Destination Fact File
The place where magical Islands, beautiful people, endless beaches, azure waters and happy faces await you.
Diving in Fiji is absolutely amazing and an experience not to be missed. The Fijian Islands have some of the most untouched, diverse and gorgeous reef ecosystems on earth. Whether you are a certified diver, want to learn to dive or have a non-diver partner, Fiji offers something for everyone. Known for its palm-fringed beaches, cascading waterfalls, lush rainforests and of course a spectacular underwater world teeming with vibrant fish and colourful corals, Fiji will give you and your family an adventure of a lifetime.
Fiji belongs to the Oceania group in the South Pacific lying about two thirds from Hawaii to New Zealand. The archipelago consists of 332 islands, 110 of which are inhabited. The two main islands are Viti Levu hosting the capital city of Suva and Vanua Levu home to the greatest Somosomo Strait. Islands like the Lau group, Kadavu, Taveuni, Nairai,Beqa, Namena, Qamea and many others surrounding the Koro Sea make up the Fiji Islands.
Dive sites in Fiji are exciting and varied with sheer reef walls and pinnacles rising from 900 metres to the surface shallow sunlit coral gardens and current-flushed channels. Each location has a unique mix of topography, weather patterns and special attractions. You will have the best time if you select the type of diving that suits your experience level and personal interests.
Being the world's second largest coral reef, Fiji waters are covered with bright coloured soft corals and gorgonian fans, intriguing caves and swim-throughs as well as spectacular drop-offs that will keep your underwater exploring experience busy for a few weeks. Rated one of the top 10 dive destinations in the world and also known as the “Soft Coral Capital of the World”, Fiji’s underwater topography and coral formations attract a wide variety of marine life. Expect to see large schools of small tropical fish, blue and gold fusiliers and anthias swelling the reef around divers, big aggregations of barracuda swimming over the reef, sharks gliding in close, blue-ribbon eels peeking out of the reef as well as five of the world’s seven species of marine turtles. The local warm waters are also an important migratory route for twelve species of whales including humpback whale, sei whale, blue whale, sperm whale and pilot whales.
Fiji’s Top Dive Sites:
Pacific Harbour & Kadavu
Namena is the mecca of a Fiji diving experience. Namena Marine Reserve is a protected area around Namena Island and the surrounding horseshoe-shaped barrier reef locally managed by the ten village chiefs. Although part of a sea area where customary native fishing rights still exist, you are guaranteed to be diving in unspoiled crystal-clear waters and experience close encounters with schools of barracuda, sharks, trevalis and thousands of fish and invertebrate species. The park is home to more than 1,000 species of invertebrates, 400 known corals, 445 documented marine plants and over 1,100 fish species. Not only that, the area is also a migratory pathway for pelagic which means you might have the opportunity to see some really special creatures passing through such as the bottlenose and spinner dolphins or pilot, minke, sperm, and humpback whales.
A day trip to the Somosomo Straight to explore the amazing Rainbow Reef is a must when diving the Northern Fiji region. Most dive operators will include a trip to one or two of the many diverse and extraordinary dive sites along the thirty kilometres long reef boasting multi-coloured soft corals as well as stunning hard corals. The reef is home to majestic manta rays, schools of barracuda, white tip and leopard sharks and close encounters with migrating pilot whales.
Dream House in Savusavu is world famous in Fiji for pelagic encounters. Dream House is the dive site you want if you want to encounter scalloped hammerheads, grey reef and white tip sharks, barracuda, bat fish, surgeon fish, unicorn fish, tuna, scorpion leaf fish, anemone fish and popcorn shrimp on adhesive anemones and maybe even silky sharks.
Fiji Blight Waters
If you are a lover of sharks you cannot go to Fiji and not dive ”The Arena”on the fringes of Beqa Lagoon . In 1999 Brandon Paige, also known as the “Shark Whisperer” created a dive with the intent to educate divers and aid in the conservation of sharks. Today this dive has become the world’s number one shark dive. Just imagine yourself swimming through schools of groupers, jacks and snappers and all the sudden you are approaching a mix of up to eight different species of sharks including sicklefin lemons, tawny nurses, silvertips, grey reefs, white tip and black tip reefs sharks as well as the amazing and intriguing bull and tiger sharks. The reality will be you taking part on the ultimate shark encounter and making a dream come true.
The Great Astrolabe Reef surrounding the north and north eastern half of Kadavu Island is rated one of the world’s premier diving locations. The reef is about 100km long, making it the fourth largest barrier reef in the world. Here you will get to dive some of the world famous dive sites including Naiqoro Passage, Vessi Passage with Waisomo Reserve. The reef boasts a variety of stunning hard coral, colourful outer reef slopes and some steep coral drop offs.
Mellow Yellow is named after the large population of yellow soft corals trees decorating the current facing side, a favourite to all visiting divers. When the current isn’t running the soft coral can be rather limp, but add a little current and this dive is one you do not want to miss out on. Here you will get to see schools of scalefin and colourful anthias that are so thick you will not be able to see through them. But don’t get hung up on looking just at the schooling fish, check the cracks and crevasses for small shrimp, nudibranchs, scorpion fish and other macro life.
Nigali Passage is a narrow cut in the surrounding barrier reef which concentrates pelagics from miles around. Nigali is home to female gray reef sharks numbering from eight to twenty five depending on the season. The channel is also home to huge schools of trevally, three age-segregated schools of barracuda, big flowery cod and a massive concentration of snapper. While you drift past the marine life hanging in the current you may be very lucky and see eagle rays, manta rays and hammerheads!
While in Fiji you will hear the word “Bula” all the time. “Bula” can mean many things depending on the occasion; it can be used as hello or welcome, cheers or good health. You can be guaranteed that “Bula” will be received or delivered with the biggest and warmest smile you will ever see. Fijians like to be happy and go the extra mile to make you happy too which means you will always be entertained no matter what part of Fiji you are staying in. In the evenings most resorts invite local community groups and its chiefs to perform traditional dances and songs. On some nights you will experience Fiji’s traditional ceremony drink called “Kava”. The drink is made from the pounded roots of a local pepper plant mixed with water and drank in a communal coconut shell in a ceremony where everybody is sat on the floor around the “tanoa bowl”. The Fire Walking ceremony, an ancient Fijian ritual is also performed for visitors. During the performance the fire walkers walk in a single line across a pit of red-hot stones a few meters in length and amazingly their feet are unscathed after two weeks of preparation.
Your Ultimate Diving travel adviser will help you choose the best board basis options available in the resort of your choice but just to give you an idea of costs in resorts and hotels in Fiji, the average cost for breakfast is $12.00 (£4), lunch is $18.00 (£7), dinner is $30.00 (£12), bottle of wine is $28.00 (£10) and a beer is around $8.00 (£3). Internet is also available but at an extra cost, depending on the resort you are staying you will be charged $5.00 (£2) for 30 minutes of internet. Please note that prices stated are only an estimate and can change from time to time. The above values are stated in Fijian dollars.