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Dive Review of Ra Divers/Volivoli Beach Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Bligh Waters, Rakiraki

February, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Scuba World Sacramento,, CA, US (1 report)
Report Number 6005
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand, PNG, Palau, Truk, Yap, Philippines,
Red Sea, Thailand, Tahiti, Cozumel, Belize, Bay Islands, Honduras, Caymans,
La Paz, Galapagos 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Ra Divers does not set depth or bottom limits. Only diver's ability limits
dive depth and time.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Each boat has "camera only" rinse tanks, but no camera tables.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
February, 2011, we took a group of 41 people: 37 divers, 4 non-divers to
stay at Volivoli Beach Resort and dive with Ra Divers. We had peviously
been to the resort with 22 of us in 2009 so we knew what to expect. Around
seven years ago, the Darling Family, New Zealand Kiwi's: Steve,Sr., Gail,
Stevie and Nick bought Ra Divers and 20 acres of surrounding property
located on the beach and coastline of Bligh Waters at the northern tip of
the island of Viti Levu.  Their vision was to expand Ra Divers into a
dedicated dive resort that would meet the level of accommodation, food and
service the US diver has come to expect when diving, land-based in Fiji.

With the grand opening this February of their new hotel wing that offers
nine hillside, oceanview, Deluxe rooms best suited for twin share dive
buddies, added to the 10 private, freestanding hillside, oceanview Villas
best suited for couples built the end of 2009, Volivoli Beach Resort/Ra
Divers has accomplished their goal.  Their intention is to provide a
certain level of resort luxury and culteral activites at an affordable
price without sacrificing their focus on diving and dive training as their
main activity. No weddings here, please.  

The minute we arrived until our departure 10 days later, each person in our
group learned what it is like to stay and dive at a resort that is owned
and operated by a family who has deep love for their resort and wants
everyone to feel the same as they feel about the beauty at Volivoli Beach,
the Fijians, Fiji and most of all experience diving Bligh Waters and
Vatu-I-Ra Passage.

The beautiful new restaurant/bar that overlooks the pool/swimup pool bar
and ocean, served up really good meals cooked fresh to order off the menu
which does take awhile so don't be in a hurry to get your food.  Don't
expect goument presentations here either.  Just good, wholesome food of
gigantic proportions with a definite New Zealand influence.  Try the
Volivoli Burger...  What anyone who has traveled to other resorts in Fiji
appreciated on our trip was the fact that at VBR, as long as there are
people in the restaurant and bar, they are open.  No waiting for the divers
on the other dive boat to return for the restaurant to open up.  The cook
and meal service staff are always there to take your food or drink order
with a first name greeting and a gigantic Fijian smile.  

When you aren't diving, sleeping, sun bathing, eating or drinking, you can
take advantage of the cultural excursions available at VBR that include a
Rakiraki area tour, native village visit, horseback riding and more.  For
our group, VBR in advance organized and arranged an Aqua-Trek,Pacific
Harbor Shark Dive Excursion Day on the other side of the island for the 25
of us who were willing to give up one VBR dive day in our package to
experience the famous Beqa Lagoon Shark Dive.  It was a very long day but
it was worth it.
And what about the diving and dive service at VBR?  As of May 31, 2011 Ra
Divers will cease dive services to Wananvu Beach Resort, concentrating
exclusively on providing dive services to their own resort guests.  If you
want to dive with Ra Divers, you need to book in to stay at Volivoli Beach

After our initial day of check-out dives and diver skill evaluation, we
were treated to Vatu-I-Ra Passage diving every day.  Our package was for
the standard daily 2-tank boat dives for 8 days, returning to the resort
around noon or 1:00pm.  There is no need to do a 3-tank dive day in order
to dive the Passage dive sites if there are 6 or more divers on your boat. 
After May 31, if you aren't part of a large group, no worries.  If there
are less than 6, you need to purchase a 3rd-tank boat dive day ($55USD)
returning to the resort around 4:00pm.  If you are willing to pay for that
3rd tank, no more having to scrounge up another 5 divers in order to dive
the sites in the Passage.  

Due to the time of year, over our 10-night stay and 8 days of diving, our
group experienced weather and water condtions that ran the gambit.  The
first couple of days, we got the outer bands of a cyclone centered in
Vanuatu with accompanying rough seas.  The rest of the week, sunny with
occational rain showers and a two foot wind chop. Even with rain, the
visibilty was always excellent usually exceding 100 feet. The Bligh Waters
offer the best diving in Fiji. Because the passage has reliable currents,
this is the "Soft Coral Capital of the World"! The currents also
bring in the fish life.  We saw many sharks like Black Tips, Ocean and Reef
White Tips, Gray Reef, Lemons, and occational Bull Sharks.  All your
"Tropicals" are also there like Angel, butterfly, anemone fish.
Over head there are always schools of Yellow Fin Tuna and Trevally.  In the
coral you will find mnay types of eels, shrimps and octopus.

The dive crew at Ra Divers is very professional and knows the dive sites
like the back of their hand.  There was a dive briefing before every dive
describing the site, depth you will be diving, and the current conditions.
On occasion when divers had a hard time climbing the ladder, the
Divermasters were IN THE WATER to help.  The two main dive boats were
custom build to meet the local dive conditions. All boats have VFR radios,
GPS, first aid equipment, life jackets, and Oxygen units on board.  Our
group maxed out Ra Divers capacity but none of us felt crowded on their
boats.  Each of their two large boats are designed so that nothing like
stairs, etc. takes up space.  Every inch is available for the diver and his
gear.  All dives were done on air but Nitrox is coming soon.

We will return to VBR/Ra Divers next year and the next and...

We made our reservations through VBR USA SALES,   
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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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