Diving Fiji – Image courtesy of waidroka.com
Encircled by a huge reef, the Fiji archipelago of 300 islands offers a fantastic variety of colourful soft corals, more than 1200 species of fish and 12 species of whale and dolphin.
Within its protected waters are shallow lagoons, steep drop-offs, giant coral heads, underwater canyons, soft corals and a diverse variety of marine life.
The waters off Taveuni Island and Kadavu Island, with their strong currents, are especially rich in fish life and offer some of the best diving in Fiji.
Coral type – Excellent hard and soft corals, nudibranchs, anemones, crinoids and Christmas tree worms.
Marine life – Orange basslets, sea snakes, anemone fish, triggerfish, barracuda, manta rays and a variety of sharks including white-tipped reef and leopard sharks.
Reef type – Numerous reef bommies and passages, wall, pinnacles, tunnels, major drop-offs and shallow reefs.
Type of dives – Reefs, drift dives, swim-throughs and night diving.
Water temperature – 29˚C in summer; 22˚C to 25˚C in winter.
Visibility – 25m to 50m; best during the winter months from July to September.
Suit – 3mm full-length wetsuit in summer; 5mm full-length wetsuit in winter.
Water entry – Most Fiji diving is conducted from boat, live-aboard and shore (but mainly for snorkelling).
Dive centres – Several dive centres offer complete dive facilities and equipment rental.
Dive courses – A full range of PADI dive courses is available, from beginner and advanced to Divemaster pro level.
Equipment – Quality dive equipment is available including scuba tanks, wetsuits, weights, belts, masks, flippers and refills.
Top dive attractions of Fiji
Beqa Lagoon (Shark Reef) – Protected from fishing boats within the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, shark encounters are guaranteed. Eight types of shark frequent this reef including bull sharks, tawny nurse sharks, white-tipped sharks, black-tipped sharks, grey reef sharks, sicklefin lemon sharks, silvertips and tiger sharks.
Experienced dive staff from Beqa Adventure Divers chum the dive area to attract large schools of trevally, rainbow runners and red snappers, which splash around on the surface, fighting over the food. Sharks soon appear to feast and are then hand-fed underwater by staff divers. Awesome but scary! (Note a comprehensive pre-dive briefing is necessary).
Taveuni Island (The Great White Wall) – One of Fiji’s signature dive sites. Often begins at 15m in depth in a tubular cave, adorned with hard and soft corals as well as colourful sponges and crinoids, complete with resident lionfish and morays.
Reaching the end of the swim-through you emerge onto an almost vertical wall blanketed with white coral. Between the white coral are splashes of orange, green and red but the overall effect is that of a great white wall. Square-spot anthias swim frantically against the white backdrop. As the depth increases the wall takes on a more iridescent lavender hue.
Kadavu Island (Astrolabe Reef) – Just a 45-minute flight from Fiji’s capital Nadi, this reef has the best hard corals in Fiji, colourful soft coral and an excellent variety of marine life. The reef, around 100km long and the fourth-largest barrier reef in the world, boasts a variety of stunning hard coral on the outer reef slopes and steep soft coral drop-offs. Several passages, caves, deep drop-offs, submerged pinnacles and manta ray cleaning stations make Astrolabe Reef a great spot for several days diving.
Other activities Fiji is a paradise for all types of water sports, from sailing, kayaking, surfing, swimming and snorkelling to parasailing and water skiing. Explore the jungle aboard a river raft or hike along bush trails into the tropical rainforest of Bouma National Park or along the Lavena Coastal Walk past secluded coves and white beaches.
Visit a 200-year-old village or Tavuni Hill Fort, a fortification dating back to the Fiji Wars of the 1800s. Enjoy a kava ceremony and live entertainment after dinner at your resort or just relax poolside with a cocktail and a fresh sea breeze.
Read more about Fiji . . .
Best time to dive Fiji
Year round, but best during the Fijian ‘winter’, from May to October. Sunny all year round with an average temperature of 26˚C. Wet season runs from November to April.