavours of Samoa at the hotel’s signature South Pacific Restaurant. Here, they showcase skilfully crafted international dishes, a full bar and live music nightly. The newly refurbished restaurant is beautifully designed to highlight the traditional Samoan woodcarving features and offers unparalleled views out to the Pacific Ocean with the island of Savai’i as the backdrop. Open for dinner. Dress code: Casual APOLIMA FALE Begin your morning in Samoa at Apolima Fale, which boasts a wide-ranging international breakfast buffet that is open to both in-house guests and day guests. Daily from 6.30am to 10.30am Adults: WST50.00 Children 4-12 years: WST25.00 On Tuesdays the fale is transformed for Polynesian Night, offering a full buffet of cuisines from all around the pacific and an entertaining dance show for the whole family to enjoy. Every Tuesday from 6.30pm to 9pm Adults: WST75.00, children 4-12 years: WST37.50 Or experience the art of Samoan dancing every Friday for their Fia Fia night with a range of delicious Samoan cuisines

and a fiery show. Every Friday night from 6.30pm to 9pm Adults: WST85.00, children 4-12 years: WST42.50 SOLENT BAR Join the rest of the crowd and gather for a refreshment in the afternoon or the evening. On offer is a full selection of cocktails, international beers, wines of the world and premium spirits. The bar also has a great menu with snacks like rice paper rolls, Samoan oka (raw fish marinated in lemon juice and coconut cream) and pizzas. Daily Double Trouble Happy Hour – buy 1 get 1 free on selected mocktails and cocktails – 3pm to 5pm and 9pm to 11pm. •

“Sinfully Good Food”

P: 338 6246 | Facebook: edenfiji E: eden@connect.com.fj www@edenfiji.com.fj Cnr Bureta & Maharaj St, Tamavua, Suva

islandliving | 89 pacific


C H R I S T IAN A COOK S

Cool Customer cumbers By Christiana Kaluscha

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he word cucumber comes from the Latin name ‘cucumis’ while three hundred years ago, the English called it ‘cowcumber’. Cucumbers originated in India between the northern part of the Bay of Bengal and the Himalayan Mountains. They belong to the same botanical family as melons (including watermelon and cantaloupe) and squashes (including summer squash, winter squash, zucchini and pumpkin). Cucumbers are usually divided into two types. Slicing cucumbers are produced for fresh consumption. Pickling cucumbers are produced for eventual processing into pickles. Slicing cucumbers are usually larger and have thicker skins, while pickling cucumbers (gherkins) are usually smaller and have thinner skins. Cucumbers are a deliciously refreshing veggie that tastes

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amazing in salads, gazpacho, drinks and all on their own. They are also delicious cooked. It is more common in Asian cuisine to prepare cucumbers this way, where they work wonders in stir fries and side dishes SEVEN HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING CUCUMBER • Cucumbers are low in calories but high in many important vitamins and minerals • They contain antioxidants • They promote hydration • They may aid in weight loss • They may lower blood sugar • They could promote regularity • They are easy to add to your diet


Cucumber rolls with cream cheese and salmon (10 servings) This is a very easy to make as refreshing appetizer or finger food. INGREDIENTS • 230 g cream cheese, softened • 10 slices of smoked salmon, cut to the size of the cucumber slices • ½ - 1 teaspoon wasabi (depending on how spicy you like it) • 2 large cucumbers • Cocktail picks

METHOD • In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese and wasabi • Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, peel the cucumbers lengthwise into thin slices. Discard the outer peel. • Pat the peeled cucumber slices with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. • Spread a small spoonful of filling over a cucumber slice. • Add the slice of salmon • Starting from one end, tightly roll the cucumber into a spiral. Repeat with remaining cucumber slices and filling. • Close with a cocktail pick Enjoy!

Tzatziki Grated cucumber combines with chopped herbs and aromatics in this iconic Greek yogurt dip, great served alongside grilled meat or vegetables. INGREDIENTS • 1⁄2 large cucumber, peeled • 1 Tbsp. sea salt, plus more to taste • 2 cups plain full-fat Greek yogurt • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped dill • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped mint • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice • 2 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste • 1 small shallot, finely chopped • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste • 2 tbsp. olive oil • Paprika, for garnish

Cucumber jalapeño Margarita INGREDIENTS • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice • 1/2 cup white tequila • 1/4 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier • 1/4 cup sugar syrup, or more as needed • 4 thin slices cucumber • 1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise • Ice, for serving • Salt for glass rims, optional METHOD • Mix together the lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, sugar syrup, cucumber and jalapeños in a large pitcher. • Chill for at least one hour (the longer the margarita sits, the more the cucumber and jalapeño flavours infuse into the drink). • Serve over ice in salt-rimmed glasses, if desired.

METHOD • Grate cucumber using the large holes of a box grater; transfer to a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Toss cucumber with salt; let sit 10 minutes; firmly squeeze several times with your hands to release excess water. Drain. • Transfer to a bowl, stir in yogurt, dill, mint, lemon juice, garlic paste, shallot, salt, and pepper; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with paprika to garnish • Do ahead: Tzatziki (without mint) can be made three days ahead. Cover and chill.


