Just the name Fiji conjures up visions of palm trees and beaches. Fiji, comprises over 320 lush islands of which only 105 are inhabited. The two main islands are Viti Levu including the international airport in Nadi (pronounced NANDI) and Vanua Levu, the island to the north. Fiji is known as the soft coral capital of the world and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. In fact, WE LOVE diving in Fiji and ran our very first expedition there back in 1999.
If you want cool things to do in Fiji, check out the next section. If you are looking for facts and figures, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiji
Adventure comes in many styles in the Fijian Islands. Some of our favorite things to do include:
- Dive Dive DiveScuba Diving is our favorite thing to do in Fiji.
- Meet the Children. Fiji has some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and the children are simply precious. They LOVE to have their photos taken and watch themselves on video cameras. Get a portable printer and not only take photos but print them while on vacation and give them to the children. This is priceless for them!!!
- Drink Kava. The national drink of Fiji, kava is made from a pepper root which is crushed with mortar and pestle. Then water is added and mixed with a rag to the consistancy and look of dirty dish water, yum!! Using a half coconut shell the ritual cup is passed around in concise order beginning with the chief and a series of hand claps before and after is appropriate. Kava has a numbing effect on the lips and….well the brain! In the “old days” the kava root was chewed and then spit into the bowl before mixing and drinking….MOST of those days are gone!
- Surfing. Beqa Island has some top surfing breaks. Check them out!
- Firewalking. No that doesn’t mean YOU have to do it and while it may seem a little “touristy”, this is actually a serious religious ceremony which strict adherence to protocol. It originated on Beqa.
- Snorkel.If you are not a diver, you can still enjoy the magnificent reefs with just a mask, snorkel and fins.
- Attend a MekeA meke is the traditional dance ceremony of Fiji. It’s very cool to go to a village and see the dances rather than have a group come to your hotel. In the village you can interact with the Fijians.
- Visit Koroyanitu National Park in the Mt. Evans range on Viti Levu. Projects like Abaca are in place creating hiking trails through the 25,000 hectare park.
- Sigatoka Sand Dunes. Located just 2km outside of Sigatoka town, these beautiful dunes are a sight to behold. There is a visitor’s center as well.
Like many dive locations, Fiji has a warmer, wetter, lower visibility season, from No-vember to April and a cooler, windier drier season from April to october. It is definitely possible to dive Fiji year around. Cool waters of the northern hemisphere summers bring clear waters but windy and choppy conditions to the islands. We like the shoulder season of November which often brings good dive conditions.
Fiji has a number of dive “areas” across its hundreds of islands. Here are some of them.
- Great Sea Reef- While Fiji is known for it’s soft corals, there is great diving on the “hard” reef as well. The Great Sea Reef in the northwest of Vanua Levu has great di-ving without the crowds though it is not a soft coral environmnet. Do expect longer run times to the reef.
- SomoSomo Straits- Fiji’s reputation as the soft coral capital of the world, stemmed originally from this area that lies between the island of Taveuni and Vanua Levu. It can be dived from both land based resorts and live aboards. When the currents run they create an endless food source for these kaleidoscope colored corals. There is nothing so spectacular as this rainbowed sea.
- Bligh Waters- To be perfectly honest, this is our favorite area to dive in Fiji. Our opi-nion is that the Bligh Waters is the SomoSomo straits on steroids. Yes, currents can be ripping strong here but the soft corals and marine life are second to none in Fiji. There are a limited number of resorts from which to dive these waters but most of the live ab-oards service the area. Namena Marine Protected Area within the Bligh Waters has marvelous soft corals, big critter diving as well and ripping drift dives!
Sharkman and Mantagirl Give Fiji Diving 2 Fins UP
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