The show Gilligan's Island may have glamorized island life just a tad but if there's any movie out there that's counteracting that stigma, it's Castaway. This major motion picture featured Tom Hanks as, well, a castaway, stranded on an island in the middle of the ocean, with little to no hope of being rescued.
While many of us have a certain fascination with the idea of survival and being stranded on a tropical island somewhere, this movie proved that it was not all vacation vibes and swimming ocean laps. Along with its sometimes graphic scenes, it was also hailed for its dramatic cinematography, most of which can be attributed to the natural beauty of the small island on which it was filmed. The bad news is that being stranded on a deserted island is not a complete impossibility even in today's world; the good news is that travelers can visit the island from Castaway - without worrying about the former.
The Movie Was Filmed In A Surprisingly Popular Tourist Spot
Judging by the movie itself, Castaway appeared to be filmed on an island that's entirely remote, far from any sign of life or ship routes. Furthermore, the size of it is unbelievably small, seeming to only be a blip in what looks like a wide, open ocean. In reality, neither of these things are true - that's just the beauty of good filmmaking.
The movie was filmed on the small island of Modiki, which is actually just off the mainland of the larger island of Fiji. Many movies have been filmed on the mainland and surrounding islands which isn't surprising, considering its breathtaking beauty. Even this wasn't enough to keep Tom Hanks (Chuck) from trying every method he could to leave but don't worry, visitors who choose to tour the island can expect quite the opposite experience.
A Little About Modriki, And How To Get There
Also affectionately known as 'Cast Away Island Beach,' Modriki Island is home to nothing save for plant life and tropical sea creatures... and a few coconuts here and there. The island has no resorts or hotels, no restaurants, and no amenities other than the sand, surf, and tree cover.
The island itself is uninhabited and it's one of the few movie 'sets' that fans can visit that still looks exactly the same as it did in the movie in which it was featured. Those interested can book day trips from one of the other major islands to tour Modriki Island, which includes its most iconic locations, food, and water (or coconut water, if the tour guide can crack a few!).
- How: Tours can be taken from most islands in the Mamanuca island group, and arranged by many of the hotels or resorts.
- Prices: ~$115/person
- Length of Boat Ride: ~45 minutes
- What To Know: The surf can be rough on windy days, so be prepared to get wet during your boat ride to Modriki.
What Visitors Can Do On Modriki Island
Although this island is less than half a mile wide and .6 of a mile long, there's still plenty to explore. It's amazing what can fit in such a small distance, including a jungle, beaches that line the perimeter of the island, and a cliff from which to see dramatic ocean views. This island is also surrounded by coral reefs on all sides (as also seen in the movie) meaning there's plenty to see in and under the water, as well.
Activities To Take Part In On Modriki Island
- A Guided Day Tour. Anyone taking a schooner or a speed boat cruise out to the island from one of its neighboring islands will likely be going with a tour guide. While a self-guided tour could be an option, visiting Modriki with someone who knows the island (and film set) is worth the money. Tour guides take visitors around to each iconic location and since the tour is short, visitors will have free time, in the end, to explore on their own.
- Go Swimming or Snorkeling. The reefs provide a unique glimpse into the underwater world just off the main island of Fiji. The waters around Modriki Island are crystal clear and perfectly blue in person, even more so than what's seen in the movie.
- Explore the (small) jungle. Walking through the woodlands on Modriki Island will give visitors a small taste of what it would be like to be truly isolated. Though wildlife sightings on the island are rare, visitors can keep an eye out for birds, crustaceans, and fish that swim close to the shore.