In Fiji, terrific diving is available year-round and is often less expensive than other South Pacific destinations. Many resorts have an attached dive center, making it easier for you to get to your dive. And most typically offer two-tank dive trips.
You’ll see colorful soft and hard corals that resemble flower gardens, canyon-like terrain, caves, grottoes, diverse marine life (bull sharks, tuna, turtles, multi-hued fish), majestic reefs, technicolor critters, and basically every color of the rainbow. After taking your first dive in Fiji, it’s easy to see why famous oceanographic explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau named Fiji the “Soft Coral Capital of the World.”
One of the most popular areas to go scuba diving on the main island is in Beqa Lagoon to the south. Resorts like Latali Resort & Spa on Beqa Island offer excellent diving options in this area. The Bistro (also known as the famous Shark Dive!!!) is the most requested dive site at the resort. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dive off southern Viti Levu near Pacific Harbour to see the sharks.
How many places in the world take you to see up to eight species of sharks? After plunging in, divers can look for the White tip, Black tip, Silver tip, Grey reef, Nurse, Lemon, Bull, and Tiger shark. This dive also showcases large Remora, Giant moray eels, huge Grouper, Giant Trevally, Snappers, and many more. It makes sense why advanced divers around the world have this particular dive on their bucket list.
If you are not an advanced diver, Lalati Resort & Spa still has other wonderful options for seeing some fabulous underwater scenery. Carpet Cove Reef & Wreck is available for beginners and intermediate divers. A favorite of the staff at Lalati, the trips first dive is a wreck where a 45-meter-long fishing trawler rests on the sea floor. The wreck is covered beautifully with colorful corals. Divers will see Nudibranch species as well as shrimp and Scorpion fish at the wreck. The second tank is to dive around the reef with coral bommies covered with fish. See Lion fish, Eels, big schools of Fusiliers, Octopus, Blue-Spotted Stingrays, Turtles, White tip shark, and more all call the reef home.
- Lomaiviti Island Group and Bligh Water Diving
Central Fiji covers the area between the country’s two main land masses – it extends from Bligh Water in the west to Namena and the Lomaiviti Group in the east. Many of the dives in the region are more challenging to access. One of the best dives in the area is the E6. The seamount in Vatu-i-Ra Channel is a great spot to see fish. You could see schools of barracuda, hammerheads, eagle rays, soft coral, and beautiful fans. There’s even a huge swim-through in the seamount called the Cathedral, which creates beams of sunlight through the cracks in the ceiling.
Off of Gau Island you’ll find Nigali Passage (Shark Alley). Here you can do a drift dive into this narrow channel and see grey sharks as well as barracuda and snapper gliding effortlessly by. Namena is another great spot off the southeastern coast of Vanua Levu, with beautiful sites coated with soft coral and sea fans. And off Wakaya Island, check out Blue Ridge for a bunch of blue ribbon eels.
Photo Courtesy of Diversion Dive Travel
- Taveuni Diving
Taveuni is nicknamed the garden island and appropriately you’ll find lush tropical rainforests, plants, flowers, and waterfalls when you visit. The Somosomo Strait or “Rainbow reef” area between Taveuni and Vanua Levu is high on diver’s list because of the strong tidal currents that push the diver through the water. The snorkeling is also very good here as well.
While this area is known for the gorgeous colorful soft coral, you will also find manta rays and many other sea creatures. At the entrance of Somosomo Strait, the Great White Wall is very popular with white (light lavender) soft coral, that looks like a snow-covered mountain under water!
In the middle of Somosomo Strait, you’ll find Annie’s Bommies with big boulders with soft coral. This one is not a wall dive so you can spend as much time as you want exploring the colorful coral.
Photo courtesy of Qamea Resort and Spa
- Kadavu Diving
If you are up for visiting a gem of a reef, with vibrant hard and soft coral formations and breathtaking walls, then diving in Kadavu is for you. This island is Fiji’s fourth largest island and one of the few remaining less-developed islands in Fiji today. Kadavu’s main draw is the Great Astrolabe Reef which, like the island, was created by past volcanic activity and tectonic movements.
The Great Astrolabe Reef is the world’s fourth largest barrier reef. It is also Fiji’s largest living organism as it runs along the southern side of Kadavu and stretches for more than 74 miles. It is easy to understand why it’s one of the most highly rated diving locations in the world, offering diversity, colorful coral structures, and marine life.
The remoteness and unspoiled areas around Kadavu makes it even easier to witness massive amounts of marine life and many unique species. Here you will see a seascape of passages, swim-throughs, and crevices with a stunning variety of reef species. You can see manta rays swimming through hard corals and healthy, colorful reefs. This area is probably one of the best for those that want to get away from it all and also want excellent diving.
Sources: Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Tourism Fiji, Uw360.asia