Diving in Fiji
Fiji consists of over 300 islands scattered over 42,000 square miles
of ocean. Known as “the soft coral capital of the world,”
Fiji’s variety of soft coral is astounding. Fed by the rich nutrients
streaming up from the Tonga Trench and influenced by several major rivers,
the reef eco-system in the Fiji Islands is noted for its complex nature:
you'll see any number of hard and soft coral, sea fans, dense schools
of fairy basslets, and schools of barracuda. The diving is varied as
well: drift dives, night dives, an action-packed shark encounter, wreck
dives and more. Great diving is everywhere in Fiji… whether you
choose to go north to Taveuni to dive the Somosomo Strait or Vanua Levu
to dive Savusavu Bay or the Great Sea Reef, south to dive Beqa Lagoon
or the Astrolabe of Kadavu Island, west to dive the Yasawa or Mamanuca
Islands or a liveaboard to explore Bligh Waters in the midst of them
all, the diving will amaze even the most seasoned and well-traveled
There are two distinct seasons for diving: summer (November - April)
and winter (May - October). During the summer months water temperature
lies in the 80°F - 85°F range (27°C - 30°C) and a “skin”
or lycra divesuit or shortie is recommended. During winter the water
temperatures are in the 75°F - 80°F range (24°C - 27°C),
and a 3 mm or 5 mm wetsuit is recommended. See Fiji's current weather here.
Passport and/or Visa Requirements
A valid passport for at least three months beyond the intended period
of stay and a ticket for return or onward travel to another country is
required. Entry visas are granted upon arrival for a stay of 4 months
or less for nationals of the USA. Read about Fiji's entry and exit requirements here.
Fiji is free from malaria, yellow fever and major tropical diseases that
are endemic to most tropical countries. Yellow fever and cholera vaccinations
are required only for those arriving from infected areas. Check the CDC website before any international travel, here.
Culture and Customs
Fijians are known as the friendliest people in the world, and you will
be instantly welcomed into their country. Fiji is a country rich in traditional
culture and uses a native language that defines happiness. “Bula!”
is one of the most common greetings in the Fijian language and it means
"health" or "life." In Fiji, Bula is as common as
As a guest in Fiji, you will frequently be invited to participate in
one of the most common ceremonial and social customs in the islands, the
Kava Ceremony. The drinking of kava, or Yaqona, is quite common on social
occasions. It is regarded in Fiji as "the National Drink". Kava
is made from the bare root of a pepper tree, pounded into a fine powder
and then mixed with fresh water. Turning down an offer to drink a bowl
of Yagona is considered insulting in Fijian society. Read more about Fiji here.
Electricity, Telephone and Internet Access
The electrical current in Fiji is 240 volts AC 50 Hz. Fiji has three
pin power outlets identical to Australia and New Zealand. Leading hotels
and resorts offer universal outlets for 240v or 110v shavers, hair dryers,
Most hotels have direct dial telephones. The country code for the Fiji islands is 679.
Most hotels and resorts are equipped with Internet services as well
as other private Internet cafes, which can be readily found in most towns
and cities. Dial-up connection is common in Fiji but the use of high speed
Broadband has increased.
Except during periods of continuous heavy rain, the tap water in the
main towns and at the resorts is safe to drink. Bottled "Fiji"
spring water is widely available at shops and hotels.
Language & Currency
Fiji has three official languages: Fijian, English and Hindi (a Fijian
form of Hindi spoken by the Indian population). There are also many
Fijian dialects which are spoken by the indigenous Fijians (Bauan is the
The currency is the Fijian dollar. For the current exchange rate click here. Major
credit cards are welcomed by hotels, restaurants, shops, rental car agencies,
cruises and travel agents.
Local time in Fiji is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time from March
1 to October 31. Daylight saving time is in effect from November 1 to
February 28, when local time is 13 hours ahead of GMT. Although the 180°
meridian passes through Taveuni, all of Fiji is west of the international
date line, so it's one day ahead of the United States and shares the same
day with Australia and New Zealand. Translated: When it's 5am on Tuesday
in Fiji, it's noon on Monday in New York and 9am on Monday in Los Angeles.
History, Art, and Culture
The European discoveries of the Fiji island group were accidental. The
first of these discoveries was made in 1643 by the Dutch explorer, Abel
Tasman and English navigators, including Captain James Cook who sailed
through in 1774, and made further explorations in the 18th century. Major
credit for the discovery and recording of the islands went to Captain
William Bligh who sailed through Fiji after the mutiny on the Bounty in
1789. The first Europeans to land and live among the Fijians were shipwrecked
sailors and runaway convicts from the Australian penal settlements. Sandalwood
traders and missionaries came by the mid 19th century.
Cannibalism (which was practiced in Fiji at that time) and tribal warfare
quickly disappeared when Ratu Seru Cakobau accepted Christianity in 1854.
From 1879 to 1916 Indians came as indentured laborers to work on the sugar
plantations. After the indentured system was abolished, many stayed on
as independent farmers and businessmen, and today they comprise 47 percent
of the population.
Location and Size
Fiji is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Vanuatu,
west of Tonga and south of Tuvalu. The country occupies an archipelago
of about 322 islands, of which 106 are permanently inhabited. The two
major island, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for approximately 87%
of the total population.