Above: Tzatziki. Above right: Stir fried cucumber with pork and golden garlic

Stir fried cucumber with pork and golden garlic This is characteristic of a yin-yang stir-fry, so called because it combines cooling ingredients (such as cucumber) with the heat of others (in this case, garlic, ginger and chili). Golden fried garlic is the main seasoning here; some of the oil used for the garlic is then incorporated in the dish. Watch the temperature of the oil carefully. INGREDIENTS • 1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil • 3 to 5 large cloves garlic • 400 g pork shoulder, cut into small pieces • 8 cm piece ginger root • 1 large Lebanese cucumber • 1 1/2 Tsp. cornstarch • 1 Tsp. light soy sauce • 1/4 Tsp. sugar • 1 Tsp. Salt • ½ Tsp. chili flakes (optional) • 1 Tbsp. cold water • Sesame seeds for garnish

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METHOD • Line a plate with paper towels. Heat the oil in a flat-bottomed wok or small saucepan over medium heat. • Coarsely chop the garlic • Peel the ginger and cut it into small pieces • Trim off the ends of the cucumber, then cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Discard the seeds, if any. Cut into 1 cm slices. • Combine the pork, cornstarch, half of the soy sauce, the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl; toss to coat evenly. Combine the remaining soy sauce and the water in a separate small bowl. • Add the garlic to the hot oil and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the garlic is just golden. Use a metal skimmer to transfer the garlic to the paper towel-lined plate. Strain the oil into a heatproof container. • Combine cornstarch, soy sauce, sugar, water and the salt in a medium bowl • Wash and dry the wok thoroughly before placing it over high heat. When the wok or skillet is hot, add a drop of water; the heat is sufficient when the water vaporizes within 2 seconds. • Swirl in 2 Tbsp. of the reserved garlic oil, then add the ginger. Stir-fry for 30 seconds or until the ginger becomes fragrant. • Push it to the sides of the wok or skillet, then add the pork. Cook undisturbed for 1 minute so the pork sears, then stirfry for 1 minute, until the meat is completely seared. • Add the cucumber and stir-fry for 30 seconds, making sure it is well incorporated, then sprinkle on the remaining salt, chili flakes and the soy sauce-water mixture. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until the pork is cooked through and the cucumber has begun to wilt. • Stir in the reserved garlic and remove from the heat. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and serve immediately with steamed rice.


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IS L A N D LIBATION S

Kava

Shelling Out And Chilling Out Jemma Senico recalls her various encounters with kava, from after work chilled out nakamals to big Fijian ceremonies that last all night. It’s an island tradition that spans the Pacific.

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f you’ve ever been to the South Pacific – Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, or if you’ve ever known a Fijian – you’ve probably tried kava. Known for its unique muddy water appearance and tongue numbing effects, kava has a long history of cultural significance throughout the Pacific from Polynesia and Melanesia to as far as parts of Micronesia. A member of the pepper family, the plant itself is a bushy evergreen shrub with heart shaped leaves, though when people refer to kava they are actually referring to the root of the plant and the drink made from it. It is prepared by pounding the root of the kava plant (this action releases the chemical ‘Kavalactone’), combining the ground root with water and then consuming it, though its practice, preparation and use varies a little from island to island. My main experiences with kava have been between Fiji and Vanuatu. It still plays an important role in ceremonial occasions in many parts of Melanesia, especially in Fiji where ‘Yaqona’ ceremonies accompany almost all important functions, sometimes involving bundled roots as a ‘sevusevu’ (gift) followed by drinking of the Yaqona. Nowadays kava is also enjoyed more socially, involving sitting around the Tanoa (kava bowl, carved from hardwood) with family and friends telling stories for hours on end. WHO SERVES THE STRONGEST? Fijian kava is usually made with sun-dried kava root, while Vanuatu kava is made from pounding fresh kava root, which gives it its extra strong kick. Every Fijian I’ve ever taken to try kava in Vanuatu can never seem to stomach it, and my local Ni-Vanuatu friends usually get a good laugh out of this and claim victory for having the strongest kava. Kava has mild psychoactive properties, numbing your

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Above: The notoriously muddy mixture. Below Fijian bowl makers with their


tongue and giving you a relaxed ‘chilled out’ feeling. I never understood how it could make you ‘chill out’ so much, until my first big kava drinking experience. When I was about 18 I spent two weeks in my father’s village on Yadua Island, off the West coast of Vanua Levu. Being Christmas time there were many celebrations to be had and it must have been one of my first nights there that the kava drinking began. The thing you must be cautious about when drinking kava in Fiji, or with Fijians for that matter, is that you must be prepared for it to never end! Many people started before me, and many were still going when I tapped out – but the kava drinking that night went on for hours and hours. And hours and hours after that! After who knows how many ‘low tide’ coconut shells of kava, I was sitting with my back against the wall contentedly staring across the room, without a care in the world listening to the stories and laughter around me as sun began to rise. I’ve since learnt that’s pretty typical when Fijians get around a kava bowl, it’s always one more mix or one more bilo (cup or coconut). These days I disappear pretty quickly if I hear that kava, or more commonly, known around Fiji as ‘grog’, is on the cards. Despite it being enjoyed socially, I love that many of the ceremonial aspects of drinking kava are still respected in Fiji. Like one big hollow clap and a big ‘Bula!’ before you drink, followed by three claps when you finish.

favourite magazine. Above: Bowls in the raw, and below, the finished product.

