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19 Dive Centres in Fiji

Fiji

Combine stunning beaches and swaying palm trees with laid-back vibes and warm hospitality, top it with undersea marvels, and you’ve got one of the most unspoilt places on the planet that is Fiji. Situated in the South Pacific between Australia and Hawaii, Fiji’s is one of the best remote locations for an idyllic tropical hideaway holiday. With a collection of 332 islands, where only a third are inhabited, finding your own slice of paradise is easy.

Whether you’re looking to get away from the crowds, dive head-first into the underwater world, or experience its unique cuisine and cultural heritage, Fiji offers a delightful experience that has to be savoured and enjoyed to the fullest.

Scuba Diving in Fiji

Saying that Fiji has some of the best coral reefs and shark dives in the world would be an understatement.

As one of the most coveted dive destinations, Fiji has one of the largest coral reefs on the planet, with an ecosystem more diverse than that of the Great Barrier Reef. Not only is the visibility picture-perfect, but there are around 1200 species of exotic fish and over 390 species of corals, bestowing upon Fiji the title of “soft coral capital in the world”.

However, scuba diving in Fiji is much more than pretty corals. Every dive site is unique, and you’re bound to see a plethora of colours and marine life, from sharks to whales, turtles and manta rays. The hardest part when planning your scuba diving trip to Fiji will be deciding on which island to stay.

Fortunately, there are many dive operators scattered all over offering PADI and SSI courses for beginners and pros. Dive shops are run mostly by locals with one or two globetrotting diving instructors, and English is the main language of communication.

One thing’s for sure, scuba diving in Fiji is not a dull experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned diver, scuba diving in Fiji is a jaw-dropping spectacle. While there are many great shore dives, you’ll find even better ones only a short boat ride away.

Best Dive Sites in Fiji

The Great Astrolabe Reef, Kadavu Island, stretches for more than 100km and boasts multicolour corals and impressive drop-offs. As one of the least commercialised islands, Kadavu has the largest concentration of manta rays, making it a reliable dive destination to swim with the giants of the sea. With a depth between 15 and 40 metres, scuba diving on the Great Astrolabe Reef will get both beginners and advanced divers excited.

Somosomo Strait, Taveuni Island, lives up the hype of Fiji’s being a dream diving destination, and is responsible for the country’s reputation as the “soft coral capital in the world”. Situated between Vanua Levu and Taveuni, Somosomo Strait’s popular dive sites include Rainbow Reef (9-20 metres), where you can cruise over large reefs and swim through tunnels plastered with corals. Don’t miss the Great White Wall (15-65 metres) for a dramatic drop-off that displays dazzling coloured corals, sponges and crinoids. Keep an eye out for barracudas, reef sharks and manta rays.

Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Pacific Harbour, is classified as one of the best shark dives in the world. You can come eye-to-eye with up to eight species of shark, including bull sharks, whitetip reef sharks, blacktip reef sharks, sicklefin lemon sharks and tawny nurse sharks. Scuba diving at Fiji’s Shark Reef Marine Reserve is set to be one of the greatest scuba diving experiences of epic proportions.

Mamanuca Islands have some serious first-class dive sites for divers of all levels of experience. With over 20 islands, scuba diving in Mamanuca is an adventure-packed diving destination. Novices can enjoy sheltered reefs, coral bommies and easy swim-throughs. For the more seasoned divers looking to cover more ground, there are some great drift dives along the coral reefs, where you’ll likely see pelagics, turtles and shoals of barracudas.

When to Visit Fiji

Fiji has a warm and tropical weather, with temperatures rarely exceeding 31C or dropping below 26C.

The question of when to visit Fiji is always asked, and it mostly depends on your preferences.

Whether-wise, Fiji has two distinct seasons: a dry season (May-Oct) and a wet season (Nov-Apr). Luckily, scuba diving in Fiji is accessible all-year-round. Each season has specific diving conditions that attract different marine life.

