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Dive Review of Aqua Trek/Garden Island Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Taveuni

Aqua Trek/Garden Island Resort, Sep, 2005,

by Matthew D. Schultz, WI, USA . Report 2065.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas (Exumas and Bimini chains), Bonaire, Belize, Cozumel, Lake Superior (wrecks), Lake Michigan (wrecks), Pacific Northwest, Puerto Rico
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 76 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 80 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Recreational dive limits were the main rules enforced. One divemaster lead the way (sometimes needed in some of the mazes of coral heads), but we could dive our own profiles. They do provide Nitrox fills at 32%, and they monitor depth limits when using it.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments The subject matter is simply stunning here. Soft corals and the fish upon them are litterally swarming in front of your lens. Although the boat had ample fresh water rinse tanks for the cameras, the camera table is nothing more than the life jackets on the deck of the boat. That being said, they do take great care in handling your equipment. And they have a nice large rinse tank when you return from your day of diving.
Garden Island Resort really lacks any camera facillities, so if shooting digital, pack your computer since you'll easily fill your memory card in no time.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Garden Island Resort and Aqua Trek have teamed together to cater to the diving community in a manner that gives you a memorable, pleasurable, and relaxing vacation. Aqua Treks staff members are friendly, knowledgeable, and have some of the best divemasters weve seen in recent memory. They like to have fun, which makes for a better dive for vacationers while at the same time ensuring diver safety at all times. The dive shop is simple, yet well laid out, allowing ample drying racks inside for all your equipment. They also have great compressor facilities and provide nitrox fills at a standard mix of 32 percent.

As divers that are used to hauling our own equipment, we truly felt spoiled by Aqua Treks staff as they would carry all your equipment to and from the dive boat, thoroughly rinse your dive equipment at the end of the day, and hang it up in their locked shop at night to have it all ready for you the next morning.

As far as safety is concerned this shop has one of the best operations weve seen in a long time. After every dive, they do a roll call, while recording your depth and time on a chart that they file in their shop. At the end of every day, you must sign off on your dives. Nitrox fills are analyzed, logged, and signed-off before you even leave the shore.

Dive sites are spectacular, with many healthy corals, ample fish life, and many other critters. Currents at the White Wall can be strong, so newer divers should watch their air consumption. Divemasters here seem to respect the coral and aquatic life a great deal being certain not to disturb their surroundings with their group as much as possible. That being said, they still manage to find things in the coral heads that will simply amaze you. Surface intervals are always on a beach where you can spend the time eating a snack either on the beach or in the shade of trees, or snorkeling in the shallows where lionfish, octopus, and eels can be found in as little as six feet of water. Night dives are offered, but they require a minimum of four divers and 24 hours notice to the staff.

The resorts rooms are simple, yet they have to have some of the quietest air conditioners Ive ever heard, making sleeping at night very restful. The gardens around the resort are very beautiful and provide the fresh flowers you have every day in your room and at the dinner table. The food is spectacular, the staff very friendly, to the point where and at times you feel like royalty. There are also several hikes you can take in the surrounding area but be wary with some of the tropical rains since they can produce flash floods when near some of the streams and waterfalls. This truly was a diver's paradise.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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