STAND BY THE TROUGH! Travelling to Vanuatu often, I first found the Nakamal or kava bar experience awkward and strange. The bars are usually a collection of palm covered timber shacks with a main hut selling kava and chasers, another hut selling hot take-way food, and then various huts and seats scattered around for relaxing. Here, you simply go to the dimly lit counter and ask for a 50, 100 or 200 Vatu shell and you are handed over your kava in a small plastic bowl or coconut ‘shell’. Some skull it right there at the counter, some take it to a more private corner and others drink it over the purpose built troughs made for spitting or rinsing out your month. Coming from a Fijian background where kava was so ceremoniously enjoyed, I found it hard to accustom myself to this. Why weren’t we sitting around the Tanoa on a woven matt, why wasn’t anyone looking me in the eye with a big ‘Bula!’ before they knocked it back? However, the kava bars of Port Vila have the same social connection, instead of after work drinks its 5pm at the kava bar, with the same hours of sitting around telling stories and jokes that we would around do around a Tanoa. Similarly with Fijian customs, Vanuatu kastom also entails the use and drinking of kava in village rituals and ceremonies. Nowadays, because of it’s mild analgesic and euphoric properties, you can find kava in tea, anti-anxiety herbal supplements and even in cocktails (I’ve had an awesome ‘Kava Colada’ in Vanuatu!). Next time you find yourself in front of a Tanoa or at a kava bar, have a ‘High Tide’ for me and say ‘bula! •

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H E A LTH Y LIV IN G

n o i t a t i d e M

Just Breathe Georgie Gordon ponders the best ways to achieve mindful relaxation in a world of ever increasing pressures and anxieties. Take a seat, relax and rejuvenate.

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here are many different forms of meditation practice, from sitting in silence and focusing on breathing, to following a guided meditation or repeating a mantra, however, the desired outcome is the same – to train attention and awareness to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. People mediate for different reasons as there are many benefits, some use it as a way to reduce stress, others for self-discipline, to break bad sleep habits, increase pain tolerance or just to have a more positive mood and outlook on life. For whatever reason it’s practiced, or even how, there’s no denying that learning to mediated is a beneficial tool for mental health and wellbeing. Studies show that mindfulness mediation decreases anxiety and depression, lengthens attention span and can even reduce age-related memory loss. Not only that, there is research that says the rest we get during mediation is deeper than gained in sleep. That is, 20 minutes of meditation can be equivalent to seven hours of sleep. Despite the many benefits, meditation is often dismissed as too hard, too time consuming or as new age hype. But you don’t have to climb a mountain, own crystals or even have a lot of time on your hands to practice. The first step is to find a form of meditation that suits you. Here are three of the most commonly practiced techniques:

Transcendental Meditation

This form of mediation has a diverse following and seems to be the preferred technique for Hollywood movie stars, supermodels and professional sports players with everyone from Clint Eastwood to Gisele Bundchen practicing this mantra driven form of meditation. Originally established as religion in the 1950’s by Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, it was quickly adopted by the western world. The desired result is ‘a simple effortless flow of the mind towards happiness’ achieved in two 20-minute sessions a day. The basic premise is repeating a mantra (a word with an attached meaning) until

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it fades away and you reach a blissful silence and higher state of mind.

Zen Meditation

It is believed that Buddha first reached enlightenment while practicing Zen meditation and discovered true happiness comes from who we are not what we have. Having a quiet and peaceful place to meditate is important for this practice which is usually done in the lotus pose (sitting cross legged with each foot on the opposite thigh). Eyes stay open and directed ahead but without focusing on any one thing. The idea is to then breathe slowly and deeply though the nose with extra focus on the exhalation. Focusing on this breathing is supposed to help one reach a deeply relaxing, meditative state.

Kabbalah Meditation

Originating in Judaism, Kabbalah is thought to be around 4000 years old although for some of us it only came to light when Madonna started practicing and extolling the virtues in the mid noughties. Celebrity endorsements aside, Kabbalah meditation is supposed to guide you to a more fulfilling life by accessing a higher plane of consciousness. Prior to 1969 it was only taught to married Jewish men until Rav Philip Berg, an American Rabbi, opened it up to everyone regardless of race, sex or religion and it became a global phenomenon. The daily meditation practice of Kabbalah is less structured than other forms. A quiet place is key but instead of silencing the mind, the idea is to talk with god and express fears, gratitude and request guidance. Even meditating for five minutes a day is beneficial. Here’s a quick guide. And remember it’s called practice for good reason, the more you do it, the better you will become.

