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Islandliving pacific

Summer 2013/14 | ISSUE 6

way Gmeitt aA ll


Island Hop

Solomons Vanuatu + Koh Samui

Art Smart


Oceanic Treasures


mellow yellow

Fashion Flash Party perfect

Beauty Buzz Summer scents

Pacific Pulse

news+views Resorts+real estate

AU$5 (incl. GST)


ISSN 2200-9566



food+health+more 9 772200 956005

Bridging the Pacific







NEW ZEALAND Wellington

PHONE: Brisbane - 1300 894 311 Honiara - 177 from within the Solomon Islands or 20031 externally.

PICTURE: Tiffany Carroll


ell into our second year at Pacific Island Living, one of the most enjoyable things about this magazine is the feedback. We started out hoping to fill a void in the Pacific – we wanted to create a beautiful magazine for those of us that love the island way of life. We expected our readers to be from the Pacific only, but like flower leis, lime juice, coconut water and even kava, it seems we’re being enjoyed elsewhere in the world too. And what a great thing! So welcome to our new readers in Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the Pacific rim. We’re also producing a Solomon Islands edition of Pacific Island Living in partnership with the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau. When we saw Lonely Planet said the Solomons was the only Pacific nation to make it to the Top 10 must visit places we had to find out why – and now we’re pleased to share it with you too. We’ve been hard at work on this our summer issue, and our Fashion Editor Olivia Waugh has put together a great collection of party wear to complement the season. Thanks again for your feedback. Please keep in touch via our website or like us on Facebook PacificIslandLiving and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @Pacisliving Subscriptions are available via our website. Happy reading. Tiffany Carroll islandliving | 1 pacific

Flying Direct to Nauru Our Airline provides return services from Brisbane to Nauru, Tarawa and Majuro and between Nauru and Nadi.


CONTACT NUMBERS Our Call Centres are available during normal business hours, Monday to Friday to take your bookings or answer your travel questions.

NAURU - Our Airline within Nauru phone: 5577000

FIJI - One World Flight Centre within Fiji - SUVA phone: 331 5311 - NADI phone: 670 8156 AUSTRALIA - Our Airline within Australia phone: 1300 369 044 International Callers phone: +61 7 3229 6455

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CONTENTS13-14 PICTURE: Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau.

0 2 r e m m u S

6 BEACHCOMBER Every issue we bring you the news and views, the people and the places worth knowing about.

9 BOOK LOOK Georgie Gordon’s picks for great reading, this issue she’s cooking the books.

11 NET ASSETS Our pick of the websites we love! 12 oceania: A collector’s paradise The art of the Pacific is highly sought after and on display in galleries around the globe. Here we showcase an eclectic selection

16 Hamilton Haven An architectural beauty which

is available for rent in the yachting destination of choice in the Barrier Reef/Whitsundays.

21 PACIFIC PULSE Round up of news from the region. From the Sollies to Sydney, Vanuatu to PNG.

28 style Mellow Yellow: The colour of the sun, sand, egg yolks and bananas, monks robes and taxis, and now it’s being splashed everywhere.

32 FAshion flash It’s party time! Frock up and get into the festive season with style. Olivia Waugh has the lowdown on the long and short of it.

38 Seine Choice Bank on it. Deciding whether to stay left or right in Paris need not be a dilemma. Craig Osment chooses the middle ground and finds everything he needs right there in the middle of the Seine.

44 Family Album One of Vanuatu’s more colourful personalities shares the family snaps.

46 Picture perfect paradise Intense colours, beaches to die for and people to greet. The Solomon Islands have it all. We put you in the picture.

52 Boutique boat trip Cruise specialist Sally Macmillan takes to the waters around Vanuatu and finds life aboard a luxury boat perfectly pleasant.

56 Summer scents Find your signature fragrance for the sweet smell of summer sensuality. Plus the best of the bronzers. Bonza!

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On page 38 you’ll find French temptations right in the middle of the Seine where you have the choice of two gorgeous islands. And on page 52 take a luxury boutique boat trip around Vanuatu and discover some hidden treasures on the water.

60 sweet poison Sugar is now the enemy according to health experts, and apparently to be avoided.

62 kumala, kumura Or ... sweet potato. Christiana Kaluscha creates an array of delectable dishes using the colourful tuber as a centrepiece.

66 Sophisticated to Simple From a seven course degustation on the riverfront to a tenth anniversary sanger in the Sollies. We’ve been eating out.

69 resort report Our pick of the places to stay in paradise. From luxury resorts to boutique beachfronts.

75 Buy-IN Investment adviser Gayle Stapleton fills you in onsix ways to reduce your mortgage ... quickly.

78 Retreat treat Craig Osment mans up at the spa with surprising results. Get into the Zen zone.

87 Island Property Some of the regions best buys, from industrial land to tourism opportunities.

90 Grow your own Carolyn Ernst goes to the bottom of her garden and finds all sorts of goodies.

96 Drink up! Our exclusive discounted wine offer, delivered free to your door. Sorry only in Australia.

100 Photo finish The pick of the best pics. Pacific Island Living No 6 | Summer 2013-14 EDITOR Tiffany Carroll email:

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Port Vila - Kerri Petkovic, Advertising Director phone: (678) 77 40674 | email:

ART DIRECTOR Michelle Cutler

Honiara: Adkonect - Rodney Rupokets phone: (677) 7423735 | email:


Australia | Fiji | Nauru : Sasha Mathers phone: +61 400 989 844 email:


Pacific Island Living, is published quarterly by Photogenic Public Relations • Tiffany Carroll Telephone (678) 77 47153 | Fax (678) 23402 PKF House, Lini Highway | PO Box 322 Port Vila, Vanuatu

FOOD EDITOR Christiana Kaluscha GARDENING EDITOR Carolyn Ernst CONTRIBUTORS Angela Hollis, Rod Henshaw, Andrew Read, Toby Preston, Craig Osment, Carrie Berger, Pat Ingram, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, Tiffany Carroll, Nauru Tourism Office, Carolyn Ernst. EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Pat Ingram PUBLISHER: Craig Osment

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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 Our Airline or Pacific Island Living. Find us on Facebook or on the net at And now on Instagram at Printed by: APOL Cover: Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau

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. She joined the private office of the Premier of Victoria as Press Secretary in the second term of the Kennett Government. Since moving to Vanuatu, Tiffany has written for many clients and has been editing Air Vanuatu’s inflight magazine Island Spirit for four years. Michelle Cutler | Art Director Michelle has had a long career in print design and publishing. She has worked with many publishers in Australia, the USA, Great Britain and Europe on a variety of lifestyle titles. Michelle now runs a small design business and works across a range of projects including Pacific Island Living. She’s also a Scorpio and claims to love “butterflies, carousels and ponies.”. 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 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 and island-hopping

Andrew ReAd | Photographer Andrew worked as a freelance photographer for editorial and commercial clients including New Musical Express, Sounds, Rolling Stone, The Australian Newspaper and The Age. His photographs have appeared in Time, Life, The Bulletin and Newsweek magazines, as well as ABC, BBC and GTV 9. Gayle Stapleton | Investment Writer Gayle is the Founder and Director of Stapleton Solutions, a business specialising in finance, consulting and coaching. After a career with ANZ Bank during which she held numerous Chief Executive roles and led the business across the South East Pacific. In September 2011, she joined forces with Australian mortgage broking firm Smartline to offer expert home and business loan advice across the Pacific. 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 here. 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. Kerri Petkovic | Advertising Director Kerri began her career in sales and marketing in Gippsland, Victoria before moving to Vanuatu 13 years ago where she worked in advertising sales at the national newspaper. Kerri manages the magazine’s sales staff in Melbourne, Fiji and Honiara and is a frequent visitor the neighbouring Pacific nations.

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Beachcomber Every issue we bring you the news and views, the people and the places from all around the Pacific. Lei-ing down the law Samoan/New Zealand artist Niki Hastings-McFall’s recent exhibition in Australia as part of Towards the Morning Sun showcased her extraordinary Lei Lines works where she uses traditional island leis to create set pieces like the 1950s room (from her Polynisation series) where the walls and furniture are covered with these floral strings or lei flowers, which she describes as ‘lei-bombing’. The vibrant works are just part of her oeuvre which includes jewellery design with her work featured in numerous international collections as well as having exhibited her art in France, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. She has been described as an artist who explores ‘Pacific cross-cultural histories and colonial legacies’. One of her eight Pacific co-exhibitors was accomplished New Zealand sculptor Brett Graham whose works draw on both Maori and European influences as well as a mix of modernist subjects rendered in traditional Maori forms. His is take on an armoured personnel carrier sculpted in wood is at once wonderfully menacing but aesthetically pleasing as is his stealth bomber.

Noumea’s High Flyers A shift in the trade winds brings a flurry of color to the lagoon surrounding New Caledonia where water enthusiasts indulge in idyllic conditions. Lagoon temperatures and wind conditions make kite surfing hugely popular and lures the best kite surfers to annual competitions such as the World Cup Kitesurf. Others come to enjoy a slower ride on the more recently popular stand up paddle board (SUP). But, if you think idyllic conditions are the only attribute the lagoon has to offer, you are wrong. Surrounded by a 1,600 kilometre coral reef (second largest in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef), the lagoon stretches over 24,000 square kilometres making it one of the most extensive reef systems in the world. The tropical lagoons and coral reefs are of exceptional natural

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beauty with dramatic displays of coral diversity, massive coral structures, arches, tunnels, caves, and major fissures in the reefs. Biologically, they offer an extraordinary wealth of diversity and are home to 900 varieties of coral, a number of threatened fish, turtle, and marine mammals, including the world’s third largest population of dugongs. It is because of this diversity that in 2008 the lagoon was included on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites – an internationally renowned recognition. Local agencies, including involvement from the Kanak community, work with UNESCO to ensure that this unique area is well protected and that the coral reef ecosystems remain intact. Above or below, the waters surrounding New Caledonia are truly a gem. – Carrie Berger

Beachcomber And if you have anything that’s worth knowing about, get in touch and let us in on the secret. Haute off the press Sascha Jones is the curator and creator of the terrific new online jewellery site which features cool and covetable pieces from all over the globe – for everything you haute-to-have. With over 25 years of high-end fashion retail experience combined with a background in fine art, Sascha has travelled extensively, lived in New York, worked as a fashion stylist and designer and co-owned her own fashion, furniture and home-

wares stores in Sydney. Working with international fashion brands including Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Celine, Lanvin, Nina Ricci, Rochas, Stella McCartney, and Edun was for her a fashion girl’s dream come true. After selling her business she was inspired to set up with “the intent to create the ultimate source of international and Australian fashion jewellery by established and emerging designers. I want to offer my own edits and showcase them with style and sophistication with guilt-free prices”.

Katie’s frocks Rock Former Vanuatu resident and frequent island hopper Katie Dwyer is the creative force behind the Island Princess label a brand familiar to many in Port Vila. She says “Our designers have travelled the world & worked very hard observing glamourgirls poolside, seaside, stranded on deserted tropical islands, aboard mega yachts & generally jetsetting around to ensure that Island Princess brings you everything you need for every fabulous summertime occasion.” From The Bahamas to Bora Bora, from The Maldives to Mauritius, Island Princess designs will have you island-side, beachside & pool-side-ready. If you are not globetrotting around amazing destinations, swanning barefoot around home is equally important. to Katie whose mantra is “You must still dream, and still look and feel gorgeous and you will, because you deserve to.” See her full range of resort chic clothes, beaded bags and accessories at

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Book look: Cooking The Books ‘Tis the season to be taking advantage of our summer foods and getting back in the kitchen. By Georgie Gordon SWEET TREATS | by The Lime Lounge Café. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Lime Lounge café in Honiara. In 2010 it published a cookbook entitled Sweet Treats and featured all the favourite cakes, slices and biscuits served to its customers over the years. The book combines gorgeous photos of the all the goodies and artwork from the Solomon Islands. Many of the recipes are written using ingredients readily available in Honiara, making the book ideal for both permanent and temporary residents. The book has also gained a following around the world, as many people send copies overseas as gifts for family and friends. The Blue Ducks | by Darren Robertson and Mark LaBrooy Darren Robertson and Mark LaBrooy live by an ethical food philosophy of sustainability and using locally sourced produce. Their beachside café, Three Blue Ducks in Sydney’s Bronte, dishes out mouth watering meals using the freshest ingredients including eggs from their chickens, honey from nearby bees and vegetables and herbs grown in their own permaculture kitchen garden. The book is a breath of fresh seaside air and will have you looking at the food we eat in a totally new way. Recipes such as twice cooked sticky pork ribs and orange and yoghurt pancakes will have you salivating while chapters on keeping bees and chooks will have you dreaming of keeping your own sunny self sufficient patch somewhere. Published by Plum. From India | by Kumar and Suba Mahadevan In this magnificent book, restaurateurs Kumar Mahadevan and his wife Suma present a collection of authentic modern Indian food. There are regional specialities and dishes you may never have heard of but will be inspired to try. The surprisingly uncomplicated recipes are complemented by beautiful photographs of the food and the fascinating story of Kumar and Suba’s arranged marriage, international adventures and of their successful restaurant. Not your average Indian cookbook. Published by Murdoch books.

Seasonal Kitchen | by Serge Dansereau In his latest book Serge Dansereau brings us a collection of 220 recipes for innovative food to be enjoyed with family and friends. The recipes focus on the best produce available and with expert techniques, you can celebrate the seasons with white asparagus with almonds and raisins for Spring, a tropical ice-cream cake with coconut gingerbread and mango for Summer, seared king prawns with pumpkin, pine nut crumble, rosemary and sorrel for Autumn and seared pork belly with red witlof pickle and dried pears in Winter. And Serge’s notes help make the recipes more versatile advising alternate ingredients for many of the dishes. Published by ABC Books. Bourke Street Bakery: The Ultimate Baking Companion | by Paul Allam and David McGuinness The authors of this book believe “baking is part science, part stoneground milling and part riverrunning romance.” Learn how to become a great baker in the spirit of Sydney’s renowned Bourke Street Bakery using the best quality ingredients and following uncomplicated recipes to ensure a superior end result. Bourke Street Bakery is famous for its flaky pork and fennel sausage rolls and addictive sweet pastries such as ginger brûlée and pistachio tart. Published by Murdoch Books. Family Cooking | by Justin North If you’re sick of serving the same tired meals day after day Justin North’s book Family Cooking will inspire you to start creating delicious and diverse dishes for your family and friends. Go beyond spaghetti bolognese (although there is a recipe for it) with comforting dishes like pot-roast lamb shoulder with crushed cauliflower to the more exotic grilled soy and ginger quail with spiced pear chutney and Asian greens. Easy to follow recipes with accessible ingredients will make this your everyday go-to book for weeknight dinners when you are time poor or feeling uninspired. Published by Lantern.

