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

May, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Craig Rathbun, CA, US (1 report)
Report Number 6652
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Tonga, Cozumel, Philippines, several Carrib locations.
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy, rainy  
Seas
calm, choppy, currents  
Water Temp
82   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
1
Water Visibility
80   to    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Just stay within vision of dive master and rest of group.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
N/A  
Large Pelagics
  N/A
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
3 stars  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
Beginners
3 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
My wife and I were at the Garden Island Resort once before in 1994 and
loved everything.  This time we traveled with a group of 4 divers and 3
snorkelers.

Flew Air Pacific to Nadi, had 10 hour layover (with taxi tour), then flight
from Nadi to Taveuni (the Garden Island).  We were there at the beginning
of the dry season, but had on and off rain.

The people at the Garden Island Resort were (still) very sweet and caring. 
The service was great and the food was varied, unique, and excellent.  They
catered to our every desire.  
The staff sings to you when you arive and the singing almost makes you cry
when you have to leave.

One night they gave us a Lovo (feast) and a native Meke dance.  They sing
like angels.

The rooms have been greatly upgraded since our last visit and are very new,
clean and luxurious.  This resort has very good value.  We booked through
IslandDreams.com.

The diving in the SomoSomo Straight is fantastic.   Beautiful soft coral in
whites, peach, pastel, violet,purple, brown, red, yellow.  It grows to its
largest size when they current is flowing good.

There were blizzards of small basslets.  Nice critters like Leaf Fish,
Garden Eels, Blue Ribbon Eels, Clown Triggers, Puffers, Morays, Napolean
Wrasses, Dolphin Puffers, Big groupers, Lions, Pipe Fish, Octopus, lobster,
BEAUTIFUL anemonies and tons of anemonie fish,a big Spanish Dancer,
snappers, jacks, only one very large green turtle.

Friendly white tip sharks on almost every dive.

The unexpected happened on the way to a dive sight.  We spotted a small pod
of Pilot Whales.  We were able to drop into the water and snorkel with
about six of them.  Some were quite inquisitive and came very close to
check us out.  Being with these beautiful creatures was the highlight of
the trip. I will always remember this encounter.

Diving the SomoSomo Straight is like an acid trip but you don't need the
acid.  

The reefs were beautiful, but not as pristine as in '94 due to a recent
hurricane.  Dove the usual reefs; The Ledge, Jerry's Jelley, Fish Factory,
Baracuda Hole, Rainbow's End, Annie's Bommie, Great White Wall, Blue Ribbon
Eel Reef, The Fingers, Sam's Point, The Zoo, The Curve, Cabbage Patch
(damaged, but still nice), Nuku Reef.

Dive masters were first class and safety conscious. Dive boat was a nice
aluminum hull, with dual 150 horse Yamahas.  Dive staff changes tanks,
carries tanks, washes your gear at end of day.  They spoil you. 

Did surface intervals on a VERY beautiful empty beach on Vanua Levu Island
(on the other side of the SomoSomo Straight).

Over 100 big gorgeous fruit bats occupy 3 trees at the resort (blew there
during last hurricane). Very beautiful gold bodies, big orange eyes, black
wings (about 1.4 meters).  Hang up during day, fly to fruit at night.  They
can actually ridge soar and thermal soar out of sight. They hang out at the
resort because nobody will hunt or molest them there - very beautiful, and
the only native mammals to Fiji.

Lots to do on this beautiful Garden Island.  Bouma Falls (string of 4
beautiful water falls), horseback riding, snorkeling at nearby Koro Levu
Island and other spots, bird watching.  Snorkeling is good, but not great.

Taveuni is the least populated major island in Fiji, and VERY beautiful. 
The people are very sweet and have retained their culture.  I brought lots
of tooth brushes and tooth paste for the kids at the mission.  

I want to return before I croak.

Craig



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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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