Fiji is a country consisting of more than 300 islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Regardless of location, snorkelers are bound to find fish wherever they go but some places offer more opportunities than others do for viewing the spectacular coral formations and the marine creatures that swim among them. The top snorkeling sites in Fiji offer warm water temperatures and a diverse ecosystem to explore just below the surface.
The water temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit year round but the warmest temperatures occur during the summer between November and April when is can be as warm as 86 degrees. Individuals can purchase or rent the necessary gear from almost any resort along the coast. In many locations, prime snorkeling sites are just underneath the water’s surface in shallow areas where the wear is just a few feet deep. Other locations require a short boat ride to access.
Viti Levu is the main island. The best snorkeling in this area is adjacent to the Coral Coast between Suva and Nadi. Reefs off the northern coast have numerous canyons and tunnels with golden corals clinging to the pinnacles, which natives in this region call bommies. Other popular spots include Natadola Beach and Nananu-i-Ra. The Pacific Harbor is home to Beqa Lagoon, where there is an inactive volcano crater, the Frigate Passage with cascading soft corals, and Side Streets, decorated with its unique orange coral.
The Mamanuca Islands, located off Nadi, have many suitable snorkeling sites. Among the most well known is the Pinnacle. This coral head rises 60 feet above the floor of the lagoon and features a protrusion shaped like a W. This site is extremely popular and attracts quite a few people, so individuals who prefer snorkeling in privacy should pick a different spot.
The coral in Fiji’s waters is particularly colorful but Somosomo Strait offers some of the most vivid hues. Lavender, orange and pink coral make up the Rainbow Reef. The fish found swimming in this area are just as colorful.
The Great Astrolabe Reef is found in the shallow water surrounding Kadavu Island. The North Astrolabe Reef is the perfect place to go for individuals who want a little more privacy while exploring. This region is home to the largest collection of manta rays in the world. Namena Marine Reserve offers a great spot for swimming with a wide variety of sea creatures, including tiger sharks, sea turtles, blue ribbon eels, and squid.
Snorkeling off Manta Ray Island offers the unforgettable experience of swimming with the manta rays. These elegant creatures are among the largest fish with some growing as big as 6.5 meters. The islands are also home to five species of sea turtles. The hawksbill turtle is the largest and is a protected species.
Fiji offers great places to explore for beginning and experienced snorkelers. Most of the resorts on the islands have onsite diving operations offering gear for sale or rent. Guests should call ahead of time to make sure equipment is available if they plan on leaving their own gear at home.