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CONNECTING YOU TO THE WORLD Stay connected in Nauru with Digicel. Pick up a Sim at the Digicel Store today.


For more information contact Customer Care for Free on 123 from your Digicel mobile. Terms and conditions apply.

Nauru’s Bigger, Better Network.

Net assets: Sites we love! The Best Travel Sites unpacked by Georgie Gordon.

HIPMUNK.COM This hot new travel booking site is all over its competitors Expedia and Orbits. A great way to book your travel faster and more efficiently, flight results are shown in a visual timeline format and hotels are shown on a local map. Hotels are sorted by a combination of price, amenities and reviews rather than just price as most sites do. Time calls it ‘one of the 50 websites that make the web great’. A smart, slick way to build your trip. AIRBNB.COM Airbnb is an online community market place for travellers to list and book unique worldwide private properties. ‘Hosts’ list their private rooms, city apartments, castles, boats, country villas, manors or islands on the site for short term stays. The properties earn reviews from other airbnb members, there are city guides and you can share your wish lists of places to stay with your friends on facebook. At last count they had 250,00 listings in 30,000 cities and 192 countries. LONELYPLANET.COM The worlds most successful travel publisher also has an award winning website. enables curious travellers to experience the world and get to the heart of a place via their online guides to almost every destination on the planet. Browse destinations or chose your holiday by theme, adventure travel, beaches, family travel etc. You can even shop around for accommodation. Check out the Best In Travel section to discover the best places to swim with whale sharks or the best places to see an elephant up close. Also see the top ten destinations for 2013, Solomon Islands is at number 6 this year.

LUXURY ACCOMMODATIONS BLOG This one’s pure fantasy, for most of us anyway. This Tumblr blog brings you images of the most beautiful and luxurious places to stay in the world. You’ll swoon over the rooftop suites at El Fenn in Marrakech and the overwater bungalows at Villingili Resort and Spa in the Maldives. Great for anyone who’s interested in amazing architecture, grand scale design and sumptuous interiors, or who just wants to dream about somewhere they’d rather be. MR AND MRS SMITH Mr and Mrs Smith is a travel publisher and hotel booking service specialising in boutique and small luxury hotels worldwide. The authors have been visiting and anonymously reviewing luxury hotels and hip holiday houses for almost a decade, the collection includes honeymoon hotspots for the ultimate romantic escape and ski destinations for stylish slope side stays. Become a member (it’s free) to take advantage of their great offers. GOGOBOT.COM A social media travel planning site where you can build an itinerary based on recommendations from friends and other travellers. Think Facebook for globe trotters. Each user creates a profile and receives a passport, showing all the places you’ve visited. You can then recommend destinations and experiences to your friends and vice versa. Ask questions of the Gogobot community or search the top recommendations, for instance the best restaurants in Port Vila. Next Web says ‘Gogobot makes Google and TripAdvisor look like folding car maps’.

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art smart

Oceania e s i d a r a p s ’ r o t c e l l o c A

The art of the Pacific comes from a long and rich cultural tradition starting with the arrival of the Lapita people around 3,500 years ago and continues today with both contemporary and traditional works being highly sought after by collectors and galleries worldwide says Toby Preston

Above left: The wonderfully ironic cow made of Pacific Corned Beef tins on display at Noumea’s spectacular Tjibaou Cultural Centre. Left: Traditional combs collected from various islands.

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PICTURES: Craig Osment, Alan Kennedy and acknowledged galleries


he art of Oceania and the Pacific has gained recognition around the world with numerous major galleries owning collections and mounting special exhibitions from New York to Los Angeles from Paris to Canberra and particularly Queensland which hosts a triennial of Contemporary Asia Pacific Art. The creative output of the area is being recognised for what it has always been; colourful, decorative, culturally significant and beautiful to look at. Earlier this year the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) held an exhibition of the arts of Vanuatu titled Kastom: Art of Vanuatu that highlighted the rich artistic and cultural traditions of the region. Like much of the rest of the Pacific, artistic traditions going back thousands of years inform the artistic endeavours of contemporary artists, artisans and craft workers but if you’re interested in buying up some of the local wooden artefacts be aware that not all of it is actually ‘art’. While there are many cheap souvenirs on sale at tourist outlets

Art is where you find it, from a simple outdoor exhibition in Honiara to a local island store to a renowned museum collection in New York or Noumea.

Top: Outdoor art gallery in Honiara. Left: A tam tam or slit gong from Vanuatu. Above: Carved image of Maori warrior Te Rauparaha which was fixed to his canoe from NGA collection. Right: Helmet mask from Malekula, Vanuatu, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York collection

Many of the world’s greatest museums and galleries hold collections of Oceanic art, among them the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the

Above Left: Metaniele (1972) from Malekula but now in the NGA collection. Above centre: Fijian breast ornament made from whale ivory, pearl shell and fibre (LACMA). Above right: A Lapita bowl on show at Paris’s Musée du Quai Branly. Left: Basalt ancestor figure from the Marquesas (LACMA). Above: A wooden pig’s head carving from Vanuatu. Right: A wood, shark skin and fibre Hawaiian drum on display at LACMA.

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National Gallery of Australia and Noumea’s Tjibaou Centre.

around the region there are also genuine museum-quality works available from reputable dealers as well as lesser but still worthwhile pieces at less than collector prices. As is the case with any art, the eye of the beholder is probably all that matters in the end. If you like looking at it, then it was worth buying. In the case of Oceania, in the past, art wasn’t so much art but simply the stuff of everyday life. Bowls, combs and utensils which were beautifully executed but made for practical purposes now makes them collectible for their intrinsic beauty. In addition there are the many pieces that were created for traditional ceremonial use or rites of passage such as masks, drums, totems, textiles and weavings, and tam tams (slit drums) or as a form of currency; for instance carved pig tusks which, along with their original donors, are highly valued throughout the Melanesian cultures of the Pacific. Public galleries are the obvious places to find the best examples with the NGA holding a large collection of Melanesian and Polynesian artefacts, but within Australia it’s the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) which claims the broadest collection of contemporary Pacific art with collections representing artists from across the region. The gallery shop also has a terrific selection of books on indigenous art as well as a print-on-demand service which delivers custom-sized and framed prints to your door. But if you’re looking to buy, then obviously the private galleries throughout Pacific are a good starting point as the provenance of your chosen piece can probably be certified and you can be assured that you get what you pay for. There are also a number of online galleries which supply quality products too, from prints to sculpture and indigenous jewellery. It’s generally agreed the Lapita people who may or may not have originated in Asia were the creators of some the most interesting and original designs in Polynesia and Micronesia dating back about 3,500 years. There are numerous archeological sites from New Caledonia to Vanuatu where the distinctive pottery has been unearthed and its fame spread via a number of international exhibitions. One of the more recent large displays was hosted by the prestigious Musée du Quai Branly in Paris in 2010. But it’s not just pottery that has a long history, the woodcarving tradition dates back centuries, with applications in building decoration, carved canoe ornaments, decorated bowls, ceremonial vessels and human likenesses the production of which was largely men’s work. The women meanwhile were making (and still do) textiles, ornamental jewellery like bracelets and headbands and elaborately woven items like baskets, mats and bags which vary in style, decoration and complexity from island to island throughout the region. Here we present a selection from a variety of sources some of which is just for looking at (the public gallery items) and some of which you can buy, start collecting, after all if we’re lucky enough to live here it’s got be easier for us residents than for the rest of world. •

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Hamilton Haven n o i t a s n e s n o i t a n i t s e d hting


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PICTURES: Papillon

Set on a large slice of land on Australia’s Hamilton Island, Papillon is a luxuriously appointed holiday home with spectacular views and facilities, and best of all you can rent it.

rchitect Chris Beckingham has created sophistication and a relaxed opulence in this contemporary Hamilton Island luxury home. This property is a stunning tropical island retreat, with state-of-the-art finishes across lavish indoor/outdoor entertaining spaces and is exquisitely crafted to capture the breathtaking views over Fitzalan Passage to Whitsunday Island. It includes bespoke interior features and a relaxed open plan resort style quality with a stunning heated infinity edge swimming pool and well equipped gymnasium. Spectacularly sited atop 2,661sqm of land, it is a property of celebrity status, timeless style and immense privacy (as it happens it was originally built for Kerry Packer’s helicopter pilot, and famously his organ donor, Nick Ross). Papillon is now available for private short term rentals. In addition to the one-bedroom main house there are two lavish guesthouses with huge bedrooms and kitchenette facilities, guests also have access to two golf buggies for getting around the island, a jacuzzi/plunge pool and free nonmotorised water sports equipment. The finishes include Kwila floorboards, limestone floors, hand crafted timber features throughout plus a wine cellar, air conditioning and ceiling fans. The living areas open on to a vast veranda with wonderful water views and direct access to the pool. Set up for entertaining, the dining table seats eight and the bedrooms contain both queen and king sized beds as well as there being two bathrooms in the main house one with a

Lavishly designed with sweeping views over the water.

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The house is designed to maximise the views across the Fitzalan Passage to Whitsunday Island. Hamilton is perfect as a stepping off point for visits to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and if you’re lucky, whale sightings.

Expansive decks and set up for entertaining, Papillon has the lot, including two separate guesthouses, the use of golf buggies, wifi

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access, a heated infinity pool and a wine cellar. There’s also a spa bath, a jacuzzi/plunge pool and a gymnasium.

spa bath. In addition there is a flat screen TV and a DVD player, washing machine and dryer, a fully equipped kitchen, and a BBQ along with all the usual inclusions you’d expect from a house of this quality. Hamilton is the largest inhabited island in the Whitsunday group and is home to the renowned annual Hamilton Island Race Week every August at which up to 150 yachts from Australia and New Zealand converge. It is also the stepping off point for nearby Hayman Island at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The island has brilliant beaches, coral reefs and the azure waters you dream of in this part of Australia. It is also home to the world class luxurious Qualia resort and the Beach Club boutique resort. For availability and rates visit: Or within Australia telephone: 137 333.•

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Pacific Pulse

Regional Roundup News you can use from around the region and the Pacific Rim.

Game Changer for vanuatu Scheduled for completion in January 2014, the new submarine optical fibre cable connecting Vanuatu with Fiji and then with the high capacity Southern Cross Cable Network “represents the dawn of a new era for Vanuatu and the entire Melanesian region” says Simon Fletcher, CEO of Interchange the company behind the US$30 million project in partnership with French telecommunications corporation Alcatel-Lucent. “Most realise it’s more than just a cable for this part of the world ... we are laying the foundations for a better, brighter future for the region,” Mr. Fletcher says. The new cable system will initially be able to carry 20Gps of data transfer – which is more than 200 times Vanuatu’s current capacity – and will ultimately be able to carry up to 1280 Gps. This vastly superior infrastructure will have a significant impact on virtually all sectors of Vanuatu society, because in addition to infinitely faster download speeds for

domestic internet users, the enhanced capacity will also underpin rapid developments in areas such as e-healthcare, education, business and commerce as well as government communications and tourism. This new infrastructure also offer a wealth of opportunities for foreign investors and e-companies involved in data storage, e-commerce and customer relationship centres. “We’re already experiencing a heightened level of interest from foreign information and communications technology companies keen to learn more about the opportunities now opening up in Vanuatu” says Fletcher, “especially as our new data centre facility is also scheduled to by completed this December. “Business in this part of the world is well aware of the advantages that Vanuatu has to offer in this field, and we are working closely with government here to streamline the processes involved in order to make it easier for foreign ICT enterprises to set up in Vanuatu. “We’re open for e-business! Interchange’s mission is to help build a better future for Melanesia by providing nation-building telecommunications technologies and infrastructure, and we invite all adventurous, like-minded companies to share this journey with us.” Fletcher’s Australian background is reflected in Interchange’s corporate motto of ‘think about tomorrow today’, borrowed from the title of an old hit song by well-known Australian band The Master’s Apprentices. It also reflects his resolve to see Vanuatu emerge as a 21st century e-business hub for he entire region. As he says – “Game on!” For more information get in touch with Simon Fletcher by email at: or phone on: +678 29 984.

Red SEa HOusing to build Manus centre A Saudi Arabian firm has won the tender to build a A$35 million facility to house refugees sent from Australian waters into Papua New Guinea while they await processing. The facility will be built on Manus Island

to build a camp which will house up to 430 tenants, as well as providing related accommodation and amenity facilities with all the required infrastructure and services. The Manus Island construction is expected to be completed by early December.

at the Temporary Regional Processing Center at PNG’s Lobrum Naval Base. Red Sea Housing Services, the company that builds modular units typically used as worker camps, has signed a contract with Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship

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Pacific Pulse A conservation initiative with an entertaining message. And PNG goes nuts on betel. Puppet performance helps save the planet If you and your family are looking for an entertaining outing and a bit of theatre in the wild while supporting a good cause then catch one of these amusing but educational events now showing at various National Parks around Australia. The shows are an initiative of The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife which has existed since 1970 as an independent, apolitical, not-for-profit organisation. It acquires high conservation value land to add to Australia’s protected areas such as national parks, and funds threatened species recovery actions to help protect Australia’s amazing animals and unique plants and animals. With the help of ambassadors, the Foundation aims to educate families on the importance of the ongoing protection and conservation of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage. One such ambassador is Ian Mortimer, a talented performer who has experience in theatre, music, film, circus, puppet making and design. He has spent time with indigenous communities and has been given permission to develop and dramatise indigenous stories (such as Tiddalick) by Central Desert elders. All his shows are an engaging learning experience, using life size native animal puppets, a talking tree and a gigantic book. Performers sing songs and narrate the story using delightful puppet characters that interact with the audience in an unforgettable theatre experience. His performances address conservation and environmental issues making him the perfect advocate for the Foundation and its work nationwide. Ian says “Did you know that Australia has suffered the largest documented decline in biodiversity of any continent? We need more help and help now. “Over the last 200 years, at least 50 of our bird and mammal species and more than 60 of our plant species have become extinct. Australia’s animals and plants are a source Banning the red menace Papua New Guinea’s National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop has vowed to ban betel nut from Port Moresby streets and public places by the end of this year. Chewing betel nut is common in Melanesia, particularly in PNG and the Solomon Islands. Previous bans have tended

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Above: Reptilian fun with a conservation message. Left: wildlife ambassador Ian Mortimer with the talking tree.

of excitement, economic and scientific importance, incredible beauty and awe-inspiring amazement and pleasure.” For further information on where to find the shows and how the Foundation is contributing to the conservation of the country’s heritage see: or email Longyard Sideshow: to come a cropper because of the sheer popularity of the habit with the locals. Most betel nut chewing locals see the ban as an elitist fad and believe this time too, it will not get anywhere. The tendency of chewers to spit out the juice while chewing in public places causes ungainly staining on footpaths and the walls of buildings. And Governor

Parkop says the spitting of betel spreads tuberculosis. Local betel nut sellers say they will be put out of their traditional business if the ban is enforced. The PNG betel nut trade is said to be worth between US$16 million and US$25 million to Port Moresby a year. The ban will mean vendors will only be able to sell at markets outside of the city.

