Best Places for Diving in Fiji

Best Places for Diving in Fiji

Drift over Fiji’s colorful soft corals alongside many species of sharks!

  • Embark on a liveaboard to Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve and the Koro Sea,you’ll see plenty of sharks, an incredible topography and countless healthy soft corals
  • Dive on the Rainbow Reef, resilient to higher sea temperatures, and the Great White Wall in Somosomo Strait
  • Explore the reefs of the Shark Marine Reserve in Beqa Lagoon
  • Dive on the South Fiji Great Astrolabe Reef, the fourth largest barrier reef on earth

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!

Scuba Diving in Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve, Wakaya, and Gau in the Koro Sea

diving fiji's soft corals

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 (7 nights starting from USD$3975)

The Best Dive Sites of Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve, and the Koro Sea

  • E-6: in Bligh Waters, E-6 is at a seamount rising from 900 meters (3000 feet) 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.

diving with humpback in fiji
  • 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!

Practical Information on Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve, and the Koro Sea

  • Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve, and Koro Sea diving season: warm season from November to April. Colder season between May and December with spectacular visibility and bigger encounters - humpback whales are seen in September and October for calving and breeding.

  • Water temperature in Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve, and the Koro Sea: 24° to 30°C (75° to 86°F)

  • How to get to Bligh Water, Namena Marine Reserve and the Koro Sea:

    • 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 (7 nights starting from USD$3975)

Scuba Diving on the Rainbow Reef in Somosomo Strait

diving on Rainbow Reef in Fiji

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 Best Dive Sites of Somosomo Strait

  • 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.

Practical Information on the Somosomo Strait

  • Somosomo Strait diving season: April to October brings best visibility. From July to September, you may see humpback whales. Manta ray season is between November to May.

  • Water temperature in Somosomo Strait: 24 to 30°C (75 to 86°F)

  • How to get to Taveuni Island, the gateway to Somosomo Strait:

    • 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

Scuba Diving in the Shark Marine Reserve of Beqa Lagoon

diving with sharks in fiji beqa lagoon

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”.

The Best Dive Sites of Beqa Lagoon

  • Shark Reef Marine Reserve: it is possible to dive in the reserve outside of the “shark diving” tours. You’ll get to see Fiji’s beautiful soft corals covering pinnacles, and some swim-throughs and even some wrecks… and the sharks will probably be around too.

Practical Information on Beqa Lagoon

  • Beqa Lagoon diving season: all year round with best visibility between July and September.

  • Water temperature in Beqa Lagoon: 24 to 28°C (70 to 79°F)

  • How to get to Beqa Island:

    • 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 fry to the domestic Nausori airport (SUV) and the drive to Pacific Harbour will be about an hour
    • Go dive with a local dive shop or dive resort

Scuba Diving on the Great Astrolabe Reef, Kadavu Island

scuba diving in fiji astrolabe reef

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.

The Best Dives Sites of the Great Astrolabe Reef

  • Broken Stone: at the eastern end of the Great Astrolabe Reef, the sites of Broken Stone offer a fantastic topography: swim throughs, tunnels, arches, caves, and canyons, you’ll have a lot of fun to explore the area. It’s also where you’ll get the most chances to see mantas.

Practical Information on the Great Astrolabe Reef

  • Great Astrolabe Reef diving season: November to April have calmer sea conditions

  • Water temperature in Great Astrolabe Reef: 20 to 22°C (68 to 71°F)in summer and as low as 12 to 13°C in winter (53 to 55°F)

  • How to get to Kadavu Island:

    • Take a flight from Nadi international airport (NAN) to Vunisea Airport (KDV) in Fiji
    • Go dive with a local dive shop or dive resort

Diving Safety Recommendations

We always recommend to have your own dive gear, well maintained, you’ll be safer and more comfortable. Light and compact dive gear is particularly suited for travels. For safety reasons, 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. They can be really strong in many sites of Fiji. Finally, remember to always use a reef-safe sunscreen

Top 3 Experiences Besides Diving in Fiji

Walk on Lavena Coast, Taveuni Island

taveuni coastal walk

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 snorkelling. Go on through the path and you’ll reach a black-sand beach, some villages and a waterfall.

Kite-Surf and Wind-Surf in Pacific Harbour, South Viti Levu

kite surfing

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.

Snorkel with Manta Rays

free diving with manta ray

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.

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