For instance, the dry season (Fijian Winter), has less plankton, which improves the already near-perfect visibility. It’s also the best time to spot pelagics, such as manta rays and whales. This is also the peak season for tourism in Fiji.

On the other hand, the wet season (Fijian Summer) has higher temperatures and more plankton, which attracts lots of marine life. During this time of year, you can see corals in full bloom and many tropical fish, such as nudibranchs and ghost pipefish. The wet season comes with short and heavy rain showers and, in extreme cases, risks of tropical storms or cyclones.

Fiji’s natural beauty is impressive throughout the year, but if you decide to travel in the peak season, book your hotel room and airline tickets well in advance.

Getting to Fiji

Contrary to what you’d expect, getting to Fiji is quite easy and straightforward. Fiji is a popular travel hub in the South Pacific that is often included in round the world tickets.

But there are also direct flights from New Zealand, Australia, Los Angeles and other South-eastern Asian countries. People flying from the UK, Europe and North America will have to connect through one of these airports during their stopover or layover flight.

Alternatively, you can get to Fiji by cruise line or, for the ultimate luxury sailing experience, by private yacht.

Getting Around

Good news is, if you’re on a budget, you don’t have to explore all the islands to appreciate the authentic Fijian lifestyle. But in any case, when holidaying in Fiji, getting around is half the fun.

By Air is by far the quickest way of getting around. With over 28 airports, island-hopping is easy and affordable. For hassle-free transportation, there are also seaplane companies operating from Nandi (Viti Levu) that will take you to the most remote islands in unparalleled style. If you want to upmarket your transfer, there are also domestic helicopter transfer services in and around the Fiji Islands.

By sea is one of the most obvious ways of getting around Fiji, with the choice between passenger catamarans, ferries, and private yachts. Additionally, many resorts also have their private boat transport service.

Public transport exists only on the largest islands, like Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Although dated, the buses in Fiji are a reliable and inexpensive way of making your way along the scenic coastline and mountains.

Travelling by car is only possible on the bigger islands, but it’s the best option for getting around at your own pace. Alternatively, you can get a taxi, but agree on the price beforehand or, if available, ask the driver to turn the meter on.

Eat, Sleep & Drink

Fiji’s world-famous hospitality and enticing turquoise waters are hard to resist, and they attract families, honeymooners and backpackers.
Most visitors stay on the biggest island of Viti Levu, near Nadi or Suva. Here, you can explore the countryside, the cities, villages, enjoy the nightlife, and experience the Fijian way of life.

Staying on the main touristic islands (i.e. Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and the Mamanuca Islands) offers a wide range of accommodation options, from dorms to 5-star resorts. There is no shortage of bars, pubs and restaurant to satisfy every palate. Try the unique Indo-Fijian food combo and take part in the kava drinking ceremony.

More remote islands, like the Yasawa Islands, are the epitome of luxury and style. However, this idyllic isolated bliss on a quiet tropical island is a more exclusive and expensive option.

Non-Diving Activities

While it’s easy to see why many visitors spend most of their time in the glowing blue sea, if you look inland, you’ll be rewarded with more delightful adventures that will elevate your holiday experience to a whole new level.

Water enthusiasts can take part in fishing, windsurfing, surfing, kayaking, sailing, and wakeboarding. There are also whale watching tours. Fiji is a key migration route for humpback whales, and you may also spot the occasional minke and sperm whale, as well as dolphins.

Fiji is not all about beaches. The volcanic archipelago has some interesting hiking trails that take you into the lush jungles, past beautiful waterfalls.
For some history, there are temples and churches that embody the fascinating blend of Fijian culture and history. Of particular interest is the Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami temple in Suva, the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere.

Finally, a holiday to Fiji wouldn’t be complete without a spa wellness treatment and massage.

Safety

Scuba diving in Fiji usually entails currents, so if you’re not certified already, consider getting your drift diver certification to make the most out of your diving holiday – and what better place to learn to drift dive than in Fiji!

When planning your diving trip, stay safe and book an organized diving tour with a trusted dive operator who knows the area and can expertly guide you through the currents.

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