Taveuni, Fiji Trip Report Nov 2023

Written by Webmaster

19 January 2024

Taveuni Dive Resort 

Trip Report 1 written by club member Tay Goleby

 We set out on our adventure. When we landed in Nadi at five in the morning, we were welcomed by joyful faces and singing voices. When Danielle landed in Fiji, she knew exactly what she wanted to buy – the Blue Turtle gin, which is the local speciality. Before our luggage had even arrived at the carousel, our fearless leader was stocked up for the week ahead. Afterwards, we boarded the smallest aircraft to travel to the breathtaking island of Tavenui. As we settled in at Tavenui Dive Resort, we became aware of the activities board, the resort hosts a fun activity daily and for this evening it was a welcome ceremony – and in Fiji that only means one thing, cava.  

Andy was chosen as our chieftain and Danielle as our spokesperson. This meant Danielle was tasked with deciding when the group should cease drinking kava, which meant we never stopped. To partake in the customary cava ceremony, each individual was handed a bilo, or cup, varying in size – based, seemingly, on how tough our ceremony guide thought each of us were. Many chuckles, full-blown laughter, and funny faces were made. Our first dive of the trip happened to be my (Tay’s) 100th dive, and a commitment was made – perhaps influenced by the cavas – to spend the entire dive, in the 26-degree Fijian water, completely nude. A delicious meal accompanied with an amazing local performer singing for us completed our day and was an incredible start to our trip.

The group was divided into two boats to avoid overcrowding on the dive sites and then we would come together on our surface intervals to enjoy fresh coconuts our dive guides would collect and prepare for us. Our dive sites on the first two days were incredible – colourful, full of critter life, and some of the healthiest coral we had ever seen. On returning to the resort we discovered the activity for the day was to learning how to husk coconuts. We’d seen this on the island; the locals took about 40 seconds… In contrast to all of us who struggled and took closer to five minutes just to husk the coconut. The legendary last words of Danielle were, “You made it look too easy.” After our activity we were told the next day would be our Great White Wall dive and we all went to be very excited about the experience.

We set off to dive our best dive to date on the trip. We went to the Great White Wall. It was absolutely gorgeous. The wall was covered in soft white corals that gave the impression that snow had fallen underwater. On arrival on the surface we all agreed we wanted to do it again – as soon as possible. Our guides had told us that the best views were down around 40m where there was a giant shelf and overhang and some lucky members were carefully guided there to see it. A unbelievable site that would have made the trip worth it, just for that one dive. Luckily for us though, the rest of the sites were just as spectacular.   Back at the resort we learned how to weave traditional Fijian baskets from palm fronds.  Tui and Eroni were very patient with us, as this turned out to be an even more troubled endeavour than husking coconuts.  


The next day Kyden was mistaken for a shark and was latched onto by a remora while we saw our first Fijian turtle and many many critters and two more incredible dive sites. Just before sunset five of us boarded the dive boat and headed out for a night dive to finish off the day. We were a bit too efficient in getting down to the boat, so we had to wait around 45 minutes for the sun to set. As we waited to dive in, the guides told us stories about the island and about growing up there, as well as about the marine wildlife – it was a hilarious and informative experience.

On day 6 following our first dive, we went to the beach to play what turned into quite competitive beach bowls and enjoy even more fresh coconuts.  The diving was so incredible – with one group venturing to the Purple Wall and the other to Cabbage Patch, we enjoyed sharing with each other all of the incredible things we saw. On return from another amazing day of diving we were treated to a round of crab racing. Eroni has 16 hermit crabs that are numbered, each person chose a crab and then the crabs were delicately placed in the centre of a circle – the winners were the three crabs who reached the outside of the circle first; they were rewarded with cocktails. We all enjoyed a few drinks with dinner before an early night so we’d be ready for our exploring the next day.

