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FIJINatewa BayNatewa Bay is one of the newest diving areas in the Fiji Islands, and rapidly becoming known for its spectacular under-explored reefs boasting some of the highest hard coral cover and diversity to be found anywhere in the South Pacific.“ With only one dive operator based in the entire bay, there is never a crowded dive site, and the added thrill that you could be seeing a part of the reef that has never been reached before ”The seaside town of Savusavu, known as Fiji’s ‘Hidden Paradise’, is already known to many divers as an ideal base for exploring the world-class soft corals of Namena Marine Reserve and one of the few dive spots in the world where divers can encounter schooling hammerheads.
What most divers don’t know is that it’s also the gateway to the little-known natural beauty of Natewa Bay, just a 30-minute drive away.
It is one of the longest and deepest bays in the South Pacific (80km and 1,500m respectively), with the mountains buffering the bay on three sides providing sheltered conditions for divers and fragile hard corals alike.
Traditional Fijian villages dot the coastline, and relatively limited road access to the bay creates a notable absence of resort developments and boat traffic.
Divers who venture into Natewa Bay are treated to a staggering diversity of vibrantly coloured hard corals along with some of Fiji’s iconic marine life - schools of snapper and barracuda, pelagics such as mackerel and trevally, reef sharks, enormous sea fans, and hundreds of species of colourful reef fish.
The shallow reefs of the bay are suitable for all experience levels without sacrificing exhilaration, as deep waters surrounding the reefs keep the corals healthy and the reef fish abundant without the stronger currents encountered in other parts of the islands.
The reefs are owned by local communities, and there are still numerous reefs that have yet to be explored by divers. With only one dive operator based in the entire bay, there is never a crowded dive site, and the added thrill that you could be seeing a part of the reef that has never been reached before.
There are few locations where divers can visit such pristine, remote reefs while still having access to the creature comforts and more popular diving experiences that Savusavu has to offer.
Natewa Bay is one of those places that is so magical that you’ll want to share it, but at the same time you’ll feel compelled to keep Fiji’s secrets.
Did you know?Fiji coral reefs support over 1,500 fish species in Fiji, many unique to Fiji. Fiji coral reefs are made up from over 390 coral species.Essential informationLocation: Savusavu, Fiji Depth: 5m-25m Diver level: Beginner to advanced “ Every dive you do you will spot something you hadn’t seen on previous excursions, and as well as the rich cargo to keep you captivated, there is plenty of marine life that calls the holds home ”Who to dive with Ocean Ventures Fiji www.oceanventuresfiji.com Savasi Island Resort www.savasiisland.com
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USNS General Hoyt S Vandenberg
Scuba Diver Magazine
Scuba Diver is an independent publisher of scuba diving magazines in all major English-speaking countries.