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Diving in Kadavu Island

Kadavu Island is a hidden green gem in the Republic of Fiji and a treat for manta ray lovers.

Diving in Kadavu Island

Quick facts

Dive operators on Kadavu open on a year-round basis but the best conditions to dive is during the Southern Hemisphere winter months. Visibility is better during this time, stretching up to 100ft (30m) but the water temperature drops to about 75˚F (24˚C) compared to 86˚F (30˚C) in the summer months.

The Great Astrolabe Reef is in pristine condition due to its remote location. This makes for spectacular diving at submerged pinnacles, coral gardens, drop-offs at the outer reefs and passages leading to the South Pacific Ocean. There is one shipwreck here, the Pacific Voyager, which is a good site for critter hunting.

Most of the dive sites are a short boat ride from Kadavu Island or Ono Island. On Kadavu, you can choose either to stay in the north or the south to access different dive sites. Notably, the manta cleaning stations are mostly located in the south but the north has better living facilities. The diving is mostly easy because of the many protected bays but expect swift currents at passages and at the outer reefs, there could be surface swells.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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What to see

While diving the Great Astrolabe Reef, take the time to enjoy the healthy coverage of hard and soft coral. Sponges, sea whips, sea fans and giant clams crammed on to coral bommies make for a wonderful sight. Manta rays are a highlight at Kadavu and they often frequent cleaning stations at the southern part of Kadavu Island. As such expect to see many colorful butterflyfish and cleaner wrasse at these sites.

Amongst the pinnacles, passages and along walls, you are likely to bump into friendly green sea turtles, humphead wrasse and also large and sometimes inquisitive potato cod. Schooling fish like sweetlips, snapper and fusilier are also common and these attract hunters like giant trevally, mackerel and tuna. At a dive site called Seafan Alley, there have been sightings of hammerhead sharks but usually at depths below 100ft (30m).

Calendar

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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Area

Kadavu is a tiny island that lies to the south of Viti Levu in the Republic of Fiji. Part of a volcanic archipelago known as the Kadavu Group, Kadavu Island is the fourth largest island in Fiji and measures 159 square miles (411 square km). Kadavu Island has an interesting profile with bays that cut in so deep that there is a part of the island only connected by a sandy isthmus.

The island appears wild and uninhibited at first sight as more than three quarters of it is still covered in dense tropical rainforest. However, it does have a modest population of 10,167 people and is slowly growing in popularity amongst tourists.

The main draw to Kadavu Island is for snorkeling and scuba diving. The island sits on the Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world that measures some 62 miles (100km) in length. Part of the Kadavu Group, the nearby Ono Island also sits on this barrier reef.

Other attractions

Outdoor enthusiast will have fun on Kadavu Island as there are trails for hiking, mountain biking and beautiful waterfalls to visit. Birdwatching is also recommended as there are several indigenous species on the island. Out at sea, try snorkeling, surfing or sea kayaking along the coast.

Getting there

Fly to the Vinusea Airport on Kadavu Island via Fiji Airways from Nadi on Viti Levu. There are also ferry transfers but the trip is long.

UTC+12:00

Time zone

FJD

Currency

+679

Calling code

240 V

Electric volt

I

Plug type

KDV

Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.