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Diving in Taveuni: What You Need To Know

admin October 24, 2018

Captain Cook Fiji

Fiji’s underwater world is truly magical – no more so than at the rainbow’s end, in Taveuni.

Taveuni is Fiji’s third-largest island and is known as the ‘Garden Island’. Home to lush jungle, gorgeous beaches, secluded waterfalls and abundant wildlife, it’s an eco-tourist’s dream. Add the world-renowned dive sites such as Eel Reef and the Great White Wall, and Taveuni gets even better.

Accommodation in Taveuni

When it comes to accommodation, Taveuni has a selection of great resorts, many of which are clustered at the northern tip of the island. Other accommodation options include beach cottages, backpackers’ hostels and campgrounds.

Alternatively, you can explore Taveuni from the comfort of a Captain Cook Cruise, choosing between the Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise and the Four Cultures Discovery Cruise. You’ll explore the stunning region aboard the M.V. Reef Endeavour, with itineraries that offer plenty of opportunities to experience both local culture and natural wonders.

You’ll discover islands and reefs rarely visited by tourists, be treated to a song and dance by children in a local village, enjoy a kava, meke and lovo feast and will be given the opportunity to dive, snorkel or see the ocean from a glass bottom boat every day of your trip.

Diving in Taveuni

Taveuni is a place where you can immerse yourself in nature. It’s home to excellent soft coral blooms that occur when the current is running just right. Divers from beginners to advanced can enjoy the reef here, with the magnificent biodiversity offering something for everyone.

In Taveuni, large blushes of pink, brown and orange span out to capture the passing nutrients. This creates spectacles of colour unlike anywhere in the world. When the current is present, the coral is grateful and expands to its finest, most enchanting glory. With it comes plenty of pelagic fish species, reef sharks, manta rays and more.

The Somosomo Strait runs between Taveuni Island and Vanua Levu, making Taveuni one of Fiji’s best-known dive destinations. The narrow channel acts as a large funnel during tidal changes, delivering plankton and nutrients to unspoiled reefs. These currents are the foundation of all life in the ocean and the back and forth flow creates ideal conditions for lush soft coral growth. Conditions like these are relatively rare.

There’s a dive area nicknamed “the Zoo’ (home to an incredible array of fish), the world famous Rainbow Reef (home to 390 species of coral and 1500 species of fish) and Great White Wall where you can drift past endless colourful soft and hard corals. These three dive sites are considered some of the best in the world.

Other great dive sites include Nuku Reef, Fish Factory and Cabbage Patch. If you don’t make it to one of these you can enjoy one of the other 15 or so dive sites nearby. For more information on each dive site, click here.

What you’ll see

There are at least 35 species of butterflyfish and angelfish, six species of bannerfish, turtles, ribbon eels, anemones, octopi, snakes, squid, Spanish mackerel, dogtooth tuna, surgeonfish, giant trevally, clown fish, lion fish and triggerfish just to name a few. Sharks you can expect to see include whitetip reef sharks, tawny nurse sharks, leopard/zebra sharks, blacktip reef sharks and grey reef sharks.

Want a three minute guide to sites like Great White Wall?Check out this video which will give you an idea of what it’s like to dive in this incredible destination.

When to visit

If your main reason for visiting Taveuni is to experience diving, the best time to visit is between April and October. This ensures the best visibility. Bear in mind that during Fiji’s winter months (July to September), the wind can pick up a little in the Somosomo Strait making the surface and little choppy and the waters cool.

Generally speaking, a summary of the reef around Taveuni Island at this time looks like this…

Water temperature: 28 – 30°C
Surface conditions:  Mainly calm although choppy further from shore
Currents:  Gentle to strong
Depth: 10- >40m
Visibility: 15 – 40m

If you have specific marine life you’d like to see, you may want to time your trip around when they are in their greatest presence.

Mantas:seen between November and May
Turtles: seen between October and April
Humpback whales:seen between July and September

If you prefer to time your trip around factors like weather, pricing and crowds you might like to consider:

Peak and off-peak seasons

The most popular times to visit are not only the most expensive but the busiest, too. July to August is usually a busy time of year, as many families travel to Fiji during the Australian and New Zealand winter school holidays. Christmas and New Year are usually busy too.

Quieter times usually occur in February, March, June, October and November and are the best times for those looking for peace, relaxation, romance and a cheaper deal. Why not jump aboard the Colonial Fiji Discover Cruise, departing 5th February 2019?

Weather

Being a tropical destination, weather is good in Fiji all year round. Like most tropical climates, however, there is a wet and dry season.

The summer wet season runs from November to March with temperatures in the low 30s during the day and night temperatures a balmy 27 degrees Celsius. Fiji’s dry season occurs between May and September, when temperatures remain warm enough to enjoy swimming, sunbathing and popular tours and activities.

If you want great weather and reduced crowds, aim to travel in late October or early November when the weather is dry, settled and warm and travel has not reached its peak.

Diving meets Fijian culture

Enjoy a truly unique dive-meets-Fijian-culture experience in the remote Northern Islands and book your Captain Cook Cruise today. Cruise beyond the Yasawa Islands to the world heritage listed Levuka, be welcomed with a traditional Fijian ceremony at Makogai Island, experience Savusavu in all its volcanic glory and dive some of the best dive sites in the world.

Not yet mastered the art of diving and think Taveuni would make a great place to learn? Book a scuba diving cruise with us and depending on your level of experience you could be swimming through caves, coral bommies, and breathtaking coral gardens. First-time divers will get to know the ropes in the onboard swimming pool before exploring the islands. You’ll dive twice a day for 40 minutes each time and you can even register for a night dive.

Hurry, the next departure leaves soon.

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