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Dive Review of Wananavu Beach Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Bligh Waters

Wananavu Beach Resort: "Stunning Fiji Reefs and a Great Value", Nov, 2019,

by Sandy Falen, KS, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 28 reports with 17 Helpful votes). Report 11289 has 4 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments My buddy and I wanted some Pacific diving, but with limited time and and wanting a good value for the buck. Fiji delivers. While it's a long way from the US, nonstop flights from LAX make Wananuva a good choice for a 7-night stay and 6 days of diving.

We found an excellent deal on car rental, and drove ourselves from Nadi to Wananavu, thoroughly enjoying the travel time: mostly within view of the ocean, and past hundreds of mango trees, palm trees, and roadside fruit stands selling all varieties of tropical produce. We arrived at Wananuvu before 10:00am, where we had breakfast and chilled out until our bures were ready around noon.

We'd chosen ocean view bures, and our hillside position afforded spectacular views. The cottages have tropical charm with comfort: an excellent king-size bed, mini-frig, hot water pot, good lighting, plenty of outlets, a large closet and ample drawer space, huge bathroom with double vanity, decent water pressure, and no shortage of hot water. I never needed the a/c. With natural breezes, two ceiling fans, and ventilation provided by the large screened windows, I was cool enough at night to use a light blanket. The large front deck had a table and chairs, perfect for post-dive relaxing, beer-sipping, and swimwear drying, and the surrounding landscaping gave each bure a feeling of privacy.

Food in the restaurant is quite good, and the service is warm and efficient. Breakfast is buffet style, and we stuffed ourselves. Fiji pineapple may be the best I've ever eaten. The buffet also included papaya, melon, bananas, juices, coffee, bacon, sausage, various curries, breads, sweet baked goods, and eggs cooked to order. It was a great start to the day, and we happily existed on that plus a late lunch daily.

The dive staff is friendly and service oriented, and the boat departed by 8:30 for a 2-dive trip to the neighboring reefs. Travel time was from 20 minutes (if diving Sailstone Reef) to 45 minutes (Vatu-i-Ra Reef). Some of the sites visited were ones we'd dived from the Nai'a many years ago, and in fact, we encountered the Nai'a when diving Mellow Yellow (so you can get liveaboard diving while landbased and for less money). Gear is handled for you during the week, and you can rinse and hang your wetsuit at the shop where it's locked up and stored overnight. Nitrox is available.

Depth ranged from 55 to 90 feet, on mostly bommie (pinnacle) diving, so even with the occasional zipping current, you could always find shelter. The hard corals are stunning, lush, and healthy, and the soft corals are arguably the best in the world. At times, the reefs were like an underwater circus of color and swirling tropical fish. The small tropical fish are a photographer's dream, but large fish were mostly absent. I saw one very large parrot on day six. We saw sharks on several occasions (up to four at a time), and over the six days, we saw two large stingrays, moray eels, schooling barracudas, a few large grouper, and countless anemones with their always-entertaining clown fish. A school of spinner dolphins entertained us for an hour during one surface interval. Visibility was noticeably better when we ventured out to the passage (Vatu-i-Ra reef).

Dive guide, Anna, was fun and skillful. She knows the reefs well, and while safety-conscious, didn't herd the experienced divers. The boat had ample room, although we had no more than eight divers each day. Boat snacks included that amazing Fijian pineapple plus muffins or some other goodie each day. A cooler of water was provided.

We returned to the dock (in a sheltered bay right by the shop) from 12:30-2:30, depending on the reef we visited. Our afternoons were spent relaxing over a grilled wahoo lunch and a Fiji Gold beer, followed by reading time or a drive to town. In Rakiraki, I exchanged some outdated (pre-2009) Fijian currency at a local bank, bought mangoes from the friendly locals at the farmers' market, and stocked up on snacks and Fiji Gold to keep in my mini-frig. I recommend getting your own wheels, as I would hate to have missed our island explorations. It is particularly nice on departure day, as you can leisurely make your way back to NAN, based on your flight schedule. And yes, they drive on the left, like the Brits.

One lovely convenience to be aware of: the Nadi airport has shower rooms. You'll find them in the restrooms, both outside and inside security. Bring your own toiletries and a towel, and you can enjoy your last day on the island and then freshen up and put on your traveling clothes before boarding that evening flight.

Fiji is a terrific value, and if you watch for a fare sale, getting there can be quite reasonable for the distance traveled. Because of the time zone difference, you can safely do six days of diving with only a 7-night stay, as the departure flights don't leave until evening.

Like nearly everywhere, the large fish and pelagics were sadly small in number. However, the corals and small tropicals are spectacular, and the setting is undeniably beautiful. Fiji is an excellent value; I've spent more on Cayman trips than I spent for this one. I'd be happy to return to Wananavu, and give it a solid recommendation.

Websites Wananavu Beach Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Most of the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Palau, Sulawesi, Kosrae, Fiji, Raja Ampat
Closest Airport Nadi Getting There Nonstop from LAX, then 2.5 hours by car to the north, near Rakiraki.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dives usually one hour max.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera bucket on the boat, but nothing else was needed.
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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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