Five Minute Breathing Meditation

1. Set a timer. 2. Sit comfortably, in an armchair or cross legged on the floor, whatever works best for you. 3. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths from your diaphragm and feel your body relax as you breath out. Try to visualise the tension leaving you, starting from your head and finishing at your feet. Feel the stress melting away with each deep breath. 4. Clear your mind. Try to focus on just being, as thoughts enter your mind gently acknowledge them and then let them drift away, always returning to the present moment. Focus on constantly keeping your mind in the now rather than trying to clear all thoughts. 5. Continue this for five minutes, focusing on the sensations in your body, your breath and letting go. Return to your day relaxed and refreshed.

Get Online

Finally, as with everything else in life these days there are numerous apps to help with mindfulness and meditation, there are guided meditations and mindfulness sessions where a facilitator talks you through the technique or induction process. There are also simple music sessions during which calming music is played. Try the Insight Timer or Headspace apps or go to themindfulnessmovement.com for any number of free YouTube videos and pod casts. Most of these specify duration depending on how much time you'd like to devote to your session. They also are tailored to meet any number of chosen outcomes, from managing pain, encouraging sleep, reducing anxiety and stress, to increasing confidence. Just plug in your headphones and drift off.•

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BOAR D IN G SC HOO L S

( AD V E R T I S I N G F EAT U R E )

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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 www.stuartholme.com


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: www.stpeters.qld.edu.au

St Peters Lutheran College

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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 r.thomson@stpeters.qld.edu.au

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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 brisbanegrammar.com.

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

Website brisbanegrammar.com

For more information email enrolments@brisbanegrammar.com 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. www.stmargarets.qld.edu.au•

St Margaret’s PRE-PREP - YEAR 12

BOARDING YEARS 5-12

A leading Australian boarding school for girls

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

99OP1-15 % 2018 Seniors

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A R T S MAR T

e h t p u g n Blowi

Inflation Rate We all know the price of art is continually on the rise but inflation has truly caught up with the art world since Jeff Koons achieved a record $AUD131.8 million for one of his sculptures based on an inflatable rabbit in 2019. There’s more than whimsy in the world of balloons. By Toby Preston

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here’s something inherently playful about balloons and artwork made in that tradition, if you can blow it up then it seems immediately approachable and innocent. Artist’s intentions aren’t always benign though when they display their ironic side. For instance the two rabbits at right are part of an exhibition called Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable and are described by their creator Momoyo Torimitsu as representing ‘the cramped feeling of a person who can no longer distinguish mental and physical freedom’. The size also creates a bizarre sentiment; oppressive and even monstrous. So not as cute as they look! While we are used to large inflatable objects from bouncing castles to beach toys and boats to airships and passengerbearing balloons, there has been a long tradition of inflatables both in art and architecture. There are examples of inflatable domes used for sporting events, blow up movie screens for drive-in theatres, military quick assembly tents and even an experimental inflatable plane built (in 1956) by Goodyear the tyre company better known recently for their company blimp. Since the latex balloon’s invention by Michael Faraday in 1824 the uses have run from meteorology to medicine to whimsical decorations and beyond to the art world which likes nothing better than large public displays. Jeff Koons’s ‘inflatable’ works have been displayed in many prominent places including New York’s Rockefeller Center where he inflated his 45-foot-high Seated Ballerina which was scaled up from the artist's original 'antiquity' series version in steel at around seven foot high. In addition to recognised artists there are ‘inflatable artists for hire' in the form of UK-based Designs In Air which creates and manufactures inflatable sculptures for events and exhibitions and to order. The business grew out of designer Pete Hamilton’s ‘happy accident with a hair dryer and a scrap of hot air balloon cloth in 1994. Check out his lobster overleaf.•

Left: Top dog – Jeff Koons Balloon Dog (Orange) sold in 2013 for US$58,405,000 which at the time was the highest price ever for a work by a living artist. This is one of five unique dogs in various colours. While the work appears to be inflated it is in fact made from mirror-polished stainless steel with a transparent colour coating. It stands at an impressive almost 12 feet high and was bought by an anonymous phone bidder at the Christies auction in New York. He later went on to surpass his own record and achieve an even higher price of US$91 million for a silver rabbit made in the same vein. Right, top to bottom: Two giant inflatable rabbits (these are filled with air) displayed by Japanese artist Momoyo Torimitsu. The huge bunnies have deliberately been crammed into a small space as a statement by the artist; middle: Skywhale, the 30-metre tall inflatable by renowned Australian artist Patricia Piccinini is soon to be joined by another large balloon called Skywhalepapa; bottom: two huge inflatable walk-through pyramid structures designed by French artist Cyril Lancelin, displayed in Philadelphia for the Made in America Festival.

