Diving in Fiji - Bluewater Dive Travel


A shark underwater in Fiji
An anemone fish looks out from the safety of its anemonee
Ornate ghost pipefish blend in with their habitat in Fji
A colorful coral reef with tropical fish in Fiji
Sharks swim along a shallow reef in Fiji

Scuba Diving in Fiji

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Fiji Diving Highlights

Fiji's scuba diving scene is best known for its colorful soft corals which offer an unmatched wide spectrum of colors, great variations of healthy hard corals, dramatic topography, typically clear water and a great variety of reef fish. Fiji is also home to some of the world's best shark dives, especially in the Beqa Lagoon area where the country's Shark Reef Marine Reserve is located. 

Jacques Cousteau coined it as the "Soft Coral Capital of the World." This name has stuck and given Fiji much of its diving identity.

Here is what Bluewater Travel's Mark Strickland has to say about Fiji: "I could never pick just one favorite dive destination, but Fiji certainly ranks among my top three". Quite a statement coming from such a well-traveled underwater photographer!  

Interested in diving Fiji?  View the live availability of liveaboard trips on the Nai'a and book online at the best price or check out our sidebar for land-based options! 



Where Is FiJI? 

A group of roughly 330 tropical islands in Melanesia in the South Pacific, Fiji is roughly 1100 miles northeast of New Zealand. The capital and gateway city, Nadi, is located on Viti Levu, one of the two major islands. Fiji is an amazing place with beautiful islands, friendly and fun people, a vibrant native culture and some of the best diving in the world.

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Diving information

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Marine Life & Photography Subjects in Fiji

Fiji is home to an amazing variety of fish life, including colorful angelfish, anemone fish, anthias, colorful frogfish, hawkfish, moray eels, ghost pipefish, and countless other photogenic species.

Blue Ribbon Eels are also fantastic subjects. The yellow and blue males are full of personality and if you search hard, you can find the female (all yellow) and juvenile (black with a yellow stripe). The black juveniles are difficult to photograph.

Sharks do exist in Fiji though they are not found on every dive, with Beqa being the one exception. The most common species seen are grey reef, white tip reef, silvertip, and hammerhead. Sharks always make great subjects, but reef sharks are difficult to get close to.

pregnant shark swimming in fiji Fiji 2022 Trip Recap

For real shark action, do the shark dive in Beqa Lagoon. Here’s you’ll see up to 8 different species of sharks numbering in the dozens, including very large bull sharks and a massive tiger shark that makes semi-regular appearances.

Editor's Note: If you're a real shark aficionado, see our guide to the Best Shark Diving in the World 

Other fun subjects include banded sea snakes, several species of turtles, and pelagics like tuna, barracuda, and occasionally manta rays.

There are also plenty of macro opportunities. While diversity is not as great as Southeast Asia's coral triangle, there is still a wide range of species here, including mantis shrimp, decorator crabs, bobtail squid, and many different nudibranchs.

Interested in Macro? Check out our list of the Best Macro Destinations in the World.

Camera and lens tips: You’ll definitely want two strobes to get full light coverage in your frame. Use as much strobe power as possible to illuminate the soft corals and really make them shine. Fortunately, soft corals don’t move so you can get as close as you want. Bracket and really work on your blue backgrounds. Get close to the soft coral with a fisheye lens. Fiji is a great place to get close to the coral and practice your wide-angle technique. Take your time, put your strobes on manual, and get your exposures right.


Fiji coral reefs

In Fiji, it’s all about the corals. The colors are so incredibly vibrant and the anthias so plentiful that it’s hard to ever look away. Around every corner is the next world-class image. Remember to get in the current. One of the main draws of diving Fiji are the reef scenes - they are quite spectacular!

The gorgeous, lush, color-splashed images of Fiji that you see in dive publications are courtesy of a soft coral called dendronephthya. Few other places in the world offer such an abundance of this coral, nor the wide spectrum of colors, ranging from pink, purple, orange, yellow and fiery red. Dendronephthya soft coral needs current. With little current present, the soft corals are muted, but as the current increases, they inflate with water and their color really begins to glow.

As the current picks up, planktivores such as beautifully colored scalefin anthias spring up off the reef in polarized schools. Together, this forms a rich pageantry of color. Underwater photographers will want to shoot when some current is present, making a dramatic difference in the color of underwater imagery.

