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How to Learn to Scuba Dive in Fiji: The Ultimate Guide

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Learn How to Scuba Dive in Fiji

You’ve probably seen videos or pictures of unusual underwater worlds of corals and fish of all shapes, sizes and colours. Now it’s time to take the leap into the depths of Fiji’s waters to find you’re own slice of underwater heaven. Find out where to learn this eye-opening sport in this guide to how to learn to scuba dive in Fiji!

Scuba diving in Fiji is truly amazing, thanks to its wonderful array of soft corals harbouring a diverse range of life and keeping the water super clear. For beginners, there are island groups with sheltered waters, as well as exciting and unique experiences, like diving nose-to-nose with sharks! Fiji has an abundance of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Dive Centres, as well as SSI (Scuba Schools International) Dive Centres where dive schools in Fiji are accredited to an international standard to ensure you get the best and safety training to learn how to dive.

10 Reasons to Learn How to Dive in Fiji

As if you need a reason to learn how to dive in Fiji! It’s Fiji! But if you’re still sceptical that this island paradise is the right place to learn, then these points should help you see the light…

  • Fiji is the “Soft Coral Capital of the World”, so saying that there is plenty to see underwater is an understatement!
  • Fiji has a fantastic array of PADI and SSI-accredited dive centres
  • The water temperature averages at a comfortable 25°C/77°F
  • Stay on a gorgeous tropical island while you learn
  • Visibility is usually around 30m/98ft!
  • Scuba diving in Fiji is available all year round with very few dive centres closing down for the tourist low season
  • There’s so much to see underwater with around 1,200 varieties of fish and around 370 species of coral in Fiji
  • There’s a huge choice of destinations to learn how to dive in Fiji – just see The Best Places to Learn How to Dive in Fiji!
  • You can learn to dive while cruising the Fiji islands – check out 5 Best Liveaboards in Fiji
  • Plus, there’s so much more to do in Fiji between dives – explore our 101 Things to Do in Fiji!
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What Will You See When Learning to Dive in Fiji?

Fiji has rightfully earned the title of “Soft Coral Capital of the World”. For non-divers, that might not mean much now, but it essentially means that the underwater landscape in Fiji is amazing. Soft corals are basically corals that don’t have skeletons, so often resemble trees or plants. With that, they harbour a whole ecosystem of diverse life. One of the most extreme examples is at the Namena Marine Reserve off Vanua Levu, where you can find around 400 types of corals, 450 types of marine plants, more than 1,000 types of invertebrates and around 1,100 species of fish! Learn more about Vanua Levu later in this guide.

In short, Fiji has around 1,200 varieties of fish and around 370 species of coral. Every moment when scuba diving offers something new and exciting to see! Fish species include bumphead parrotfish, Maori wrasse, lionfish, sweetlips and so much more. Larger marine species can also be seen while diving, with around seven species of turtles, 12 species of whales, nine species of sharks and giant manta rays residing in Fiji’s waters.

© Captain Cook Cruises

PADI or SSI in Fiji?

PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and SSI (Scuba Schools International) are two of the world’s most recognised scuba diving organisations. Both have a huge presence across Fiji, meaning that if you do a course with PADI or SSI-accredited dive centres and resorts, then your certificate will be recognised internationally.

Both PADI and SSI also have high standards when it comes to safety, which is absolutely essential for any diver, not just beginners. What’s more, if you don’t finish your scuba diving course at one dive centre in Fiji, you can pick up where you left off at another dive centre in Fiji, as long as it’s the same accreditation.

Check out some of the best resorts around Fiji with dive centres in the 10 Best Dive Resorts in Fiji.

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Water Temperature and Visibility

Fiji is a comfortable place to learn how to scuba dive thanks to the warm sea temperatures experienced all year round. The average sea temperature is around 25°C/77°F, which is very comfortable to scuba dive in.

You’ll be kitted out with comfortable 5mm wetsuits, which often feel much easier to move around than thick ones, while shortie wetsuits are also an option.

Learn more about the average sea temperatures for each month in What is the Weather Like in Fiji?

What about the visibility of the water in Fiji? Well, you know all of that soft coral we were talking about? That partially helps keep Fiji’s waters unbelievably clear! Nothing ruins a scuba diving trip quite like murky waters, but that’s rarely an issue in Fiji with the average visibility being around 30m/98ft!

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The Best Time to Learn How to Scuba Dive in Fiji

Scuba diving in Fiji is available all year round with very few dive centres closing down for the tourist low season. So beginners can learn how to dive in Fiji whenever the time feels right! However, those who are being picky could argue that the Fiji dry season (April to October) is the best time to learn how to scuba dive when there is less surface runoff from the islands after heavy rain, which can impact visibility.

Find out more about the seasons for scuba diving in When is the Best Time to Dive in Fiji?

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The Cost of Scuba Diving Lessons in Fiji

The cost of learning to scuba dive in Fiji is pretty reasonable, especially when many resorts offer dive and accommodation packages.

When it comes to paying for just your scuba diving course in Fiji, expect to pay around FJ$1150-$1250 for a PADI Open Water Course or around FJ$800 for an eLearning Open Water Course.

Discover Scuba trips (trips for beginners without a dive certification) typically cost around FJ$150-$290.

Note that the prices stated above are typically with dive gear included. While you may see cheaper prices advertised, this may be without the gear included.

