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Diving in Fiji: The Soft Coral Capital
Scuba Diving in Fiji
With numerous beautiful sites – and dramatic underwater attractions – that have gained popularity throughout the world, diving is undeniably exceptional in the azure waters of Fiji.
The Republic of Fiji is a Melanesian country located in the South Pacific Ocean. It is a paradise of 332 islands, about 110 of which are inhabited and most are suited for scuba diving. Located in the center of the Pacific Ocean, Fiji can be found to the north of New Zealand and to the north west of Australia. Its mountainous islands were formed 150 million years ago through volcanic activities. Today, its archipelagos are known for their lush vegetation and tropical rainforests. The population of Fiji has been estimated at approximately 840,000 people. English is the most widely spoken and the official language.
Diving in Fiji
With one of the densest population of underwater marine life in several of its barrier reefs, it certainly can’t be denied that Fiji possesses everything it needs to be listed among the world’s top diving destinations. See also: Top 10 Dive Sites in the World A network of barrier reefs encircles the huge lagoons and islands of Fiji. Along its channels that connect the lagoons to the ocean, a significant amount of underwater life can be found. Marine life is rich as well in outer barrier reefs that are remote from the shore. Among the fish you’ll see when diving in Fiji, sharks are considered to be the main attraction. With numerous coral structures that keep fishing boats offshore, significant numbers of white-tip, hammerhead and grey sharks wander around in many areas of fiji. Black-tip, tiger shark and nurse sharks are priceless sights for lucky divers as well.
Water temperatures and conditions in Fiji’s oceans are consistently gentle and warm throughout the year. Diving is relatively warm and comfortable with temperatures around 25°C (77°F) during the month May to November and shoots up to 30°C (86°C) in the summer. Diving is best done early in the morning with the absence of strong winds.
Water currents vary from one dive location to the other. In lagoons and shallow seas, currents can be mild making them an ideal option for snorkelers and beginner divers. However, in remote dive spots, currents can be expected to strengthen making them accessible only by selected liveaboard cruises and more advanced scuba divers. In terms of water visibility, diving is excellent, especially during the months between July and December. In fact, visibility reaching 40 meters (130 ft) is not unusual in Fijian waters. Plankton blooms and stronger seasonal winds occurring from November to February do partially reduce water visibility at times. A large number of dive spots are accessible from most of the islands. Just a swim away from the shoreline, the underwater terrains of Fiji already offer you a decent underwater view that is exciting enough for a splendid shore dive.
The beautiful variety of marine life in Fiji paired with the warm and sincere smiles of its locals make these locations the top favorites among divers:
If you are a big fan of sharks, diving at Viti Levu’s Shark Reef Marine Reserve certainly deserves a visit. Conveniently located near the main island’s coasts, Shark Reef has been hosting for over a decade an exhilarating view of divers outstretching their hands while feeding voracious sharks. Some of the shark species that are fed around the area include the famed bull sharks, silvertips and the legendary tiger sharks.
Located in the central region of Fiji, Lomaiviti is commonly tagged as Fiji’s best scuba diving spot. Blessed with healthy reefs and ideal water conditions, Lomaiviti’s terrains are magnificent for a variety of reasons, from the eminent sharks to the flamboyant soft corals.
Hailed as the Garden Island, Taveuni became a popular pick for divers who wanted to witness for themselves the reason why Fiji is known as the Soft Coral Capital of the World. Lying along the Somosomo Strait, splendid and multi-colored bushes in this island’s marine territory boast unlimited doses of nutrients delivered by the strait’s currents.
With the fourth largest barrier reef in the world located here, Kadavu absolutely has an impressive reputation to give scuba divers a wow. Aside from the fame it holds courtesy of the Great Astrolabe Reef, this destination is also visited due to its coral pinnacles and manta ray cleaning stations.
Named after a renowned sea captain, Bligh Water provides nothing but a remarkable interplay of marine life in its currents. Cruising along its water passages are schools of barracudas, grey reef sharks, snappers and red sea bass, this is a heaven for divers seeking a good current. Lying deep on its ocean floors are garden eels as well.
Once known as the “Mecca of Pacific Diving” before El Niño partly destroyed its splendid beauty, Beqa Lagoon continues to be a fantastic underwater realm for beginner and less experienced divers who are looking for a smooth dive. Bordered by a 30-kilometer barrier reef, diving into the lagoon allows you to spot schools of hammerheads and eagle rays.
Knowing More About Fiji
Blessed with charming beaches, gentle climate, and its serene island atmosphere, Fiji is indeed a perfect place to spend a relaxing vacation. Aside from diving, other enjoyable activities you can add to your itinerary include hiking, parasailing, whitewater rafting and golfing. Witnessing some creative cultural shows and hopping between nightclubs is spectacular as well at sundown. In addition to those exciting activities, Fiji is also a wonderful place for a rural visit. Strolling around its villages is truly heartwarming with the amazing hospitality of every Fijian. Getting along with villagers will definitely make you feel like you are meeting a new group of friends. Several resorts and hotels provide world-class accommodations for visitors especially around the main islands. Facilities among these establishments vary and may include day spas, fully equipped fitness gyms, swimming pools and modern rooms.