Pacific Pulse Vanuatu’s plea to save reef environment and Solomons remembers Guadalcanal marine predators essential to the wellbeing of vanuatu’s reefs: How you can help Without doubt, the Vanuatu archipelago is one of the most beautiful countries in the Pacific. Its warm coastal waters not only attract tens of thousands of visitors each year, but they are a source of food and livelihood for Ni-Vanuatu. Unfortunately some marine species are vulnerable to overfishing, because of this, the Vanuatu Department of Fisheries has introduced regulations to protect some of these species, but the support of visitors to Vanuatu is needed to eliminate the market for these endangered species. Green snails and Trumpet shell were once common in Vanuatu and were commonly found on reefs. Green snails graze on marine plants which help to keep coral reefs clean and healthy. The green snail grows slowly and is only able to reproduce at around four years of age. The snail has a thick heavy shell and is harvested for its meat and, once polished, its beautiful pearly white and green shell becomes an unsustainable ornamental souvenir. The trumpet shell (Charonia tritonis above right) is a carnivorous shellfish and the largest marine snail in Vanuatu. It provides significant benefit to the reef as it is one of the rare predators of the destructive crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci), which feeds on live coral and destroys large areas of reef. In areas where the trumpet shell population is healthy, there are few outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish. Green snails and trumpet shells are collected by locals for their meat and their shells which are commonly sold to visitors to Vanuatu. The trumpet shell is also used as a traditional musical instrument.

During surveys made on Vanuatu’s reefs over the last decade, green snail and trumpet shells were completely absent in some areas and were sighted in very small numbers in other areas. A decision was made to ban collection and sale of these species until 2020 to give the remaining populations sufficient time to reproduce and rebuild healthy populations. Purchasing green snail, trumpet shell and turtle products (generally shell ornamentals, jewellery) in Vanuatu financially supports illegal harvesters of these species which play and important role in Vanuatu’s ecosystem and culture. Eliminating the market by refraining from purchasing these products will help to protect these species and improve the biodiversity of Vanuatu’s marine environment. So please try to resist the temptation to take one home with you.

Guadalcanal Battle remembered The 71st anniversary of the marine landings on Guadalcanal took place on 7th August 2013. Following the memorial service at the US memorial on Skyline Ridge in Honiara, a special ceremony was held at the newly unveiled Solomon Scouts Monument. The Royal Australian Navy established the Coast-watchers Network in Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands in 1934. Ably supported and protected by the Solomon Scouts who gathered intelligence crucial in the Battle of Guadalcanal and ultimately for the Solomon Islands. This combination was the catalyst for victory, says long term Honiara resident Bruce Saunders. “Pilots and shipwrecked sailors caught behind enemy lines were provided with a safety line to their own territory. “This partnership is recognised with an Anchor from a serving Royal Australian Navy ship ... the same as in use on the HMAS Canberra. It is a fitting completion and unifying

acknowledgement of this critical partnership which forged the victory of the Solomon Islands,” Mr. Saunders said.

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Pacific Pulse Get your running shoes on and see the Sollies on the fun run next October. Solomons scenic fun run on again for sixth year Honiara will host its sixth Running Festival on Sunday 5 October 2014, an event featuring two, five and ten-kilometre fun runs, half marathon and marathon distances. The festival is a highlight on the Honiara sporting calendar with several hundred runners taking up the annual challenge. The event attracts national champions, international competitors, tourists and locals, young and old who love to hit the road. The runs start and finishes at the Kokonut Café with the flat course following the Mendana Highway past Kokumbona and the wrecks at Bonegi. The Solomon Sea and Savo Island provide a picturesque tropical backdrop to the marathon. The run crosses numerous streams and rivers and winds through open coconut groves and cool rainforest. Runners are supported with aid stations every two kilometres and are looked after by cheerful and enthusiastic local volunteers who will happily supply water and encouragement to parched competitors. Event organiser Peter Creagh says “the festival (has) enjoyed rapid growth over the last five years and we continue to share our main goals – to grow tourism to the Solomon Islands and ... attract international attention.” The partnership with the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau seeks to promote the event within the South Pacific and beyond as a way of increasing tourism and awareness of the country and promote community involvement. The festival is a fun event that also commemorates the legacy of World War 2 with the Fly Solomons Guadalcanal Peace Marathon. The event provides a fantastic opportunity for runners with an adventurous spirit to add a South Pacific marathon to their bucket list. And if you make the effort to get to Honiara, why not spend some more time in the friendly islands and book a trip to New Georgia or Ghizo or do some fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving,

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5 OCTOBER 2014

waterfall bush walks or just relax with a good read. fast facts When: Sunday 5 October 2014 Where: Honiara, Guadalcanal What: 2 km, 5 km, 10 km fun runs, half marathon and the Guadalcanal Peace Marathon. To enter see: for details

Honiara hosts the sixth Fly Solomons Running Festival on Sunday 5 October 2014 and event features two, five and ten kilometre fun runs, half marathon and marathon distances. The festival is a highlight on the Honiara sporting calendar with several hundred runners taking up the challenge. The flat course follows the Mendana Highway past Kokumbona and the wrecks at Bonegi with Solomon Sea and Savo Island providing a picturesque tropical backdrop. Enter at or book flights at

T +678 22313 F +678 22665


Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa offers 143 guest rooms, bungalows and villas situated on 75 acres of tropical gardens on the edge of Erakor Lagoon, a 5-minute cab ride to Port Vila township, and 15 minutes from the airport. There are three restaurants including the renowned Wild Ginger for tempting Asian Fusion cuisine, Oasis Spa, extensive conference and events centre, a fun Kids Club and complimentary activities including non-motorised watersports, day tennis and golf .

OASIS SPA ... ... indulge your senses

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Mellow Yellow n e x a fl n o facts the

Go for gold! It’s the hue du jour, it’s bright and beautiful, uplifting and sunny and perfect for the tropics. Yellow, says Toby Preston, is the colour everyone’s splashing about at the moment.


he chromatic qualities of yellow: it’s the colour between green and orange on the spectrum and complimentary to blue, its spectral coordinates are: wavelength 570590 nm with a frequency of 525-505 THz. And, yes I have no idea what that last description means, what we all know though is that yellow is the colour of the sun, the colour of happiness, the colour of gold, optimism, light and pleasure, it’s uplifting, bright and cheerful and not only perfect for the tropics but is this year’s new black or whatever the ‘new black’ is in fashion-speak. It’s the colour of egg yolks, lemons, bananas, Buddhist monks’ robes, New York taxis, corn, a field of rapeseed blooms, sunflowers, saffron and turmeric. It is one of the earliest colours to appear in prehistoric cave art, it was used

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extensively in Egyptian tombs, Roman painting and also found in the murals of Pompeii. On the downside for some reason it was associated with that Christian traitor Judas Iscariot and subsequently became synonymous with jealousy and envy, not to mention jaundice. Originally made from arsenic and cow urine, a more sanitary, synthetic pigment version was invented during the eighteenth century and it became popular with a whole new group of painters such as Vincent Van Gogh and Piet Mondrian. Now it can be applied to any surface to make it more cheerful and bright. It is one of the colours that decorators usually use sparingly or to highlight other hues but as it’s now hot, it’s equally cool to use it more liberally. Take a look at this selection for inspiration. •

Opposite page top, left to right: Liquid gold; Corny!; Bright Buddha; tie dyed. Bottom, put your foot in it! This page top: Balenciaga bag; Ducati 1098 motorcycle dressed to thrill. Middle: Le Crueset casserole; The timeless Morgan. Below: B&B Italia Theo Chair; Eames Eiffel chair; piscine reef spectacle.

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Crockery to clothing, fish to flip flops, cameras to casseroles, corn cobs to cars, furniture to fashion; bikes, bowls and bags – yellow cheers up everything

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Opposite page top, left to right: Sofa so good; duck for cover. Middle: On yer bike; but watch out, from Ice. Bottom: Strung out; Pentax’s beautiful interchangeable lens Q7 camera; cereal offender in stripes. This page right: Cooler/lunch bag, better than brown-bagging it; Below: Stranded, semi-submerged taxis after hurricane Sandy. Bottom: That old fizzy favourite Veuve Clicquot in its distinctive livery; Tie yourself in knots.

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fashion flash

Island Princess silk silhouettes www.

Partyt anPerfect ... n a t r u o y f f o d show Go shor

Jonathan Saunders dress, AU$764

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By Olivia Waugh

Diamante strap dress, AU$112

Vix Inga embellished cotton and voile kaftan AU$225

TFNC dress approx AU$78

Adria COAST dress AU$285

Erin Elizabeth earrings AU$36.24

Jimmy Choo heels AU$703

Alice+Olivia dress AU$413

COAST earrings AU$45

Topshop heels AU$146

Ted Baker cuff AU$115

Zu Gala Tropical AU$130

St Xavier cuff AU$59.95

River Island heels AU$81.54

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Nicki Plowman kaftans www.nickiplowman. com

... oFor Day + Night r u o m a l g i x a m r ng fo Go l

Alice+Olivia dress AU$482

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Love by Topshop approx. AU$76

Missoni Mare dress AU$597

Witchery dress AU$189.95

Missoni Mare kaftan AU$1,019

Sheike dress AU$159.95

Mara Hoffman dress AU$251

River Island wrap front AU$70

J Crew necklace AU$231.80

Amber Sceats AU$389

Ottoman Hands ring AU$54.36

Losselliani ring AU$305

Betts Starburst flats AU$89.99

Asos Frenchie sandals AU$63.42

Musa sandals AU$408 exlusive to:

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Pacific Casino Hotel

Kukum Highway, PO Box 1298, Honiara, SOLOMON ISLANDS Tel: +677 25009 Fax: +677 22880 Email: Website:


Located in the middle of Honiara CBD and from Honiara’s International Airport – It’s the perfect location with a milelong compound for business and tourist travellers alike!


Pacific Casino Hotel offers 170 spacious, comfortable and fully air-conditioned rooms with Satellite TV and 24Hr movie channels, private refrigerators and coffee/ tea services, with all Suites Room boasting separate seating lounges and private balconies. Keeping with total comfort, convenience and ease of access in mind for the international traveller, International Direct Dialling (IDD) in all rooms and Internet hotspots are available in various locations. Other services extended are laundry, Internet Cafe, Car Rental and Conference room facilities. For the leisure facilities are Swimming Pool, Billiard Room and Gym & Fitness centre.


The famous Ocean View Restaurant serves the finest of Western cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, while on an outdoor dining balcony, taking in the spectacular ocean view backdrop. For the best authentic Asian cuisine, Jina’s

Restaurant offers the best in Chinese cuisine, which is located between the hotel and the casino. Want more? Pacific Seafood Restaurant, the Korean Restaurant and Fun Cafe all host extensive wide range of international Asian cuisines – all at your choice.


Cowboy’s Grill Bar & Restaurant newly established, specializing in Western cuisine, is all about convenience and fun for an unforgettable star experience. The very popular Captain’s Bar provides a wide selection of cocktails, vintage wines, spirits and appetizers, located on the 1st floor of the Hotel which opens daily till late night. For more fun time, the Top 10 and Top Star Karaoke night clubs give the best in international and local beats for those not of the faint-hearted!


As a guest, presentation of the room key allows a free entrance to the members-only Club Supreme, the biggest and the best Casino in Solomon Islands. It’s that simple! So why not try your hand in Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat or Pacific Poker? Or go for the Pokies Centre for a brilliant night with your luck.

Relax, enjoy and indulge at the Pacific Casino Hotel – a place where you can have it all !!!

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long distance love affair

Seine Choice m a e r t s e h ds in t


Islands don’t always have to be remote to be exotic, or warm and sunny and ringed by palm trees and coral reefs. In the middle of the River Seine surrounded by all the glamour, history and gourmet delights of the ‘City of Light’ sit two small islands with a history going back 2000 years. Craig Osment opts for the middle path and revels in the delights of both.


First developed in the 17th century, it was formerly grazing land and pasture before being mapped and built during the reigns of Henri IV and Louis XIII. Largely unchanged from this time the island enjoys some of the best shopping in Paris for visitors wanting to be within easy reach of their day-to-day needs along with restaurants, bars, galleries and speciality boutiques. You’ll find the best ice cream and sorbets in Paris at the various Glacier Berthillon outlets on the island, the original iconic establishment at 29-31 Rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Île has been doing nothing but make ice cream since 1954 when the owners who have occupied the site since 1928 decided to close their restaurant and concentrate on glaces. Over the course of a year they produce 60 different flavours, offering up to 15 varieties per day. Just up the road you’ll find La Ferme Saint-Aubin surely one of the most photographed fromageries Below: Très Français scenes from Place Dauphine on the Île de la Cité, Opposite above: The soaring buttresses of Notre Dame Cathederal adjacent to the Pont Saint-Louis leading to the Île Saint-Louis; below: Getting your swans in a row on the Seine.

PICTURES: Craig Osment

he perennial Parisian question when choosing where to stay: à droite au à gauche? Right bank or left bank? The simple answer is neither, in the middle of the Seine are two natural islands, the Île Saint-Louis and the Île de la Cité, both are wonderfully central and compact and offer access on foot to everything you’re likely to want but it’s the smaller of the two which is my favourite. While the Île de la Cité has its attractions including one of Paris’s most spectacular, Notre Dame Cathedral, the spectacularly buttressed Gothic edifice at the southern tip of the island, it’s Pont Saint-Louis the little bridge next to it that leads to the real gem, the Île Saint-Louis. This is the island with the lot, the elegant facades of the townhouses lining the river conceal gorgeous internal courtyards and a grid of intimate streets lined with shops catering to every need of residents and visitors alike. If you’re looking to live the ‘Vie Parisienne’ while in France rent an apartment on the Île Saint-Louis and you’ll get to taste pretty much everything you’d want within the 600 metre-length of the Rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Île which runs down the spine of the island.

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The Seine meanders past Notre Dame Cathedral and the elegant facades and mansard roofs of the stunning townhouses.