The best places for soft coral in Fiji are the Bligh Waters between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu where there are numerous reefs and pinnacles, the Somosomo Strait between Taveuni and Vanua Levu, and Namena Island and its marine protected area.

Interested in corals? Check out our list of the Best Coral Reefs in the World.

colorful coral reef with many fish while scuba diving fiji  Clown fish in anemone in Fiji


What it's like to dive fiji

The majority of diving is done as drift dives, allowing you to cover large distances and see walls of soft corals. Current is your friend in Fiji, as it brings out the soft corals while wildlife piles up on the current side of boomies.

As a photographer, you may wish to bring a reef hook - find a spot with beautiful colors, hook in, and shoot to your heart’s delight! The tops of pinnacles and bommies usually host a plethora of life. Just hook in and shoot as the current blows you around.

Always have a safety sausage so the tender boat can see you when you surface. Despite what you may have been told, soft corals are not everywhere in Fiji – you need to go to specific areas. Likewise, there are some stunning hard coral reefs in Fiji that nobody talks about, great macro, some good pelagic life, and the best shark dive in the world. Many people take an underwater photography class before coming to Fiji.

For awesome drift diving along spectacular walls, check out diving Komodo or our Tubbataha diving guide.


Diving Conditions 

Here's what the diving conditions look like in Fiji

Water Temperature: Dry season (June - Sep) temps are in the mid-70s, with August being the coolest month. Wet season (Dec-Apr) temps are in the low 80s. with Feb/Mar being the warmest months underwater.

Visibility: During the dry season, visibility is often 100’+ outside the lagoons. The Bligh Waters can have high visibility even in the wet season, ranging from 80-100ft.

Weather: Fiji is warm and tropical most of the time with temperatures ranging between 31°C between 26°C all year round.



Best Diving spots in Fiji

Here are the top scuba diving spots that you shouldn't miss while diving Fiji:

  1. 1. Taveuni
  2. 2. Beqa Lagoon
  3. 3. Viti Levu
  4. 4. Vatu-I-Ra Passage
  5. 5. Kadavu and the Astrolab Reef


Taveuni offers great diving on the famous Rainbow Reef, which lies in the Somosomo Strait and has great soft corals and lots of reef sharks like whitetips, gray reef sharks and nurse sharks. There can be currents, so it's not necessarily for beginners. However, the soft corals look their best in the currents!

There are around 20 different dive sites on the Rainbow Reef. The "inner reef", the north side of the rainbow reef, has the best soft corals, and streams of anthias and fusiliers. Best dive sites include "Rainbow Passage" and "Rainbow's End".

The "outer reef" is on the south side of the rainbow reef, and has a better chance of shark sightings. Top dive sites include the "Great White Wall" with endless streams of white soft coral from 80ft to 120ft on a wall, and "The Zoo" which is known for more frequent big animal sightings.


Beqa Lagoon has beautiful reefs, a great variety of marine life and is also home to one of the best shark dives in the world, with several species of sharks appearing. From Nadi, it's a 2.5-hour car ride, followed by a 45-minute boat ride.


From the main island, it's a 2-3 hour drive to your resort. Staying in the central north coast in the Rakiraki area means that you can dive the Bligh Waters directly from your resort, with just a 50-minute boat ride. In the Bligh Waters you can see beautiful soft corals, sharks (including hammerheads on occasion) and turtles. The Bligh Waters are home to famous dive sites such as Mellow Yellow, which has gorgeous yellow soft corals, and Black Magic Mountain, which has prolific amounts of fish, anemones, and hard & soft corals. Taking a boat like the Naia liveaboard is the best way to dive the Bligh Waters, but it can also be dived from Volivoli resort - weather depending.

The Rakiraki / Volivoli area also has more protected "local" dive sites that are a 20 - 35 minute boat ride from the resort. These sites have incredible structure, sea fans, swim-throughs, and copious amounts of fish, along with occassional whitetip sharks.


In the Bligh Waters lies the Vatu-I-Ra passage, home to some of Fiji's best dive sites and the most amazing soft coral reefscapes. The passage lies on the northeast coast of Viti Levu, and the reefs display the most spectacular rainbow of colors. E6 is one of the most famous dive sites of the passage.


