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The Best Islands in Fiji for Scuba Divers

Do you love shark diving? Drift diving? Colorful corals? Here, there’s an island for every diver.
By Chantae Reden | Updated On April 16, 2022
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The Best Islands in Fiji for Scuba Divers

manta ray

A manta ray swims over a Fijian reef. N Perryman

There’s more ocean than earth within Fiji’s 333-island archipelago. Even the most barren islands have a thriving reef just a few fin kicks beyond its shores. If you’re dreaming of a trip to this South Pacific underwater wonderland, these are the best islands in Fiji for scuba divers based on what diving suits your palate.

The Best Island for Shark Diving: Viti Levu

A dive at Fiji’s Shark Reef Marine Reserve is more of an underwater show and less of a typical scuba dive. Just past 80 feet, rest near the seabed and turn your gaze into the blue. Watch as tens of sharks circle overhead, hypnotizing their bubble blowing guests below. The area is most famous for its bull sharks, though tiger sharks marked by striking stripes often make an appearance. Tawny nurse sharks, lemon shark, silvertip sharks, black tip reef sharks, and black tip reef sharks grace these waters as well. Dives take place in the waters between the Coral Coast of Viti Levu and the island of Beqa—dive operators are available on both islands.

Dive Operators: Beqa Lagoon Resort; Beqa Adventure Divers

The Best Island for Manta Spotting: Kadavu

Blue spans from aquamarine to deep cobalt off the emerald island of Kadavu, home to one of the largest barrier reefs in the world. Out in the blue, you’ll find some of Fiji’s great ocean predators like tuna, giant trevally, and marlin. On the reef, you might be lucky enough to spot Fiji’s beloved reef mantas. They glide and twirl through the water like acrobats, rarely shying away from the scuba divers who come to admire them. The best time to see them is from April to September, and lucky divers have the chance of spotting dozens of manta rays on one tank.

Dive Operator: Kokomo Private Island Fiji

The Best Island for Colorful Corals: Taveuni

Great white wall

A diver hovers near the Great White Wall.

Being the “Soft Coral Capital of the World” is not just a trivial accolade. Taveuni is famous for being the must lush island in Fiji, and its garden reputation only solidifies once you look underwater. Taveuni is one of the jumping off points for Rainbow Reef in the Somosomo Strait, a narrow channel between the islands of Taveuni and Vanua Levu. Parts of the reef often resemble flower bouquets or cabbage patches. And if it all starts to feel oversaturated, a dive at The Great White Wall—a section of the reef that looks like its blanketed in snow from soft dendronephthya cora—is the perfect palate cleanser.

Dive Operator: Taveuni Dive Resort

The Best Island for Drift Diving: Vanua Levu

The nutrient-dense water between the islands of Venua Levu and Viti Levu make it a marine sanctuary for life both big and small. Soft and hard corals thrive on the reef, with reef fish taking refuge within the reef. Look closely and you’ll spot carpets of anemones, funky looking nudibranchs, crabs, octopi, and eels hidden between the crags. Out in the deep, reef sharks, hammerheads, eagle rays, barracuda, trevally and other pelagic giants take to the waters. New divers will enjoy the shallower dive sites of Namena Marine Reserve while divers looking for a thrill can hold onto their masks while speeding along the reef on a drift dive.

Dive Operator: Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji

The Best Island for Remote Adventures: Totoya

Few travelers, let alone scuba divers, ever make it to Fiji’s most remote coral reefs. With no public flights or ferries connecting the most populous islands in Fiji’s to its outer islands, the only way to reach here is with your own vessel or via liveaboard. Deflate your BCD at many of the reefs in Lau and you might just be the first to ever do so. Totoya, a horseshoe shaped island with a thriving reef, is one of the best for divers of all levels. The reef is one of the most interesting seascapes in the island group, with deep canyons giving way to a white sand floor. Exploratory dives oft reveal pinnacles with hard and soft coral embedded onto them, swim throughs, and schools of fish clustered around them. Weary reef sharks swim by, almost like they’re wondering if divers are friend or foe.

Dive Operator: Captain Cook Cruises MV Reef Endeavour

Need to Know

When to Go: Fiji is an incredible place to dive all year long. However, wet season take place from November to April, when storms are most likely to muddle visibility in the water.

How to Get There: International flights arrive at Nadi International Airport on Viti Levu, the largest island in the country. From there, you can venture to all outer island by plane or boat.