Fiji's islands offer stunning scuba diving opportunities for all abilities

Diving in Fiji
Colourful sprawling reefs and tropical waters will make you want to jump on in. Photo credit: Supplied / Tourism Fiji

In the middle of Aotearoa's winter, with the rain lashing down and the heat pump the only thing keeping us from freezing, it can be hard to remember those hazy days of summer, short-sleeve shirts and shorts.

In such circumstances, it's easy to look overseas for a short sojourn to lift the spirits - especially now with COVID-19 travel restrictions predominantly lifted.

It just so happens there's a destination on our doorstep that could provide that balmy boost.

The South Pacific is home to some of the best diving destinations in the world and Fiji has some of the greatest. Even better, it's just over three hours flight away from Auckland meaning you're not going to suffer from jet lag from the short trip.

The island country is an archipelago of more than 300 different islands, with colourful sprawling reefs, varied marine life and tropical waters that make you want to just leap on in.

Here are some suggestions for anyone looking to tick off diving in a tropical paradise from their travel bucket list.


Rakiraki is a two and a half hours drive away from Nadi, with pristine reefs and over 50 dive sites in the Bligh Waters and Vatu-i-Ra Passage.

The waters off the Suncoast are a maze of barely submerged coral stacks and pinnacles, festooned with soft corals and alive with crowds of brightly coloured reef fish.

Black Magic Mountain is a classic Fiji dive site best known for schooling fish like big eye jacks, fusiliers and anthias, as well as several different species of sharks and rays.

Scuba diving in Fiji
Photo credit: Supplied / Tourism Fiji

Then there is Instant Replay and just like the name suggests, once you've done it, you'll want to do it again.

A cluster of resorts can be found around the island's northernmost peninsula. The area is also known for great hiking, deep sea fishing and seasonal kiteboarding and windsurfing. 


Pacific Harbour and Beqa Lagoon is one of Fiji's original soft coral wonderlands and the Beqa Lagoon is world renowned for its shark dives.

Usually calm, this shallow lagoon teems with marine life and you can expect pinnacles, wrecks and a plethora of colourful corals. The Lagoon can be easily accessed from Viti Levu – particularly from Pacific Harbour, the Coral Coast as well as offshore Beqa Island.

Accommodation and other adventurous activities like rafting, ziplining and off-road expeditions are plentiful in these locations. 


Some of Fiji's best diving can be found off Savusavu in Vanua Levu – Fiji's second largest island.  Two of the best dive spots are on the Great Sea Reef and the Namena Marine Park.

The waters off Savusavu are some of the most pristine in the whole of Fiji and it's no surprise and it is home to one of the world's finest pearl brands, J Hunter Pearls.

Natewa Bay, the largest bay in the South Pacific, is also emerging as one of the North's best kept secrets with dive operators conducting exploration dives in the diverse waters.

Scuba diving in Fiji
Photo credit: Supplied / Tourism Fiji


The nutrient-rich Bligh Waters and Koro Sea attract numerous schools of fish and larger pelagic all year round.

Large marine mammals like humpback whales can be seen playing in these waters from July to October for breeding and calving. 

Because currents are quite strong in these waters, it's more suitable for intermediate and experienced divers.


Known as the garden island for its plentiful plant life, Taveuni is Fiji's third largest island. IT is located adjacent to the amazing Somosomo Strait (which is also fully loaded with awesome dive sites) and is also home to Rainbow Reef and the famed 'Great White Wall', perhaps Fiji's most famous dive site of all.

Bird watching, waterfall hopping, and trekking are popular pastimes on Taveuni and can be arranged via dive resorts.


Kadavu is surrounded by The Great Astrolabe Reef,one of the largest on the planet - hence its location is a magnet for both divers and intrepid oceanic explorers of all kinds.

The expert dive guides in the region know all the best secret dives sites, no matter the time or tide. Tremendously deep water is constantly channelled through the Great Astrolabe Reef and into the lagoons closer to Kadavu. 

The Naiqoro Passage within the Great Astrolabe Reef is protected from fishing and requires a permit to enter.

Kadavu is the ultimate diving region for people seeking an extra-special experience. completely undisturbed by mass tourism.

Scuba diving in Fiji
Photo credit: Supplied / Tourism Fiji


If you intend to discover a series of exquisite reefs mixed with gentle lagoons, then Mamanuca Islands could be the place for you. Both Namotu Wall and The Supermarket - which gets its name from the multitude of marine life that call it home - make for great dives.

Dive sites in the Mamanuca Islands are typified by reefs with calm seas and easy-to-navigate coral reefs so are perfect for all levels of divers.


The Yasawa Islands offer dramatic landscapes with the volcanic island formations creating a host of dive sites. 

Locals hold the Yasawa Islands in high esteem and all dive sites are easily accessible. Colourful sea fans and soft corals are found within deep reef walls and a wide variety of invertebrates can be spotted living in the overhangs.

Scuba diving with manta rays (seasonal) is a popular yet carefully moderated activity. 

Of course, if diving isn't your cup of tea, you can always just relax on the beach or beside the pool.

And if Fiji isn't your cup of tea then there are plenty of other options to consider for that mid-winter break too, like Samoa, Tonga and New Caledonia. Heck, even a quick jaunt across the ditch to Australia might be enough to lift the spirits.