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Where's the best Diving in Fiji without an internal flight

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#1 glamourpuss


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Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:21 AM

We're looking to spend about 2-3 weeks in Fiji and want to do some diving while we're there. We probably wont dive every day, but we'll likely spend at least half of the time underwater.

We're pretty flexible on where to go, we haven't booked any flights yet, but are looking to do so soon. We'll most likely be flying in from Auckland around middle to late March, and then hopefully flying out to Hawaii a few weeks later.

The biggest issue is that my boyfriend hates small planes, so wherever we go it needs to be accessible from either Nadi or Suva by boat/car. (we also have a lot of stuff since we've been traveling for a long time, so we wouldn't be able to make the luggage restrictions for a small plane anyway).

So we're looking for suggestions on where to go. Budget wise something moderate to lower end... not dorms, but definitely no luxury resorts, and preferably something with internet access.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

#2 troporobo


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Posted 03 December 2011 - 06:05 PM

Well, if you don't want to get off Viti Levu, you really only have one choice and that's Beqa Lagoon. Fortunately it's a really good choice with great diving!

Pacific Harbour is the place where you catch the boats and if you want to stay nearby there are several options. It is 2 hours from Nadi and 1 hour from Suva by car, so it is also feasible to drive for a day trip.

Some may disagree (and I would love to see some specific site recommendations) but in my opinion the diving around Nadi and the nearby Manamuca islands is unremarkable. If you really just need to get into some warm water for a dive, any dive, you can do so and the resorts can all arrange it

Finally, for what it is worth, Pacific Sun (owned by Air Pacific) now uses the much larger 40 seat ATR-42 on most domestic routes instead of the older 12 seat Harbin and 18 seat Bandeirante. If you're from NZ, you might already fly the ATR on the smaller domestic routes as Air NZ has a fleet of these too. I find it quite comfortable. If the small plane phobia can be overcome, that opens up a lot more destinations

#3 glamourpuss


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Posted 04 December 2011 - 02:12 AM

Thanks for the reply troporobo.

We're not set on staying on Viti Levu, and are actually trying to avoid Beqa Lagoon as some friends were they 6 months ago and said the diving was kinda crap. Are there no places that you can get to from Nadi or Suva by boat? Don't really mind if it takes longer, just want to avoid the small planes.

I'll look into Pacific Sun, as a 40 seater is probably do-able. What about baggage limits? Is there some where in Nadi or Suva to store excess? We've been on the road for a while and have a lot of stuff.

#4 troporobo


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Posted 04 December 2011 - 06:26 PM

It's true that dives at Beqa can be great and not so great, I've certainly had both. But your chances of good dives are much better there than anywhere on the Nadi side

To the best of my knowledge there are no dive operators who will go further afield from Viti Levu - except of course the liveaboards!

As for the luggage question, there used to be storage at the Nadi airport though I have not checked lately, and some hotels will also take care of it

Edited by troporobo, 04 December 2011 - 06:27 PM.

#5 JackConnick



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Posted 04 December 2011 - 07:50 PM

You can go on up to Wananavu and the diving there can be very good as they have a fast boat that gets out to Bligh Waters. But they are long runs out and it can get rough in the afternoon.


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#6 errbrr


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Posted 05 December 2011 - 02:33 AM

I dived with Scuba Bula on the Navula reef about 90 minutes taxi from Nadi in 2010. Nice soft corals, they had (crappy) internet, and were nice and cheap. The dive guys were very happy to cater to my group of 4 experienced divers and we pretty much got to dive what we wanted. I wrote about the turtle shots I got on that trip here, and we also saw a huge flock of eagle rays on our last day. The main drawback is that you have to walk out over the reef to the boats at low tide, which can be a pain with camera gear you're not prepared to let anyone else carry.

#7 fforbes


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Posted 05 December 2011 - 02:55 PM

My husband and I stayed at Volivoli Resort this summer, about a 2 hour drive from Nadi airport ( they pick you up if you want). They have excellent fast boats that can take you to the Bligh Waters, which we dove almost every day, some of the best diving in Fiji.

Volivoli was originally a backpackers resort, but has recently made major upgrades to appeal to travelers looking for more comfort and features . They still have the backpackers rooms, but we stayed in a villa that was beautiful, complete with full kitchen and even a washing machine ( helpful if you're on the road a while.)

It is close to Wananavu, but I believe Volivoli has a better dive shop and much better boats.

Sounds like Volivoli might work for you. Plus it's a great name.... Volivoli in Rakiraki.


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#8 bqualls


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Posted 05 December 2011 - 06:48 PM

Wananavu @raki raki has some of the best diving that I've done....soft corals like I've never seen. Very good value for the accom.----friendly staff and good food....the ocean view bures have a wonderful view. Definately a resort we would repeat. Pretty long drive from the airport, but we enjoyed the scenery and our driver stopped to provide us with our first round of kava upon the mere mention of our desire to try it later.

#9 TomR1


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Posted 15 December 2011 - 05:11 PM

There is Beqa Lagoon and then there is Beqa Lagoon. The issue with Beqa is that currents often make the preferred dive sites, usually not close to Beqa island, undivable so the boat operator must hunt around for a good dive site or bail to a closerin site that has unremarkable diving.

If you stay at Beqa lagoon Resort the physical facilities are great but the resort is relatively far from the best diving and the aluminum boats are slow. If you stay at La Leti, the resort is very nice but not as good as Beqa Lagoon Resort but the resort is closer to more good dive sites and the faster boats cover more water.

The map at the start of this video shows the relative orientation of the resorts and the dive sites: http://www.tomandgin..._slideshow.html

This is from La Lati. I previously stayed at BLR.