Rumours have been swirling around Kawakawa Fox-Reo’s departure from Home and Away for months after the star was spotted travelling around Los Angeles in October. The actor also showed off his newly bleached blonde hair, another indication that his contract with the soap had lapsed.
On Thursday, Kawakawa’s character Nikau Parata left the show in an emotionally charged episode. His ex-girlfriend Bella Nixon, played by Courtney Miller, made a surprise return to Summer Bay, visiting Dean Thompson (Patrick O’Connor), Ziggy Astoni (Sophie Dillman) and their newborn baby.
The couple had an awkward run-in at Salt, where Bella pushed Nikau for answers as to why he dumped her so abruptly last year. Viewers know that Nikau was forced to keep Bella away for her own safety, after a bikie gang sought revenge on the Parata family.
While Bella was glad to finally have clarity around what was one of the most heartbreaking moments in her life, she couldn’t understand why Nikau didn’t come clean once the bikie saga was over.
It seemed as if the couple were never going to make their way back to each other, with both Bella and Nikau unsure of where they stood. After John Palmer (Shane Withington) meddled in their love life and told Bella that Nikau assumed she didn’t want to be with him anymore, she ran to the Parata house to admit she still had feelings for him.
The pair ended up rekindling their relationship, but Bella needed to fly back to New York the next morning. After Tane Parata (Ethan Browne) gave his nephew some bad advice, the couple were heading for yet another emotional split.
When Tane had a change of heart and gave Nikau his blessing to leave Summer Bay to be with Bella in New York, fans admitted they were in tears through his ‘sudden’ departure.
“I had tears. The scene was sadder than funerals on the show. Tane and Nikau played fantastic strong, bonded family,” one person wrote.
“I was so happy for both of them…fairytale ending. I shed a tear,” another added.
“So sad to see Nikau leave…I had tears in my eyes as he was my [favourite] actor,” a third chimed in.
“I cried. Absolutely beautiful. Sad for Tane but they deserve to be together,” another admitted.
Others were devastated that both Courtney Miller and Kawakawa Fox-Reo have now left the soap.
“Oh god I was literally sobbing. Why is everyone leaving the bay? No one is gonna be left,” a fan commented.
“All the good ones are leaving the show, you will be missed,” another agreed.
“He will leave a big hole in the show!” a third remarked.
Courtney’s sweet tribute to Kawakawa
Courtney’s short stint as Bella has been hotly anticipated, with many believing that she would be coming back to take Kawakawa away with her to New York. After the episodes aired, the star posted a sweet tribute to her onscreen boyfriend.
Sharing a snap of the pair during their final scene, the couple looked all smiles as they celebrated their time together on the show.
“Bye to our beautiful Nikau @kawa_f_r. These past three and a bit years were a fun ride. It was so effortless for Bella to Love you. You’ll be missed! NY BABY!” she wrote in the caption.
Fans were sad to see Bella and Nikau’s storyline wrapped up, but many commented about how nice it was for the young couple to find their way back to each other.
“Really happy they got the endgame they deserved,” one person gushed.
“I’m sad that Nik has left, but very happy that he and Bella got their happy ending. They were truly meant to be together,” another added.
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