Monuriki Island was a place where a character from Cast Away movie ended up stranded after FedEx plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean.
I watched this movie many times, and was always curious about how does it look like in real life, and finally - I've been there!
One hour cruising from Denarau terminal, and a small island which looks like a car from 1930s is seen in background.
Surrounded by amazing coral reef, Monuriki is a great place for a snorkelling. I was enjoying swimming so much, that sunburned my back until it got completely fried :)
And now, here is a movie vs reality breakdown:
Island is completely uninhabited
Yes, this one is correct. There are no resorts or people living on the island permanently, and it is also a place for turtle and endemic bird species nesting. There are tourists like us coming on yachts, however always temporary.
There is no land nearby
Unfortunately there are many islands which are close to Monuriki. Including an island where Survival has been shot! It would take a very small effort for main character of Cast Away to reach inhabited spot. And storms as well as showers was a computer graphics and artificial water pumps + huge fans.
Pilot was still buried on spot
I tried to dig on that spot, however no pilot remains were found... As well as any traces of numerous FedEx packages. The only place which is still there - a sharp-edged stone where main character was crushing coconuts.
There is a long branch on top of the "mountain" where main character almost died
First of all, Tom Hanks reached the peak using a helicopter. Secondly, it is really hard to reach a top without equipment. I haven't had a chance to climb there, however I haven't seen any branch which would suit for that purpose.
Overall, Monuriki is an amazing spot and I highly recommend visiting it!