Kadavu is an island south of the main island and is less visited than most of the other islands on Fiji. The resorts on the island offer an "Eco" experience. The area is remote and pristine, and the diving has great coral and marine life, including manta ray cleaning stations. It is also known for having less current than other places like the Bligh Waters or the Rainbow Reef near Taveuni. There are a lot of fish and a good number of reef sharks. Many of the dive sites are short boat rides from the resorts. Topside activities include kayaking, visiting waterfalls, and great birdwatching.


The Namena Island reserve is a one hour boat ride from Savusavu on a fast boat, if the weather cooperates. It is also frequently dived via liveaboard. Here, you can experience some of Fiji's best diving, including prolific fish, amazing soft corals, huge schools of jacks & barracudas, pelagics, sharks, and even schooling hammerheads. Top dive sites include "Grand Central Station".

Learn more about diving in Fiji from Bluewater travel advisor/trip leader Katie Yonker's Fiji & Her Islands: A Photo Essay

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Related Destinations

The Red Sea is similar to Fiji in terms of having a large diversity of fish, corals, and both big and small animals. One difference, is the Red Sea is more of a liveaboard based location, while Fiji is generally resort based. Fiji also offers more opportunities for snorkeling.

The Sea of Cortez has a great diversity of life, but not the colorful corals that Fiji has. Fiji is a nice colorful change if most of your diving has been in Mexico, or in the Caribbean in a place like the Cayman Islands.


Travel Information 

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How to Get to fiji

Fiji’s department of tourism has done its homework and made Fiji one of the easiest places to get to for diving in the Pacific. Flight schedules are good and fares on the national airline, Fiji Airways, are very reasonable. Fiji is quite easy to get to from the USA.

There are daily direct redeye flights from Los Angeles to Nadi. You cross over the international dateline along the way to a Thursday night flight gets you into Nadi on Saturday morning. If staying there, you simply transfer to your hotel or meet your liveaboard.

When departing, you fly out of Nadi in the late evening and return to LAX in the afternoon of the same day - you get back the day that you lost going over the dateline. If flying to one of the outer islands, the domestic terminal is next door to the international arrival hall and island flights are usually less than one hour. You are relaxing in your beachfront bure by noon!  


How to Dive Fiji

There is a range of choices of dive resort based on comfort level. Liveaboards are also available and they rate as some of the best in the world.  

Check out our list of Fiji dive resorts.

Fiji is a great family destination, with plenty of snorkeling and top-side activities for non-divers. You can read more about our Preferred Partner resort in Fiji, Volivoli Beach Resort.

Best time to dive fiji 

Before jumping into conclusion on the best time to visit and dive Fiji, let's go through the two distinct seasons of this beautiful chain of islands: dry and wet seasons.

 June through October is the dry season. During that time, the water is clearest (100’+) but it can be windy and water temps can drop into the mid-70s.

The wet season runs from December to April. The winds die down and visibility is lower but still typically quite good (60’+) and water temps are in the low 80s. The hurricane season (technically cyclone and typhoon season). The last big cyclone that hit Fiji was the Winston tropical cyclone in 2016.

The transitional months of November and May might be the best times to go. However, keep in mind that the weather can be different on different islands. The jungle mountains of Viti Levu top out at over 4000’ and create their own weather.

Quite often, clouds form by the afternoon and dissipate as early morning rain showers arrive. The northern part of Viti Levu usually has clearer weather than the south.


other thingS to DO in fiji

Unlike many other remote dive destinations, Fiji provides a host of non-diving activities to enjoy on your days off. You could easily spend a day or two (or more!) enjoying the island of Viti Levu.

Here you’ll find waterfalls, caves, zip lines, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, authentic villages, temples, and even a championship golf course. If you choose to venture to some of the outer islands there are a number of day cruises, charters, and boat hires.

