Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Has Mavuva Island, Macuata, been sold yet?

from Wendy
Found this on a web when I was browsing islands for sale in Fiji.
Mavuva Island. How to interpret the story, sure does depend upon your point of view. I suspect it has already been sold. It's near Nukubati, in the vicinity of the Tui Macuata's village of Naduri and Macuata-i-wai island.
Price: USD$2,500,000 (or nearest offer)


Mavuva Island is located approximately 23 nautical miles from the colourful town of Labasa, which is situated on the second main island of Fiji, Vanua Levu. Four hours is the flying time from Brisbane to Nadi, with a 45-minute duration connecting flight from Nadi to Labasa. High speed Water Taxi Transfer from Labasa to Mavuva Island Resort takes approximately 25 minutes, with a total of approximately six hours travelling time from Brisbane to Mavuva Island Resort.

General Description

Mavuva Island is freehold and is 48 acres (194,000 square metres) in size, with approximately a further 20 acres (81,000 square metres) of surrounding beaches. The island rises to 110 ft (35 metres) and has a gradual slope to the eastern side. The island is volcanic in origin and has some lava formations. The island sits on a coral reef, the edge of the reef being located approximately 400 metres from the beach, and is surrounded by protected water up to 20 metres deep. It is a very prolific reef with an abundance of sea life. The island is covered with coconut trees, and the branches of these trees spread over an area of approximately 1000 square metres. There is an abundance of tropical fauna.

Climatically, this region of Fiji has consistently the best weather in all of the Fiji Islands. Whilst it obviously gets hot, particularly during the summer months, it does not experience the same degree of humidity as many other regions. The winters are absolutely perfect, with blue skies, warm waters and beautiful evenings. And whilst no part of Fiji is immune to hurricanes, Mavuva Island has suffered very little damage of any sort over the past 30 years. Because of these favourable conditions, the Resort Management Company is better able to confidently offer holiday packages throughout the whole year, rather than on a seasonal basis.

History of the Island

The Island was originally discovered in approximately 1880 by a German American named Steiner who had arrived in Lautoka in search of the famed Fijian sandalwood. Fiji had earlier in the century acceded to Britain as protection from neighbouring Pacific nations. The British had cut out all sandalwood in this region and so our early explorer moved north to Vanua Levu in search of fresh timber supplies. In doing so he discovered Mavuva Island, and the Chief for this region lived on Macuati-I-Wai Island which is three kilometres away.

At this time there was much tribal warfare. On arrival in this area our early explorer befriended the Chief as he was a Gunsmith, and offered to fight off the warring tribes against the Chief with his flint lock pistols and armoury of gun powder. This gesture endeared our early explorer to the Chief, who in appreciation gave him two islands in the region, they being Mavuva Island and Nukubati Island. He approached the British and requested title deeds for the two Islands in question. These were granted to him and the original title deed for Mavuva Island in fee simple number 490 was issued to him. (my italics)

Over the years the original descendants passed away leaving only tow last dependents. One is currently still living on Nukubati Island, the other a gentleman by the name of Robert Fox resided on Mavuva Island. As he was aging, the last of the descendants sold the Island to Pacific Haven Limited in approximately 1965. The directors of this company had been trading in the tourism industry in the South Pacific for some considerable time. Part of the agreement on purchase of the Island was that they should take care of the aging Robert. Some years later he passed away. Prior to his passing, one of those directors, Frank Hansen and his wife, took up residence on the island. After starting construction and building the main dining area and kitchen, Frank decided that because the island was in actual fact the Garden of Eden, and one of the most beautiful places on earth, with its coconut palms, curtain fig trees and the other magical fauna, he decided that he would not share it with the rest of the world, and lived there in retirement for some twenty years. On his death in 1992 his wife Joan moved to Sydney.

The island is now reluctantly being placed in the market as the original owners (my italics) and beneficiaries are living offshore.


nzm said...

It's disgraceful - who is actually profiting from these sales?

There was another one - Vatu Vara Island - mentioned here in today's NZ Herald.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Yes! It's sometimes called Hat Island apparently, for sale for $75 million (£39.5 million). Vatu Vara island is claimed to be the most expensive freehold island in the world.
And there's more! Once I started looking up websites advertising islands for sale in Fiji I found more and more!
Some people say that's development and that brings money into Fiji, but really, who profits the most? Not the locals for sure.

Anonymous said...

Agreed entirely. It's heartbreaking. The same also with those expats that come to Fiji under the guise of ecotourism projects.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Mr/Miss Anon,
So you think the tribewanted isn't helpful for the Mali people?

Julie Oakley said...

Gosh a blast from the past. I've been on holiday to Mavuva. As I recall we were the only people on the island and there were lots of black and white striped water snakes. My four year old brother (the only family member with an entrepreneurial streak) had an idea that we should organise holidays for businessmen on the island, hold competitions to see who could catch the most snakes, give them a small prize and then make belts out of the snake skins!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Lots of seasnakes! Well, I've seen a few when we visited Vorovoro Island. They just lie in the sun on the rocks. Apparently they are poisonous but don't attack people. I hope those tribewanted guys don't fiddle with them though.
Mavuva is down the coast a bit and I haven't been there.
Hey, your brother must be a fun sort of guy - what a great idea, but knowing about the poison, I wouldn't go near sea snakes!

coastalGirl2/10 said...

I have seen that Mavuva Island has been on the market for sale for a very long time.Some people have made millions from it and is trying to make millions.This island use to belong to my great grand parents,and was sold by one of my uncles with out consultation of the other brothers,who one of them was my father.My uncle sold the island for peanuts...The island was given to my great grand parents as a wedding gift and now some is trying to make millions from it.To the real estate seller good luck in the sale of this island BUT be careful....

Anonymous said...

it will be nice to know as to where the original title is and who with as the island was given as a gift in the first place.
varo fereti.

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Anonymous said...

Note the original title is in the hands for the original owners the German family on Nukubati island. Mavuva is a family owned island and is not suppose to be for sale. Be careful on purchase cause bad luck still exist.

Anonymous said...

Hello Wendy, My name is Kim Myers, and I am wondering where I could find more information about the history of Mavuvu Island and where you found the information above. My father was Frank Ransom’s cousin. The story that has come down the generations is that in his , Frank left of the island to his 3 cousins (my father being one). 2 of his cousins have now passed away and one still remains living in Sydney. The Island was just mentioned over a family lunch yesterday and my mother has wondered all these years what has become of it. I was very surprised to see the Island up for sale and being developed when I googled it. I would be appreciative for any information you have on the history of ownership and the obvious selling of the Island through the years. Thank you in advance Kim Myers.

Anonymous said...

Kim you will have to go to Nukubati and talk to the real owners.

Anonymous said...

May be, the original title is in the hands of the original owner, as said; many buyers have come & left, & for what reason?...who is actually profiting from these sales? Mavuva is a family owned island,& is not supposed to be for sale.The real owners are well & alive, residing in the island of Macuata-i-wai. Be careful on the purchase cause bad luck still exist.