The Great Sea Reef, known locally as Cakaulevu, is the third-longest continuous barrier reef system in the world, winding along the seafloor for over 200km from the tip of Vanua Levu, across the Vatuira passage, around the coastline of Ra and Ba provinces, and making its way into the Yasawas.
This vibrant underwater world is teeming with life and home to many of Fiji’s coral and fish species. The crystal-clear waters around it are a mecca for diving, snorkelling, and swimming, while the water’s surface offers myriad ways to enjoy the beauty of the tropics. Island hop by yacht, or paddle board, parasail, swim, or snorkel around the island fringes.
Here’s how to explore it.
Nukubati is one of the best places to stay to experience the reef. A remote island eco resort, located just off the north coast of Vanua Levu, it was the first solar-powered resort in the South Pacific and operates with a restorative ethos focused on regenerative tourism.
Here, rain water is harvested, hot water is produced by solar heaters, food is grown on site, and there’s no air conditioners or swimming pools; instead, the buildings are designed for passive ventilation using the sea breezes, and the ocean is the place for a dip. It’s the ocean you’ll experience here, with a range of specialised bespoke dive charters into the vibrant underwater world surrounding this tiny island.
SURF THE REEF BREAKS
For surfers, the Mamanuca Islands are arguably the place to be, with a handful of world-renowned waves. Namotu Island Resort is the closest to the infamous Cloudbreak and Namotu Lefts, both easily accessible using the resort’s free surf boats.
Namotu is a boutique resort with 12 beachfront bures. Fresh seafood is caught locally by the resort’s staff — they’ll even take you on a spear-fishing experience nearby, teach you the art of this ancient fishing technique, and fillet and cook the catch the same day.
SWIM WITH MANTA RAYS
On Nanuya Balavu in the Yasawa Islands, Mantaray Island Resort is surrounded by a marine reserve known for its incredible variety of diving spots and seasonal population of manta rays. Swimming with these gentle creatures as they glide silently through the water is an experience hard to forget.
Between May and October, large populations of Pacific manta rays inhabit the narrow nutrient-rich channel that runs between Nanuya Balavu and neighbouring Drawaqa Island where they come to feed on plankton.
The Colours of Fiji
A palette by Natural Paint Co.
Immersed in the underwater world, Dive speaks to the purity that exists in the ebb and flow of the tonal variations of the water around the reef and the power and movement of surf breaks beyond.
Connected with the deep yellow of Beachball, Dive moves through watery blue tones — Pacific Blue at its most immersive; Paua Shell in the mid range; and Dusk, a lighter, grey-tinged hue. Dive evokes memories of days in the sea and the humbling power of the ocean’s pull.
Use code FIJIHOME to order four free Natural Paint Co. test pots.