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Above: the apartment courtyard on Rue de Bretonvilliers which is typical of those hidden behind the huge wooden doors throughout the

in the world, the artisanal cheeses here are crammed into their smallish window display to tempt passers-by with aromas of ripening and mature cheese seeping from the doorway. In the same street there’s the local ‘supermarket’ or Prestige de l’Alimentation where you can pick up the necessities along with any number of gourmet bits and pieces. There’s the inevitable boulangerie, a creperie, a Laguiole (certified genuine) knife shop at 35 Rue des Deux Ponts, an olive oil purveyor in Olivier & Co which supplies Grands Cru oils much like a wine merchant might sell wine. And, any number of boutiques selling unique products from puppets to multicoloured toasters and genuinely different souvenirs as well as fashion, art and ethnic goodies. Try Pylones (also on Rue Saint-Louis-enl’Île) which specialises in whimsical and well designed gifts from nutcrackers to notebooks, combs to calculators before heading off to one of the fantastic brasseries or restaurants. At the western end of the island on Rue Jean Du Bellay there are brasseries at either end of the street, La Brasserie de l’Isle

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Saint-Louis and La Chaumiere En L’Ile (near Pont Saint Louis) for enjoying breakfast and Le Lutétia for watching the sun set on the Seine at the other (near Pont Louis Philippe). In typically French fashion you can either sit inside (charming but boring) or cram into one the tables on the pavement and watch the world go past which is the perfect way to enjoy a glass of wine and a dish of simple roast chicken like you haven’t tasted since you were a child when chicken was fresh and a treat rather than frozen in a plastic bag or served in a cardboard box. For more sophisticated fine dining the island has a wonderful selection of great traditional restaurants including Mon Vieil Ami, the famous Alsation eatery run by Strasbourg chef Antoine Westermann, or try Noc Ancetres Les Gaulois which commemorates the ancient Gauls or Le Tastevin or Lilot Vache for classic French fare or … you choose, you can hardly go wrong, you’re in France after all. If you don’t want to stay in an apartment – which is, I believe, the best way to experience a city if you’re going be there for

Window shopping: From chooks to cheese, art to ice cream, on l’Île Saint-Louis it’s all on your doorstep and absolutely tempting. It redefines the concept of a ‘takeaway’.

l’Île Saint-Louis. The real advantage of apartment life is being able to shop for local produce which is so easily accessible on the island.

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Above: The Seine from Le LutĂŠtia Brasserie at Pont Louis Philippe, perfect for an afternoon drink and a misty sunset view towards the Rive Droit.

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a week or more as you get to buy, eat, cook and drink all that wonderful produce at local markets and at local prices – you can take the hotel option. On the Île there are several boutique choices with the Hotel Du Jeu De Paume (54 Rue Saint-Louis en l’ile) the pick of them, situated on the site of an old tennis court, its double wooden entry doors squeezed between a jewellery shop and a gallery lead to a beautiful courtyard and a stunningly decorated stone and timberbeamed interior. Rooms are accessed by a glass elevator and overlook the terrace garden, and for France some are quite large. If you choose the apartment route there are many to choose from and in a range of sizes and configurations, try Guest Apartment Services at for a full-service experience. They offer an airport limo pick up, concierge service, all cleaning and a personal welcome and familiarisation tour of your accommodation. Another specialist provider is Paris Address Having been a bit dismissive of the Île de la Cité earlier on, it would be unfair to think that it too doesn’t have its charms, apart from Notre Dame. This island is larger but a large part of the middle of it is occupied by government agencies – the local gendarmerie live here – along with courts and a hospital and various other office buildings. But there are residential areas at either end, with the charming Place Dauphine at the western tip a particularly fine example of a Parisian ‘square’ which is actually a triangular open space with a typically French ‘sandy’ surface surrounded by restaurants and bars. The Taverne Henry IV directly opposite the old Henri-on-hishorse statue at Place Pont Neuf is a gorgeous warm timberlined bar serving a small but hearty selection of trad dishes along with the wine and spirits, right on the square are both La Rose de France and the Le Caveau du Palais for indoor/ outdoor dining and great brasserie and restaurant food. The southern quadrant of this island is livelier and less formal with more shops and restaurants but the real problem here is that for daily supplies you have to walk to either the Rive Gauche or the Rive Droit rather than around the corner, which can be a bit strenuous when carrying the evening’s wine supply, water and food. That said both islands being in the IV Arrondissement mean that nearby are many of the city’s best known attractions from the Centre Pompidou to the colourful Marais area, the lesser-known department store Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville, Rue de Rivoli and the Place des Vosges. While on the left bank you’re close to the Sorbonne university district, Montparnasse, Boulevardes Saint Michel and Saint Germain and the Luxembourg Gardens and the rest of the best of Paris where the wine really is cheaper than water – Vive La France! •

Far left: One of the famous Batobus boats which ferry tourists up and down the Seine; middle: Henri IV statue on the Pont Neuf; left: Postcards and perfectly displayed florals on l’Île SaintLouis’s Rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Île. Above: Two dining choices on the beautiful Place Dauphine on the l’Île de la Cité.

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Family album 1



Allan Kalfabun An island boy raised by his grandmother packed a single suitcase and set off to make his mark on the world.


Ifira island, vanuatu Allan Kalfabun, son of a police officer grew up on Ifira Island, in the Port Vila Harbour. He has one brother and two sisters. “My grandmother raised me and life was good.” This photo is with his hard working mum Timaima Lauto on the island around 1979.


LEITA WEDDING I am very close to my mum. This is her on her wedding day at Erakor Island in 2007. I went to primary school on Ifira island and, called the island home for 25 years.

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island boy to the big smoke I wanted to see the world, so after many years working for the National Tourism Office in Vanuatu I packed a single suitcase and took a job in Sydney. Wow! What a culture shock – but I loved it. I worked for Sportsworld Tours (now Specialist Holidays) and the Mirvac Group as Sales and Marketing Manager. I now work at the Vanuatu Tourism Office in Port Vila as the Marketing Manager.





KUIPERS FAMILY I met the Kuipers family during a Round Island Relay in Port Vila. After many years of friendship, they are now my second family. I’m on their Christmas list for sure – every year I have Christmas with them. Their home is my home. This was Cheryl, my Aussie mum’s 60th birthday. There’s George, Catherine, Cheryl, me, Richard, Joana and Wolfgang. Missing from the shot are Elizabeth and Cyril.


SCHOOL DAYS AT ONESUA, PORT VILA I loved writing poetry at school, we found some old stuff at the anniversary of the school a little while back. I always worked hard and wanted to achieve good things. You reap what you

sow! This photo is our year seven class photo. I finished my secondary schooling in Fiji before returning to Vanuatu to work in finance – but I hated numbers and eventually got into media, working at the government-owned newspaper and then Radio Vanuatu.


my son claude In 2001 I adopted my son Claude. He too has lived in Vanuatu most of his life, but calls Sydney his second home. He is photographed with my god daughters Adriana and Bella. •

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island photo essay escape


c e f r e p e r u Pict


s an archipelago of 992 islands the Solomons offer an enormous choice of wonderful unspoilt white sandy beaches and thousands of square kilometres of pristine ocean. No wonder it’s a photographer’s paradise, and when you add the light and the people, it’s an irresistible combination for anyone with a camera. Here we showcase some of the wonderfully vibrant images from the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau that capture the essence of life in these wonderful islands.

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Left: Snorkelling on a sand bar, Vonavona Lagoon, Western province. Above: Local spear fisherman with his catch, Vonavona Lagoon. Below Left: Traditional dancers. Below: Who wouldn’t be smiling here? Lake Tenganno, Rennel Island.

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So Solomons, so enchanting. No wonder Lonley Planet has this place as the only Pacific destination on its top ten list of places to visit.

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Far left: Oh boy, what fun!, Vonavona Lagoon. Left: Stunning Marau Lagoon, Guadalcanal. Above: Jetty jumping at Agness Lodge, Munda. Right: Sanbis Resort dining, Roviana Lagoon. Below far left: Skull shrine, Skull Island, Vonavona Lagoon. Below left: performers paddling a traditional Roviana war canoe or Tomoko. Below: Smiling Tomoko paddler. Below right: young diver smiles for the camera.

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EIGIGU SUPERMARKET GRAND RE-OPENING Australian Worldwide Group is proud to announce the opening of the new Eigigu Supermarket Complex on the Island of Nauru. Australian Worldwide would like to thank the Chairman of Eigigu Holdings Corporation, Mr Aingimea and his board of directors, His Excellency President Waqa of the Republic of Nauru and The Honorable Minister for Eigigu Holdings Corporation, Mr Adeang MP for the opportunity to work on this exciting project with the Nauruan people.

Based in Sydney, Australian Worldwide provides export, supply chain and procurement for overseas projects and has invested over 2 million dollars into the upgrade and modernisation of the Eigigu Supermarket Complex, which employs over 30 local Islanders, owned by the Eigigu Holdings Corporation. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held on the 7th of September where His Excellency, President Waqa of the Republic of Nauru officially opened the store. The supermarket then opened its doors to the Nauruan public, seeing hundreds of people waiting in line to enter the store. Food and drinks were provided, while activities and special performances entertained the eager shoppers. The newly launched supermarket offers credit card facilities and a diverse range of over 3,500 products at affordable prices. The Supermarket rewards loyal customers through their loyalty program, Our Rewards, where members can earn points by shopping in-store to receive special offers and free products. Australian Worldwide is now giving back to the Nauru community by offering sustainable products, long term employment and modern facilities.

The supermarket, which has aptly been labelled ‘The People’s Store’ has its own butchery and offers fresh produce. It has introduced a greater range of products, including healthier options and some of Australia’s best brands, such as Infuse Juice, which is Australian made and contains 99% real fruit juice. Local residents and expatriates living in Nauru are delighted to see the store open as it provides competition for the only other major supermarket on the Island. “It’s good because I have never seen these goods before and the prices are cheap” (Ron, Local customer). “I have been coming to Nauru for 11 years and I was amazed to see that this Supermarket was here. It’s great to see that you (Australian Worldwide) are supporting the Nauru people establish a modern Supermarket with so many brands to choose from” (David, Expatriate). We look forward to seeing you soon, supporting the supermarket built by Nauruan’s, employing Nauruan’s and that gives back to increase the quality of life of all Nauruan’s, whether local or visiting expatriates.

On The Water

Aboard A Boutique Boat sensation l e v e l a e S

Drop anchor in Aore, moor in Marvea, move on to Maewo, overnight on Aese and bag a bargain at Asanvari … and eat the day’s catch for dinner. Sally Macmillan finds an intimate adventure on a luxury boutique cruise ship is the perfect recipe for a mid winter break.

To Luganville and beyond

This is by way of a very brief background to a beautiful cruise I took with Island Escape Cruises in July. After flying into Port Vila and spending a night in the very comfortable Grand Hotel & Casino, I was on a flight to the island of Espiritu Santo in a misty, delicately coloured dawn. You really know you’re in a different world when you walk across the airport tarmac in warm air that’s scented by tropical blossom, a vague smell of drains and eau de aircraft fuel, to board a propeller plane.

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At Santo airport an Island Passage crew member greets the cruise guests and transports us to Luganville, where we are welcomed aboard with glasses of champagne by our skipper, Patrick, and hostesses Brittany and Tari. Island Passage is a boutique, 500-ton ship that accommodates a maximum of 20 guests in 10 luxurious ensuite cabins and on this cruise we are spoilt for choice as there are just nine of us – two couples and two single ladies from New Zealand, two professors from Canada, and me – to enjoy the run of the vessel. From Luganville we go to Aore, an island just off Santo, where we anchor and have lunch, after swimming around the ship a few times to work up an appetite. This is the first of a series of memorable gourmet meals: tender Santo beef (so good it’s exported to Japan) served with salad and just-baked bread rolls, followed by fresh papaya and limes. The two onboard sport boats are in regular use during our cruise for game-fishing expeditions and we dine handsomely all week on wahoo, mahi- mahi, rainbow runner and yellowfin tuna cooked or sashimied by chef Steve in all manner of utterly delicious dishes. Skipper Patrick’s hot-smoked tuna is another culinary delight.

Island deliveries

Fish caught by guests and crew are also presented to villagers along our route – their dugout canoes can’t take them to the deeper waters inhabited by pelagic species – and sometimes bartered for fruit. The villagers are subsistence farmers, Island Passage also delivers items such as fish hooks, waterproof torches and batteries, bags of rice, salt, guitar strings, paper, pencils and children’s clothes to these remote communities. After spending a night at Aese island we head for Mavea island off the coast of Espiritu Santo, where the ship’s launch takes us past Oyster Island Resort to the mouth of the Riri River. We’re met by three burly Ni-Vanuatu men who load

PICTURES: Craig Osment and Island Escape Cruises


hen you need a mid-year escape to recharge the batteries, a short cruise in the tropical waters of Vanuatu offers the perfect fix. A three-hour flight takes you from Australia or New Zealand to a completely different world: one of scenic, volcanic islands, vibrant coral reefs and a complex culture that spans thousands of years. Learning about a country by being there is the best geography and history lesson a person can have, and I also discovered a wealth of information in a book I dipped into in the library on board our ship, Island Passage (Marco Moretti’s Pacific Islands, Myths & Wonders of the Southern Seas). Vanuatu consists of some 83 islands covering 14,760 square kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean, situated on the Ring of Fire, where the Pacific plate slips beneath the Indo-Australian plate – hence all the volcanic activity. Ninety-five per cent of the population is Melanesian – NiVanuatu – and the first European to visit Vanuatu was a Spaniard, Pedro Fernando de Quiros, who landed in 1605. Captain James Cook visited in 1774, surveyed the islands and named them the New Hebrides after the Scottish archipelago. Indeed, today’s charts are still based on Cook’s original survey, which is another good reason for GPS, but I digress ...The first missionary to go there, John Williams, was killed and eaten on Erromango, but this didn’t deter colonisation by the French and English in the 19th century.

Top: The ship’s launch passes Oyster Island on the east coast of Santo on its way to the mouth of the Riri River and onwards to the Matevulu Blue Hole. Above: The Island Passage moored for some swimming and snorkelling. Right: The famous Champagne Beach.

