Beqa Island Diving
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.
Diving in Beqa Island
Fiji promises a rich world of underwater paradise under its glimmering turquoise waves. With so many memorable places to enjoy scuba diving suitable for all levels, it’s always cited as a favourite destination among the worldwide diving community.
Lying just south of the main Fijian island of Viti Levu, Beqa Island is easily accessible and is a common destination for those that want to get straight into the water. Dive centers and dive resorts abound, availability is abundant. Divers can also opt for a liveaboard.
It’s thought that there are over 100 in the Beqa area, that include coral bommies and pinnacles, fringing reefs, and a couple of wrecks. The corals are magnificently healthy and vibrant, and the numbers of fish, reef critters and sharks are far from disappointing.
Beqa Lagoon, a major diving hotspot, is made up of 100 square miles of clear turquoise water surrounded by around 30 kilometres of barrier reef, allowing it to be in the club of the world’s largest barrier reefs.
Best time to dive
Scuba diving in Beqa Island is fantastic all year, thanks to a sublime tropical climate. Conditions can vary slightly depending on the season, however. For the best visibility, Beqa Island diving boasts the clearest seas from July to September, when you can expect to see for 20-40 meters. Water temperatures fluctuate from around 24°C in July and August, to about 28°C in February and March.
In Beqa Lagoon, the waters are generally calm due to protection, and experience minimal currents, though there can occasionally be swells between November and January.
Types of diving
Beqa Island diving mostly consists of beautiful reef diving on its prolific barrier reef, along with epic shark diving. There are also a couple of wrecks to explore, including the John’s Tunnel dive site. This site is unique as it promises a full house to divers that want it all - a vibrant reef, eerie tunnel and the intact wreck of a Japanese trawler. Night diving is also popular, when different critters emerge to hunt, and divers can even discover a few wall dives too. Due to such diverse sites, Beqa remains an optimal place for undertaking dive courses, thanks to plentiful training locations.
What to see
You can truly see it all at Beqa, though most divers show up to hang out with the eight species of shark present in Beqa Lagoon, which frequent the feeding sites. The main attractions are of course, the big bull and tiger sharks.
Sea turtles, eagle rays and manta rays are not uncommon throughout the year. In addition to diverse Indo-Pacific reef fish, you can also encounter octopus, cuttlefish, sea snakes and plenty of macro critters like shrimp, nudibranch and crabs.
In June, tuna come out to play, while Tuna proliferate in June, while barracudas appear in huge numbers around February. July and August is the perfect time to see game fish like blue marlin and Spanish mackerel.
Best places to dive
The Cathedral is a once in a lifetime experience, where divers hang out with multiple shark species all at once. This is one of the premier shark diving sites, where plenty of tiger sharks frequent.
Caesar's Rocks boasts Beqa’s best diving. The topography is striking, featuring soft coral bommies that decorate the site with fluorescent hues. Giant sea fans add to the decorations, as do plentiful fish species. A favourite site for photographers, the area also hosts a coral-lined tunnel which produces excellent photo opportunities. Tuna, turtles, and the occasional manta ray pass through as well.
Blue wall offers sharks, mantas, eagle rays all in excellent visibility, while Frigate Wall similarly promises pelagics, in addition to lots of critters hiding in the cracks and alleyways
E.T, aptly named for being out of this world, entails a large bommie that easily takes more than one dive to explore. Nestled here is also a huge tunnel leading to two chambers, all peppered with colorful soft corals and fauna.
Carpet Cove, baptized for its abundant anemones, is not only home to countless anemonefish, there’s also a Chinese trawler wreck covered with encrusted corals. Among its many residents, you can see electric clams, turtles, whitetip sharks, schools of barracuda and many more.
Fantasea can experience currents, but when it’s calm, it’s one of the top sites. There’s a coral ridge decorated with crinoids and various corals hosting small creatures, in addition to gargantuan gorgonian fans, which grow from either side of the channel.
Seven Sisters is said to host seven pinnacles, though in this ever-changing topography, it’s hard to count due to the sheer volume of life you encounter.
The Pinnacle is a site closer to Vatulele Island than Beqa, but as it’s one of Fiji’s top spots for pelagic encounters, many operators include it on their to-do list. There's a good chance to see grey reef sharks, eagle rays, and if you’re lucky, you might meet bull and tiger sharks.