© FijiPocketGuide.com

The Best Time to Learn How to Scuba Dive in Fiji

Scuba diving in Fiji is available all year round with very few dive centres closing down for the tourist low season. So beginners can learn how to dive in Fiji whenever the time feels right! However, those who are being picky could argue that the Fiji dry season (April to October) is the best time to learn how to scuba dive when there is less surface runoff from the islands after heavy rain, which can impact visibility.

Find out more about the seasons for scuba diving in When is the Best Time to Dive in Fiji?

The Best Places to Learn How to Dive in Fiji© FijiPocketGuide.com

Where to Learn to Scuba Dive: The Mamanuca Islands

Easy to get to, within sheltered clear waters, home to several coral reefs, and surrounded by a dizzying array of dive shops, the Mamanuca Islands is an easy choice for beginners!

The Mamanuca Islands is an island group just off the coast of Fiji’s arrival city, Nadi. That means that resorts and independent dive shops based in Nadi, Denarau and the island resorts of the Mamanucas all service the dive sites of the Mamanuca Islands. What’s more, dive sites are rarely more than 20 minutes boat journey from the base.

The Best Dive Resorts in the Mamanuca Islands

These are the resorts in the Mamanuca Islands that feature their own PADI or SSI dive operations, offering lessons for beginners and introductory dives.

Learn more about what else there is to do in the Mamanuca Islands with The Complete Guide to the Mamanuca Islands.

Scuba Diving Yellow Fish Coral Mandatory Credit To NiuePocketGuide.com© FijiPocketGuide.com

Where to Learn to Scuba Dive: The Yasawa Islands

While the Yasawa Islands might not be the first choice for experienced divers, it has perfect conditions for beginners learning to dive in Fiji! What’s more, there are plenty of resorts with their own on-site dive shops, meaning you can easily spend at least the four days required to complete your Open Water course. What’s more, it’s paradise. The remote and scenic islands evoke the charm of the “real Fiji”, with dramatic volcanic peaks, golden-sand beaches and vibrant waters, making them a pretty stunning place to learn how to dive.

There are shallow coral reefs and interesting underwater rock formations for beginners to enjoy in the Yasawa Islands. One of the most popular is Lekima’s Ledge, an underwater cliff off Vawa Island.

The Best Dive Resorts in the Yasawa Islands

These are the resorts in the Yasawa Islands with their own dive operations, including courses and introductory dives. Here’s where you can base yourself to complete your scuba diving courses in the Yasawas.

Learn to Dive on a Cruise in the Yasawa Islands

Liveaboards are a great way to get to uncrowded dive sites around Fiji, making it a popular option for experienced divers. Beginners can also get this experience by using the onboard PADI centre on Captain Cooks Cruises! The small cruise ship that offers tours around the islands also has a swimming pool to do your scuba diving course in between cruising to various scuba diving destinations. Check out their 7-Night Yasawa Islands Cruise on Viator and Tripadvisor, which gives you more than enough time to learn how to scuba dive. For more information on liveaboards, see the 5 Best Liveaboards in Fiji.

Learn more about what else there is to do in the Yasawa Islands with The Complete Guide to the Yasawa Islands.

The Best Places to Learn How to Dive in Fiji© Pxhere.com

Where to Learn to Scuba Dive: Vanua Levu

If you’re looking to hit one of the best areas for scuba diving in Fiji, then Vanua Levu is definitely an option! Fiji’s second-largest island is surrounded by big-name dive sites, such as the White Wall in the Rainbow Reef and Chimneys in the Namena Marine Reserve. If you’ve done any research into scuba diving in Fiji, chances are you will have seen dive sites mentioned around Vanua Levu.

But is Vanua Levu suitable for beginners? Absolutely! Vanua Levu has its own array of resorts with PADI dive centres. And while you might not be qualified to do some of the most famous dives of the area, there’s still plenty of opportunities to learn and see some spectacular sites in the process, especially in the Namena Marine Reserve.

The Best Dive Resorts on Vanua Levu

The following resorts have their own dive operations or work with local PADI dive centres, where you can start your Open Water course at the resort!

Learn more about what else there is to do on Vanua Levu with The Complete Guide to Vanua Levu.

The Best Places to Learn How to Dive in Fiji© Pxhere.com

Where to Learn to Scuba Dive: Pacific Harbour and Beqa

Forget overwater travel to a remote offshore island. The Pacific Harbour is on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, just 2h30min’s drive from Nadi and 40 minutes from Suva, making it a cheaper destination to learn how to dive in Fiji. But that’s not the only reason that you might want to learn to dive here, as one of the world’s largest barrier reefs, the Beqa Lagoon, is just off its shores.

While the Beqa Lagoon has an amazing array of soft corals and colourful tropical fish, one of the exciting dives you can do as a beginner is at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve! That’s right, you can dive with large bull sharks for a real adrenaline experience.

The Best Dive Resorts on the Pacific Harbour and Beqa

While the islands around the Beqa Lagoon have resorts with their own dive centres, resorts on the Pacific Harbour work with dive shops in the area like Aqua-Trek (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Here are some resorts you can learn how to dive at…

Learn more about what else there is to do on the Pacific Harbour and Beqa with The Complete Guide to Pacific Harbour & Beqa.

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