Idyllic surrounds .... Wadigi Island.

Idyllic surrounds .... Wadigi Island.

Caroline Gladstone dips her feet into the kind of ultra secluded island resort where you'd be happy to be a castaway.

I'm stretched out on the huge bed in the room that Paris Hilton and her beau of the time, baseball star Doug Reinhardt, shared in 2009, enjoying the same gorgeous view of the Mamanuca Islands.

On a private island you can do as you please. 

Paris and Doug escaped to Wadigi Island for 10 days and, while the media knew the celebrity heiress was holidaying in Fiji, no one knew exactly where. Such is the policy of the island's owners, who keep their guests' identities under wraps.

Bliss ... relax by the pool on Wadigi Island.

Bliss ... relax by the pool on Wadigi Island.

Once Paris had enjoyed Wadigi's delights and learnt to scuba dive, the couple (now split, of course) flew by helicopter to Nadi Airport and out of the country.

Wadigi (pronounced Waan-dinghy), is a chunk of volcanic rock 20 kilometres by sea or a 10-minute helicopter flight from Nadi on Fiji's west coast.

Brisbane-born owners Tracey and Jim Johnston are discreet when it comes to their guest list, except in the case of Paris and pop star Pink, who were both happy to have their residency broadcast to the world once they had decamped.

One of six picturesque places to dine.

One of six picturesque places to dine.

I'm ensconced in the ultra-spacious honeymoon suite, and my companion has the lovely sunset suite about 30 metres away. The sunrise suite is also available but is being used as a massage room during my stay. The suites and a separate central lounge room (with sofas, TV, book and DVD library, and well-stocked fridge) make up the villa, which is perched high on a cliff on the island's west side.

Wadigi is a private island in the true sense of the word. When you stay, you have the run of the place and the services of nine staff.

We arrive at this patch of paradise in the late afternoon, transported by the Mamanuca Islands mode of transport, the Tiger IV ferry. It doesn't berth at the island (there's no wharf for privacy reasons), but stops in the middle of the bay where Tia the boatman from Wadigi is waiting to whisk us away to our private sanctuary. We arrive in time for a beach swim and a dip in the hilltop pool before sprucing up for dinner.

Actually, there's no need to spruce up; when you stay on a private island you can do as you please.

The Johnstons bought Wadigi nine years ago and transformed what was then a three-star resort into a private enclave that is now the preferred haunt of the millionaires, sports stars and chief executives of the world. Guests stay an average of eight days, but Tracey says some stay for up to six weeks.

From one of the two huge balconies off my room, I look over the bay to Castaway Island Resort. Behind it, I can see the outline of Monuriki Island, where the 2000 Tom Hanks movie Cast Away was filmed.

The sunset suite has a similar view to mine (which can be enjoyed from the deck or the bath tub) and the sunrise suite looks out to Malolo Island, a kilometre away.

Guests are left to do as little or as many activities as they please until it's time to eat - meal times are provided by staff on arrival and dining venues include six romantic spots with glorious views.

While there are no menus on Wadigi (apart from breakfast), Tracey asks guests to let her know their food and drink preferences, diets or food allergies, in advance.

It is then left to chefs Lai and Saimone to weave their culinary magic, which they do with panache.

Our first night's dinner, on the terrace adjacent to the bar, begins with tempura prawns, followed by succulent fish drizzled with a light mustard sauce and ending with a modern twist on flambe bananas and ice-cream. Breakfasts start with a home-made treat (papaya muffins one day; warm cinnamon shortbread scrolls the next), followed by a choice of hot and cold dishes, accompanied by tropical fruits and juices.

Lunch, a tasty pork dish and a dessert, is served in the Bure Kalau, a thatched open air pavilion teetering high on a cliff, while the final night's dinner (alas, I stayed just two nights) is accompanied by flaming torches on the beach.

A table is laid with fine linens and crockery, the perfect setting for a mini banquet of coconut prawn soup, grilled lobster and a finale of orange souffle and raspberry coulis. All alcoholic beverages are included in the tariff, encompassing French champagne and premium Australian and New Zealand wines, along with cocktails, beers and whatever else the bar stocks.

However, guests pay extra if they request particular vintages that are hard to source, such as the 1986 bottles of Bollinger that were one guest's preferred tipple.

Activities such as waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, snorkelling, boat and village trips and kayaking are also included in the price. Boatman Tia took us for a jaunt around Castaway and Malolo islands and we kayaked around Wadigi one morning.

After just two days it was a wrench to leave; I can only imagine how folks bear to drag themselves away after six weeks of serious bliss.

The writer was a guest of Wadigi Island.


Trip notes

Getting there

Pacific Blue, a division of Virgin Australia, flies from Sydney to Nadi (Fiji) daily from $600 return. 13 16 45, virginaustralia.com.

Wadigi Island is 20 kilometres west of Fiji's mainland in the Mamanuca Islands. Transfers from Nadi Airport, at extra cost, are by helicopter (10 minutes) or seaplane (15 minutes). Resort owners will book transfers as schedules and fares change frequently.

Tiger IV ferry departs Port Denarau (15 minutes south of Nadi Airport by taxi) twice a day and takes about two hours (depending on route). Costs $78 one-way for adults; $39 for children. ssc.com.fj.

Staying there

Wadigi Island daily rates are $US2388 ($2291) for the first couple, $2245 for the second couple and $2165 for the third couple. Children's rates range from $35 for those aged up to 12 months, to $552 for those aged 10-16 years, including all taxes. Minimum stay is three nights. All meals, beverages and many activities included. +679 672 0901, wadigiisland@connect.com.fj.

More information

wadigi.com.