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Liveaboard Availability

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Other Useful Information 

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Practical Information

  • Currency: Fijian Dollar
  • Language: Fiji has three official languages - English, Fijian and Hindi
  • Time Zone: UTC+12
  • Electricity: 240 V 50Hz 

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Reviews (9)

  • Top Reviewer
Fountain Valley, CA
United States

I spent two weeks in Fiji and found it to be a true paradise. We flew into the international airport in Nadi, on the main island of Viti Levu. This is a large, modern airport with many amenities. We had an easy walk over to the domestic terminal to connect to the island of Taveuni. The friendly and welcoming attitude of the Fijian people is evident as soon as you arrive. Everyone we encountered was very happy and cordial. The airport staff was efficient and assisted with checking us in and tagging our bags. Our flight was on a 12 seat, twin-engine prop aircraft. It's about a 1½ hour flight, which goes by very quickly while looking out the window at the beautiful islands below. The terminal at Taveuni is very small and only accommodates small aircraft. We were met at the airport by a driver who took us to our resort on the south end of the island. During the 1 hour drive, the driver gave us a brief history of Taveuni and told us about Fijian culture. Taveuni is called the Garden Island, and it is evident why. Everything is very lush and covered with jungle.

I spent a week diving primarily on the Rainbow Reef and some local reef diving. Rainbow Reef deserves the reputation it has built over the years. Wonderfully colored corals abound. We found a lot of marine life, including blue ribbon eels, electric disco clams, many different nudibranchs, large schools of fish, etc. Favorite dive sites are the Great White Wall and Fish Factory.

We also did day excursions on non-diving days. We visited a local village, where we learned about local customs, crafts, and culture. We were given many demonstrations and sampled food cooked in a lovo and fresh prawns right out of the river. The village chief also invited us to a kava ceremony where everyone joined in. This was a really enjoyable visit. We also went to a site with three different waterfalls. Each one requires an uphill hike, but the beauty of these falls is worth it. Each has a pool to swim in after the hike. A different site has a natural water slide which also requires a bit of a hike. The slide’s a lot of fun and can be done several times before moving on. A stop at the International Timeline is mandatory. Everyone needs a picture with one foot in today, and the other foot in yesterday. Another must-stop on the island is the historic Catholic church. There are shops in town to do some shopping for food, drinks, and local handicrafts.

The second week, we returned to Viti Levu. We were met at the airport for the 2-hour drive to our resort on the south side of the island, near Pacific Harbor. Once again, our driver acted as a local tour guide, pointing out the sites of interest along the way. Fruit stands lined the roadside and food and beverages are available on the drive. Staying at a resort in the Pacific Harbor area allows you to dive Beqa Lagoon, but also the local dive sites along the Sun Coast. You also have the advantage of still being on the main island.

We found Fijian, Asian, and Western food readily available on both islands. Overall, Fiji has happy, friendly people, beautiful tropical scenery, a wonderful culture, and world-class diving. Soft coral capital of the world. Fiji is a real bucket list destination.

Visited on 10/2019 - Submitted on 02/13/2020

So just got back from a wonderful week of diving in Fiji. Figured it was about time to write a review of the resort and the diving over there.

We stayed at Volivoli Beach, Volivoli Beach is a relatively small boutique family run resort on the northern tip of Vitu Levu. A 4 hour long direct flight from Brisbane, followed by a 2.5 hour drive will generally get you to the resort just before dinner. The resort is situated on the beach at the end of a narrow mountain road, best not navigated by yourself in the dark unless you know what you are doing. It is quite a big drop on one side of the road.

Surrounded by mangroves, beach and lots of greenery along all the paths, each room/villa is built in such a way there is no direct line of sight into another one. The room we stayed in was a Premium Ocean View Villa, situated at the top of a hill, this room features separate sleeping area, sitting area, ensuite, kitchen, washing machine and large patio. The kitchen benchtop was the ideal workplace to prepare the camera gear each day and charging all batteries overnight.

Three bars and two restaurants make for plenty of options for drinks and meals. Once a week there is a BBQ night and a traditional Fijian style evening, both served at the Ra Bar on the beach. During the Fijian night there is traditional Fijian dancing and of course kava with the crew. Though I am not a great fan of kava, I do like the social aspect of drinking kava and getting to know the crew.

Diving around the resort is simply amazing. Volivoli Beach does not have a spectacular house reef, but it is great for muck diving. We found three sea horses, quite a few nudibranchs (even undescribed ones) and a lot of reef fish. If you don't want to dive the house reef, Ra Divers can take you out to a myriad of dive sites. Travel time to the site ranges from 15 minutes to 1.5 hours.

