Fiji has become one of the world’s most popular tropical dive destinations and much of this interest is due to the superb diving at Taveuni’s acclaimed Rainbow Reef. Here we find reefs ablaze with every colour of the rainbow, as multi-hued soft corals and fish feed in the tidal currents of the Somosomo Straits. Add to this clear, warm tropical water and you have truly world-class diving. Garden Island Resort’s PADI 5 Star Dive Centre, offers daily excursions to this world class dive area aboard one of our three custom - built dive vessels. There are numerous sites to choose from, the experienced dive staff will ensure that your diving is safe, fun and memorable. Towels, refreshments are offered on the dive boats.
Q: WHERE WILL WE BE DIVING?
A: All dives are at the world-renowned Rainbow Reef. This area includes the scattered reefs in the Somosomo Strait and the fringing reef south of Vanua Levu. The closest reefs are just 10 minutes away.
Q: WHAT TYPE OF DIVING WILL WE DO?
A: In the Somosomo Straits the diving is on patch reefs that are fairly shallow (10-22m/30-70ft) but some may have challenging tidal currents. At the fringing reef section there is wall diving with deeper profiles (15-30m/50-100ft). Drift dives are done when sites and tides are favourable.
Q: WHAT DETERMINES THE DIVE LOCATIONS?
A: TIDES... Certain sites are best on certain tides. In the Strait, some sites are done only on an outgoing or an incoming tide whilst other sites are good on both tides.
WEATHER... The Somosomo Strait is generally protected from rough seas but can be affected by surge. The fringing reef area is more exposed and sometimes unsuitable to dive due to rough seas.
Q: WHAT IS THE WATER TEMPERATURE & WHAT EXPOSURE SUIT WILL I NEED?
A: There are two distinct seasons: Summer (Nov-April) & Winter (May-Oct). Summer water temperatures lie in the 27°-30° C range (79°-84° F.) 2-3mm short suits would suffice. Winter water temperatures are in the 24°-27° C (75°-78° F) range. 3 or 5 mm steamers would be needed.
Q: CAN I TAKE MY NON-DIVING PARTNER?
A: If we have space we will take non-divers on dive excursions. Some of our dive sites are unsuitable for snorkelling; please check at the Dive Centre. We do run separate snorkel trips from Korolevu Island.
Q: HOW IS OUR DIVE EQUIPMENT ORGANIZED?
A: Guests' BC and regulators are assembled and loaded by the dive team prior to guests arrival in the morning. After dives, gear will be rinsed and stored by our dive centre team. There is a camera rinse bin ready on your return. We have recently restocked our equipment with SCUBAPRO gear which is available for hire, including a selection of BCD's and regulators, wetsuits, masks and fins at reasonable rates.
Q: WHAT TIME DO TRIPS DEPART & RETURN?
A: The boats depart at 9:00am for our daily 2-tank dives, (please be at the Dive Centre by 8:30am) and arrives back at the Resort at approx. 1:15pm in time for a relaxing lunch. There are occasions when we will offer a 3 tank dive (additional cost for 3rd dive applies) and the boat will go to a beach where a picnic lunch will be offered, the 3rd dive will be done after lunch on return to the resort.
Q: HOW EXPERIENCED DO I NEED TO BE?
A: Depending on the state of the tide there can be strong currents. Also, because of the unique geography of the Strait, the strongest current is in the shallow sections over the reefs. The dive crew moors and places a descent line enabling divers to descend and ascend through the current. It is always advisable to have extra weights when there is strong current. The best advice is to listen to the dive crew who are the experts and know the sites intimately.
Q: CAN A PREPAID DIVE PACKAGE BE REFUNDED OR SHARED WITH OTHER PEOPLE?
A: In order to offer very reasonable package rates, unused packages dives cannot be refunded or shared. Travel Insurance should cover airline delay, sickness, etc. We do not give refunds in circumstances beyond our control.
Q: HOW ABOUT AFTERNOON & NIGHT DIVES?
A: Afternoon dives can be arranged (we require 4 divers minimum). Night dives when 4 or more guests are interested and conditions permit. They are not part of packages and cannot be pre-booked or prepaid.