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Left: Ark Nova, the world’s first inflatable mobile concert hall (looking a little like a huge kidney) first opened its doors in Matsushima, Japan. It was designed by artist Anish Kapoor with the architect Arata Isozaki. It was created in response to Japan’s 2011 tsunami “designed to tour the region, to provide cultural events as an agent for new beginnings”. Right: Ian McMahon’s voluminous pillow-like form uses an innovative sprayed plaster technique. Displayed at Sculpting With Air in Massachusetts. Far right: the wittily named 5-metre Lobster a la Cart by Designs In Air.

Below left: Jeff Koons’s 45-foot-high Seated Ballerina at New York’s Rockefeller Centre was inspired by a small porcelain figurine; right: Australian

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artist Amanda Parer’s giant, 23-foot-tall inflatable bunnies are part of a public art installation in San Francisco to raise awareness of this pest.

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e l p o e p d n a e r u t l u c c fi i Pac

Fashion, Creativity And Celebration Jemma Senico was overwhelmingly proud to be a Pacific woman and to see her people – our people and our cultures celebrated on the Pacific Runway stage.

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ndoubtedly growing as one of the most eagerly anticipated ‘Night of Nights’ for Pacific people throughout the region, Pacific Runway has grown from humble beginnings in 2012 into a fully fledged runway event now held annually at Sydney’s funky multi-arts centre Carriageworks. Each year this event showcases the best of the best of Maori and Pacific creatives.

Imagine this, when one day, one of one of our very own Pacific designers showcases at a Paris or New York Fashion Week with their own team of Pacific models stomping, sashaying and dancing along the runway!

The founder Jannike Seiuli, of Samoan heritage, started the event originally to show the local community in Western Sydney what her Pacific people were capable of. Now the platform is on its way to becoming a bridge into mainstream fashion in Australia for Pacific origin designers. Each year the guest list, both paying public and invited guests, attracts the who’s who of the Pacific diaspora in Sydney, as well as an increasingly a non-Pacific contingent from the fashion, media and creative industries including stylists and buyers. To attend one of these events and experience the magic of Pacific Runway is truly overwhelming, and their latest show in October 2019 was no different. There is a buzz in the air

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on arrival as you wander through a technicolour sea of Island inspired outfits. Everything from traditional mats and Maori Kaitaka to woven vests under three piece suits, tropical kaftans and fresh flower head Ei’s (Cook Island flower crowns) – the red carpet entry was the guests’ runway. The show was kicked off by a welcoming performance from Matavai Cultural Arts, a Sydney based arts centre promoting and teaching fundamentals of Pacific culture through dance, language, music and creative arts. This set the stage for what was to follow, a show full of life, colours, dancing, music and exquisite fashion – all with a truly Pacific flavour. The start of the show pays homage to the rightful Owners of the land the show takes place on, the Gadigal people, and is always opened by a guest Indigenous designer. This year it was Liandra Swim with a stunning collection that fuses Aboriginal Australian culture with on-trend premium designer swimwear, inspired by the indigenous pastime of storytelling. Next featured were some of the big brands who are quite well established and well-known in the Pacific region like TAV who was splashed across the media when Princess Kate wore one of their dresses on a royal tour and Evana Couture worn by star choreographer Parris Goebel to the MTV Awards. These stellar brands were complimented by a group of new up and coming designers who hadn’t showed at PR before. Descendant from Ngati Kahungunu, Lehi Ferris is the brains behind Urban Mizfit, a grunge streetwear brand that takes

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inspiration from Anime and Japanese streetwear. Vono put on a 90’s hits performance with it’s eclectic collection of lace bra-lets and studded leather, further proving the versatility of Pacific designer minds. Maori owned and operated Ahua Creationz showcased their contemporary handcrafted ceramic jewellery on bare bodies, exploring traditional Maori adornment. Other favourites were the gorgeous bright reds and oranges throughout the Havana styled Mena collection and the vivid colour and Fijian masi motif combinations from Samson Lee Fiji. A crowd favourite was TAV, whose collection was opened by the stunning twice-crowned Miss Cook Islands, Lydia Simonis, who graciously sashayed down the runway to a heavenly ukulele melody. The designers seemingly had the freedom to choreograph their shows as they wanted. Dancing was present throughout almost every collection, and the smiling runway models exuded confidence and sass. What a difference a smile can make in a fashion show, further encouraged by the vocal crowd. What fashion show can you attend where the front row is dancing, chee-hooing and yelling “Go cuz!” as the models strut past. In recent years, the fashion industry has seen more and more diversity in colours, race and sizes. But Pacific Runway has got to be at the forefront of this trend when it comes to cultural inclusion. Designers, models and all backstage crew hailed from Fiji,

PICTURES: Dusk Devi Media

“What a difference a smile can make ... further encouraged by the vocal crowd. What fashion show can you attend where the front row is


dancing, chee-hooing and yelling ‘Go cuz!’ as the models strut past.”

Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, New Zealand, PNG and Hawaii, either by heritage or family ties. Sitting in the front row watching women of colour, of all shapes and sizes and with big curly hair like my own – I was overwhelmingly proud to be a Pacific woman and to see my people, our people and our cultures celebrated on such a stage. Across the Pacific and now the world there are various fashion festivals that showcase Pacific fashion. From Fiji Fashion Week and the Bottega Fashion Festival to the London Pacific Fashion Week, it is only a matter of time until Pacific designers begin to be picked up in the more mainstream markets across the world. And, with the industry now considering slow fashion over mass produced, Pacific designers are at the forefront of ethical and sustainable practices with their ability to demonstrate their use of traditional methods, materials and cultural influences in their work. Founder Jannike is looking forward to a future where Pacific Runway is Pacific Fashion Week. That the show becomes not only a cultural fashion event of the year, but an industry focused bridge for designers to enter commercial markets and a source of Australian and global fashion trends. Imagine this, when one day one of our very own Pacific designers showcases at a Paris or New York Fashion Week with their own team of Pacific models stomping, sashaying and dancing along the runway! Hopefully we are on the way there. •

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H I G H F LYE R S

t n e r e f f i d e r a s g n Thi

At The Pointy End

When Tony and Elaine Wilson decide to indulge and spend extra in their quest for comfort on a long haul flight, they were impressed and arrived fresh and ready to explore the USA.

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ormally our only association with business class on any airline is as we walk through it to economy. But as we get older, we decided that on any long flights we would spend more to be more comfortable. We had planned a trip to the US and Canada and we had heard glowing reports about Fiji Airways from a couple of neighbours in Vanuatu. As the flight was more than 10 hours we decided to take the plunge and fly business class to Los Angeles. First we were put at the pointy end of an Airbus ATR from Vila to Nadi and, although it doesn’t really have a true business class, we were in the first four rows with the services of our own attendant. Although it is only a short flight we were wined and dined with a meal, which did not happen in economy behind us, where they were served a snack. Those who wished to watch a movie, TV show or play

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games were given their own tablet computers to use. Once in Nadi, we were able to use the business class lounge which was quite excellent and fairly new. The lounge boasted a children’s play area, a spa, toilets and showers plus all manner of seating, from couches and lounge chairs to small dining settings. There was also free Wi-Fi, newspapers and magazines and plenty of hot food and drinks. The barman even shook hands, introduced himself and welcomed us. After boarding the evening flight, we settled into our large, comfortable front row seating and prepared for the mid-year flight, which took 10 hours and 20 minutes for just under 9200 kilometres. The first class service began immediately with French bubbles before take-off, followed by good quality wines, including a Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc from NZ’s Marlborough region, The Black Chook Chardonnay from South Australia,


Yalumba Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon and a Matua Pinot Noir, also from Marlborough. Late night dining commenced at about 10.30pm (Fiji time) and began with a hearty cream of mushroom soup garnished with freshly chopped parsley. For mains there was a choice or crispy sesame coated chicken tenders with a sweet and tangy honey mustard sauce; slow cooked braised beef in a tomato and olive sauce sided by creamy polenta and local green beans; green garden salad with either grilled herb and paprika chicken breast or feta cheese with a French vinaigrette or ranch dressing, or paneer and potato kofta seasoned with cumin and roasted spiced mix and served with a zesty tomato masala gravy. Dessert choices were a yummy Pina Colada cheesecake, a fresh fruit bowl or chocolate and vanilla ice cream. A top notch cognac finished everything off nicely and it was a movie before a good sleep on a seat that almost stretched to the horizontal. We were not too interested in breakfast having had two dinners the night before, but throughout the flight the service was impeccable and the cabin crew were genuinely friendly – oh, and the coffee was excellent. We arrived in LA really fresh and rested, which is the hallmark of a great flight and we have no hesitation in saying fly Fiji Airways and treat yourself to a great priced business class experience. • *The Wilsons paid full price for their business class tickets.

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G L O R I OU S GAR DE N S

s e c a p s l Mindfu

Get Into The Zone Carolyn Ernst knows the value of doing nothing, so follow her advice and create a special place for doing, well, nothing!

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emember as a child, you had your own special place, somewhere you went when the world just got too much for you, it may have been a cubby house in the garden or you may have just hidden away from the world, under your bed. This need to get away or have a special place even as an adult is still important. Somewhere you can relax and rejuvenate and contemplate the world. The necessity of being able to relax and unwind is becoming more important, with the increased pressures of modern day living. While I have a comfortable place to sit inside when it is too cold or raining, it is not quite the same as if I am outside, in my garden. I believe that many people are the same. It is a proven fact that gardeners live longer and this has now been supported scientifically. I won’t bore you with the details, but if you are interested just google it, for the finer points. I think it has to do with our ability to commune with nature, in return, nature has the ability to sooth and calm our souls. This special space is somewhere you can relax and let the stresses of daily life just wash away. We are all busy people and many of us do not take the time to relax and allow our bodies to heal. We should all give ourselves at least an hour a week, to just sit and do nothing, absolutely nothing. The very thought of doing nothing can be terrifying to some of us. If you find it impossible to do nothing try using it as a planning session, maybe somewhere down the track you will find this an easier thing to accomplish. YOU’RE ALLOWED TO BE GREEDY You can create these special places even in the modern tiny garden or on your tiny deck or veranda, if this all the outside space you have. It may be a space you can share or you might like a space just for you, it all depends on you. I am a little social so I like sharing some of my special spaces with anyone I care about. Don’t forget you are allowed to be greedy and have more than one special place.

