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Taveuni Diving & Snorkeling

Taveuni diving, Fiji

You don’t need to be a diver to experience the incredible coral on Rainbow Reef!! Snorkeling trips are available every day so please let us know to book you!

We are happy to organize a dive package with Taveuni Ocean Sports or Aqua Trek. We recommend we do this advance, as these shops are sometimes full. And if you haven't tried a night dive before, this is the place for it.

With both of these shops you will dive the world famous Rainbow Reef where a bevy of colorful fish meander in & out of the hard & soft corals. There are over 2 dozen sites only 20 minutes away by boat. The Somosomo Straits (Fijian for "good water") has strong tidal currents which provide a constant flow of nutrients, idyllic for soft coral growth and fish life. Taveuni is world renowned among divers for this reason.

Collectively these 2 shops have 8 boats at our disposal so snorkeling & diving are always available to our guests. In addition, we have priority bookings with them, so you will never be shut out.

All of the dives include weights, belts, tanks, fills, boat, guide and refreshments. Generally it is a 2-tank morning dive, returning for lunch, but the shop can do afternoon or night dives if desired. Both shops are offering a full range of courses to suit all levels. All of the dive staff are PADI qualified instructors, Assistant Instructors or Divemasters - and are there to maximize your safety and enjoyment.

Welcome to Coconut Grove Beachfront & the Taveuni Reef System!

Reef information

By Helen Sykes, Marine Ecology Consulting)

Coral reefs are ancient, living organisms, which have seen and adapted to many changes over millions of years. It’s one of the oddities of the human race that we expect natural systems to be constant, but as the climate and environment alter, so do reefs around the world, and those in Taveuni, and here at Coconut Grove, are no exception.

Around the Fiji islands, I have been studying corals for over 20 years, and have seen the effects of rising sea water temperature, coral-eating Crown of Thorns Starfish, and cyclone and storm breakage. What is remarkable about Fijian reefs is the speed at which they can recover and restore themselves.

This is thought to be due to good water quality (Fiji is FAR away from sources of large-scale pollution), high biodiversity (Fiji has more than 1,000 species of reef fish and over 340 coral species) and the wide range of reef systems across the country (it is rare for any coral-damaging event to affect all our reefs at the same time, so there are always healthy corals surviving to spread new coral spawn to affected areas).

In February 2016, Cyclone Winston passed over the Fiji islands, and left a lot of broken coral behind it. Thankfully, 2017 has been kinder, and it is amazing to see the huge amounts of new coral growth on affected reefs.

During a snorkel on the shallow reef between Coconut Grove and Honeymoon Island in August 2017, I recorded large amounts of new coral settlement, and some fascinating changes from hard to soft corals. I hope you enjoy the following photos and that during your snorkelling and diving experiences here you will look closely, and see how many new corals you can find. It’s an amazing time to watch the reef literally “re-cover” itself.

These branching corals are just starting life on the sandy sea bed, and on top of old coral skeletons
Many new corals are reclaiming their territory and spreading out across old reef substrate

Baby Coral Gallery August 2017

All corals pictured were less than 10 cm (4 inches) across in August 2017, so are probably less than two years old, and have appeared since the cyclone of February 2016. They are worth searching for, as with an average growth rate of 5 cm (2 inches) per year, they won’t stay this tiny and cute for long, ..and I couldn’t pass up this tiny Giant Clam (even Giants start small)

The March of the Wheat Fields

Not all corals make hard calcium skeletons, some make leathery skins instead. You can see large gardens of Sinularia golden wheat-field corals waving in the surge over towards Honeymoon Island. Flexible soft corals have a survival advantage over brittle hard corals in strong waves, and these corals are taking the opportunity to extend their territory. This alteration of habitat is known as a “phase shift”; in this case from a hard coral to a soft coral habitat.

As you can see in the photo, many fish don’t seem to mind the change at all.
New, small, Sinularia corals colonising the sandy sea bed and old coral skeletons

Xenia, the Flower Animal

Xenia is a type of soft coral where the flower-like coral animals (polyps) are always extended and visible, instead of tucked safety inside the skeleton or skin. You will find small clumps of white Xenia on the reef, and brown Xenia in the sea grass beds. Xenia is an active feeder, and you will see the polyps constantly moving, opening and closing, searching for planktonic food in the water.

White Xenia on coral rubble
Brown Xenia in seagrass
Most soft corals are "octocorals", having 8 arms. Each 8-armed "flower" is a single coral animal.

Secrets of the Seagrass Beds

It’s easy to swim over the seagrass beds on your way to the reef without ever looking down, but seagrass beds are fascinating places if you take your time. Turtles feed here, juvenile fish hang out in suits of green and yellow striped camouflage, and many weird and wonderful invertebrates roam (slowly!) around, filtering sand and cleaning the sea bed. Here are a few secretive seagrass inhabitants:

Juvenile Parrotfish in striped camouflage
Black and White Humbug Dascyllus around a coral island
This is not a snake... repeat... this is not a snake (not that there’s anything wrong with being a snakeBeaded Sea Cucumbers with feeding feet (pedipalps) moving slowly, picking up algae and detritus
Sponges filter and clean the sea water
Everyone’s favourite, the blue Linkia starfish