The majority of us left in taxis on the seventh day to chase waterfalls on the opposite side of the island. Our taxi drivers were locals with lots of knowledge who entertained us with stories and answered all of our questions about the island. Our first stop was a coastal walk with stunning views throughout, with a breathtaking waterfall it at the end. Half the group ventured to a second set of waterfalls for a very quick visit before we met up again at a local cafe to enjoy some homemade ice cream, drinks, and quick afternoon snack. We enjoyed one last amazing dinner at the resort with everyone and goodbyes started from 7am the next morning. We bid farewell to individuals departing on early flights and four of us proceeded towards the naturally occurring waterslide – where we had an amazing time goofing around for a few hours before our connection back to Nadi. An excellent way to end an incredible trip.


Taveuni Dive Resort

Trip Report 2 written by club member David George


Taveuni, the 3rd largest island in Fiji, is separated from its larger island neighbour Vanua Levu by the Somosomo Strait. Nutrient rich water wells up from the deep and funnels through this narrow channel, feeding the stunning reefs known as Rainbow Reef.

Travelling to Taveuni Dive Resort is quite easy with Fijian Airways, with direct flights to Nadi from Brisbane and Sydney, and a domestic flight to Taveuni. Our trip took a couple of days, with relaxing stopovers in Brisbane and Nadi giving us time rest before an early morning island hop to Taveuni. The low altitude flight took us over (or more like alongside!) the mountains of the main island, Viti Levu, then across the shimmering blue ocean before giving us a birds eye view of Rainbow Reef and the Taveuni coastline as we came in to land.

Resort owner Muriel was at the little airport to meet us and we were soon on our short drive (across the international date line!) to the Resort. The Resort is just across the road from the ocean, an easy 200m stroll to and from a small jetty.

 Paperwork was done over brunch and coffee and dive gear crates were filled, ready for a check-out dive in the afternoon.

And what a check-out dive it was! Our brilliant skipper and guides too us straight to the Great White Wall, one of Fiji’s most famous dive sites, and it didn’t disappoint. Descending through a near vertical swim through we exited along a deep wall that glowed white and light pink with beautiful soft coral. Being a check dive I didn’t take the camera, but wasn’t too disappointed as we were privileged to do another 2 or 3 dives on this remarkable site during our stay.

Buzzing after a stunning first dive, we headed back to the resort for sundowners (and kava experience for James, a Fiji first-timer 😉

Day 2 got us into the rhythm for the next 5 or 6 days, breakfast at 6:30ish, wander down to the dive boats at around 7:30-8 for 2 morning dives, followed by lunch at the resort and an afternoon dive. A short nap for some, before early sundowners and a yummy 3 course meal, then lots of contended zzzzzz… A very relaxing way to spend our days.

Rainbow Reef has over 30 recognised dive sites and in our week-long stay we did over half of them, plus a couple of welcome repeats. All of the diving was “drift” diving, but only a few of them were truly drift dives, with gentle currents on most dives, but enough to stir the fish and activate the soft coral. This area is known for its strong currents but our trip coincided with the smaller neap tides, making it easy diving for all. The experienced boat skippers and dive guides picked the best sites based on the tides and conditions, and did their very best to show us a variety of sites.

Rainbow Reef is famous for its colourful soft coral, and it didn’t disappoint, but what we weren’t prepared for were the stunning hard corals, rivalling some of the best in our own backyard.

One that will stick in everyone’s memory was Cabbage Patch, with its enormous single cabbage hard coral bommie, spanning something like 30 metres across.

Water temp was around 26-28 degrees, perfect for most of us with nice wetsuits, but apparently too warm for James who decided to forego his wetsuit after a couple of days and insisted on diving in his bright fluoro shorts, much to the photographers’ disgust.

The bures are huge and very comfortable, a little warm for some (no aircon), but not for these seasoned tropical folk.

The large pool was perfect for a lazy sundowner before dinner, with fruity cocktails and yummy snacks freshly made by the bar ladies and kitchen. The food was fresh, tasty and plentiful, with lots of choice and daily lunch and dinner special menus. The ladies in the kitchen were so friendly and helpful and happy to adapt to any of our dietary requirements or desires. The Resort has a quite extensive garden and veggie patch, and many of the dishes had ingredients freshly picked from the garden, or delivered by local fishermen or farmers.   

So if you’re looking for a soft coral paradise, not too far from home, consider Taveuni for your next overseas dive trip.

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