Fiji

Action Asia - - FINAL FRAME -

The South Pa­cific breezes brush over the is­land na­tion, while be­neath the waves, divers will find soft-coral life that's sec­ond to none and ex­plodes with colour; the Great Astro­labe Reef is well-named, since it's one of the largest in the world One of the gems of the South Pa­cific, Fiji is ac­tu­ally made up of 333 is­lands, mostly un­in­hab­ited. There's so much beau­ti­ful scenery on shore that some­times it's easy to for­get that Fi­jian wa­ters are also home to some of the best div­ing in the Pa­cific. Fiji sells it­self as the “soft-coral cap­i­tal of the world.” The corals are per­haps best-known in the So­mo­somo Strait, which runs be­tween Tave­uni Is­land and Vanua Levu, Fiji's sec­ond­largest is­land. The coral blooms are par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive at sites like Rain­bow Reef when the cur­rents co­op­er­ate. Vis­i­tors will nor­mally start their trip on Viti Levu, the largest is­land, which houses both the in­ter­na­tional air­port at Nadi, and Suva, the cap­i­tal. Though there is de­cent div­ing around the main is­land, avid divers will likely want to move on to less-pop­u­lated spots, home to Fiji's sig­na­ture dive sites. Beqa Is­land and Beqa La­goon are just south of Viti Levu, mak­ing it a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for trav­ellers that want to avoid a domestic flight. The la­goon cov­ers more than 100 square miles, with 30 kilo­me­tres of fring­ing pro­tec­tive reef, leav­ing around 100 dive sites to dive. The area is known for its pin­na­cles and bom­mies, as well as the oc­ca­sional wreck. Both Viti Levu and Beqa have world-fa­mous shark dives, where divers can watch trained staffers hand-feed­ing reef sharks, big bull sharks and even the oc­ca­sional tiger shark. The Great Astro­labe Reef sur­rounds Ka­davu Is­land, the fourth-largest in the chain. The 100-kilo­me­tre reef, it­self the fourth-big­gest in the world, is cut with many chan­nels lead­ing from the deep ocean into shal­low la­goons, which brings in pelag­ics like sharks, tuna and mar­lin. There's a great chance of spy­ing ea­gle rays at Ea­gle Rock. Ka­davu is a break from the big re­sorts, with a fo­cus on eco-friendly tourism and lo­cal cul­ture, and sev­eral dive re­sorts. Given the dis­tance be­tween the dif­fer­ent is­lands in Fiji, a live­aboard is the way to go for avid divers who want to reach the more far-flung spots. They ex­plore the Bligh Wa­ter be­tween the two main is­lands, and the Koro Sea to their east. Those reefs are of­ten swept by strong cur­rents, mean­ing these are more ad­vanced dives, but the cur­rents bring in bar­racuda, rays, and white-tip and grey-reef sharks at sites such as Shark Fin Point.

Plan­ner Con­tents

Gar­den Is­land Re­sort • Fiji Ag­gres­sor • Fiji Siren

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