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First of all this space must have somewhere to sit or lie, whatever position makes you comfortable, it may be a hammock, a lounge chair anything as long as it is comfortable. Then there must be sound (preferably soothing); I am lucky I have the background music of the river and the birds. If you do not have these natural sounds, you can add wind chimes or even some background music can be nice sometimes (or it might be essential to hide the background noise of modern life). Don’t forget plants, lots of plants, depending on the position these can be in pots or planted in the ground. As this is a special place, some of the more delicate or needier plants in your collection, can be planted here. I find in my very large garden that I cannot water everywhere, so I place the plants that have higher water requirements in one place, so I can look after them. REMEMBER A SPACE FOR YOUR BEVERAGE Don’t forget your sense of smell, so some perfumed plants would be great, Murraya, Yesterday Today Tomorrow and gardenias are all good additions to this area. At night, scented candles and burners all add that little bit extra to your space. Please, be careful of very strong smells, they can become overpowering and cloying. I made the mistake of planting my Dracaena ‘happy plant’ close to the house and the overpowering scent when flowering just got too much, I had to move them. Now if you are a nibbler make sure you make a place for a plate and no R&R site is complete without a place for your beverage. This can be somewhere to put your cappuccino, pot of tea, iced lemon juice or the odd glass of wine. A good book completes the essentials. LIGHT IT UP WITH SOLAR Don’t forget if you are going to use your special place at night, then lighting is important. There is now a huge selection of


“You can create these special places even in the modern tiny garden or on your tiny deck or veranda�

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The author’s well-screened outdoor bath with space for a ‘beverage’.

solar lights that can be used as spotlights, to up-light that special tree or path lights to let you walk safely home at the end of your R&R session. Sometimes you need to think outside the box. I am lucky enough to have the privacy for an outside bath. If privacy is an issue for you then you can create this space with screens and other security measures. This is one of my special places, lying in a hot bath with a scented candle, glass of wine and watching the stars, is just perfection. My special places all have rich green foliage; there is nothing more luxurious than the big leaves of a monsteria or philodendrons. Ferns and other tropical foliage plants just ooze relaxation and pleasure. On a deck or veranda, hanging plants can be used to add different layers. There are many different commercially available hanging pots you can buy or you can make your own. Coconut husks make amazing pots and my son made his girlfriend an amazing hanging log with the inside carved out where the plants and soil went, it looked sensational. Also do not forget there are air plants that do not

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require soil at all, such as the tillandsias that belong to the bromeliad family. Check out Google for some of the amazing things you can create attaching them to logs and branches. Incorporating things that you have made, all forms of garden art or just decorating your pots yourself always adds to the special feeling you get in YOUR PLACE. Maybe you didn’t make it yourself, but maybe a friend gave it to you, maybe the piece comes with a story, this all makes them special to you and increases the ambience of the special place. Pinterest is a great place for ideas, there is nothing wrong with copying, I also find sometimes all I need are a few concept pictures and my creative juices start flowing and I will add my own slant or incorporate several different ideas to create my own masterpiece. Garden, Live, Relax Enjoy – Carolyn• 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 Immature (7) 5 Sounds (6) 9 Sailing (2,3) 11 In the open air (8) 13 Took internal pictures (1-5) 14 Extremely pleasing, commonly (3) 15 Nautical mile per hour (4) 16 Herb used in pesto (5) 17 Stew slowly in closed pan (6) 18 Travel bags (7) 20 External appearance (5) 22 Set of TV programs (6) 23 Number of naval vessels (5) 25 Largest of the Society Islands (6) 26 Zealous (5) 29 Republic in the southwestern Pacific Ocean (7) 31 Portable telephone (6) 32 Prepares for publication (5) 34 Classify (4) 36 Outer edge (3) 37 Retail store (6) 39 Run away (4,4) 40 Sailing vessel (5) 41 Neater (6) 42 Crossword doers (7) DOWN 1 Soft seat (7) 2 Devotees (5) 3 Colour of a glacier deep

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down (3,4) Computer breach (4) Second in quality (4,4) Paddle (3) Sport of free-falling (9) Wets thoroughly (7) South Pacific kingdom (5) Train tracks (5)

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19 Hair product (3) 21 Self-conscious (9) 23 First-class; top quality (4-4) 24 Large Aussie bird (3) 25 Break in play (4-3) 26 Perpetual (7) 27 Inspection of accounts

28 30 33 35 38

(5) Final scores (7) Compass point (5) Mental picture (5) Verbalises disapproval (4) Centre of a cyclone (3)

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B E A N B A G T I M E O U T

A B U L F F A S U A O U I

Y I S H N O C A T S E A R E S C O X R A B K N O T I L G B R L U G G A G E I S E E S E N F L E E T H I T I M E I V A N U A T B I L E O E I S O R T R T L E T T U R N E Y A C H T A D I E R S O L

THE ESSENT IAL

VANUATU SECOND E DITION

SECOND E DITION

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ON SALE NOW

I FINANC E I TOurISm I GEOGrA pHy I HISTOry I CuLTurE theessentia lvanuatu.c

Email: essentialvanuatu@photogenicpr.com

E R E T S U I L T R S

VANUA TU

SECOND EDITION

E S O E D D S E N E S

THE ESSEN TIAL

THE ESSENTIAL

VANUATU

I S K A Y D A I V R I N A G U D I I M T A G V E

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THE PEOPLE:

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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PAR AV ION

Ho Ho Ho Couture Toby Preston contemplates the bloated cost of haute couture while suppressing a smile when catching up on the latest trends in designer menswear.

