Drift over Fiji's colorful soft corals alongside many species of sharks!
Fiji is in the bucket list of many scuba divers, not only for the world-class hospitality of its inhabitants, but also for its abundance of colorful soft coral. The marine life is plenty, macro, tropical fish and pelagic, you got it all. Even though some sites are accessible to beginner divers, it's best to have some experience for most dive sites, as currents can be really strong, offering superb drift dives!
Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve, Wakaya and Gau in Koro Sea are only accessible by liveaboard. The sites hosts many reefs offering diverse dive conditions, topography and marine life. The sites are best suited for experienced divers, with occasional medium to strong currents.
Expect to be blown away by the countless soft and hard corals and the diversity of marine life - hammerheads, bull sharks, white tips, grey reef sharks, and also schools of yellow fin tuna, barracuda and trevally jacks. Turtles, eagle rays, manta rays, black marlin, massive dig tooth tuna, and even pilot whales and humpback whales! There is still a lot to explore, especially in Namena Marine reserve, that has been the first area to be protected in Fiji in 1977.
Due to its remote location, you can only access Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve and the Koro Sea with a liveaboard
E-6: in Bligh Waters, E-6 is at a seamount rising 900 meters (2953 ft) in Vatu-i-ra channel, between the islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The channel sees many pelagic cruising by the sides of the pinacle - expect to see seme trevally, barracudas, some hammerheads sometimes, eagle rays... and lots of small fish too and colorful soft corals.
North Save-a-tack Passage: in Namena Marine Reserve, you will drift along bommies and large schools of fish. You will start at depth where you may see some sharks - grey reef and scalloped hammerheads, before ascending slowly along the colorful bommies covered with soft corals, gorgonia fans, black coral, and every reef fish you can think of.
Wakaya: in the Koro Sea, the barrier reef is along a 900 meters (3000 feet) deep channel, making it a favorite of humpback, sperm and pilot whales in season. You'll get to see some manta rays at various cleaning stations, and some sharks.
Jim's Alley & Anthias Avenue: in the Koro Sea off Gau, these soft coral gardens host amazingly beautiful soft coral and tons of fish. Add to this some mantas and beautiful macro life, it is another perfect dive!
You can dive year round in Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve, and the Koro Sea:
between May and December, colder season offers spectacular visibility and bigger encounters - humpback whales are seen in September and October for calving and breeding.
November to April, is the warmer season, with a little less visibility and "big stuff"
Water temperature in Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve, and the Koro Sea ranges 24° to 26°C (75° to 79°F) in winter, and 27° to 28°C (81° to 82°F) in summer.
Fiji will delight both beginners and advanced divers. There are protected coral gardens as well as drop offs with currents.
Take a flight to Nadi international airport (NAN)
There are direct flights from Asia - Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and the USA - Honolulu, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Australia - Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, and New Zealand - Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington
The staff of your liveaboard will pick you up at the airport and drive you to the harbour where you'll embark on the liveaboard to Bligh Water, Namena and the Koro Sea
Somosomo Strait, between the islands of Taveuni and Vanua Levu, hosts two of the most famous dive areas of Fiji: the Rainbow Reef and the Great White Wall.
The Rainbow Reef hosts a multitude of colorful soft corals, thriving thanks to the nutrients brought through the channel. Of the 1200 species of fish recorded in Fiji, many of them are in Somosomo Strait. What's spectacular about the Rainbow Reef is that it is one of the only places in the world where the reef has proven to be resilient to higher sea temperatures. You'll get to see all the colors of the rainbow, many schools of fish and pelagic fish, some grey reef sharks, and in season some manta rays.
The dive sites of the Rainbow Reef and the Great White Wall are recommended for experienced divers only as there are often strong currents in the Strait. Dives are also planned around tidal changes.
The Rainbow Reef: the reef hosts a deep vertical drop off with strong currents. Expect to see all the colors of the rainbow, on the corals and the fish. You'll also see some pelagic life cruising by.
The Great White Wall: this world famous dive site consists in a vertical wall going at a depth of more than 100 meters (300 feet). Another drift dive that starts at around 15 meters depth (49 feet) with lots of colors. As you descend, you'll start to see the beautiful white Dendronepthya soft corals that go all the way down to the bottom of the wall. Again you'll see lots of tropical fish and some bigger pelagic.
April to October brings best visibility, and from July to September, you may see humpback whales.
Manta ray season is between November to May.
Water temperature in Somosomo Strait varies 24° to 30°C (75° to 86°F)
It is recommended to have an Advanced Open Water certification (or equivalent) as you can deep dive on many sites.
You need to go to Taveuni Island Matei airport (TVU)
You can fly there from the main island of Viti Levu either from Nadi international airport (NAN) or Nausori Airport (SUV)
Go with a local dive shop or dive resort on the island
The Shark Reef Marine Reserve was established in Fiji in 2004. You can see up to eight species of sharks: some bull and tiger sharks, some white tip and black tip sharks, some grey reef sharks, tawny nurse sharks, sicklefin lemon sharks, and some silvertip sharks.
The reserve also has a beautiful reef and it's possible to dive there without shark feeding practices - which is the rule when dive shops advertise "shark diving".
Fly to Nadi international airport (NAN) and drive on the coast for two and a half hour to Pacific Harbour where you'll take a 45 minute boat ride to Beqa island
You can also fly to the domestic Nausori airport (SUV) and then drive for one hour to Pacific Harbour
Go dive with a local dive shop or dive resort
The Great Astrolabe reef, located South of Kadavu Island, is 100 km long (62 miles). It makes it the fourth largest barrier reef in the world. Its name comes from the collision of the French explorer Dumont d’Urville vessel, The Astrolabe, with the reef in 1827.
The reef hosts dive sites accessible to beginner and experienced divers, however the sea conditions can be really rough certain time of the year so it's better to have some experience and go at the right time.
The topography is diverse with drop-offs, slopes, pinnacles and rocks, and the conditions vary, with some occasional strong currents. You'll get to see many soft and hard corals, lots of fish again, and Fiji's largest concentration of manta rays with various cleaning stations.
Take a flight from Nadi international airport (NAN) to Vunisea Airport (KDV) in Fiji
Go dive with a local dive shop or dive resort
Currents can be strong in some sites so always bring with you a surface marker buoy, and know how to use it. We also recommend you to have a Nautilus Lifeline, a GPS that could save your life if taken by currents.
We always recommend to have your own dive gear, well maintained, you'll be safer and more comfortable. Temperature can greatly vary in Fiji, so be prepared! Light and compact dive gear is particularly suited for travels.
Finally, remember to always use a reef-safe sunscreen.
If you have a day off diving in Taveuni, go to the East of the island and follow the path through five kilometers through the forest. You'll get to see the beautiful white-sand Lavena beach, where you can stop for a swim and snorkeling. Go on through the path and you'll reach a black-sand beach, some villages and a waterfall.
The lagoon in front of Pacific Harbor is a good spot to kite-surf. The high season runs from May to December, with winds of 8 to 10 knots, 16 to 19 days a month.
This will be more for non-divers as divers can see mantas in many of Fiji's dive sites. Manta Ray Island has a marine park in which mantas can be seen on almost a daily basis between May to October.