Matagi Island is in the Taveuni Fiji Island Group.
The origins of how Fijian islands got their names is not known. The word ‘Matagi’ has its origins in Polynesia where it means ‘wind’ or more specifically it is derived from an abbreviation of ‘matamatagi’ meaning ‘the eye of the wind’. In Tonga it is spelled ‘Matangi’ and in Samoa it is spelled ‘Matagi’. Fijians are Melanesian but the eastern islands of the Fiji Group where Matagi is situated came under early Polynesian settlement. In Fijian, Matagi is pronounced "Matangi".
It is believed that Matagi Island first came under European ownership from its indigenous landowners in the mid 1800s when it was first leased then purchased by an early English settler named Mr. Turpin. Mr. Turpin befriended a neighboring settler named Mr. Frederick George Mitchell who was leasing nearby Laucala Island for farming.
Frederick George Mitchell and his Fijian princess wife, Adi Matila Marama Ni Kai Viwa, lived on their farm on neighboring Qamea Island, which they had also purchased from Mr. Turpin. Matangi Island did not have any value for agriculture and was therefore not developed during that time. Flora Douglas (great granddaughter of Frederick George Mitchell and Adi Matila) and her husband Noel Douglas now own and manage Matangi Private Island Resort on Matagi Island where they continue to live today.
Note that this is a private island, only accessible to paying guests of the resort.
Most foreign visitors arrive at Nadi International Airport (NAN IATA) on the Island of Viti Levu, the largest island in Fiji. It is the main hub of Fiji Airways and its domestic and regional subsidiary Fiji Link. The airport is 10 km from the city of Nadi and 20 km from the city of Lautoka. Transferring to the domestic terminal, visitors catch a Fiji Link flight to Matei Airport (TVU IATA), also known as Taveuni Airport or Taveuni Island Airport, located in Matei on the northern end of Taveuni. Car and boat transfers from Matei Airport take approximately 45-minutes and are provided by the Resort.
Situated 16°44 South 179° West in the North-East part of the Fiji Group, Matagi is a 240-acre unique horseshoe shaped tropical island. In addition to the resort and plantation the island has extensive virgin tropical rain-forest and white sand beaches. The island is surrounded by crystal clear waters and fringing coral reefs. There are no paved roads on the island, and no motorized land transportation is available. Most travel around the island is by motor launch and by footpaths that meander throughout the island.
The main sightseeing attraction on Matagi is the lowland rainforest and beaches. The island’s verdant vegetation is home to many native bird species, including the Orange Dove (Chrysoenas victor) and the Fiji Parrot Finch (Erythrura pealii). A large colony of Fruit Bats can also be found in Horseshoe Bay. These impressive large flying creatures are often sighted at dusk when they come out in search of fruit found amongst the island’s lush vegetation. A smaller variety of bat that feed on insect at night can be found in caves at the entrance to Horseshoe Bay on the northern side of the island.
Horseshoe Bay was formed when an extinct volcano erupted and blew away the side of the mountain, letting the water flood into the caldera. In addition to being a retreat for the resort's guests, private yachts occasionally anchor in the bay to enjoy the waters and the sights.
Activities on the island include snorkeling and scuba diving on the many impressive reef walls and coral gardens. Full service scuba trips can be arranged as well as guided snorkeling excursions. The waters off the island provide small-boat sailing, kayaking, and fishing.
There are no shops or markets on the island.
Matangi Private Island Resort ‘Vale-ni-Kana’ Dining Room is the only eating establishment on the island.
The only accommodations on Matagi island are at the Matangi Private Island Resort.
- Matangi Private Island Resort. The resort has ten one-bedroom Fijian Bures (bungalows), three tree-house suites and a two-bedroom beach house. Rooms are available both with and without a meal plan.