Fiji

March 25- April 1, 2018

Garden Island Resort, Taveuni Fiji

March 25 – April 1, 2018

Join us as we find out why Fiji is known as the “soft coral capital of the world”. Taveuni is the best location to visit the Somosomo Strait home to the world famous Rainbow Reef. Explore vast slopes of pink, purple, orange, white, and red, soft corals that span out to capture passing nutrients. Reef fish abound along with sea turtles and pelagic animals like barracuda and reef sharks.  Explore the nooks and crannies of the reef to find an assortment of creatures including moray eels, pipefish, and nudibranchs.

Package Includes:

  • 7 nights at Garden Island resort
  • Welcome drinks
  • 3 meals daily (Continental breakfast, 2 course lunch, 3 course dinner)
  • Afternoon coffee/tea and fresh baked goodies
  • 5 days of 2 tank morning boat dives
  • 2 days of 1 tank afternoon boat dives (requires a minimum of 10 on trip)
  • Unlimited shore diving (between 8am-3pm)
  • Use of kayaks
  • Cultural night with Lovo Feast and Meke dance performance (requires a minimum of 10 on trip)
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Hotel taxes
  • Free WiFi.

Upgrades

  • Ocean Front Spa suite – $175 per person
  • Many day excursions available.
  • Nitrox
  • Single occupancy – $325

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare
  • Tips
  • Alcohol
  • Day excursions

Accommodations

Garden Island Resort offers well appointed ocean view rooms. Each room is a second floor room with private balconies. The rooms include air-conditioning, ceiling fans, flat screen DVD players, mini-fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, and modern en-suites with hairdryers. Each room has a King size bed or two twin size depending on the needs of the guest.

Upgrade to Ocean front rooms are available for a additional fee. The Oceanfront rooms are ground floor rooms with a private outdoor patio and spa.

DIVING

The Somosomo Strait, which runs between Taveuni Island and Vanua Levu, is one of Fiji’s best known dive destinations. The strait almost single-handedly earns Fiji its title as the “Soft Coral Capital of the World”.

Many divers come to Taveuni just to witness the excellent soft coral blooms that occur when the current is running just right. Normally the currents are little more than a gentle helping hand along the way, guiding you past some of the most wonderful proliferations of soft corals on the planet. Large bushes of pink, brown and orange corals span out to capture the passing nutrients and create the remarkable spectacles of color that signifies Taveuni scuba diving. When the current is flowing, the grateful corals expand to their finest and most enchanting, whereas without the current they retract into barely visible balls – and who wants that?

It is not all sessile stuff when diving at Taveuni however, as the nutrient rich waters also promise plenty of pelagic fish species. You can expect to see barracudas, reef sharks and manta rays, particularly at a site aptly named ‘the Zoo’. Nearby, the world famous Rainbow Reef and Great White Wall have been noted in the ‘Top 10 Dive Locations in the World’ by U.S. Divers magazine. There are also some interesting sites off the little islands to the north east of Fiji’s ‘Garden Island’ which you will surely visit if staying for several days. Here, there is less current but still plenty to see and these sites make a change from the Somosomo Strait where diving can, in every sense, be truly breath-taking.

  • The Great White Wall – “Great” is a bland term too often thrown about but here it is justified, for it describes one of the most dramatic sights and sites you are likely to witness, and certainly one of the major diving attractions of Taveuni.

    A lot depends on hitting it at the right times as regards current and tidal changes. The dive will probably begin for you at a tubular cave around 15 metres depth, festooned with hard and soft corals as well as colourful sponges and crinoids. There may be a few resident lionfish and morays greeting you as you cruise along.

    Once you have filed through this swimthrough towards the exit at about 25 metres and turned left, you might be forgiven for thinking you had your ski holiday and your dive vacation mixed up, since you emerge onto what looks like a sudden snow-covered drop. This almost vertical wall (surely a black run) is blanketed with white coral.

    Between the white coral are little splashes of orange, green and red but the overall effect is undoubtedly that of a great, white wall. Square-spot anthias seem to be the pre-dominant fish on the wall as they dash around against the white backdrop. However the wall itself, with its white blanket, several whip corals playing home to gobies and a few large gorgonians, is the undoubted star attraction.