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us into dugout canoes and paddle us through the steamy rainforest to Matevulu Blue Hole. During our cruise we swim in two of these spectacular, azure-blue, spring- fed pools. The water is so clear you can see the bubbles coming up from the springs deep below and as one passenger commented, it feels as though you’re swimming in silk. Champagne Beach is our last stop in Santo before we steam east towards Maewo, passing Ambae, site of an active volcano and the inspiration for James Michener’s mysterious island of Bali Hai in his book Tales of the South Pacific. Champagne Beach is the classic, deserted tropical beach: a wide crescent of fine white squidgy sand, turquoise water and lush jungly interior. Vibrantly coloured sarongs (for sale to visitors) are tied to the trees and flap gently in the breeze – however, one passenger who’d been to Champagne Beach before said they’re mostly made in China. No matter; the swimming, snorkeling and kayaking is superb and a trip organised by Chief Obi Toti’s son Kane, to another Blue Hole, gives us a valuable insight into village life. We anchor at Asanvari, a bay on the south west of Maewo island. Chief Nelson greets us at the beach and grants us landing and snorkeling rights in return for a few thousand Vatu - around $AUD30, which has all been arranged beforehand by our skipper. At the Asanvari Yacht Club, an open-sided structure on the beach, men from the village wearing traditional dress and tribal face paint perform welcome dances and laughingly insist we all join them at the end. Beautiful, cheeky children

run around giggling and mimicking the dancers, while the womenfolk hang back, smiling shyly. Their handwoven baskets are strung around the Yacht Club and at about 500 to 1,000 Vatu ($AUD5-12) make attractive souvenirs and add a little to Asanvari’s economy.

The eternal land

The snorkeling off Asanvari is arguably the best we’ve experienced so far; even on an overcast day there’s so much to see that we’re in the water for hours. Million Dollar Point is in another league again. This dive site on Santo is famously named for the value of the US military equipment that was dumped there at the end of World War II. One theory is it was going to cost the US Army too much to transport the equipment back to America, so they lined up tanks, trucks, bulldozer and cranes on the shore with their engines running and let them roll into the sea. Today, you can see these WWII relics, now decorated with coral growth and home to shoals of brilliant fish, in 35 metres of water just off the shore. A cruise on Island Passage can easily be combined with stays in Santo or Port Vila; there are three-night and five-night itineraries, which depart from Aore (not Luganville, as last year). Whatever combination you choose, rest assured that you will return to the ‘real’ world rejuvenated and raring to book your next adventure in the mystical islands of the ‘Eternal Land’ •

Fact File

Cruise line: Island Escape Cruises W: islandescape Vessel: Island Passage Max passengers: 20 GRT: 496 tons Total crew: 8 Entered service: 2004 Facilities: 3 passenger decks, 10 staterooms, saloon/dining room, bar, sundeck, 2 sport boats, 2 multi-purpose boats, kayaks, snorkelling, fishing equipment. Getting there: Fly Air Vanuatu W: Island Escape Vanuatu cruises operate from May to September.

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Opposite page: Sunset over Santo. Above left: The pristine waters really are this clear and blue. Above right: Islands from Champagne Beach. Left: The Grand Hotel and Casino Port Vila. Right: The Island Passage. Below left: A blue hole. Below right: A dugout canoe with local welcoming committee.

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Beauty Spot

Summer Scents e c n a r g a r nature f

Your sig

Summer heat calls for lighter, fresher fragrance choices to highlight your natural pheromones, Georgie Gordon nose tests six of the best.


his season brings some beautiful new fragrances, so it’s time to put away the heady musky scents that go with the cooler months and swap them for a lighter, fresher alternative to suit the blue skies and warmth of summer. With so many available we’ve tested the top new releases and picked the six best scents, so along with our guide for finding the right fragrance for you, we’ve made choosing your perfect signature scent a breeze. When choosing a new perfume, your olfactory sense can’t deal with too much at once and the perfume will get muddled on your skin if you spray too many on at the same time so start by testing them on paper cards. Take a break between smelling each scent or sniff some coffee beans to ‘reset’ if they are available. Once you’ve chosen a few that you like spray them on different parts of your body such as your wrists and above your collarbone, let the perfume settle into your skin and blend with your own natural oils before making your final decision. Wear your perfume on your pulse points such as the wrist, throat, behind the ears and the inside of the elbows, the scent will be enhanced by your body heat. To make your scent last throughout the day layer it by using a complementary shower gel or body lotion.

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Whether you like a rose based scent or prefer something a little more intense you’ll be sure to fall for one of these:

Marc Jacobs Honey 50ml AU$120 The Scent: Sunny, alluring and feminine. The fragrance energizes with the freshness of green pear brightened with a splash of fruity punch and juicy mandarin. At the heart is orange blossom, a note of sparkling femininity that mingles with nectars of honeysuckle and peach and golden notes of honey and vanilla. Wear it to: An afternoon garden party. Wear it with: A cheeky smile.

See By Chloe 50ml AU$110 The Scent: Seductive, elegant and playful An addictive cool, fresh floral scent, the first sparkling notes of bergamot give way to apple blossom and the graceful notes of jasmine. Followed by an undercurrent of the sensual notes of sandalwood and vanilla. Wear it: On a date with your lover or lover-to-be. Wear it with: Confidence.

Balenciaga Florabotanica 50ml AU$125 The scent: Sensual, modern and dangerous. Florabotanica is a fragrance based on an experimental rose. The scent opens with refreshing notes of wild mint, while at the heart is a delicate Turkish rose essence. The scent dries down into vetiver notes and white amber. Wear it to: an after dark encounter. Wear it with: a little black dress.

Calvin Klein Fresh Encounter 50ml AU$80 The Scent: Exhilarating, powerful, and captivating. Encounter opens with soft clean top notes of Italian bergamot and refreshing mojito. Extracts of light rum, cardamom and lavender give the fragrance a confident, elegant edge and the patchouli blended with creamy sandalwood creates a magnetic, empowering sensuality. Wear it: on a yacht sailing the South Pacific. Wear it with: Breton stripes.


Si Giorgio Armani 50ml AU$100 The Scent: Sophisticated, charismatic and graceful. A mixture of cassis nectar, modern chypre and light musky wood create an elegant and unique olfactory signature. The cassis is enriched and enveloped with notes of vanilla and a subtle touch of patchouli, and blond amber wood reveals warmth. Wear it to: Sunset drinks. Wear it with: Attitude.

Lancome La Vie Est Belle Legere 50ml AU$120 The Scent: Captivating, luminous and joyful. Beautifully delicate, La Vie Est Belle Leger is defined by subtle white musk whose silky notes are swathed around rich tones of tasty iris at the heart of the scent. Sambac jasmine, orange blossom and pure patchouli essence also reign. Wear it to: Lunch with friends by the sea. Wear it with: White.

Three of the best:


Achieve a golden glow the safe way with a great bronzer. We’ve picked three of the best, including Benefits cult product Hoola (AU$51.00), a limited edition Splendours Summer Bronzing Compact from Clarins (AU$52) and Bronzing Powder in Terra from Tom Ford’s Collection (AU$130) and we’ve asked Victoria Curtis make-up artist and founder of Curtis Collection Cosmetics for her tips on the best way to apply bronzer. Victoria Curtis’s tips for achieving the perfect Summer glow in a few easy steps: • Use a deeper coloured bronzer to contour the hollows of the cheekbones and temples creating the illusion of an oval shaped face. • I would suggest to then also highlight eyes and cheeks with a lighter bronzer for added glow and definition. • Use what is left on your brush and dust on forehead and bridge of nose for a healthy sun kissed look. • Additionally – I would also suggest mixing a liquid illuminator into your foundation before applying. This just gives that extra glow which is then emphasised by bronzer.

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The Havannah is an intimate, beachfront resort at Samoa Point, Vanuatu set amidst flame trees and tropical gardens. With only 15 villas and three-room categories, the resort is an oasis of peace and tranquility. Each villa is furnished in a tastefully modern style with air conditioning and ceiling fan, king sized bed, private day bed on your terrace, Bose iPod docking station and mini bar. The Waterfront villas enjoy their own plunge pool.

T: +678 551 8060 F: +678 551 8062

Activities on site include pool-side lazy afternoons, beach picnics, snorkeling, kayaking, petanque and tennis. Scuba diving, island tours, scenic flights and car rental can all be organized from the Havannah. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the public areas and in all the villas for our guests. The Point Restaurant, offers gourmet cuisine using the freshest of local ingredients with fine wines from Australia, New Zealand and France, while The Samoa Point conference room is ideal for executive retreats and small seminars. The Havannah also has a wedding co-coordinator to make your special day perfect. Whether on your honeymoon, in need of a quiet and relaxed break away from it all, or looking for activities in a beautiful environment, The Havannah is your perfect boutique resort in Vanuatu. The Havannah does not cater to children under 16 year old .


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healthy living

SweetofPoison the affair

the end

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Sugar, whether naturally occurring as fructose or refined and granular is today’s taboo foodstuff according to many health experts. Georgie Gordon discovers why we fell out of love with sugar and five easy steps to quitting the habit.



ugar is a hot topic at the moment, people are talking about kicking the habit as though it’s as evil as alcohol and cigarettes. We all know that too much sugar is bad for us but is it necessary to give it up completely? Sugar makes up a large part of our diet, Australians on average consume a whopping 53kgs of sugar a year. Even if you don’t add sugar to your food it is more than likely you are consuming significant amounts of it through packaged and pre-prepared food, including items as benign as bread and ‘healthy’ breakfast cereal. And you may be surprised to hear that fruit juice can contain up to five teaspoons of sugar per cup as does only one tablespoon of tomato sauce. So how bad for us is it? The anti-sugar brigade will have us believe that consuming sugar causes such drastic health problems, it will ultimately lead to not only our personal but also economic demise, such is the pressure that will be on our public health systems. Realistically we know that too much sugar causes weight gain, which in turn leads to myriad health problems. David Gillespie best-selling author of Sweet Poison says that we need to be wary for more than our waistlines. He says there is now scientific evidence that the fructose component of sugar, which occurs naturally in fruit and is one half of cane sugar (the main source of fructose in our diets) is the root cause of chronic diseases from type 2 diabetes through to kidney disease, hypertension, depression, dementia and fatty liver disease, and that’s just to start. Gillespie says our bodies are not adapted to a diet that contains such high quantities of fructose and that eating fructose is like eating fat that your body can’t detect as fat. The good news is the other half of sugar, glucose, causes none of these problems, and is used by our bodies to produce much needed energy. Considering our bodies depend on sugar for energy, it makes sense that we love the sweet taste. But how much is too much and is that craving actually a full blown addiction? A study done in France saw rats choose sugar over cocaine, even when they were addicted to cocaine. It is thought that no mammal’s sweet receptors are naturally adapted to the amount of sugar available in the modern diet and the intense overload of these receptors stimulate a reward signal in the brain which overrides self-control mechanisms and lead to addiction. So what’s the best way to go cold turkey on sugar? In his

book Gillespie outlines five simple rules that will have you successfully avoiding 99 per cent of the fructose in your diet.

1:Don’t drink sugar

There are very few drinks on the market other than water that aren’t sweetened with sugar and therefore fructose. Even unsweetened juices contain huge amounts of sugar, so in this case natural doesn’t equate to healthy. The bonus is that most alcoholic drinks don’t contain significant amounts of fructose, so a glass of wine or beer is fine. Avoid sweetening your tea and coffee, it may taste bitter to start but your palate will soon adjust.

2:Don’t snack on sugar

Swap that sweet afternoon treat for a healthy alternative such as raw almonds. You may think the occasional biscuit with your tea or coffee can’t do any harm, but that sweet treat quickly becomes a daily habit.

3:Party food is for parties

Enjoy the (very) occasional piece of cake or dessert on special occasions but don’t succumb everyday. It’s the repetition that does the damage, if you eat just 50g of chocolate every night for a year, you are consuming 4.4kgs of fructose which translates directly to 2kg of extra body fat.

4: Be careful at breakfast

Eliminating fructose here can be challenging as most bread, spreads and cereals contain a lot of fructose. Check cereal labels carefully and opt for high fibre multigrain bread.

5:There is no such thing as good sugar

Watch out for marketing tricks. ‘Natural sugar’ and ‘reduced fat’ can often be directly translated as ‘high in fructose’ and Low GI can also often be really high in sugar. Again read labels carefully. Following these rules to eliminate the majority of fructose alongside a healthy balanced diet full of fresh whole foods will ensure you not only lose weight but become happier and healthier and reduce the risk of serious disease. David Gillespie’s book Sweet Poison: Why Sugar Makes Us Fat is published by Penguin •

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Christiana Cooks

Kumala, Kumara o t a t o p t e swe Hand-made woven baskets come free with your kumala purchase at Vanuatu’s harbourside market (above). Christiana displays her kumala

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


umala or kumara, also known as sweet potato, isn’t related to the potato but to the vine plant, morning glory. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. It has a smooth skin and colours range between yellow, orange, red, brown, purple, and beige. Its flesh ranges from beige through white, red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, and purple. Sweet potato varieties with white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red, pink or orange flesh. When cooked, its flesh is soft and buttery. The sweet potato is one of the most versatile vegetable groups. Its inherent flavour blends with herbs and spices to produce delicious dishes of all types of soups, casseroles,

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colourful salads and breads to name only a few. Its brilliant yellow and orange hues liven up almost any dish. For the most food value, choose sweet potatoes of a deep orange colour. Sweet potatoes not only taste great, but also are exceptionally good for you. They are low in fat, cholesterolfree, low in sodium and a good source of fibre. The Maori name is Kumara and it was once a key ingredient of their diet. In Vanuatu they are called Kumala, but there are many different names for it around the globe. At Port Vila’s local market, you can find different varieties, sold in hand woven coconut leaf baskets or already prepared as chips, perfect for a snack with a ‘sundowner’ drink. The first time I really started loving those sweet potatoes was in Ecuador, South America, where they are served boiled with ‘ceviche’, a salad of white fish marinated in limes, onions and chilli. The sweetness of this root mixes perfectly

Sweet Potato Gratin Great with grilled meat or fish or as a vegetarian dish accompanied by a green salad!


• 1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly • 2 tbsp olive oil • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes - not powder • 250ml single light cream • salt and black pepper • ½ cup fresh coriander


• Once sliced, toss immediately (they tend to blacken quickly) with the oil and all the other ingredients until the slices are well coated and the garlic and chilli well distributed. • Transfer to a lightly oiled gratin dish, spreading out the slices with your fingertips, to ensure that the slices are mostly lying flat. • Pour over the cream and trickle the remaining oil over the gratin. • Bake in a preheated oven (180 C) for 40-50 minutes until completely tender and the top are browned and crispy. • Just before serving, sprinkle with the coriander.

not to be mistaken for potatoes in spite of the alternative name.

with the tartness and spicy flavour of this salad. Try it with the similar Pacific version of this salad, called ‘Tahitian Salad’ or ‘Kokoda’ in Fiji. I have tried to use it with many other combinations. Sweet potato is very versatile and can be steamed, mashed, baked or fried, or even used in cakes. Here are some easy and delicious recipes.

Choose smooth potatoes with clean skins. Avoid those with black spots or soft patches. Store in a cool, dark and well ventilated place for up to 4 weeks.

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Above: Sweet potato chips which are a healthy alternative to the regular potato version. Below: Purple kumala. Right: Spicy sweet potato soup.

