|Finau organised a trip to Mana Island in the Mamanuca group for us. The beauty of Fiji is along all the islands off the mainland, so as it was Tara's birthday approaching, we decided to celebrate a bit. Within ten minutes of catching our boat, Tara's hat was in the water! Luckily the driver was nice and turned the boat around for her to get it. The first island we saw on the way to Mana was beachcomber - it was so small and so unbelievable! Although this is the party island of Fiji, it was still beautiful, and we were glad we weren't staying there because there were so many people that you would never be alone. Soon we caught view of Mana, large, tall leaning palm trees, white sandy beaches, light blue water (amazing colour) & we were instantly glad we chose here. We stayed in a backpackers accommodation near a village; our hostel organized events every night to keep us entertained and were all friendly. There were other travelers there but the island was big enough to have your own secluded beach. We climbed the hills, walked around most of teh island, and even stumbled across all old 'Survival' film set. From Sunset beach, you could see the island where they shot the Tom Hanks film 'Castaway'. From that beach Tara snorkeled and saw rays, reef sharks, a huge sea cucumber, lots of nemos, giant clams, star fishes and beautiful coral. For Tara's birthday we decided to go diving (being on paradise wasn't enough for her!!). We only did one dive so snorkeled at the first sight (Plantation Pinnacle) with so many fishes, & a 26m high coral! The visibility was amazing. The second place where we were diving was Namotu Island. Da asked the dive master whether the island was manufactured - he could not believe his eyes - complete postcard beauty (it only costs 600Us a night to stay there!). Diving was even more amazing, we saw reef sharks, a lion fish, a huge pristine coral shelf and lots of amazing fishes.