is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.


The only genuinely private island of Fiji’s 333, Dolphin Island offers the most luxe of castaway experiences for you and up to seven friends.

This dollop of paradise, a 15-minute boat ride north of Fiji’s main island Viti Levu, offers just four elegant timber-floored, wooden-shuttered bures with high palm-thatched roofs, wall-to-wall glass doors opening to tantalizing sea views, freestanding bathtubs and outdoor showers, and shell-encrusted lamps, chandeliers and mirrors.

The central entertaining bure functions as a lounge and dining room, impeccably styled by interior designer Virginia Fisher who also designed Dolphin Island’s luxurious sister property, Huka Lodge in New Zealand. With a bold orange, white and black palette, Polynesian motifs on the local hardwood beams and artfully placed coffee-table books and chunky shells, it feels like you’re hanging out in a friend’s lounge room – albeit a very wealthy, very fabulous friend.

Since you have the entire island at your disposal, you can be as active or as sedentary as you please. Perhaps you’ll take one of the island’s kayaks, paddleboards or snorkels out for a spin around the 14-acre island. Maybe you’ll spend the afternoon lazing in the hilltop open-air bure (also perfect for romantic sleep-outs), organize a massage, or sprawl by the sleek infinity pool while sipping a cocktail or three. Either way, you should leave time for an afternoon soak in your tub, before heading out for a sunset drink on the over water pontoon. If you’re worried about finding your way back to the main bure in the dark, don’t: Dolphin Island staff light no less than 100 lanterns on the sprawling palm-sprinkled lawn each evening.

Meals, whipped up by your personal chefs and the island’s host Dawn Simpson, are seafood extravaganzas: lobsters, prawns and fish pulled directly from the ocean each day accompanied by seasonal local salads, antipasti, tropical fruits and cheese. And because it’s your island you can devour it all wherever you please, as the south easterly trade winds, and the genuine warmth and hospitality of the Fijian staff, lull you into an island state of mind.

From AUD$1,071 per person, per night. See

How to Get There: Fiji Airways offers direct flights to Nadi from Sydney twice daily, Brisbane daily, Melbourne five times a week, and from June 30 Adelaide twice weekly. From Nadi it’s a 2.5-hour drive, followed by a 15-minute boat trip, to Dolphin. Helicopter and seaplane transfers are also available.



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