Sweet potato chips

(serves 4)

Much healthier than the deep fried version with regular potato!


• 4 medium sweet potatoes •¼  cup rice bran or good quality vegetable oil  tbsp sugar •½ •½   tbsp salt •1   tbsp 5-spice powder, ½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper (optional)


• Preheat oven to 240 degrees. •P  eel and slice sweet potatoes into matchsticks. The skinnier you make them, the crisper they’re going to be. •M  ix your spices in a large bowl. Pour oil over the spice blend

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and combine well. Throw in your potatoes and toss until they’re completely covered. Lay them out in a single layer on baking paper. Use two sheets if they’re looking crowded. •P  lace in a hot oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Take out after 15 minutes and turn them over with tongs. Keep an eye on them at the end so that they don’t burn.


Peel or scrub skin well and remove ends before use. Sweet potatoes discolour quickly once peeled, so place in water until ready to use.

Spicy sweet potato soup Ingredients

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

(serves 8)


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

Curried sweet potato fritters

(serves 6)

These Indian-inspired fritters also make a great appetizer!


• 3 large eggs •½  cup fine yellow cornmeal •2  tbsp curry powder •1  tsp grated fresh ginger •4  cups sweet potato, peeled and grated  cup finely diced onion •½ •1  red chilli •½  cup frozen green peas, thawed or snake beans cut into ½ cm rings •2  tbsp. poppy seeds, optional • s alt & pepper to taste •½  cup mango chutney •1  tbsp peanut oil or cooking spray


• Whisk together eggs, cornmeal, curry powder, chilli and ginger in large bowl. Stir in sweet potato, onion, peas or beans and poppy seeds. Season with salt and pepper. • Heat large frying pan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Scoop size of 1 tbsp. sweet potato mixture onto hot pan, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip, and cook 4 to 5 minutes more, or until golden brown on second side. Transfer to plate,

and keep warm. Repeat with remaining sweet potato mixture until you have 12 Fritters. • Serve with mango chutney.


For extra fibre, eat sweet potato with the skin intact.

Vanuatu food safari After 20 years in Vanuatu, Christiana Kaluscha is renowned as a culinary maven and operates the Vanuatu Food Safari which offers food tours and cooking classes. These one-day culinary adventures can be booked by visiting

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Eating Out

Sophisticated to Simple From Sydney to the Sollies, from home-style to high-style, there’s something for everyone.

Berowra Waters Inn, Sydney

OK, so it’s not really on an island (unless Australia counts as the ‘Big Island’ of the Pacific) but you do need to take a boat to get there, or a seaplane so it qualifies ... sort of. An iconic Sydney destination diner since 1975, Berowra Waters Inn has gone through a few years of disruption and has re-emerged as the fine food temple it deserves to be again. Now under the control of Irish-born chef Brian Geraghty who has landed on the Hawkesbury River via a succession of Michelin-starred and Australian ‘hatted’ restaurants, the menu and venue are right up there where this restaurant’s reputation has been famous for. The Glenn Murcutt-designed building has undergone a bit of interior minimalising, which sets off the views across the water beautifully, and it’s this backdrop that encourages long leisurely lunching, along with the degustation menu. The timing of the delivery of the seven courses is set to perfection and the accompanying wines delivered by Victoria – Brian’s partner and the very knowledgeable sommelier – are a treat as well as a guessing competition. Victoria likes to present them ‘blind’ and then asks each of the diners to take a stab at the variety and origin which can get tricky when the selection is as cosmopolitan as it is, but that’s part of the fun and you don’t need to be an oenophile to participate. The food is both a visual and savoury delight, created with amazing attention to detail and flavour combinations, and each dish is exquisitely presented on a different piece of crockery for each course. There are five ‘mains’ plus a couple of desserts and while there’s plenty to eat you don’t leave with that stuffed sensation that often accompanies a degustation. Our recent lunch included oyster squid and cucumber, where the oysters could be mistaken for some chocolatecoated sweet but in fact are encased in a squid ink outer coating which complemented the little bivalves beautifully. Then there was ocean trout, marron and smoked eel; chicken and Jerusalem artichoke, macadamia and lemon thyme followed by herb crusted lamb and sweetbread. The desserts included a sensational goat cheese, honey, hazelnut and Corella pear combination. At $175 per person or $250 per person if you take the matching wine option, this isn’t cheap eating but then it

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really is so much more than a meal, it’s a day out and a celebration of fine food which becomes its own special occasion. Open for lunch and dinner Fridays and Saturdays and lunch-only on Sundays, the main restaurant seats 50 people with an adjoining private dining room catering for 28. For details see or phone (+612) 9456 1027. – CO

The Lime Lounge, Honiara

Honiara can be a hot, crazy busy town and there’s nothing better than a quiet, air-conditioned refuge to escape to. For many weary travellers, the Lime Lounge Café on Commonwealth Street is just the place. The Lime Lounge celebrates its 10 year anniversary this year and it remains at the forefront of good food and good service. The Café is well known overseas and is often a first point of call for visitors and new residents who have come to Honiara to work. Local Honiara residents also enjoy a good coffee and are regular customers in the café. Opened in October 2003, at the time it was the only Australian-style café in Honiara with six staff. The Lime Lounge now employs 30 and with the exception of the director, is entirely staffed by Solomon Islanders, from kitchen hands to the chef and manager. For the past decade the Lime Lounge Cafe has been successfully providing a wide range of professionally prepared home-style meals and espresso-style Italian coffees in a friendly and clean environment. Besides breakfast and lunch, the café produces wonderful home made cakes, cookies and sweets. The Lime Lounge Café also promotes Solomon Island artists and artisans. The café displays paintings by local artists and sells books and locally made jewellery such as ‘Sister Savve’. Gorgeous coconut oil soaps and scents are also available. For the last 3 years it has operated “Sublime Café“ at the GBR resort, home to RAMSI and provides mostly coffee and cold drinks for the base staff. The Lime Lounge in Commonwealth Street just off Mendana Avenue, is open Monday to Friday, 7am-4pm; Saturday & Sunday 8am-4pm. – TC •

Above: Berowra Waters Inn located at the inaptly named Dusthole Point on Sydney’s Hawkesbury River about 50 mintues north of the CBD. Below: Chef Brian Geraghty and his partner/ sommelier, Victoria hiding a wine bottle. Right: Oysters with squid and cucumber, a study in blue. Above right: The Lime Lounge CafÊ in Honiara is celebrating its 10th anniversary and offering its Sweet Treats cookbooks to customers along with art and jewellery. and a range of soaps and scents.

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Vanuatu is



The completion of the submarine optical fibre cable connecting Vanuatu with Fiji and the international high capacity Southern Cross Cable Network in January 2014 will usher in a new era for Vanuatu. In addition to acting as a catalyst for rapid developments in e-healthcare, education, business and commerce, this milestone infrastructure project offers a wealth of opportunities for foreign investors and companies involved in data storage, e-commerce and customer relations. These opportunities are considerably enhanced by a pro-investment Government, a stable economy, a strategic location close to the Asian and Australian markets, along with a very favourable taxation structure for business. With Vanuatu now emerging as the pre-eminent, multi-lingual e-business hub for the entire Pacific islands region, there’s never been a better time to investigate these new opportunities for your business. Like to know more? You are encouraged to contact Simon Fletcher, CEO Interchange on: Email: Phone: +678 29984 Mail: PO Box 1000, Port Vila

Think about tomorrow today

resorts we love

Getacaesroom y a t s o t pl

Our guide to the best hotel, resort and villa acommodation in the Pacific.



Le Lagon Resort & Spa, Port Vila – Vanuatu A Vanuatu institution, The Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa just keeps getting better. Located on 75 acres of prime tropical real estate on the shores of the

Erakor Lagoon, the resort offers a choice of spacious villas, suites and over-water bungalows for families or romantic getaways and weddings. In addition there’s a free Kid’s Club and a vast array of activities to choose from. Try

Why not take some sailing lessons and use the catamarans?

the on-site golf course or pamper yourself in the spa and then take your pick of four restaurants and bars for a selection of fabulous local organic food and wines. T: +678 22 313 W:

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

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Holiday Inn Resort – Vanuatu This resort enjoys a waterfront position on Vanuatu’s Erakor Lagoon and features a series of overwater villas opposite the main hotel’s sandy beach. From the moment you enter the vast lobby with its soaring Melanesianstyle roof, you know you’re in the tropics and the experience is only enhanced as you move towards the pool and lagoon with its sailboats and kayaks. In addition to the two restaurants – the Verandah and the Pool Bar – there’s the Namale Day Spa which combines traditional remedies with French therapies. T: 1 800 007 697 W:

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Malolo Island – Fiji After a F$5.5 million refurbishment, Malolo has reopened in spectacular fashion with the announcement of a brand new kitchen and the new 100-seater Terrace Restaurant as well as new retreat lounges and Treetops Restaurant. New dining opportunities, and new chefs with the arrival of the much travelled executive chef Yngve Muldal and head pastry chef Rhéa Pacaud. Both Yngve and Rhéa are cooking up a storm using the freshest local produce from the mud crabs and tuna to the sweet flavours of Fijian fruit. Located on the Mamanuca archipelago and just 25 minutes west of Nadi airport, the resort is

3 Malolo is an idyllic paradise where you can relax on the golden sand beaches or explore coral reefs. And, after spending your days on the water why not try the spa before dinner?

wholly Fijian owned and has been a long-time favourite with families and couples alike and welcomes back thousands of return visitors. The accommodation is designed with a tropical colonial theme and includes spacious plantation style duplexes with high vaulted ceilings and a rustic charm as well a choice of bures some of which are right at the water’s edge, all are air-conditioned and set among lush tropical gardens. Malolo also offers a wedding and event service with a special Free Wedding package between 1 November 2013 and 31 March 2014 for details see: W: E: reservations@ahuraresorts. com


So many have called it Paradise… but we call it home. ■ 100% owner operated by the local Lelepa Islanders ■ We operate every day except Saturday ■ Fishing Charters half day and full day available. I♥ Lelepa

Your day tour includes: Return transfers, morning and afternoon refreshments, BBQ lunch, snorkelling at our beautiful coral garden, visit our historical cave, learn about native herbs used for medicines and visit the kids in our village.

Phone: +678 77-42714 Email: Web:



Grand Hotel and Casino – Vanuatu The aptly named Grand is the most dominant building on the shores of Port Vila harbour with 74 rooms all commanding views over the entire waterway. And there’s a VIP gaming room at the top of Vanuatu’s tallest building. Located just 10 minutes from the airport, The Grand is situated right at the heart of town and makes for a convenient place to stay on either business or pleasure, and pleasure is what the Casino is all about. John Hayden, the casino general manager is proud to point out some other unique

features which include: • Vanuatu’s largest & newest Casino. • Tables and Slot machines over 3 gaming levels. • Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, and Poker. • 122 Slot machines with the latest games. • Caters to all players from VT1 (approx 1c) slot machines and VT100 (approx AU$1) gaming tables and all the way up. • Foreign currency exchange onsite • Friendly helpful staff. • Open from 11am to 3am seven days a week. And those great sunset views. E: reservations@ W: www.grandvanuatu. com

Diana Tam Vanuatu’s best known artist

Oil paintings, watercolours and gift cards. Hand painted table cloths, table runners, guests towels, cushion covers and men’s shirts. Ladies sleepwear and South Sea Pearl jewellery. Visit her gallery off the Pango Rd, just 10 minutes from Port Vila’s CBD. Monday - Friday 1.30 - 5.00pm & Saturday 2.00 - 4.00pm Closed Sunday and Public Hoildays. Telephone (678) 23038 | email for orders at

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Welcome to the Reef Bar… Caili Christian, Reef Bar Manager ● Located at the Menen Hotel right on the oceanfront ● Coldest drinks in town and the best range ● Live Music three nights a week ● Live Streaming of major sporting events ● Bar food ( Best Steak Burger on Nauru!!) ● TAB facilities follow us on Facebook | Phone + 674 558 0671


Vanuatu Food Safari

Slip your curiosity in high gear and join me on a culinary day out on our beautiful island. You are invited on my own cook’s journey through the South Pacific, a unique food experience that’s inspiring, informative and fun! Cooking classes by appointment. For details, bookings and availability please contact at the following:

W: T: +678 26 108 M: +678 775 1793 E: Conducted by Christiana Kaluscha Food Editor of Pacific Island Living

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Come and have a taste of the opulence, glamour and excitement of Monte Carlo right here at Vanuatu’s premier casino. The Grand Hotel & Casino is in the heart of town, with crystal chandeliers, gold leaf ceilings and meticulous attention to detail throughout, you’ll feel like you’re there, and best of all it’s at a price you can afford! With Roulette tables starting with a minimum bet of only 100vt, as well as Blackjack, Baccarat and our newest game Texas Hold’em Bonus. Or just try your luck on any of our state of the art poker machines and have a chance of winning one of our many jackpots for as little as 1vt.


p +678 27344 hotel Lini Highway, Port Vila, Vanuatu e

VIPA, Business Licence, Residency and Work Permit Applications Audit, Accounting and VAT Business Consulting Company Formation and Corporate Secretarial Services Body Corporate Administration Receivership and Insolvency MYOB Training, Implementation and Assistance

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Mortgage-Free uick way the q

Gayle Stapleton’s six-point plan for getting out of debt faster, it’s easier than you think.


ongratulations, you have purchased your home! Once their new home purchase is finalised, the first question my clients ask me is ‘how can I pay off my loan sooner?’ Most people are keen to own their property outright as soon as possible and enjoy the many benefits that come with being mortgage-free. Here are some simple strategies that can make a big difference to how quickly you can own your home:

Increase your repayments

Without doubt, the best way to reduce your mortgage is to simply increase your regular repayments. Even the smallest amounts can dramatically reduce your debt over time. For example, there are 26 fortnights in a year but only 12 months, so by dividing your set monthly repayments in two and making payments fortnightly, you will make an extra month’s repayment each year, which can make a real dent in the term of the loan and the interest paid.

Don’t be late

Avoid late payment fees, which can be significant, by making your minimum repayment by the due date.

Consolidate your debts

If you have more than one loan (which can include personal and car loans and credit cards), consider consolidating these under your lower interest home loan. Once you’ve done that, it’s then important to increase your home loan repayments so you are paying off the increased debt sooner.

Make the most of windfalls

dent in your loan. If interest rates drop, keep your repayments the same – chances are you won’t notice a difference in your monthly budget but it could have a big impact on your mortgage.