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n a past life as the art director of several glossy women’s magazines I was involved (on the periphery) in the creation of the fashion pages. This sometimes involved having to suffer trips to sunny places to shoot summer fashion a couple of months in advance of the arrival of sunshine in Australia, one such trip was to Vanuatu which is when my enduring love affair with the island nation began. The importance of fashion to these magazines was integral to their brand image, the models had to reflect the reader demographic and the locations had to include an element of glamour and sophistication concomitant with the masthead’s market position. In other words the fashion photographs had to align with the audience’s aspirations while not always being affordable or attainable but certainly if not todie-for or buy-for then at least lust-worthy and wearable. So what’s changed? Probably not much in female fashion but when it comes to menswear it appears there may be some interesting photo opportunities among the blokes at the next board meeting if executive types are taking their couture advice from some very upmarket titles pitched at ‘sophisticated male professionals’. In a recent edition of Executive Style which is inserted quarterly into both the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and claims to embrace ‘Smart men. Cool things’ I came across a story tagged Suburbia and headed Yard Work in which a heavily tattooed young man with an expression best described as bemused insolence was photographed hanging around a Hills Hoist in a particularly prosaic Aussie backyard. I’m not sure quite what branch of industry or commerce he purported to inhabit but given his age and the amount of ink on display he may have been the proprietor of an after-market muffler business for Subaru WRXs or Nissan GTRs, whatever he didn’t exactly measure up to my idea of the typical ‘engaged’ and ‘sophisticated audience’ claimed by the title. Here’s a brief summary of his summer wardrobe – picture 1: Benny is wearing what looks like a pair of shortie pyjamas emblazoned all over with the Dior logo in a pattern possibly designed to induce an epileptic seizure, in fact they are described as a short sleeved twill Hawaiian shirt and matching loose Bermuda shorts. This cosmopolitan little ensemble topped out at AU$3900 that’s without the sneakers priced at $1650 and white socks with blue trim which cost a mere $310! So for the bargain price of $5860 you too could look like a man emerging from a nightmare dressed in his night attire, a delegate

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at an APEC conference … or a complete goose. In another shot Benny is smiling in a conspiratorial way, as if he’s in on the joke, while pushing a lawn mower wearing a totally appropriate outfit for a bit of gardening. This time it’s voluminous matching trousers and jacket which are crafted by Gucci in green-multi colour washed denim with web and nylon intarsia (or knitting) these two pieces can be had for the combined cost of $4670 and are teamed with open-toe slides (perfect foot protection when using a motor mower) and spectacularly conventional or ‘garden variety’ white socks at the knock-down price of $280. Frankly Bozo the Clown would have tried to flick pass this outfit to Ronald McDonald. But that’s the menswear scoop for this year’s executive-goes-casual summer mode. Who am I to judge what Gucci and Dior have on offer when luxury brands are worth billions, indeed the total worth of the global apparel business is estimated to be US$1.5 trillion by next year. Some of the richest people in the world have made their stash from fash. Bernard Arnault, head of super luxury brands conglomerate LVMH which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Kenzo and any number of other labels spanning fashion and booze, is the world’s third richest man with a personal fortune of around US$106 billion. Another rich rag trader at the other end of the price spectrum is Amancio Ortega who is the man behind the Zara chain of fast fashion stores, his wealth is estimated at about US$70 billion and rising. And there’s obviously money in clown clothing as the company behind Gucci (and a few other notable brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta) which is thought to be the world’s second most expensive brand is worth 23 billion euro. I suppose when a Hermes Birkin bag was sold at auction for US$203,150 there are people out there who probably don’t think twice about turning their grass into lawn while wearing nearly five grand’s worth of green-multi colour denim but I would have thought they were the sort of homeowners who might stretch to a gardener or two. While we do have fashion in the Pacific (see page 106), apart from the occasional Dior ‘Hawaiian’ shirt, it’s mostly of the more affordable, and wearable, variety although I’m sure one of the European labels could whip you up a sarong for a few grand if you really wanted one. Or maybe we just set up a sock manufacturing facility for those that want to spend $310 on an item you can buy in the supermarket for $2.30, as I did last week. I could have bought 134 pairs for the price of one!•


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Profile for Pacific Island Living

Pacific Island Living Issue 31  

Pacific Island Living Issue 31  

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