Diving in Fiji, South Pacific

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Fiji is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 12,000 km northeast of New Zealand's North Island. It is comprised of 332 islands whose majority are of volcanic origin from around 150 million years ago. Home to the "Great Astrolabe Reef" and also known as the "Soft Coral Capital of the World," Fiji is simply an exhilarating place for divers of all levels.

One of the most popular dive sites is the Astrolabe Reef on Kadavu in the Southern Islands sporting almost mythical hard and soft corals and a diverse marine biodiversity. This is made possible by the currents that bring nutrients to both corals and fish in the area garnering Fiji the "The Soft Coral Capital of the World" title. The currents help improve the visibility of the water by bringing in clear sea water that removes cloudy waters resulting to a perfect spotting of Fiji's rich marine life.

For the advanced divers there is the Rainbow Reef in the Northern Islands between Taveuni and Vanua Levu. Some of the activities are advanced drift diving through channels and a more relaxed scuba diving experience featuring the Great White Wall dive filled with all white soft corals and a plenitude of marine life thanks to the currents that wash over the islands.

For the beginner divers looking for a slightly slower pace, the islands boast of an array of amazing marine wonders. You can swim with the giant Manta Rays as big as 6.5metres frolicking in the area between May and October. You can also spot five species of turtles, one of which is a protected species, the Hawksbill Turtle.

For those who want to experience extremely rewarding underwater action, the Viti Levu awaits. The best dive is at Rakiraki with colourful pristine reefs and the unique shark feeding dives. Feel the exhilaration as the sharks go on a feeding frenzy.

Wreck diving can also be experienced in Beqa Lagoon, south of Viti Levu with pinnacles and plenty of soft corals filled with several species of fishes.

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Fiji is home to The Namena Marine Reserve. Some of the protected species in the area are several species of hard and soft corals and Hawksbill Turtle. The entire area offers a very rewarding diving experience like diving in unspoiled crystal-clear waters, swimming with schools of barracuda, trevalis, sharks, bump-heads, groupers, and coral snakes.

Fiji has a tropical climate sporting a year round diving season.

The water temperature hovers around 25°C (77°F) in winter and 29°C (84°F) in summer.

The average depth of the dives is between 5m to 40m with very clear visibility of up to 15m to 40m.

The natural hazards include cyclones & hurricanes from Dec to March.

Fiji's main point of entry is its main international airport, the Nadi International Airport, located by the coast on the western side of Viti Levu. Some international flights are also available in the island of Suva.

There are also boat rides from Australia through the Australia shore connection.

Inter-island travels are served by South Sea Cruises and Awesome Adventures Fiji. Exploring the islands via a rental car is discouraged as there are laws in place, so the safest is to hop-in to one of the ferries which offer reasonable fares.

There are also buses, "share taxis" and private taxis whose rates are cheap.

For the divers, it is best to contact your travel agents.

The overall nature of public transportation in Fiji is good but there is a fair warning to tourists to avoid road travels.

Use the following links for more information about;

- Decompression Chambers in Fiji

- Foreign Travel Advice for Fiji  (UK Government)

- More about the Fiji (Wikipedia)

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