Why Plan a Diving Trip to Fiji?
Stunning coral reefs, warm clear waters and an abundance of tropical fish – it’s not hard to understand why Fiji consistently tops the list of top places to dive in the world. Fiji has over 330 islands to choose from, giving scuba divers plenty of options.
It’s relatively straight-forward to plan a dive trip to Fiji. The waters surrounding Fiji rarely drop below 25 degrees Celsius (77 F), meaning diving is available year-round. However, the best time to plan a dive trip to Fiji is during the dry season, between May to October, when visibility is best and the risk of cyclones is low.
Expect to see anything from tiny, colorful nudibranchs up to magnificent creatures such as manta rays, bull sharks, and hammerheads. There are a few wreck dives including a WW2 B26 Bomber as well as a couple of purpose-sunk ships, but the variety of marine life and colorful soft coral are the real stars of the show.
Where to Go Diving in Fiji
Divers are spoilt for choice when deciding where to go diving in Fiji. There’s plenty to keep beginners occupied as they learn the ropes as well as lots of action for more advanced and experienced scuba fanatics.
The most famous shark dive in Fiji occurs in Pacific Harbour, where you can be surrounded by dozens of bull sharks at a time in an exhilarating underwater adventure. The area is a marine reserve so you will need to pay a levy on top of your dive fees. This levy goes to the local village in exchange for them not fishing in the area.
There are also other shark dives and shark snorkel trips around the islands, usually organized through resorts. These dives tend to be with smaller species such as the white tip reef shark, which are usually only around a meter long.
The scalloped hammerhead shark is known to frequent the waters around the Somosomo Strait – the stretch of water between the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni.
An entire B26 Bomber from WW2 is scattered across the sea floor off Beachcomber Island. It’s a fascinating dive as you can see entire sections of the plane, including wings, propellers, engines, and even ammunition.
Fiji’s newest wreck dive is the MV Raiyawa, which is situated off the idyllic Tivua Island in the Mamanucas. A former Government ship, the Raiyawa was used to service marker-buoys in Fiji’s shipping channels. She was sunk at the beginning of 2016.
Soft coral diving
Fiji isn’t called the Soft Coral Capital of the World for nothing. Despite being battered by cyclones and hurricanes from time to time, including the devastating deadly Cyclone Winston, the soft coral still thrives in the islands. Dive sites off Savusavu and Taveuni are most famous for their brightly colored coral reefs.
Each year between May to October, the magnificent manta rays can be seen in the Yasawas. These giant filter feeders come to the nutrient rich channel in the Yasawas, where there is plenty of plankton available to feed on. You can dive or snorkel with these incredible, majestic marine creatures.
What to Look For in a Dive Resort
When planning a dive a trip to Fiji, it is important to choose a reputable dive center that shares similar values to your own. If marine conservation is a key factor, then you will need to look at whether you support fish feeding or shark feeding dives, which do occur at many sites throughout Fiji.
There are both PADI and SSI dive centers, so you may have a preference for one association, especially if you want to continue your dive education during your trip to Fiji.
Many dive centers are also involved in the local community or work with conservation research programs, which can be another deciding factor in choosing where to go.
You will also need to consider where exactly you want to go diving. The best diving in Fiji is around the islands of Taveuni, Kadavu, and Vanua Levu, which require another flight or boat journey from the mainland of Viti Levu.
4 of the Best Dive Resorts in Fiji
Wananavu Beach Resort
The Wananavu Beach Resort is located at the northern tip of Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu. It has dozens of dive sites just a short boat ride away in the famous Bligh Water passage. The PADI 5-Star dive center runs trips for all levels of divers with a variety of options from swim throughs and steep walls to out in the ocean with huge schools of pelagic fish.
Namale Resort aims to provide a holistic, luxury scuba diving experience. It is an adults-only boutique resort in Vanua Levu, diving famous sites such as the Namena Marine Reserve, Rainbow Reef, and Somosomo Strait. The resort offers dives for all abilities as well as the goal of providing not only luxury accommodation but also luxury diving experiences.
Taveuni Dive Resort
Taveuni Dive Resort is specifically designed for divers, by divers. The eco-resort is located on Fiji’s third largest island of Taveuni – an island said to be the base for some of the best diving in the world with colorful soft coral and a large variety of fish species in the surrounding waters, including the famous Rainbow Reef. The reef thrives thanks to the current that passes through, bringing nutrients to the area.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort not only has some of the best diving in Fiji as its backyard but also carries one of the most reputable names in the industry. Set up by Jean-Michel Cousteau, the son of the great oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, this luxury resort off Savusavu has a strong educational and conservation ethos and caters from beginners to advanced divers with PADI qualifications available.
About Our Guest Blogger
Juliette is a New Zealand born travel writer and travel blogger at Snorkels to Snow, who has a passion for scuba diving and skiing travel. She spent eight months living in the Fiji Islands, making the most of the tropical waters in her backyard.