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Dive Review of Garden Island Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Tavenui

Garden Island Resort, Jun, 2010,

by Mike Cavanaugh, TX, US (Contributor Contributor 12 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 5557.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Garden Island Resort has undergone a small change in ownership, management and renovation. The rooms were nicely furnished with beach views. Plenty of balcony space to hang out wet items to dry. Housekeeping was good and towels were changed if requested.

The restaurant was moderately furnished but felt cold and sterile. We caught the resort in between dive groups so there were not many people staying at Garden Island while we were there. The restaurant provided a menu daily which had 1-3 choices in food selection for lunch and/or dinner. You were required to pave your order for lunch and dinner at breakfast before you took off diving for the day. Food quality was always good and portions were appropriate. Service was very slow but this is "island time" and there is really nothing else to do but drink "kava" or go to your room :)

The manager was friendly but didn't seem really plugged in. Everyone was very happy to accommodate but you would not get what you asked for the first time (quick to please, slow to deliver). We were greeted by many of the staff and our farewell was again many of the staff singing a farewell song. There is "NO" TV in the rooms but you could borrow DVD's from the front desk for the DVD player in your room.

The dive shop was sparsely stocked with dive gear and accessories so bring what you need because you won't find it here. We brought our own gear but the dive shop did have gear that was in fairly good condition. On our first day after arrival the dive shop agreed to take 6 divers for 2 afternoon dives and then a night dive. The dive shop normally makes a 2 tank boat run in the morning and only dives in the afternoon at special request. The Rainbow reef diving was quite nice and there were lots of soft coral, reef fishes and macro stuff to find and photograph. The dive leaders (I won't call them all dive masters as I'm not sure that would be a fact) were for the most part attentive to the divers often pointing out things to look at but several of them would just find a place to hang out on the bottom waiting for the divers to explore and move on. The dive staff (water & boat) was not overly helpful or attentive getting off or on the boat but we had all experienced divers on the boat that didn't require much assistance. The dive staff would cart your dive gear off the small aluminium transfer boat and they would rinse and then hang your gear for the next day. The wet suits were rinsed separate from the regulators (another pet peeve for me).

The only complaint or pet peeve I had with the dive shop is that their compressor for air was located less than 20 feet from a gas pump for their vehicles. The smell of gasoline was present on a daily basis. If you are anal about your air quality like I am that is a problem. My dive buddy had a banger headache after the first dive but no one else reported and bad air symptoms. The nitrox is blended using partial pressure and they were consistently spot on for a 32% blend.

Overall this dive destination ranked in the top 10 location we have been to and I would give it a 7 overall average ranking.
Websites Garden Island Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Australasia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas currents
Water Temp 78-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive time was limited to 45-50 minutes. Required to stay with group as group would surface together due to strong surface currents.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments No rinse buckets on boat for cameras or video housings. Would place camera in basket but "NO" water bath or tub. The dive shop had to water rinse tanks for cameras but they never filled them with water. Rinsed gear with hose and then took to room for proper wash up.
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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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