Fiji is world-renowned for its breathtaking underwater sights, colorful coral reefs and incredible marine biodiversity. With turquoise blue waters hugging over 300 islands, this South Pacific island nation is a scuba diver’s dream. Fiji also offers a diverse array of dive locations suitable for all levels. From stunning dive sites to channels with sharks and manta rays, here are highlights for the best scuba diving in Fiji that should be on every diver’s bucket list.
Exploring Spectacular Reefs
Fiji has no shortage of vibrant and healthy coral reef ecosystems that provide jaw-dropping backdrops for scuba diving adventures. On many islands, including Vanua Levu, there are coral rehabilitation projects supported by dive operators and the local village communities to keep the reefs healthy and strong. Some of the best scuba diving in Fiji could be right around the corner.
Pristine Patch Reefs at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
The Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort on Savusavu Bay, Vanua Levu island boasts an on-site PADI 5 Star dive center taking divers to over 25 local sites. Guests enjoy access to pristine patch reefs right off the beach, bursting with hard and soft corals and home to lionfish, leaf scorpionfish and schooling snapper. Explore newly identified dive sites and marvel at the coral heads of Namena Marine Reserve or cruise the walls and canyons of Shark Alley. The calm, protected waters make it an ideal spot for beginner divers and snorkelers alike.
Namena Marine Reserve
One of Fiji’s most famous reef dives and one of the top dive sites in the entire world, this marine protected area deserves a feature of its own. Namena Marine Reserve is just 40 minutes from the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort by boat. Namena has outstanding macro life forms like nudibranchs. Its brilliant waters support an ecosystem for countless species of fish, coral, invertebrates, and marine plants.
Natewa Bay in Vanua Levu
Spectacular Natewa Bay is still emerging as one of the North’s best kept secrets. Natewa Bay is the largest bay in the South Pacific, pristine and empty of boats given its shifting reefs. Bordered by lush rainforests of the Natewa peninsula, the reefs in these waters are protected and immaculate.
Ocean Ventures is the only scuba diving operation in Natewa Bay. Led by Matthew and Sara, Ocean Ventures is an award-winning PADI dive centre offering eco-expertise, outstanding snorkeling and scuba diving, a sought-after reef ecology PADI specialty course — and plenty of sandbar fun. We love their coral conservation efforts in partnership with local villages.
Drift Diving at Namena Island
Situated off the coast of Vanua Levu, Namena Island is considered one of Fiji’s premium scuba diving destinations. Experienced divers head here for the exhilarating drift dives along the steep coral wall encircling the island. Strong currents deliver nutrients, attracting sharks, barracuda and tuna. The diverse marine life, multiple swim-throughs and small caverns make every dive unique and unforgettable.
Known for its thriving hard and soft corals that make the reef appear multicolored, Rainbow Reef off Taveuni island has sea fans, sponges and sea whips. Fiji’s Rainbow Reef in the Somosomo Strait was discovered by Jacques Cousteau between Vanua Levu and Taveuni Island. This area is often referred to as the soft coral capital of the world. It’s likely that you’ll see colors you have never seen before in the natural world. The Rainbow Reef also boasts the ultra famous Great White Wall dive. On extra special days, humpback whales have been seen swimming through this glorious channel.
Diving with Sharks and Rays
For those seeking a thrill, Fiji has prime spots to dive with sharks and manta rays when in season. The most rewarding shark sightings happen naturally in the wild, when we happen upon them ethically in their natural environments.
Manta Ray Diving
The Remote Resort is an all-inclusive boutique resort, located on the spectacular Rainbow Reef. With over 25 sites in and around Fiji’s Rainbow Reef including the Great White Wall, Cabbage Patch, and Fish Factory, you’ll have so much to explore within a 10 minute boat ride from the Resort. They take guests on exquisite drift dives with manta rays in Fiji’s blue waters. Swimming with manta rays in Fiji is an experience you’ll never forget.
Snorkel with Reef Sharks
Venture further afield into the Yasawa Islands, a region of extremely clear waters and white sandy beaches in Fiji. Here, bull shark diving is offered at the Barefoot Kuata Resort. Their marine biologists prioritize safety and shark welfare and cater to snorkellers, introductory divers (no certification required) and certified divers.
Manta Ray Passage
In the Yasawa Islands of southern Fiji lies a channel where giant manta rays glide gracefully. Fiji’s manta ray season between May and October offers exceptional scuba diving opportunities. In the channel, these gentle giants gather in large numbers between the islands to enjoy nutrient-rich currents. The Manta Ray Passage is a reliable spot to see these majestic creatures. To dive with manta rays in Fiji, you can stay at Barefoot Manta Island (on Drawaqa Island) or Mantaray Island Resort (on Nanuya Balavu Island).
The remote Barefoot Manta Island caters to all levels of divers with a full range of PADI courses plus daily boat dives at incredible sites most tourists never experience. Passionate marine biologists lead educational yet fun dives focused on marine conservation. Guests who time their stay for a full moon often enjoy awe-inspiring night dives with glowing phytoplankton lighting up the warm tropical waters.
This private island in Fiji’s Lomaiviti Archipelago is surrounded by a Marine Protected Area. It offers diving along a 5-mile reef, where you can spot sea turtles, reef sharks, trumpet fish and manta rays. Plus, Wakaya Island is a supporter of Manta Trust, a charity created to protect manta rays and their habitat. The shallow lagoon is perfect for novice divers. Wakaya Island Resort partners certified instructors with first-time divers, helping them complete the necessary training to obtain a PADI Certificate.
Exploring Fiji’s Wall Dives
Sheer underwater cliffs with coral cascading down into the depths make for exhilarating wall dives. Some top picks include:
E-6 in Lomaiviti
Over 65 feet, this stunning wall dive has overhangs and arches to explore all covered in vibrant soft corals, sponges, sea fans and more marine life. E-6 dive site is in the Vatu-I-Ra Passage between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Divers can expect to see almost any sea creature here on any day, including hammerhead sharks, eagle rays, humpback and pilot whales.
Nigali Passage is one of the dive sites of Gau Island. With depths beyond 130 feet, advanced divers can take in the dramatic contours of this wall thick with marine growth. Pelagic fish and sharks also make appearances. It’s a special spot often visited by live-aboard dive boats in Fiji.
Great White Wall
Set in the Rainbow Reef near Taveuni, the Great White Wall is one of the most iconic dive sites, celebrated by global scuba divers for its unique and captivating features. It boasts, without a doubt, some of the best scuba diving in Fiji. Here you’ll see grand underwater cliffs covered in luminescent soft white corals. Interestingly, the Great White Wall can only be visited during specific tides and moon cycles. When these white corals bloom and open themselves completely, scuba divers witness the wall in its most majestic state.
From world-class reefs to diving with sharks and mantas, Fiji offers endless underwater adventures certain to provide scuba divers with memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re a hardcore dive enthusiast or a complete newbie, Fiji offers every level of diver the chance to explore this underwater paradise. Take a look at our offerings here at Tavola Villa in Fiji and discover the possibilities for your next Fiji vacation.