Dive Kadavu Resort

Dive Kadavu is one of the oldest dive operations on the island and comes with years of experience in diving the best sites. These locations range in both directions from the lodge and feature calmer diving conditions side of the island, where lies the Great Astrolobe Reef.

Being on the leeward side of Kadavu, the resort has an all-tides beach. Our bure was close to the sand, so that the sound of the waves lapping on the shore would lull us to sleep at night. We woke each morning feeling happy and refreshed.

The friendly Australian family owners made us feel quite at home. The bures were functional and practical rather than luxurious. The food was filling and plentiful in a typical family style Australian way.

We came here to dive and it definitely lived up to its expectations. The diversity of underwater life meant that we never got bored. They have four well-equipped dive boats and a very experienced dive master who points out everything of interest.

During our trip around Fiji, I amassed a large collection of underwater photos of more than 130 individual species. In our few days at Dive Kadavu, I was amazed at the number of species seen here, including some beautiful soft coral growths.

Bure's Jewels is a nearby dive site that offers many interesting critters. We went down with Surelis, our divemaster, David, our host and his two young daughters, Sophie and Jemira. We immediately saw a large marble grouper. The visibility was good at this site and there was a large assortment of Christmas tree worms and nudibranchs to photograph. Colorful yellow crinoids, bright orange sea-spits, enormous white sponges and patches of soft corals were just a few of the photographic subjects.

There were two nudibranchs hiding in the yellow crinoids. I spotted another type of nudibranch with a shape and color that I had never seen before.

Then we spotted a turtle swimming by. He swam slowly as I followed. A little distance later, the turtle settled to the bottom to rest. He sat there patiently as I took a few photographs.

We returned to dive our favorite dive site, Blue Tang, once again. This site never ceased to amaze us with its diversity of sea life. Even through we did not see the sharks this time, many other things took their place. We saw a couple of blue ribbon eels and then black ribbon eels swimming free.

A mantis shrimp was hiding in a big hole. Surelis began to pester the shrimp by dropping small stones into its home. Finally the shrimp had enough and pushed the lot out! She stuck its head out as if to say, "Leave me alone!"

A moray eel was getting its teeth cleaned, so Surelis decided to have his cleaned as well. The banded shrimp that were doing the cleaning were happy to perform the service on Surelis' grinning teeth.

Blue Tang never failed to amaze us, as there were always new critters to investigate. We were very happy to dive this as often as time permitted.

Once every few days, Dive Kadavu organizes an expedition to dive with the manta rays of the Great Astrolobe Reef. This is done by first taking a boat to the airport and then a truck to the other side of the island where one of Dive Kadavu's boats is waiting. Once loaded, we were ready to explore Manta Alley.

Yea! We saw a manta! It swam round and round us. In fact, we saw the same one manta twice on the same dive.

Lynn got so close to photograph it that when the manta turned in front of her its wing knocked the camera right out of her hands! Everyone was shocked by the collision and the manta disappeared in fright. After that we swam along enjoying the Astrolabe Reef, but didn't see anything else of consequence.

Our second dive was at Manta Point. This proved to be a fruitless dive as far as mantas go, but we saw a turtle and a clown triggerfish and the water was so clear that the hard corals shone in a spectacular array of underwater hills and valleys. This must have been the best-preserved coral we have seen in Fiji, pristine and perfect, due to the cooler temperatures of these waters.

After our two morning dives we stopped at a small beach and were served lunch in a small open hut. A buffet of chicken stir fry, cassava, rice, noodles, salad and pineapple was very satisying after the excitement of our morning dives. We broke open some coconuts to eat and relaxed on the beach.

Our third dive of the day was back at Manta Alley. This time we tried the west wall. This turned out not to be a good plan as the sun was getting low in the sky and cast a long shadow behind the wall. Although no mantas were seen, we had a nice long swim and saw some beautiful soft coral along the wall. Mantas are not guaranteed but we very fortunate that day to see one.

The resort is right next to two Fijian villages that exist side by side along the coast. We were escorted through the closest village and Lynn picked up a mango, which prompted the villagers to collect a whole bag for us to take back to the resort. This village seems to have an unlimited supply of mangoes and rooster, who would crow at the break of dawn in tune with the tropical birds and the lapping waves.

Although Dive Kadavu is located too far from the Great Astrolobe Reef to be reached directly by boat, its proxicty to the ithmas near the airport makes it possible to take a land ferry to the windward side and allow for a very different diving experience.

During our stay in December, we had very good weather and calm seas. Kadavu is so quiet and unspoiled; you can hardly even hear a boat go by. There is no pollution yet; it is mainly an unspoiled paradise!

The best thing about Dive Kadavu is that it faces west and we saw spectacular sunsets over the ocean. At this time of year, the sun sets next to the Nambukelevu Volcano that stands tall and picturesque on the horizon.