Wizard Island in Fiji

The Fiji archipelago is a chosen resting place for many celebrities, But do you know that one of them bought Mago Island there? We invite you to know this particular story.

Mago Island is located to the east of Viti Levu Islandthe largest in the country and where the capital of Fiji, the city of Suva, is located.

While the most touristic areas of Fiji are on the main island and Vanua Levu, many of the more than 300 islands offer first class servicesrelaxing activities and exotic and delicious cuisine.

All the Fijian islands have a dense virgin forest with tropical type vegetation where coconut palms, pandanus and colorful orchids abound.. This, added to the turquoise waters of the sea that surrounds them, complete a dreamlike landscape that invites relaxation and enjoyment.

What is Wizard Island like?

The Republic of Fiji has fourteen provinces, one of which is the Lau Islands or Eastern Archipelago whose capital is Tubou. There are more than 100 islands and islets, of which only about 30 are inhabited.

Mago Island is part of this group and is 22 square kilometers in area.. It is of volcanic origin and has a flat morphology with some small mountainous relief, so part of its land is suitable for crop production.

In addition, it has a sufficient water supply, since it has an extensive lagoon to the north and a water course that crosses it. Of course, It is surrounded by white sand beaches and transparent waters that form a unique space of extraordinary beauty..

History of the island and its inhabitants

Loading cane at a sugar plantation on Mago island, Fiji by Alfred Burton, used under public domain United States.

The Lau Islands were discovered by explorer James Cook in 1774 and annexed to the British colonies. The crown sold the island to Australian producers. They began the agricultural exploitation of tropical crops there, an activity that expelled the inhabitants of the place..

The native tribes of Mago Island were displaced in 1860 to establish a cotton plantation and later, sugar crops. Although both productions were dismantled towards the end of the 19th century.

The truth is In 2005, actor and director Mel Gibson paid $15 million. to a Japanese corporation that owned the island.

Legal claims on Wizard Island.

Although the Fijian government authorized the sale and it was a private agreement, after the transaction a claim was initiated by the descendants of the original inhabitants of the island.

Members of the Yayusa Vuaniivi tribe claim to be the legitimate owners of Mago and claim that the real estate transaction is invalid. According to them, the island was sold for 2,000 coconut plants, and those who were there were forced to leave in 1860.

Therefore, the successive occupants of Wizard Island were all illegitimate. Today the descendants live on the island of Namalata north of Mago and claim that the place of their ancestors be returned to them.

Wizard Island today

According to the Fiji Land Director, at the time of purchase the actor promised to conserve the environment and the natural conditions of the island.

According to satellite images, the island does not show great changesjust a dirt landing strip and a few houses that look like resort. There is no port or any installation that alters the landscape.

Wizard Island is Mel Gibson’s private getaway. But any of us can take a pleasure trip to Fiji! You just have to organize a good plan and you will be assured of enjoying a paradisiacal place with the charm of the South Pacific.

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