Coral Coast 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 Coral Coast
Fiji’s Coral Coast, beautifully situated on the south western coastline of the main island of Viti Levu, is named for its fringing coral reefs that run very close along the shoreline, which then joins the Malolo Barrier Reef to the west, and runs into Pacific Harbour to the east. Many of these exceptional reefs are shallow and can sometimes be seen exposed at low tide. Despite this, they plunge down to hundreds of meters just a little further offshore, forming sloping reefs, drop-offs, walls and caverns. There are also plenty of swim-throughs, overhangs, valleys and canyons for divers to enjoy.
With around 100 kilometers of extravagant fringing reef that teems with tropical species, it’s no surprise that the Coral Coast is always cited among Fiji’s premier diving destinations. Many dive centers and dive resorts are situated within the area, and many other operators venture to this treasure trove of dive sites from other Fijian regions. You’ll find dive operators almost anywhere, especially in the nearby town of Sigatoka and in Namaqumaqua. It’s also possible to visit the Coral Coast by liveaboard, as many include it on their diving itinerary among other top diving spots.
Best time to dive
Ultimately the best time for scuba diving the Coral Coast is around April to October for optimal weather and diving conditions. The tropical climate maintains warm waters that linger between 25˚C-29˚C, meaning diving is great year-around.
Types of diving
Typically characterized by otherworldly reef diving due to its idyllic location surrounded by a fringing reef system, the Coral Coast has way more than that to offer. The topography allows for some exciting wall diving, as well as cave exploration, fun swim-throughs and channels.
The reef system also becomes deep very quickly in some spots, so experienced divers are able to see what the few deep dive sites hide. When the current permits, it’s possible to take part in drift diving at many sites.
Logistically, diving is possible from the shore, though many operators offer boat diving. Journey times are usually very short when diving the Coral Coast.
What to see
There are encounters with turtles, black tip and white tip reef sharks, and even dolphins, in addition to bountiful Indo-Pacific species like vibrant reef fish, anemonefish, schools of snapper and barracuda, octopus, moray eels, wrasse and many more. Hard and soft corals, sea fans and gorgonians pepper the dive sites, which are as healthy as they are colorful. Macro critters are just as common, including nudibranch, flatforms, shrimp and more.
Best places to dive
Bordello boasts incredibly colorful reef walls that are decorated with soft corals, feather stars and sea fans. as more colour and is bedecked with soft corals, fans, and colourful feather stars.
Bigfoot creatively gets its name quite literally by being the shape of a giant foot. Here you’ll find a sloping rounded mount that forms ankles and toes, with numerous coral bommies. Cleaning stations attract many reef fish, and anemonefish crowd the multiple swaying anemones. On the sandy bottoms, white tip reef sharks can sometimes be seen resting.
The Edge resembles the end of the earth. A large vertical wall festering with sea fans, soft corals and reef fish descends to the abyss. Hawksbill turtles, triggerfish, unicornfish and more can be encountered. Keep your eyes in the blue as well, as you never know what may pass by.
Other diving areas nearby the Coral Coast that shouldn’t be missed include Pacific Harbour on Viti Levu’s south west coast, which is home to Shark Reef, where up to eight species of shark come to dine on fish provided by guides.
Beqa Island is also a must, where there’s the famous Beqa Lagoon that holds pinnacles, bommies, wrecks and shark dives.
The Mamanuca Islands west of Nadi are equally accessible and popular, where magnificent sites hold abundant corals, fish species and more.
The Yasawa Islands, north west of Nadi, also boast rich marine life along with unique topography. Manta ray and shark sightings are also possible.