Fiji Below the Waterjo
Dates: June 4 – 11; October 8 – 15; December 10 – 17
If none of these dates suit, please let us know and we’ll try to arrange something to suit you.
Guided snorkeling with marine biology lectures
The reefs around Vanua Levu provide some of the most rewarding snorkelling in the world – a chance to see the famous soft corals of Fiji, swim amongst clouds of sergeant majors, anthias, damsel fish and jack fish, and see sharks, rays and turtles.
We include a full day at the Namena Island Marine Reserve. You will board the Namena Divers boat at the dock in Savusavu first thing in the morning; the trip to the island takes approximately 55 minutes. The island is surrounded by a protected reserve; you will be snorkeling over coral beautiful reefs with a wealth of marine life. You will be given lunch on the private island, and encoraged to explore its sandy beach and the paths in its interior, which give you access to its many birds. The diving at Namena is ranked amongst the world’s best dive sites – and the snorkeling is up there too!
During the week, an experienced marine biologist will give three talks on the marine environment.
On the first day, he will come with you for an introductory snorkel, and the next day he will guide the snorkel and point out some of the wonders of the ocean on a field trip.
During the rest of the week, you will be accompanied by our staff who will guide you to the best spots for snorkeling.
Below the water is definitely the centre of the week, but we’ll also show you a lot of Fiji above the water. Visits to a waterfall, Savusavu town and a local village are all included – there’s a full programme set out below. (We don’t specifiy a day for the trip to Namena as this depends on weather and tides; if the conditions are too rough, the trip may be cancelled at the discretion of the boat captain. He tries hard to make sure you get there but obviously safety concerns have to be his priority.)
In order to book, click below.
You will be taken to our Paradise Courses website which has an updated secure booking payment form. If you’re in any way confused, please contact us or give us a call at the Sydney office: (+61) 02 8094 1613.
Cost and booking
AUD $1300 twin room
AUD $1650 single room.
7 nights twin share accommodation at Daku Resort in traditional bures with private facilities.
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
Excursions as indicated.
Airport transfers from Savusavu Airport to Daku Resort by road (approx 10 minutes).
Travel to Savusavu.
Comprehensive Travel Insurance.
Optional activities not listed on the program.
Costs of a personal nature such as laundry, massages, private trips.
Travel to Savusavu: please book your flights to arrive in the morning.
Poolside lunch, followed by an introductory snorkel.
6.00 pm Welcome ceremony
7.00 pm Dinner
Field trip. We’ve listed some of the snorkeling sites below; we’ll choose which one to visit depending on weather and tides.
Morning: Field trip.
We’ll be back in time for lunch, and after lunch there will be a tapa demonstration. Tapa is traditional Fijian bark cloth, and a local craftswoman will show you how it’s made and invite you to try your hand at decorating a piece.
Afternoon: Town Visit.
Evening: Lecture on Conceptual Coral Reefs
Morning: Field trip.
After lunch, we will visit the J. Hunter Pearls pearl farm. These are magnificent black pearls grown and harvested in Savusavu Bay. Depending on the season, you may go out in the boat to visit the pearl farming platforms and snorkel along the rope lines where the oysters grow.
7.30 – 9.00: Breakfast.
Free morning: arrange whatever private trips you wish (these are not included in the price).
- visit the Flora Tropica Gardens with their marvellous collection of palm trees from around the world
- have a massage
- relax by the pool
4.00 – 6.30 Excursion to local village to see the way of life and enjoy a traditional Fijian meke (dance).
7.00 Dinner and Lecture on ‘Cities under the sea’
Morning: Field trip.
Afternoon: Excursion to waterfall – plunge into the cool depths of the pool beneath the torrent.
Morning: Field trip.
Evening: Lecture on Coral Critters
Notes on some of the sites we may visit.
1. Split Rock: Split Rock is 150 metres off shore; a large coral head, it is named for the distinctive split down one side. At the bottom of the split you can see purple gorgonian fans and pale yellow soft corals. At the entrance to the split a fierce clown fish defends her anemone and the male takes refuge in its fronds. When a female clown fish dies, the male changes sex and becomes female, and the next male moves up the hierarchy. There’s a large school of inquisitive black and white sergeant fish nearby; they will come right up to you and often give your fingers a gentle nip. There is a glorious abundance of orange and purple anthias and golden damsels near the surface; a little deeper, parrotfish can be seen nibbling away at the coral, and a large brown spotted grouper glides shyly away. There are two large clams on the rock, and several small green fern corals. Split Rock is one of the most colourful and enchanting sites of the bay, and is endlessly fascinating.
2. Golden Nuggets: Some 700 metres past the point of the peninsula, the twin pinnacles of Golden Nuggets offer anther magnificent display of smaller fish. The first pinnacle has purple and orange anthias, the beautiful iridescent blue sapphire damsels, Moorish idols with their lazy grace, and the bluejewel damsel fish guarding his garden against intruders – human or fish. On the second pinnacle you will see schools of surgeon fish and snapper fish. Quite often a white tipped shark is around, utterly arresting in its fearsome power – but not aggressive to humans and very well fed on the fish life. You will also see magic coral which turns from bluey-brown to white when threatened and is hardly known outside Fiji.
3. Lighthouse: Further out towards the edge of the bay stands a lighthouse, warning ships and yachts of the edge of the reef. This site is named for the lighthouse, and offers an extraordinary growth of plate corals shimmering in the water. There are also soft spaghetti corals with their tentacles swaying in the currents, and you may see a trumpet fish going by, confusing you with the appearance of a face at its tail. Pale green damsel fish hover around coral growths, darting back into its forest to hide when you first approach but soon relaxing and coming back out. There are also humpbacked wrasse and maori wrasse, and, if you are very lucky, a turtle.
4. Lesciaceva Lagoon: Sheltered behind the main reef wall is a lagoon; stingrays and garden eels burrow into the sandy bottom. The occasional group of trevally finds its way in, and there are cruising wrasse, damsel fish and parrotfish. Some larger starfish are to be seen, and frequent sea slugs as thick as a man’s forearm.
5. Shark Alley. Best accessed at high tide, this site has a more suggestive name than the reality – sharks are only sometimes sighted. You are dropped off beside the reef wall and swim along the wall, coming across numerous coral heads and, if the tide is right, swimming over canyons within the reef.
6. Charlie’s Point. This is situated a little further past the end of the peninsula. It is rich in damsel fish, parrot fish, anthias, and wrasse and there are some beautiful corals.