Scuba Diving Seasons in Fiji
Let’s get one thing straight, there’s never really a bad time to scuba dive in Fiji. However, with two distinct seasons in Fiji, the winter and the summer season (or the dry season and the wet season), divers will have different diving experiences between the two seasons. We aim to lay out the differences in this complete guide to the best time to dive in Fiji.
While you’re here, you might be interested in The Guide to Scuba Diving in Fiji.
The Best Time in Fiji to See…
A reason divers might choose a particular time to dive in Fiji is to see certain marine creatures. While there are thousands of species to see all year round, there are some times that are better to see certain species. Check out some examples below.
- 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
Winter Scuba Diving in Fiji
Fiji’s winter season, also known as the dry season, runs from April to October. However, the weather and water temperatures feel far from your typical “winter”. Air temperatures can be anywhere between 21 and 30°C (69.8-89°F), while sea temperatures are a comfortable 25-28°C (77-82°F) – ideal for diving! A 5mm full-length wetsuit is usually comfortable for these winter months.
The winter season also commonly known as the “dry season” due to the much less frequent precipitation than what’s experienced during other months of the year. This can also improve diving conditions, as there is much less surface run-off from islands obscuring visibility. Visibility in the winter season can be 30-50m (98-165ft).
However, there is one downside to the winter season in that it’s the most popular time for people to visit Fiji. Resorts are often fully booked, particularly in July and August, and dive sites see a lot more traffic during these months. Nevertheless, a way to avoid the crowds is to head to the less-visited islands, such as Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Kadavu – all home to arguably some of the best dive sites in the country! Find out more in the 10 Best Places to Scuba Dive in Fiji.
Summer Scuba Diving in Fiji
Summer in Fiji, November to March, is when temperatures get warmer, it gets more humid, and there’s a higher rate of precipitation. Dive conditions are still good during these months, with almost all dive centres staying open throughout the season. However, it can be argued that the conditions aren’t quite as good as in winter…
Expect the average maximum air temperature to be around 31.6°C (88.9°F), while sea temperatures are often around 28.5°C (83°F). A 3mm full-length or a shortie wetsuit is usually suitable for these months.
However, a downside to the summer season is that it’s also known as the “wet season” due to the more frequent rainfall patterns. Rainfall rates are different for each island group, with islands like Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Taveuni experiencing around 1,500-2,500mm a year. Drier climates can be found in the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands. The issue with rainfall is that it creates surface run-off on the islands, which runs off into the ocean reducing visibility.
Another risk of diving in summer is the cyclone season. While cyclones are not a common occurrence in Fiji, they have happened historically in January, February and March. The higher winds experienced through the cyclone season often make water conditions particularly choppy further away from shore. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of sheltered diving opportunities in between the islands, such as around the Mamanucas and the Yasawas.
On the plus side, the summer season is the least busy time in Fiji for tourist visitors, often meaning that discounted resort and airfare rates are easy to find.
Learn more about the weather in Fiji here.