More than 300 islands make up the remote volcanic archipelago—and South Pacific paradise—that is Fiji. Just 16 miles from the main island of Viti Levu, Malolo Island is part of the popular Mamanuca group of islands, known for water sports in the warm turquoise sea and unplugged relaxation on its idyllic beaches. According to Fijian lore, the isle is also home to several sacred sites, including the burial spot for a magic walking stick that separated Malolo into two islands, as well as a wailing rock behind that elders sound to announce chiefly meetings.
Fiji claims nearly 4,000 square miles of coral reef—among the world’s most diverse—as well as around 150 square miles of mangrove. Malolo Island’s largest remaining swath of dry forest stands behind Likuliku Beach. The most significant Malolo Island native species that survives in spite of this diminishing habitat is the Fiji crested iguana, a critically endangered species. Likuliku Lagoon Resort discovered three juvenile iguanas on the property in 2010 and, continue to work closely with authorities to protect and rehabilitate the species. Fijian waters are home to a rainbow of tropical fish, as well as several species of turtles, including green, hawksbill, leatherback, and Olive Ridley.
In ancient times, the Likuliku lagoon served as a safe harbor for canoes when seas were rough. As a result, the lagoon appears in Fijian mythology and folklore as a key landmark in the lineage of the Tui Lawa, or Chief of the Oceans. Today, Fiji is a multicultural society, with indigenous Melanesian people making up more than half the population, along with a sizable number of descendants of indentured Indian laborers brought to work in the sugar industry. European settlement began after seafaring explorers happened upon the islands in the 17th and 18th centuries.
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