Viti Levu Diving
Scuba diving in the Fiji paradise that is Viti Levu entails a wealth of underwater adventure. From pristine coral reefs in cobalt blue waters, to action-packed encounters with tiger and bull sharks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Often referred to as "The Mecca of Pacific Diving", Beqa Island is home to Beqa Lagoon, which attracts divers of all skill levels to its adventurous dive sites that range from calm, idyllic shallow reefs, to eerie shipwrecks and adrenaline-pumping shark diving.
Whether you’re a seasoned expert or absolute novice, the Coral Coast is perfect for divers of all skill levels. Beginners can relish taking entry-level dive courses on relaxing, easy reefs, while advanced underwater enthusiasts can marvel at deep walls, caves and canyons.
Diving in Viti Levu
Diving in Viti Levu is possible in many areas, though the top spots include, Beqa Lagoon, Rakiraki, and the Coral Coast. The majority of these dive sites are on the south and north coast of the island. There are plenty of dive operators to choose from, including liveaboard boats. Many dive shops are peppered all over the area, including the Fijian capital of Suva, Nadi city, and even the tranquil Toberua Island, which attracts divers to its quiet, serene beaches and reefs. Denarau Island is equally worth a visit, where picture-perfect beaches and glimmering waters hold stunning coral reefs that astound even experienced divers.
A major attraction is of course, the sharks. Pacific Harbour on the south west coast is the home of the shark feeding concession at Shark Reef. The Shark Reef Marine Reserve is considered among the must-dive areas in all of Fiji. Due to its fame and popularity, Shark Reef is visited by dive centers and dive resorts from the Coral Coast, and many other nearby hotspots.
There’s also easy access to Beqa Island, where the famous Beqa Lagoon lies. Divers can marvel at the fantastic sharks that inhabit these waters along with pinnacles, coral bommies, and coral gardens. There are also a couple of small shipwrecks to explore.
What’s more, the top sites in Bligh Water, another excellent diving area, can be reached within 20-30 minutes by boat from the northern coastal areas, particularly from Volivoli, a well-known resort popular with divers.
Ultimately the best time for scuba diving in Viti Levu is April to October for optimal weather and diving conditions, though thanks to warm waters ranging between 25˚C-29˚C, it’s great year-round. September to November are better for seeing whales, and for tiger sharks, visit between June and August. Bull sharks leave to mate from November to January.
Best places to dive
Shark Reef at Beqa Lagoon has enjoyed over a decade of protection from fishing. As a result, fish action is intense, but the real heart-racing showstoppers are the eight species of shark that frequent the area. Sharks are fed by expert guides, while divers rest on the sea bed and gaze at these majestic pelagics as they tuck into the buffet. Some of the most common sharks to encounter are bull sharks, silvertip sharks, tawny nurse sharks, gray reef sharks, blacktip reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks and even enormous tiger sharks.
At Gunbarrel, you fly through an underwater canyon, where schools of fish gather while reef sharks glide through them. Further ahead, gardens of hard and soft coral ignited by the sun’s rays await divers’ attention.
Rakiraki boasts unspoilt reefs, drop-offs and prolific marine life that keep divers entertained for multiple dives. Expect sizeable sea fans, gorgeous coral gardens, hordes of vibrant reef fish, turtles, barracudas and reef sharks, and if you’re lucky, you may be graced with the presence of manta rays, whales and dolphins.
Vitawatawa Channel, the lagoon’s edge transforms into a wall that faces the open ocean. Littered with reef fish and corals, you’ll fin along the wall until you find sandy bottoms and more rocky walls, where various sharks linger. Several boulder formations and swim-throughs also entice divers.
Plantation Pinnacles is made up of three deep-water pinnacles that feature swim-throughs, tons of fish, barracuda, a clownfish garden and even reef sharks. Notably an excellent site for photographers.
Supermarket is a world-famous shark site, home to whitetips, blacktips and grey reef sharks, in addition to plenty of other large species like grouper and barracuda