Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on February 28, 2008
Remember the controversy surrounding “The Blue Lagoon” when it hit theaters back in 1980? With its themes of teenage sex, masturbation and alcoholism — not to mention a scantily clad underaged Brooke Shields — the film was a new low for Conservative Christians who branded it “immoral”.
But all that controversy aside, wasn’t the location beautiful?
The movie was shot on the island of Nanuya Levu in Fiji, which is owned by retired American entrepreneur Richard Evanson. Three decades later, let’s revisit the scene of the “crime”.
Evanson, the owner and managing director of the island, enjoyed the companionship of the film crew so much that after principal photography wrapped, he decided to turn Nanuya Levu into a socially responsible resort under the name Turtle Island.
With the assistance of 120 local Fujians, Evanson has transformed the once goat-riddled island into one of the world’s leading sustainable tourism destinations. He did this by planting 500,000 trees (including 100,000 mahogany) over a 30-year period to create lush forests and introducing fresh water ponds to encourage bird life. He also planted a hydroponic organic vegetable garden that provides food for guests and staff and preserved mangroves and coconut groves simply for the enjoyment of all.
So serious is the island about maintaining ‘”the clear blue waters of the surrounding oceans” that only 14 couples are allowed on the island at any one time. As you’d expect from a $2,000 per night resort, the über luxurious villas are kitted out with every amenity imaginable. But then again, why share when you can rent the entire 500 acre, 14 beach island for yourself by the week for cool $275,000 (personal managers, nannies, lobster lunches and tax included)?
Along with horseback riding, sailing and scuba diving, the resort also boasts an on-site chapel with six stained glass windows for staff and guests to worship. And perhaps to repent for earlier cinematic sins.
For more information, click here.