Upcoming film Fantasy Island puts a terrifying twist on the hit ‘70s TV series, yet the crystal-clear seas and palm-fringed coastline are sure to inspire holiday plans. If you find yourself wondering ‘is Fantasy Island a real place?’ when you’re not jumping out of your seat, we’ve tracked down some of the stunning locations used in the film (release date 14 February).
Where was Fantasy Island filmed?
For the horror reboot of the classic adventure show, the filmmakers sought a hidden paradise for the characters to live out their wildest dreams – with nightmarish results. The island shown in the original series was Kaua’i, Hawaii, but for the new movie, location scouts found the perfect backdrop in Fiji.
The nation consists of more than 300 islands, only a third of which are permanently inhabited. Filming for Fantasy Island took place on Taveuni, off the coast of Fiji’s second-largest island, Vanua Levu. Taveuni is known as the ‘garden island’ of Fiji, due its rugged, verdant landscape, thick with vegetation and tropical flowers.
Can you visit Fantasy Island?
The cast of Fantasy Island – which includes Michael Peña as the mysterious host Mr. Roarke with Lucy Hale, Maggie Q and Jimmy O. Yang as the guests whose fantasies are turned into horrific reality at the luxury resort – spent two months in Taveuni shooting the film, making use of the white-sand beaches, beautiful greenery and dramatic caves.
The most convenient way to travel to Taveuni is by plane, flying from Nadi International or Suva, the nation’s capital on Viti Levu, with flight time to Matei airport between 60-90 mins. You can also take a ferry from Vanua Levu, though travel is dependent on weather conditions and can be unreliable. On the island, there are a number of accommodation options, ranging from backpacker-friendly B&Bs to super-luxe resorts.
What is there to do in Taveuni?
In Fantasy Island, which was produced by the team behind horror hits Get Out and Halloween, the characters are chased by gruesome monsters through the dense, dark forest, shrouded in mist. But in real life, visitors will be enchanted by the lush tropical surroundings, from the indigenous flora and fauna to the exotic wildlife. It’s an ideal spot for birdwatching, and the island boasts over 100 species, such as the rare orange dove and the silktail.
For thrillseekers, Taveuni offers many spectacular diving experiences, especially the Rainbow Reef, world-famous for its stunning soft corals. There are also plenty of waterfalls to discover and explore. During filming, the cast shared behind-the-scenes photos from trips to Tavoro Falls, a series of three waterfalls in Taveuni’s Bouma National Heritage Park.
After taking a dip in the natural pool, you can trek further into the park and enjoy breathtaking views over Taveuni and across the archipelago. Follow the 5km Lavena Coastal Walk to discover a suspension bridge that will take you to some picturesque waterfalls, or for a more intense hike, make the climb up to Des Voeux, the second-highest peak on the island at 1195m. It’s a steep journey, but you’ll be rewarded with an unbeatable vista.
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