All dive sites feature an abundance of soft coral. This area is known for the amount of soft corals. Some sites have a single colour of soft coral (Golden Dreams is mainly yellow) while others feature all colours of the rainbow (rainbow wall at Mount Mutiny). Visibility ranges from 15 metres on the sites close to the resort to 30+ at the dive sites further away in the VatuiRa Conservation Park- FIJI.

As this is a family-run business, it is not uncommon to see the owners or their children running about in the resort. Both Steve and Nick are very approachable and always up for a chat or a drink at the bar. This makes you feel more part of the family than just being a guest at the resort.

We are most definitely looking at going back next year.

Visited on 10/2019 - Submitted on 11/06/2019

I've never had or seen such an amazing time diving off this island. The staff and diving instructors were very helpful, kind and knowledgeable about all areas of diving. The reefs we had dived were spectacular. I had never seen sharks up close until then and now I continue to dive all over the world photographing all sea life as a result. I always hold fond memories of the real day I stared diving and am eager to experience all diving all over the world.

Visited on 10/2000 - Submitted on 10/05/2014
  • Reviewer
Pasadena, CA
United States

Fiji has been called the "Coral Capital of the World" which led us to believe that the reefs would rival those of the Red Sea and the Maldives, which in my opinion it did not. We dove the famous white wall on three different occasions. Dive guides will watch tide charts to determine the best time to dive it. If there is no current, the corals will not be feeding and will be diminished in apparent size. If there is too much current, the corals will be fuller but the divers will fly by too fast and not really see it. When we saw it the first time, it did not equal our expectations, but was better than either of the subsequent times. It was like individual small clumps of coral spaced at about 18 inches on center. I was never aware of much current which might explain why the wall failed to impress. The wall can be accessed through a tunnel starting at about 40 feet and dropping to about 70 feet.

The purple wall is not as big, but its color makes it lovely. The current was quite strong on our visit so it was pretty much a purple blur.

Hard corals are varied and abundant. Unfortunately, not all were healthy. One particular table coral I remember had a section that appeared bleached, another section that was covered in moss, and yet another portion that appeared healthy.

We were also disappointed by the fish life. Yes there were the normal schools of snappers, fusiliers, butterfies and angelfish, but they didn't seem as numerous or as varied. The sharks we saw in 33 dives can be counted on one hand, but we did see 8 eagle rays which is a personal high.

Nudibranches: one variety of chromodoris, one variety of nembrotha, one variety of glosidoris, and maybe 5 or 6 phyllidias.

Fish factory and Coral Garden were exceptions where quantity of fish was more abundant.

The water temperature in September was 75 degrees.

Visability is never as good as I hope for. During our 2 weeks there it ranged from 30-50 feet at which you could detect the presence of another diver.

There are two very nice National Parks on Taveuni. The Lavena Coastal walk is a pleasant walk along the beach for about an hour and then about a half hour incline that leads to a waterfall. Plan to swim in the pool below and maybe even climb up the rocks and slide down the smaller falls on the left, but be careful as the rocks are slippery. Buoma Park has 3 waterfalls; the first and most famous is a easy 10 minute walk. The highest fall is at least an hour climb and though a bit stenuous, is well worth the effort.

The Fijian people are quite friendly.

Visited on 09/2014 - Submitted on 09/29/2014

Diving in Fiji is beautiful both above and below the waterline. The water temp only varies a few degrees throughout the year. A 3 mil suit should keep most divers happy. There are the most beautiful hard and soft corals that can only be matched by Raja Ampat. Abundant fish life from the tops of the reefs to the depths of the clear waters ae a photographers dream. Fiji is my chosen dive destinationfor a few reasons-easy to get to;the Fijian people are the most friendly people on the earth, and lastly the types of sea creatures are varied and unique. No matter what your dive leval is there are dive sites for all. You can find 7 star resorts if that is your thing or backpackers specials or anything in between.Fijian food is wonderful but almost any type of food is available-the fruits out of this world. Accomodations vary depending on the thickness of your wallet !! No matter what your accomodatins are like the diving in Fiji is second to none.

Visited on 09/2014 - Submitted on 09/03/2014


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