Dive Sites in Fiji
Almost 400 species of soft and hard corals and around 1200 species of fish make up some of the world’s most spectacular and colorful reefs. The dive sites include spectacular wall dives, canyons, swim-throughs, and frequent shark encounters plus thousands of other marine creatures: Hawksbill turtles, nudibranchs, rays, black-banded sea snakes, squid, Christmas tree worms, sea cucumbers, crinoids, lion fish, and migrating humpback whales and spinner dolphins.
The coral is spectacular: there are over 300 types of hard coral species (by comparison, Hawaii has 10 types), and of course the famed soft corals mentioned above.
Water temperatures in our seas are warm throughout the year with temperatures around 25°C (77°F) during the month May to November, and up to 30°C (86°C) in the summer. Diving is best done first thing in the morning before the winds have got up.
Water visibility is generally excellent, especially during the months between July and December.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Diving visits a number of sites in and near Savusavu Bay. This is how they describe just some of them:
Namena Marine Reserve
This small island 20 miles to the south of Savusavu is surrounded by mile after mile of unexplored reefs. Seemingly bottomless drop-offs, multi-colored soft corals and perfect coral gardens support an abundance of marine life. This is the place to see the big fish cruising in from the depths of the Koro Sea. Barracuda, spanish mackerel, dog-tooth tuna, mantas and large sharks regularly patrol these reefs.
(Note: Jean-Michel rates Namena as the best dive sites in Fiji, and one of the 10 best dive sites in the world. They are one of the only diving resorts in Fiji that visits Namena on a regular basis. Weather permitting, they visit Namena at least once a week.)
Canyons – Swim through beautiful grottos of hard coral extending into vast unexplored underwater canyons. See Reef Sharks resting in the grottos.
Shark Alley – A maze of swim-throughs, overhangs and chambers hide white tip reef sharks resting on sandy bottoms. Giant Mouri wrasse and grouper can be found hiding around the next corner.
Nuggets – The nuggets are two coral heads. One is a myriad of soft corals surrounded by schools of fairy basslets, masked banner fish, leaf fish, with jacks and barracuda circling. The second is covered in golden soft corals. Lionfish, scorpion fish, nesting trigger fish and moray eels are abundant.
Goldilocks – This site is a favorite because you can swim completely around the edge of the reef. It offers great diversity of hard and soft corals, with a very abundant reef fish population.
Jacksons – This spectacular wall features gigantic sea fans at depths of 90 feet. Divers finish among luxurious purple soft corals at 40-60 ft.
Fingers – This site is known for a beautiful spur and groove reef system, jutting fingers of hard coral alternating with high flow grooves., plus painted crayfish, giant tridacna clams, and eagle rays.
Light House – This is a good, deep dive — 100 feet — with a large aggregation of fish, such as groupers and snappers, and octopus. This is an active spawning site of both these large fish and smaller reef fish.
Mystery Reef – This isolated reef is scattered with coral heads covered in multi-colored soft corals, spanish mackerel, coral trout and unicorn fish.
Hole in the Wall – This vertical drop off supports huge gorgonian fans. Large tuna, spotted sweetlips, mackerel, barracuda, with bronze whalers lurk in the depths below.
Big Blue – This spectacular drop off features giant gorgonians covered with feather stars. It’s a perfect place to watch for sea turtles and large fish.
Alice in Wonderland – This site is an open water large patch reef, where small reef sharks often lurk underneath large mushroom-shaped corals. The upcurrent end has good flow and huge aggregations of reef fish and larger pelagic life.
Nsonisoni Pass – This is a drift dive along a wall covered with every variety of pristine hard and soft corals imaginable. Divers can swim across the passage to the purple bommies, a mass of purple soft corals fed by the nutrient-rich Koro Sea waters. Large barracuda, circling gray reef sharks and white tips cruise everywhere.
Barracuda Point – Beginning on a reef wall just off the coast of the resort, this dive involves swimming along a hard-coral reef finger to join a school of 50-60 resident barracuda. Be on the lookout for hammerheads and schools of batfish as well.
Dreadlocks – In the middle of Savusavu Bay, this site is home to a lavish array of multicolored hard and soft coral as well as lionfish, harlequin filefish and butterfly fish.
Natewa Bay, the largest bay in the South Pacific, boasts healthy corals that rival the Great Barrier Reef for color and diversity. Sheltered by mountains on each side, the corals have been protected and provide a habitat for an abundance of colorful reef fish. Many of the dive sites are shallow reefs ideal for snorkelling, but there are also plenty of sea mounts surrounded by deep water for diving. Despite being accessible less than 40 minutes from Savusavu, the bay has a remote feel as there are few other boats and a backdrop of lush vegetation.
Some of the dive sites we visit regularly:
Vatuloa – A picturesque sandbar surrounded by a huge diversity of corals. You can expect to see lots of reef fish, colorful christmastree worms, sea fans, and an abundance of large, healthy corals. Occasionally dolphins are seen in the lagoon nearby.
Leya Sea Mount – This dive site not only delivers healthy corals, but also regular sightings of large schools of fish (barracuda, unicornfish, snappers, and sweetlips) and reef sharks.
The Caves – Along shore, this snorkel site delivers beautiful scenery above and below the surface with large boulders forming caves along the coastline and a fringing reef with a variety of fish and coral species. The edge of the reef drops off into deep water so there is also the possibility of eagle ray sightings.
Sister Reefs – These two sheltered snorkel sites are different from one another, but both have beautiful coral gardens right below the surface.
Twin Islands – Two small uninhabited islands each surrounded by their own ring of reef. One island is a bat roosting site, and both sites are suitable for diving and snorkelling with walls and shallow corals, schools of fish, and occasional sightings of marine megafauna.