    The wall plummets dramatically into the abyss and you will too if you don’t keep an eye on your depth gauge, for given the snow-blinding scene, it is difficult to monitor depth using points of reference. One interesting change however is that as the depth increases the wall takes on a more iridescent lavender hue (dilly dilly).

    Fiji is not renowned for its deep dives but this Taveuni site does give you an opportunity to get down to where the air tastes differently if you so desire, although there are no additional deep water features other than the great lavender wall itself. If conditions permit your guide may also lead you through another swim-through or 2 which are home to soldierfish, squirrelfish and fairy basslets.

    Unique, dramatic and rewarding all apply to this, one of Fiji’s signature sites. If you have been growing tired of scuba diving lately, this is going to be the one that saves you, and after all, it’s the Great White Wall.

  • Rainbow Reef – is one of the first sites people mention when talking about diving in Taveuni or Fiji. In fact the area is big enough to be subdivided into several sites and all but the shortest of stays will probably see you visit here on more than 1 occasion. Parts of it are also known as Rainbow’s End or Rainbow Passage.

    As you descend to begin this Taveuni dive you will see below you a great profusion of colour as this site consists of several bommies adorned with a great array of soft corals in such colours as to be reminiscent of, yes, you guessed it, a rainbow!

    Currents are normally a factor here and of course this means the soft corals often look their most magnificent and the nutrients mean there is plenty of fauna to keep you amused. There are masses of colour everywhere as you make your way around the island reef which drops down from about 9 metres to a little over 20 to the sandy bottom.

    Swarms of little orange basslets seem to hurtle all over the place in and around the reef, dotted with nudibranchs, crinoids and Christmas tree worms. There are also a lot of anemones around swaying in the current and being determinedly protected by the resident anemonefish. Also keep an eye out for both adult and juvenile clown triggerfish who seem to like this area of Taveuni.

    Further removed is the big stuff so don’t keep your nose buried in the bommies. Behind you there may be barracudas and white-tip reef sharks as well as the possible appearance of leopard sharks moving languidly with their huge tails slicing through the current.

  • Jerry’s Jelly – At some stage on your Taveuni dive trip a helpful guide will explain to you that 2 deep and wide bodies of water move tidally through the narrow and shallow passage that is the Somosomo Strait. This volume of water movement in such a small channel is why the current picks up. At some stage when you are diving in the Somosomo Strait those words will echo in your ears. This site could be one of those times.

    You are likely to begin your dive by dropping down to around 18 metres with the reef on your left shoulder. If the current is of medium strength you can cover a reasonable distance along this reef, finning only gently to maintain your position. Innumerable garden eels rise up from their burrows to feast on the nutrient rich water rushing past their front doors, and dropping back inside only if you venture too close for comfort.

    As you continue your drift, keep a look out for Spanish mackerel, dog-tooth tuna and white tip reef sharks as well as smaller but no less impressive nudibranchs in big numbers. At some stage you will come to a point which involves crossing over a reef flat before dropping down on the other side of the reef into the lee of the current. You may find the speed of the crossing breathtaking, and as you career over the flat you will see the reef crossing beneath your body at an exhilarating rate.

    Then as you edge slowly back into shallower water, the current will again make itself felt. The very top of the reef is at about 6 meters so it’s slightly too shallow for safety stop purposes. This means that the safety stop begins when all the divers in your group, who will be holding on to some rocky part of the reef and with their bodies (and bubbles!) horizontal, simply letting go and allowing the current to pull them along as they off-gas for 3 or 4 minutes and reflect on the excitement of this Taveuni dive, whose conditions you are sure to encounter on at least a few occasions in the Somosomo Strait.

Garden Island Resort

March 25 – April 1, 2018

Recommended Flight Schedule Fiji Airlines
Date Flight Transfer Time
March 23 FJ 811 LAX – NAN 11:30p – 6A (on Mar. 25)
March 25 FJ 121 NAN – TVU 7A – 8:25A

Return flights can be booked for April 1.

Rate is per person for 7 nights, and is based on 2 persons per room.
$500 Deposit – Trip deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE. 

Passport Required

(Trip Insurance recommended)

Call 520-326-DIVE for more information.

THE DIVE SHOP IS A PADI FIVE STAR INSTRUCTOR DEVELOPMENT CENTER

The PADI System of diver education is based on progressive training that introduces skills, safety-related information and local environmental knowledge to student divers in stages. PADI courses are student-centered and provide maximum practice and realistic application.