Look for Savings

There are many ways to trim even the smallest amounts from your weekly expenses. This might include taking your lunch to work, resisting the daily coffee run, buying food and groceries in bulk and using up what it is in the pantry rather than buying takeaway for dinner. Many people are surprised how powerful it can be even shaving just $50 off your weekly expenses by being mindful of where you spend your money and redirecting this amount to your mortgage. The benefits can quickly add up, taking years off your home loan.

Review Your loan

While your home loan may be the right one for you at the time you take it out, I recommend you review it regularly (about once a year) as there may be a more suitable option that will help you pay off your loan sooner as your circumstances change, or as new products are launched.•

If you’d like advice on your next home loan and how you can pay off your existing home loan sooner, please contact Gayle at:

Lump sums such as tax refunds or bonuses can also make a

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Open for breakfast and lunch Great coffee and cold drinks Cool comfort with a unique local atmosphere Souvenir Sweet Treats cookbook for sale Catering services and venue hire Birthday & speciality cakes

OPEN Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4pm LIME LOUNGE CAFE Commonwealth St, Point Cruz, Honiara P 23064 E W

20 Years Experience In The Vanuatu Real Estate Market

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■ Logistics ■ Construction ■ Warehousing ■ Freight Handling ■ Customs Clearances ■ Recruitment

We make things happen

+674 557 0146 | |

The largest rental company on Nauru! ■ A comprehensive inventory of cars, vans, 4WDs and motorbikes that are hired out to both local and foreign companies. ■ We also rent out short and long-term accommodation, houses apartments and homestay rooms. ■ Long term rentals range from a 2 bedroom house with own bathroom own car park, and a safe environment to live in, to a 5 bedroom house. ■ Pre-booking 1-2 months ahead is a must for long term houses if you are planning to live in Nauru for a year or more or less. Home Stay’s two weeks in advance.

Try the ‘No Hassles way’ for all your transport and accommodation needs.

+674 557 0141 | |

island escape

Retreat Treat a p s e h t t a anning up


Spiritual sceptic and detox doubter Craig Osment reluctantly moves into the Zen zone with surprising results. Rejuvenation, relaxation and chakra realignment don’t have to be a steep learning curve.

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It’s A Woman’s World The second impression was that of the place being a world of women, my rough count over the first couple of days was a ratio of eight to one in favour of females (the actual statistics suggest 35% male, 65% female). Indeed playing guess-the-guest proved a bit more difficult than usual. The paradox of this place is that it is at once an upmarket resort but primarily a sanctuary and retreat for those seekers of not only wellness but possibly spiritual enlightenment or at least an insight into ‘lifestyle choices’. So it attracts an amazingly eclectic and cosmopolitan mix of people who not only have taken the journey but are still on it. So it was boho to CEO, Marley to Mahler, tatts to J P Tod’s and ethnically just as diverse; Germans, Dutch, English, Israeli, Thai, Australian, American, Japanese and a few expats from nearby Asian cities. Not your usual suspects at all. It’s also the perfect holiday destination for a woman flying solo as interaction between guests is encouraged and the communal dining table (optional) in the magnificent open air Soma restaurant is a great way to get to know your fellow acolytes and is also a meeting place for the various visiting practitioners. So you can catch up on your Visual Coding Displacement Therapy with Angela Cummins or Chakra Opposite page, top: A two bedroom beachfront villa with private pool. Below: the spectacular lap pool adjacent to Amrita Cafe where lunch is served daily in individual farés or in dining rooms with views over the beach.

PICTURES: Craig Osment and Kamalaya Koh Samui


eing an unreconstructed sybarite who believes holidays are for indulgence rather than denial, I anticipated a week’s confinement at a ‘wellness’ centre with a certain amount of scepticism. Not that I’m sceptical about holistic health, naturopathy or alternative medicine, it’s more a suspicion that there might be a little too much quasi religious fervour attached to the wellness industry for my taste. As it turns out, I was both right and wrong in my expectations. These places do have an insidious way of getting under your skin in both the subcutaneous and metaphorical sense, but it was an entirely welcome intrusion as it transpired. I found myself hooked from almost the first moment I drove in past the two gilt elephants either side of the impressive entry and stepped into the lobby of the magnificent Kamalaya (lotus realm) Koh Samui spa resort. An all-enveloping peace exudes from this place which I found myself embracing with enthusiasm. Sure, there are little shrines all over the place, Buddhas in the foyer (I love a bit of Buddha), an ancient monks’ cave that’s like a subterranean temple with incense and statuary under a giant granite boulder, mini temples dotted about the grounds and a pervading sense of spiritual calm, which the Thai staff seem to radiate as part of their DNA. The traditional greeting at first seems like I’ve been mistaken for some sort of visiting Caucasian deity but the bow with the hands clasped in the prayer position is turned on for all comers. Even after being disabused of my godly status I found this reverential courtesy something I was adopting myself, although it’s awkward when your hands are full to adopt the complete pose.

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Clearing with Shu Bretag or perhaps a bit of Hypnotherapy (one of my favourites), Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Theta Healing with Anthony while you eat.

It’s A Wrap! Having arrived at night and delivered directly to the resort which is about 23kms from Samui Airport, there was a Truman Show-like sense of disconnection from the real world. My concerns about being institutionalised were partly well founded but not for the reasons I suspected. I found myself a willing inmate and immediately addicted to my daily regimen of massage, sauna and all sorts of pampering at the hands of a group of fabulously efficient, gentle and experienced therapists who go about their ministrations with calm efficiency and solicitous attention. I felt absolutely no need to see any more of the outside world until encouraged to venture out to the Fisherman’s Village night market on my last night. This was colourful and lively and filled with a typical Asian buzz but in my slightly disassociated state, I was happily ready to get back to the serenity of Kamalaya for my final meal rather than indulge in the street food and the noisy festivities of the market. Depending on the program chosen you may find yourself in an infrared sauna, face down on a massage table (my preferred position), subjected to acupuncture, detoxing in a full body wrap (mine was the clay and lotus wrap), participating in a spot of lymphatic drainage or perhaps Moxabustion (this involves the burning of something called Mugwort with heat applied to specific areas of the body to invigorate circulation). There’s also cupping, an ancient technique where bamboo or glass cups are used to release blockages and improve circulation, or Tui Na, a Chinese therapeutic massage which ‘kneads toxic residues loose from tissues and into the lymphatic system for disposal’. (See box for more details on some of the 70 treatments available.) All these treatments take place in one of the many rooms attached to the Wellness Sanctuary which is the centrepiece of the entire property with many of its beautiful hillside spaces opening directly to the breeze and expansive views over the bay and nearby islands. It’s up here that you’ll find the steam cavern, the infrared sauna, the Shakti fitness centre, the yoga pavilion and the massage sala, along with plunge pools and a pavilion for sitting in silence with a cup of herb tea or a book and contemplating the stunning scenery.

Step Therapy Which brings me to resort itself; designed by Australianborn architect and artist, Robert Powell it’s built in ‘tropical modern’ style. Its numerous spacious villas or bungalows (all with huge decks, fans and air con and gorgeous semi open bathrooms) are discreetly hidden among the greenery within a steep valley which flows to a private beach below. When I say steep, I mean intimidatingly too steep for me at first glance. So in spite of having chosen the least aerobically challenging program (stress management, relaxation and sleep therapy which involved a lot of massage) I found myself panting and breathless by the time I got to my treatment room after negotiating 216 steps from my villa, and it was located at

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Above: The view up the valley from the water. Below: The temple

the top of the valley. Step therapy is a given here and aching calves a reminder of an incipient fitness creeping into a body more used to indolence and decrepitude. So in spite of myself I found an unfamiliar and reassuring sort of pleasure at knowing I was inadvertently getting fitter. Indeed before any treatments begin all participants are obliged to undertake a ‘wellness consultation’ which incorporates a ‘Body Bioimpedance Analysis’ designed to get a fix on the efficiency of your basic functions, weight, height, blood pressure, phase angle (something I didn’t know I had), muscle tone, hydration, metabolism and cellular vitality. Much to the annoyance of my spa-ing partner (who gently disapproves of some my less virtuous habits) I appeared to emerge with most functions in the normal to above average range, even my blood pressure at 120 over 80 was perfect in spite of feeling I was about to pop an artery after the stair ordeal. It seems I’m alive and mostly thriving or at least my Ayurvedic alter ego is, although I still need oxygen to do steps.

In Treatment It shouldn’t have come as a surprise, because on a previous visit to Bangkok I noticed that foot reflexology practitioners were more in evidence that Pad Thai noodle vendors, but the feet seem to receive an inordinate amount of attention at Kamalaya. Almost every treatment starts with a bit of foot fiddling and toe pulling, given that I’d put podiatry just below proctology on my list of least preferred professions, I got used to this procedure after one session and found it strangely comforting. Maybe there is a connection between soles and souls, if so the Thais have cracked it. In fact the pulling of digits (as well as limbs and ears) is central to every massage, along with prodding, pummelling, poking and stroking. All of which actually takes place with a sort of gentle, silent seamlessness that is totally at odds with the physicality of the procedure, leaving you feeling relaxed but invigorated. After several days of being oiled up and rubbed to a perfect patina, I was invited to a Traditional Thai massage, for which I was obliged to wear supplied pyjamas. This took place after I’d been microwaved in the infrared sauna at 45c for 30 minutes, just par cooked at the end but all pores perfect. Traditional Thai massage is like freestyle wrestling but where there’s only one participant and it wasn’t me. I succumbed instantly and was on the mat for ninety minutes while Ning did her thing which was to twist, stretch, knead, pull, poke and meme is apparent throughout the property while shrines and eastern dieties are scattered about the grounds; and the foyer gong.

pummel using her entire body as a fulcrum, a weight and an instrument of torture but it was blissful suffering. Stretching every sinew and tendon, elongating every muscle and limb. This was a ‘dry’ massage, in that it was not oleaginous at all and no oil wells were harmed in the making of the moves. Given that Thai women are mostly slight and small, it’s extraordinary that they are such firm masseuses, they have palms of silk and thumbs of steel which unerringly seek out every knot and nook that might be suffering a ‘blockage’ or toxic obstruction which they eliminate with ‘extreme prejudice’ as they say in the military – toxins are the enemy here and are shot on sight.

Toxic Termination Indeed the restaurant menus are designed for just this purpose but the food is fabulous and full of flavour, and for me they managed a minor miracle by making vegetables taste like more than water and fibre. For carnivores (those not on detox or healthy weight-loss diets) there’s plenty of choice from lamb shank Massaman curry, to ostrich loin (exotic!), duck and chicken as well as plenty of seafood both local and imported all enhanced by Thai herbs and spices and absolutely delicious. The breakfast buffet is a visual as well as culinary treat, tables laden with fresh fruit and crudites, endless jars of nuts, organic jams, soups, breads and a selection of eggs any way Right: One of a pair gilt pachyderms that form a welcoming commitee at the entrance. Far right: The gorgeous secluded bay and beach with its distinctive granite boulders lining the shoreline. Below: Tea master San Bao conducts his tea ceromonies several days a week at the tea bar in the Alchemy lounge; food and more food: The breakfast buffet is littered with fresh fruit, nuts and breads as well as invigorating wheatgrass shots and fresh juices; cooking classes are conducted in Soma, the main dining room; a welcome food parcel is found in your room on arrival; traditional Thai dish mieng kham is great to share.

“I found myself hooked from almost the first moment I stepped into the lobby of the magnificent Kamalaya Koh Samui

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The Founders Karina Stewart, Doctor of Chinese Medicine and graduate in cultural anthropology and Asian religions with husband John, spiritual seeker and ashram disciple. The Programs Detox and Rejuventation designed to enhance the body’s ability to eliminate toxins and accumulated waste and achieve ideal balance through ideal nutrition and healthy cuisine. Ideal Weight Created to identify areas of physical imbalance and achieve optimal weight with dietary recommendations and guidance from holistic practitioners. Optimal Fitness A personalised approach to help achieve fitness goals from cardiovascular to increasing upper body strength and toning body shape through regular fitness habits. Sleep Enhancement A therapeutic program designed to combat sleep deprivation and re-establish healthy restful sleep through the use of Chinese medicine and massage therapy. Asian Bliss An immersion into holistic healing combining Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Thai therapies to help promote bliss, renewal and joy. Balance and Revitalisation Designed to counteract the stresses of contemorary life through a variety of revitalising activities from a mind, body spirit perspective. Relax and Renew This is for those seeking time and place to step back from their lives and recover balance, relax and renew so you can face the future with new passion and energy. The paid structured programs are supplemented by a large daily selection of other activities such as yoga, aquarobics and tai chi. For detailed information on programs see W: Getting There Thai Airways to Bangkok with a Bangkok Airways connection to Koh Samui. W: W:

spa resort. An all-enveloping peace exudes from this place which I found myself embracing with enthusiasm.�

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Above: The Alchemy Lounge is perfect for afternoon tea or pre-dinner drinks with sweeping views over the bay and nearby islands. Below: The lower plunge pool with its impressive entrance is set directly behind the beach and ideal for an afterlunch dip. Bottom: One of the huge semi outdoor bathrooms with its clay brick walls and temple cutouts adds a luxurious touch.

you choose. Then there’s the juice selection; all mixed with the same care a cocktail waiter might lavish on a complex creation but all designed to do you good. Mostly they taste wonderful with the possible exception of my daily shot of gotu kola juice which I was assured was essential ‘brain food’, the flavour of this concoction is vaguely reminiscent of kava but when followed by a wheatgrass shot and a Kamalaya Detox Juice I was looking for more steps to climb. Another of my misconceptions destroyed, you can eat healthy food and enjoy it at the same time, and I took a cooking course so that I can detox in the privacy of my own home, and I have a certificate (and apron) to prove it; one of only two tertiary qualifications to my name! This holistic approach to health is central to the entire experience at Kamalaya, these days when every resort claims to be a spa, Kamalaya is a spa which is also a five-star resort with all the expected trappings – impeccable service, wonderful, surgically hygienic facilities, great restaurants, and there’s even a ‘pillow menu’ and mattress topper service to ensure your sleep is undisturbed. And, to further enhance your peace and quiet (the soundtrack is silence and shakuhachi) the waterfall at the top of the valley is obligingly turned off at night and restarted at 7am each day, they think of everything!

