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Nadi and the Mamanuca Islands

Fiji

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Overview

Located on the west coast of the main island of Viti Levu is the bustling multicultural town of Nadi – the gateway to Fiji. With its close proximity to the Mamanucas Islands, Nadi is the ideal place to stay before heading out to discover all the wonders that Fiji has to offer. It is also an excellent base for non-divers who want to get out and explore.

The archipelago of the Mamanuca Islands is the most popular island chain in Fiji, as it is easily accessible from Nadi International Airport. It consists of approximately 20 irresistible islands which form an astounding arc of volcanic outcrops. White sandy beaches with coconut palms, turquoise waters and vibrant coral reefs distinguish this group of island resorts. 

The Mamanucas offer plenty of fun and water sports for visitors of all ages with a variety of accommodation options available to cater for singles, couples, families, adults-only and groups – from budget-conscious travellers to high-end romantic escapes.

 

Nadi has a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. Most of the rain arrives in the form of an afternoon thunder-shower, so you can still look forward to 7 – 8 hours of sunshine a day no matter the season.

 

Wet Season: December to April

Rainfall at this time of year is heavy and prolific in the late afternoons and early mornings and temperatures average 30ºC. The heat combined with the moisture in the air results in high humidity over these months. The wet season brings with it the occasional tropical cyclone.

 

Dry season: May to November

This time of year brings lower temperatures and less rainfall, which means lower humidity. The average daytime temperature hovers around 25ºC, although, it can get as high as 30ºC from time to time.

 

Diving

Overview

If you’re staying in Nadi, boat dives are available from Port Denarau visiting the coral reefs and outer reef walls of the Mamanuca Islands.

This archipelago has two very distinct types of marine environments which cater for all diving levels.

Dive sites within the sizable Mamanuca Lagoon are suitable for novice divers and have shallow, calm waters and lots of coral bommies to explore. On the outer edges of the lagoon, on the Pacific Ocean side, is the Barrier Reef and its numerous passages.  Visibility can exceed 35 metres, and dolphins, sharks, turtles, and pelagics are frequently encountered cruising around the vibrant reefs.

 

Water Temperature
temperature-icon

Wet season: 29°C – wear a rashie and boardies to keep the UV off.

Dry season: 24°C – 3mm wetsuit

 

Dive Season

Diving can be enjoyed year-round; however, for a quieter, more enjoyable experience, visit outside of Australian and New Zealand school holidays (typically in the months of December, January, June, and July) as these are peak tourism months in Fiji. For the best visibility, visit between July and December. Water temperatures are much cooler during these months, averaging 23°C, and diving in a 3mm is advisable. 

 

Dive Highlights

The Supermarket

Just 10 kilometres away from the resorts of Mamanucas is a beautiful dive site full of pristine corals. The healthy corals encourage a fantastic array of sea creatures, which in turn attract some pretty impressive pelagics. Keep on the lookout for barracuda, groupers, red bass, snappers, surgeonfish, bannerfish, and the occasional green sea turtle.

The highlight of this dive site is experiencing the thrill of diving with sharks. Grey reef sharks, white tip reef sharks and blacktip reef sharks keep the adrenaline pumping! 

 

Namotu Wall

The stunning Namotu coral cay sits on the edge of a 1,000-metre drop into the Pacific Ocean. Abundant fish life with reef sharks, schools of barracuda and turtles combined with fantastic visibility (typically 25-50 metres) makes diving on this outer reef slope genuinely spectacular. 

 

Activities

Kayak and SUP

Most resorts in the Mamanuca Islands have kayaks and stand up paddleboards available for use or hire. 

With the proper tide and weather permitting, you can conceivably kayak around the 5KM circumference of the Mamanuca Islands. This is only recommended for those more experienced and fitter kayakers, and usual safety precautions need to be observed. 

Paddle-boarding is a great way to see the bustling underwater world from a new perspective. Watch as small fish, and other marine life zip between the corals and fill the water with bright, glittering colours that will have you captivated for hours on end.

 

Surfing

In Mamanuca, there are several fantastic surf spots which are ideal for experienced surfers who want to enjoy some of the best breaks in the world. 

 

Culture

Whether you want to island-hop, visit local shell markets, view cultural performances or experience local life. Visit traditional villages and partake in delightful dancing, singing, and a delicious meal. Learn about local arts and crafts, visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, or meander through the bustling local markets. In Nadi, there is something for everyone.

 

Fiji – Nadi and the Mamanuca Islands
Surfing
Fiji – Nadi and the Mamanuca Islands
Snorkelling
Fiji – Nadi and the Mamanuca Islands
Kayaking
Fiji – Nadi and the Mamanuca Islands
Culture
Fiji – Nadi and the Mamanuca Islands
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