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The Guide to Scuba Diving in Fiji

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Fiji Scuba Diving Guide

Often, scuba diving in Fiji needs no introduction. It’s one of the top dive destinations in the world, famous for its soft coral displays. It was Jaques Cousteau that put Fiji on the dive map when he called it the “Soft Coral Capital of the World”. With that, there are thousands of fish species and hundreds of coral species that will blow your mind once seen seemingly altogether among vast coral reefs, of which Fiji’s waters has two of the largest barrier reefs in the world. Aside from coral and reef fish encounters, divers can also experience big shark dives, drift dives, wreck dives and more. Fiji is well-equipped for beginners where scuba diving courses are available from just about every resort! So find out where to dive in Fiji, when to dive, who to dive with, and what you’ll see in this complete guide to scuba diving in Fiji!

The Best Time to Scuba Dive in Fiji

Scuba diving can be enjoyed all year round in Fiji. However, with two distinct seasons, the wet season and the dry season, each season brings its own set of pros and cons for divers.

Typically, divers prefer to come to Fiji in the dry season, April to October, to experience the clearest waters with sea temperatures still around 25-28°C (77-82°F). The downside is that this is the busiest season for tourists where some dive sites receive a lot of traffic.

Alternatively, the wet season, November to March, has higher sea temperatures but the increased precipitation sometimes brings the issue of decreased visibility due to surface runoff. However, this is a quieter time to dive in Fiji, often having entire dive sites to yourself (and your buddy, of course).

Learn more in When is the Best Time to Dive in Fiji?

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The Best Places to Dive in Fiji

You can scuba dive from just about every region and island group in Fiji. Each place has its own drawcards, from nearby marine reserves to barrier reefs that extend for kilometres and kilometres.

The Best Scuba Diving Destinations

Discover the underwater world of soft and hard corals, thousands of fish and invertebrates and marine mammals by scuba diving in Fiji’s top dive destinations. The following locations have a wealth of dive sites just a short boat ride away from shore…

  • Taveuni – Close to the renowned Rainbow Reef and the White Wall
  • Vanua Levu – Scuba dive in the pristine Namena Marine Reserve
  • Kadavu – Dive the world’s fourth-largest barrier reef, the Great Astrolabe Reef
  • Pacific Harbour – Shark dive and explore soft corals in the Beqa Lagoon
  • Mamanuca Islands – Check out wreck dives and the Malolo Barrier Reef

For more information on each destination and more, check out the 10 Best Places to Scuba Dive in Fiji.

The Best Places to Learn How to Scuba Dive

For those wanting to learn scuba diving for the first time, there are a wealth of PADI and SSI dive centres throughout Fiji, most of which are conveniently based in resorts. Apart from introductory dives, the first course offered to beginners is an Open Water course which takes at least four days to complete. With a PADI or an SSI certificate, you’ll be certified to dive worldwide. Find out more about learning to dive in 10 Reasons to Learn How to Dive in Fiji. Otherwise, here are some top destinations to learn how to dive in Fiji.

  • Mamanuca Islands – Easily accessible wither sheltered dive sites for beginners
  • Yasawa Islands – Sheltered waters and the chance to scuba dive with Manta Rays
  • Pacific Harbour – Beginner dives available to dive with sharks and learn with resorts
  • Vanua Levu – Plenty of dive courses available combined with beginner dives available in the Namena Marine Reserve.

Find out more about learning to scuba dive in Fiji with The Best Places to Learn How to Dive in Fiji.

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What to See in Fiji

Fiji is home to some of the most diverse life in the ocean. Strong currents bring in nutrients to harbour life in Fiji’s coral reefs, luring in macro life species all the way to large pelagic fish and marine mammals. Fiji is home to around 390 coral species and around 1,200 fish species, so listing all of the amazing life you can see in Fiji’s underwater world would have us here for days. Nevertheless, a few highlights include native creatures like the twilight fangblenny, as well as colourful reef fish like Maori wrasse, sweetlips, lionfish, scorpionfish, nudibranchs and oh-so-many more!

Fiji also attracts a seasonal migration of humpback whales and manta rays. Other larger creatures include seven different species of turtles, nine different species of sharks, 12 species of whales and acrobatic spinner dolphins.

Some of the seasonal marine sights are as follows:

  • Manta Rays – May to October
  • Humpback Whales – August
  • Bull Sharks – January to October
  • Coral Spawning (Balolo) – November
  • Turtles – November to March
  • Tuna – November to March
The Guide to Scuba Diving in Fiji© SPTO

The Best Dive Resorts and Liveaboards

Now that you know a little bit more about the where, when and what of scuba diving in Fiji, you’re finally going to want to know who to scuba dive with. Saying Fiji has around 40 dive operators would almost be an understatement, with many of the resorts having their own on-site PADI or SSI dive centre. Liveaboards are also an option, with a small selection of year-round providers available.

The Best Dive Resorts in Fiji

While not an all-inclusive list of the dive resorts in Fiji, here are just some of our top recommendations around the islands.

Get more details on each resort in the 10 Best Dive Resorts in Fiji.

Liveaboards in Fiji

Liveaboards are a great way to visit various dive sites across the islands throughout your stay in Fiji, while also doing a bit of island-hopping being with like-minded diving enthusiasts. Fiji has a small selection of liveaboards, including:

  • MV Reef Endeavour – Captain Cook Cruises (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Fiji Princess – Blue Lagoon Cruises (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Nai’a – Nai’a Fiji

Find out more about each liveaboard with the 5 Best Liveaboards in Fiji.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Fiji Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Fiji. She knows the islands inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Fiji’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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