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Where is the best diving in Fiji?
A question often asked is where the best diving in Fiji is located. Tough question! You can fall into the water almost anywhere and have a good dive, and every area has some sites that show signs of damage by weather, climate, runoff, human activity or other factors. One note about the currents in Fiji – they are at their strongest around a full or new moon. However, the currents bring in plentiful nutrients that account in great part for the prolific marine life and vast number of species for which Fiji is known. Some dives require current to be present in order for the soft coral polyps to be out feeding, and for the bigger pelagics to be actively hunting. The dive operators try to dive particular sites during optimal currents so that divers can experience each dive site to its fullest, but there can be a fine line between underdeveloped, optimal and overdeveloped currents. Dives that are incredible when the current is just right can be either downright scary or boring when that window is missed. Here is some general information that might help you decide which area is best for you.
Let's divide the most popular dive areas into 5 regions. These are the Mamanuca and Yasawa groups, the North Eastern Group (centered around Taveuni and the Somosomo Strait, but extending from the eastern and southern coasts of Vanua Levu to the northern and eastern coasts of Viti Levu, the North western corner of Viti Levu and the entire water between), Beqa Lagoon, and Kadavu (including Ono and the Astrolabe Reef). Of these, the Northern Group is by far the largest and most diverse, and includes many dives that are world renown. For discussion purposes, the Lomaiviti Group (to the east of Viti Levu) has been included in the Northern Group, but it is also sometimes referred to as the Central Group. The others are self-explanatory. It should be noted that there are some excellent dives that fall outside these four areas, like the Lau Group, the Great Sea Reef and Vatulele, but these are less accessible due to limited or non-existent dive operations providing access.
The north western region:
Off the coast of RakiRaki in the north west corner of Viti Levu, the resorts VoliVoli and Wananavu offer world class diving sites in Bligh Water and beyond. The drive from Nadi to this area of RakiRaki is spectacular too so you will see beautiful scenery and then when diving brilliant corals and swim thrus .Be aware that Wananavu Resort uses Nitrox in their tanks so check you have the qualification to use this gas. A truly wonderful diving experience.
The Coral Coast is very diverse as it caters for all levels of diving. It also has the advantage of close dive sites and is home to some of the most popular and major resorts on Viti Levu. There is a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort located centrally that can handle all of your diving needs, including introductory diving, certification and specialties, including Night Diving..
One of the most popular dives is in a shark dive Beqa Lagoon. Fiji shark dive.
There is a wide range of resorts in each of these areas to suit most tastes and budgets. Serious divers usually decide where they want to dive and then choose a resort, but no matter where you decide to stay there is probably some good diving nearby. Fiji also boasts a number of liveaboards which dive around the group.
Resorts specializing in Diving around Taveuni:
Qamea Island Resort
Matangi Island Resort
Nakia Resort and Dive
Garden Island Resort
Dolphin Bay Divers
Sau Bay Fiji Retreat
Resorts specialising in Diving & Conservation in the Yasawas
(in order from South Yasawas to the North)
Octopus Island Resort
Barefoot Manta Island
Barefoot Kuata Island
Manta Ray Island resort
Paradise Cove Resort
Navutu Stars (dives are now done though Blue Lagoon Beach Resort - edited 2016)
Nanuya Island resort (dives are now done though Blue Lagoon- edited 2016)
Blue Lagoon Resort (the only dive shop left in the northern Yasawas, services surrounding islands)