No Money Needed Most guests choose an all inclusive package whereby they nominate and pay for a program and after that no money changes hands, everything is included except alcoholic drinks which are cheap at around nine dollars a glass. Not that you see too many glasses, I think I was the only person drinking wine and with a beverage list stretching to 45 different drinks only four were beer or wine, so there’s a subtle suggestion that wine intake be limited, which in my case, surprisingly it was. Another tick for painless denial. While there are any number of all-inclusive programs designed for your specific needs, you can opt for your wellness to be served à la carte if you prefer. This enables you to choose and pay as you go (same with meals in this case) from a wide range of treatments from Aurveda therapies, Traditional Chinese Medicine and diagnostic procedures as well as avail yourself of the visiting practitioners special presentations and treatments. My seven-day Relax and Renew program started at around AU$3000 for accommodation, food and about 11 hours of treatments plus assessment consultations. There are threeand five-day options which start from as little as AU$1660 which is good value when you consider that unless you decide to take the occasional glass of wine there’s nothing more to pay. At end of the week I was subjected to another wellness consultation where I found that my weight was still 64.3kg (after three large meals each day) and my height, remarkably remained at 177cms in spite of all that pulling and stretching. But I had emerged fitter, refreshed, rejuvenated, relaxed and with all chakras in alignment. Having arrived a sceptic I departed a convert but I suspect a bit of recidivism on the drinking front is to come. All in all an experience to be recommended, even for a pretend passive resister. • 84 | Islandliving pacific

Sourcing & Supply Chain Solutions Specialising in: Lubricants Earth Moving Equipment & Parts Motor Vehicle Parts Construction Materials

â– Sourcing products from within Australia and around the world for distribution/sale to the pacific. â–  All goods are received into our Banyo warehouse and checked and marked prior to despatch.

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CTS Services - 3 Viola Place Brisbane Airport | PO Box 336 Banyo QLD 4014 Phone: (07) 3363 0400 | Fax: (07) 3860 4322 | Contact Jordan Watterston: islandliving | 85 pacific

Flying Direct to Nauru Our Airline provides return services from Brisbane to Nauru, Tarawa and Majuro and between Nauru and Nadi.


CONTACT NUMBERS Our Call Centres are available during normal business hours, Monday to Friday to take your bookings or answer your travel questions.

NAURU - Our Airline within Nauru phone: 5577000 FIJI - One World Flight Centre within Fiji - SUVA phone: 331 5311 - NADI phone: 670 8156

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homes by the sea

Island Property dream

e h t o t buy in

Interest In Vanuatu real estate remains strong, says Douglas Patterson.


ike most countries over the last several years Vanuatu has had to come to terms with less economic activity and less new foreign investment. In the real estate sector, much of the volume has been taken out of the market in recent years by the evaporation of the speculative buying that fuelled the real estate bubble around the world in the middle of the last decade. However, property investment and development has continued and this is partly because it is still possible to acquire well located and well landscaped one to two-acre ocean front lots for $AUD100 - 150,000 and holiday homes or out of town beachfront residences for under $AUD500,000 – only 15 to 30 minutes from Port Vila’s international airport. Several CBD commercial properties in Port Vila have been bought in the last few months and a number of commercial buildings and shops are being constructed in and around the main town. A number of businesses have also changed hands this year. Tourism in Vanuatu has historically been small scale with only three resorts in the country out of an estimated 70 hotel and resort properties having more that 100 rooms and only six offering more than 50 rooms. Many boutique bungalow resorts have been established over the years and around 20 tourism properties have fewer than 10 rooms available. Several new infrastructure projects are in the pipeline. A major redevelopment of the container ship wharf (Star Wharf) into a proper international port; the upgrading of much of Port Vila’s roads and drainage system; the upgrading of the Port Vila and certain outer island airports; the installation of a high speed undersea fibre optic cable – all of these have started or will start very soon. And while such “public” projects may on the surface create little in the way of private sector growth or new long term jobs, they do help to bolster the confidence of the private sector, whether foreign or local, contemplating new or further investments. Lifestyle choices continue to drive many investment decisions. For a large number of people, both long term

resident and new arrivals, Vanuatu is a place that is small, clean, green and friendly, even if Port Vila has lost some of its sleepy island pace of late, something that is almost inevitable in a rapidly growing capital town. There are, and always have been, good investments to be found in Vanuatu for anyone prepared to take the time to research the local market and acquaint themselves with local economic trends. Nothing happens overnight in small island nations; however, for anyone looking for business and commercial opportunities to combine with idyllic affordable locations in which to live, Vanuatu has much to offer.

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Le Parc d’activités ZIPAD


otre nouveau parc d’activités la ZIPAD a été livré comme prévu en mai 2013. Ce vaste chantier, commencé début 2011, offre aujourd’hui près d’une centaine de lots viabilisés et terrassés (de 20 ares à 3,25 ha) prêts à accueillir des industries, des commerces, des artisans et des bureaux. De nombreux chefs d’entreprises ont déjà acquis des lots, séduits par l’emplacement idéal du projet entre le port autonome et l’aéroport international, par sa desserte directe depuis la Savexpress (deux fois deux voies via l’échangeur de Païta Sud, face aux « Fraisiers »), et surtout par le potentiel de développement d’une zone qui forme avec la ZICO et la ZIZA un véritable pôle économique. La ZIPAD apporte une réponse concrète aux besoins d’espace, de performance logistique et d’extension auxquels nombreux entrepreneurs sont confrontés. D’ailleurs des permis de construire ont d’ores et déjà été déposés. Nous vous invitons à découvrir le lotissement ZIPAD et plus particulièrement ses infrastructures de qualité lors des journées portes ouvertes, ou à votre convenance en prenant RDV auprès de l’agence immobilière Caillard & Kaddour au 24 24 24.

Lagoon living, Vanuatu


ow is the time to buy in Vanuatu with an expected surge in property sales and prices in the coming 12-24 months. This four bedroom, 2.5 bathroom family home features a gorgeous outdoor entertaining area including an inground swimming pool, covered pergola and large patio. Inside the ground floor consists of a large kitchen, dining room (which opens directly on the the pergola and patio for extended dining area), large living room, master bedroom, walk-in wardrobe and ensuite. Upstairs a further three bedrooms, all with built-in robes and a shared family bathroom. All bedrooms open to a balcony overlooking the gorgeous Tassiriki lagoon. This property features excellent security, including an alarm, a large kids cubby house, two car covered carport, electric gates and even a vegie patch. The owners have recently relocated to Australia and as such, the price has been reduced for a quick sale. Contact Sue Bedford (+678) 774 2095.

Vanuatu still has plenty to offer those looking to escape


or under $500,000 you could own this beachfront home in Paradise Cove. Two of the three bedrooms, as well as the open plan living area, have stunning views over the white sandy beach and turquoise blue waters. The 2800m2 of tropical gardens provide privacy if that is what you are looking for. High pitched ceilings and feature timber beams complement the location and tropical lifestyle. Large separate Study/TV room provides you with ample space for the family. Some TLC would add thousands, but the position is pricelss. Be sure to call Margaret at your first opportunity on (+678) 777 3218.

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5 OCTOBER 2014

Honiara hosts the sixth Fly Solomons Running Festival on Sunday 5 October 2014 and event features two, five and ten kilometre fun runs, half marathon and marathon distances. The festival is a highlight on the Honiara sporting calendar with several hundred runners taking up the challenge. The flat course follows the Mendana Highway past Kokumbona and the wrecks at Bonegi with Solomon Sea and Savo Island providing a picturesque tropical backdrop. Enter at or book flights at

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glorious gardens

Vegetables h c t a p e i g e v he

Beyond t

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Gardening Editor Carolyn Ernst remembers those vegetable patches at the end of the garden and suggests novel ways you can grow your own from vertical to recycled bath tubs.


As I touched on in the last issue, the traditional big vegetable patch at the end of your garden is all but a thing of the past. There are many factors behind this, but mostly it boils down to space and time. However these constraints do not mean that we cannot grow and enjoy some of our own garden fresh vegetables. As in all things we need to prioritise: firstly do we really want to grow vegetables, would we rather use the limited space for a play area for the children or maybe we prefer flowers, what vegetables do we use and enjoy and what is available locally and what is the quality of that which is available? Here in Port Vila we are blessed with a great local market, five and a half days a week we have beautiful fresh local vegetables available to us 24 hours of the day. The range is limited but improving, and when it is tomato season the tables are covered in beautiful fresh garden-ripened tomatoes, a virtual sea of red. The same for cabbage, avocado, mango and pineapple seasons, but humans are very contrary, we always yearn for what we can’t have, either because it is not in season or because it will not grow in our warm climates. As most of our local market ladies do not have access to water for their garden we can extend these local seasons simply by watering in our own gardens. All annual growing vegetables require adequate water to ensure the plant is grown without stress. We are also lucky in Port Vila to have several large supermarkets so we also have a continual or mostly so, supply of all sorts of vegetables and fruit from all over the world. We should however think of the environmental cost of this global transport as well as be aware, that many of them have been fumigated by some extremely nasty chemicals.

Also, do we really need nectarines 12 months of the year, in fact is the special pleasure we get from these very seasonal fruit gained as much from them not being available all year, unlike the poor common old apple? If you are as lucky as I am and have no space constraints – I am able to grow whatever I want and with whatever seeds or planting material I can find. I will confess this year, to a fridge full of seeds and nothing growing in the vegetable garden, herein lies the time constraint. The mind is strong but the body is weak. So here is the decision process:

1. Do I really want a vegetable garden? 2. What area do I have and how do I want to use it? 3. What is available and what do I really need or want? Nearly all of us have space of some sort, so it is all about the amount of space and our priorities for its use. Just because you live in an apartment with little or no garden area doesn’t mean that you can’t grow some of your own vegetables. Google vertical gardens and you will come up with an array of absolutely stunning gardens that take up very little horizontal space. A whole range of vegetables are possible, from lettuce in its many forms, herbs and other leaf vegetables grown on an amazing wall of green. Tomatoes, beans and all cucurbits can be grown vertically using a multitude of support systems, from string and wood to sophisticated and elegant constructions. All manner of pots and containers can be used and there is no need to limit yourself to exterior soil

PICTURES: Carolyn Ernst and 123RF

Left: vegetables in the front garden. Below: salad vegetables and herbs grow well in pots.

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grown vegetables, the horizon is limitless if you start thinking hydroponics and grow lights. I will leave it to you to research this one, the access to information on the internet is just a click away and makes our ability to gather information endless and very rewarding. I once saw the most amazing crop of potatoes grown in a stack of tyres. If you have issues with soil quality or quantity, tyres could be the answer for you, I have seen some amazing gardens using all manner of tyres from huge equipment tyres to smaller car tyres. If thinking of using very large tyres, be very aware of the sheer weight of them. I used some in the construction of a children’s adventure playground, it took seven very strong men to move one of them. Also if you are considering using tyres in your vegetable garden I would recommend that you research some of the articles written about the heavy metal toxicity dangers of using tyres. From these conflicting reports you can form your own opinion and decide whether to use them or not. Now there is also a large range of prefabricated wooden or metal raised garden beds available from every hardware store. There are also all forms of ceramic and plastic containers and anything that can hold soil can be used to grow vegetables, I have seen an old pair of boots used to grow herbs in and an old toilet looked great with leafy vegetables growing inside, the possibilities are endless, only limited by your imagination. When growing in containers or raised garden beds be aware they do dry out faster than the rest of the garden and ample water is essential for vegetable health. There are really great things called water crystals, when soaked in water they take on a huge supply of moisture that is then available to the plants, they make a great addition to all pots and raised beds. Do not plant vegetables close to large trees, their root systems compete with your vegetables for nutrients and water and plants need six hours of sunlight per day for healthy growth. It is important to remember that healthy plants cope better with disease and insects. Another important decision is if our plants do need help what do we want to use. There are two types of sprays that you can use: there are organic sprays, some of which you can make yourself and non organic spray available from your local horticultural suppliers. Again what you choose is an individual choice but it is always best to limit the use of inorganic chemicals for both yours and the environment’s health. Make sure you read all instruction properly before use. Another change in our vegetable gardens is where they are situated. As we may remember they used to be at the back of the block, now they have moved closer to the back or nearer the kitchen door making access quicker and easier. As our lives get busier, our day can no longer be limited by sunlight hours, so night lighting can be a beneficial addition to the modern vegetable garden. The number of times that I suddenly decide I need something from the garden and then discover the torch battery is flat, it is not an easy task to find what you want without risking serious injury as you grope your way around the garden looking for that last minute treasure.

92 | Islandliving pacific

Creative containers and vertical plants like cucumber can save space.

Once the where and how much has been decided then it is on to the what. Your family’s needs and wants are paramount, no use growing something you don’t like or never use. Also consider what is locally available, if it is easy and cheap to buy and of good fresh quality then why use your valuable time and space growing it. Also look at what grows well in your environment, have a look in other people’s gardens and talk to other gardeners. Here in the tropics during the winter we can grow almost anything, this however changes over the summer or rainy months. There is now an increasing amount of work being done to develop varieties of vegetables that will be productive in these hotter wetter months. Also be careful

Vegetable plantings can be just as beautiful as purely ornamental gardens and a great place for a cup of tea.

of the seeds you use, many of the large vegetable companies produce one type of seed and these are mostly suited to the temperate areas. Also available now are a large number of vegetable types originating from Asia, never be afraid to experiment, many of these vegetables are far more productive in our sort of climate than some of the more traditional types we may be used to. Also consider how much of each sort of vegetable you use or need. You do not need to plant the whole packet of seeds at one time, try planting 10 seeds of cabbage every two weeks to maintain a continual supply, instead of the boom or bust situation that is all too common. Sometimes what

we decide to grow is not because of any local shortage but because what we really enjoy is the pleasure of being able to walk out the back door to pick fresh garden vegetables straight from the garden, whenever we want. Also one last thing, there is nothing stopping your vegetable garden from being a thing of beauty. See the above photo, this garden is owned by a friend of mine, proudly built for her by her son, I can definitely confirm that it is a great place to drink your morning cup of tea or coffee and chat with a friend or spend a few precious moments contemplating your garden or just thinking how luck you are. Enjoy! •

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ISSue 6

Don’t miss a single issue. Find Pacific Island Living at resorts restaurants, airports and retail outlets across the Pacific ... and if it’s ‘sold out’ then check out every edition on the internet. You’ll find all six editions at or go to our popular Facebook site at www. Thank you to all the 18,000-and counting Facebook ‘likers’ and the tens of thousands who have visited our page. We love getting your feedback and suggestions and thank you to those who have contributed stories and pictures. And a big thank you to our advertisers who will now find that every website and email address in your ads on our website is a live link to your business.

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photo finish

PICTURE: Craig Osment

Amazing what you find on the street! This gorgeous bowl of petals was just sitting on the pavement at Fisherman’s Village night market in Bophut on Koh Samui. The market is a must-visit on Friday nights when you can wander the colourful streets with a cocktail in hand or have a glass of wine and dinner at one of the many outdoor cafÊs and restaurants, or just buy your meal from a street vendor.

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Pacific Island Living - Issue 6  

Well into our second year at Pacific Island Living, one of the most enjoyable things about this magazine is the feedback. We started out hop...

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