The Wakaya History
The history of Wakaya dives deep into the past, and is even unfamiliar to many Fijians. Wakaya was inhabited by a village called Korolevu, and they were blessed with the spoils of the island. Unfortunately, they did not live in peace as the land on which they occupied was claimed by villagers on the neighboring island of Ovalau. War was declared on Wakaya as the women were kidnapped and men were wiped out. Avoiding death by the Ovalau villagers, the Wakayan Chief jumped off a cliff in order to keep Wakaya free. In his honor, the cliff was named Chieftain’s Leap, to commemorate his sacrifice for the land and his people.
In 1862, Wakaya was Fiji’s first island which attempted to make sugar, however, it led to financial failure. After over a century, Wakaya island was bought and sold by David Gilmour, who was responsible for the island’s development, employing hundreds of Fijians to create the infrastructure enjoyed on the island today till date. In 2016, Wakaya was faced with one of its greatest challenges; Tropical cyclone Winston. It was one of the strongest cyclones ever recorded in the world, and it passed directly over the Island leaving much of the Island in complete disarray. It was at this point which ACK Wakaya Holdings saw an opportunity to bring back the once thriving nature, community and resort.
In late 2016 Wakaya reclaimed its roots with a solemn vow to honor the original Chief’s wishes to protect the natural beauty of the Island and embrace the heritage of the original islanders, ensuring their freedom and prosperity. Wakaya has seen many Fijian families grow, and it is always an honor to witness this first hand.