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Dive Review of Wananavu Beach Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/North central Viti Levu

Wananavu Beach Resort: "Great trip", Feb, 2016,

by Henry O Ziller, CO, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 8920 has 1 Helpful vote.

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 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Woo Hoo! BRONCOS – 24 PANTHERS – 10! We arrived at Wananavu Resort in time to see Super Bowl 50; being from Colorado this was a great way to begin our two weeks in Fiji.
Getting to Fiji from LAX; take a direct flight via Fiji Airways 11.5 hours. The return only takes 9.5 hours due to favorable jet winds. Fiji Airways ticket counter is not that easy to find at LAX, signage is lacking, but then they only use the ticket counter for one flight a day. We were able to check our bags all the way from Denver to Fiji since American is partnered with Fiji Airways. You are required to check-in and they will weigh your carry-on. If you exceed 7 Kilos you will have to lighten it up. My wife was over by 2 Kilos and had to put the extra weight in her personal bag. Who came up with that dumb idea? Weight is the same whether in a personal bag or in your carry-on bag! You can also get there by traveling to Auckland on New Zealand Air (partnered with United), but that will add about 5 hours to the trip plus airport time waiting for the connection. If you have desires to see Australia you can go that route as well using Qantas. Passing through immigrations and customs was quick. There are two ATM’s after customs and we used one. Some places will take US dollars.
RESORT: Wananavu (www.wananavu.com) the resort is beachfront on the north central coast of Viti Levu, Fiji near the town of Rakiraki. If you stay more than five nights the resort provides complementary transportation to and from the airport and it takes about 2.5 hours. There are 31 rooms in the 21 bures (garden view, ocean view, beachfront, and honeymoon) and all are equipped with ceiling fan, A/C, bathroom with shower, king bed or other types, a mini bar and hot water pot for instant coffee or tea. Electrical outlets are same as Australian two angled prongs, 220 volts. There is a table and two chairs on the patio that is perfect for relaxing. Free water sports include kayaks, swimming pool, and snorkeling. Other activities include tennis, volleyball, fish feeding, crab races, and presentations on Fiji customs and Fijian Medicine. The Wananavu Serenaders entertain you daily (5-9) (5pm is the start of Happy Hour to 6.30 pm, and you can join them for the kava ceremony. Everything at the resort is in Fijian dollars which means everything is 50% less than the US dollar. Bottle beers were $8 FD or $4 USD.
We always had plenty of hot water. The power to the room requires the plastic portion of the key to be in the slot so if you want to continue charging batteries or run the A/C you need to leave that portion in the slot and take the key when you leave the room. Some people got a bit sick from the water after a storm flooded Rakiraki town? We had occasion to use the hospital in Rakiraki and were charged nothing for the care or prescriptions. We were in and out in less than an hour. The taxi ride was less than $20 FD
Breakfast was included with our package and included cereal, fruits, juices, coffee or tea, and hot items like omelets, eggs to order with several sides like hash browns, beans, etc., pancakes and French toast. Lunch and Dinner could be ordered off the all-day menu or off special menus that changed every day and were very good. The most expensive items were $34 FD, but many were less than $20 FD.
We missed a day of diving on February 11th when Cyclone Winston started heading for Vita Levu, but it stalled, flooding Rakiraki. Otherwise the weather was great until the 20th. It did rain a bit, but mostly at night. Then while we were preparing to leave on February 20th all Fiji Airways flights were cancelled. That night Wananavu and the Rakiraki area took a hit from Cyclone Winston, the most powerful storm ever in the southern hemisphere. It was a category 5 storm with winds at 184 mph. The resort moved us to one of the few remaining rooms in Nadi at the Grand Melanesian Hotel near the airport. This could get to be a long story, but we were safe (a little wet) and made our return to LAX two days late. The Wananavu Resort had little damage as reported to us from Mindy, the dive operation manager; However many of the resorts workers homes were destroyed or badly damaged. The staff started a rebuild fund campaign to which we donated.
WANANAVU DIVE: (www.divewananavufiji.com) the onsite dive shop headed by James and Mindy. They have a large boat that holds 22 divers and a smaller boat that holds up to 12 divers. The boat has all the safety equipment you would expect and the crew makes sure everyone receives an orientation as to what equipment there is and where it is located. There is no head on the boats. Towels are passed out after the first dive and Mary (a DM) will try to dry them after the surface interval so it will be ready for you after the next dive. We used the large boat all but one day and usually had 6 to 8 divers. All of the divemasters Josh, Jess, and Mary were very good. Once you set your dive gear in your bag outside your bure upon your arrival you will not need to take care of anything again until you pack it up on the day you leave. They will wash and dry everything and hang it in the shop. On the day you leave you go to see that they have put everything that is yours in your bag and then they will deliver it to your room. Dives averaged 70-feet for one hour. Current was quite strong on some dives and nonexistent on others.
A side note: On February 18th after our second dive our boat captain received a call from the Fiji Siren asking us if we could assist in a search for a missing diver. We searched for an hour until we were low on fuel but never located the diver; at this point a search plane was on its way to conduct an aerial search. The minute our crew received the request they went into professional mode at the same time checking on us to be sure we were ok. It wasn’t until the next day when our captain called the Siren that we were told they found the diver at 3 PM. It would have been nice to know that as soon as he was located since we helped search. Another side note: The Siren was washed ashore during Cyclone Winston on February 20th.
DIVING: Everyone goes to Fiji to see the beautiful soft corals and this place delivers. We were amazed at all the vivid colors red, blue, purple, pink yellow, and types of soft corals. There were also lots of marine life such as white tip sharks, turtles, schools of chevron barracuda, anemone fish, jellies, lion fish, eels, and nudibranchs, blue dragon was a favorite. We also saw tiny shrimps, lobsters, porcelain crabs, frogfish, ornate ghost pipefish, and other pipefish. There were dive sites with numerous swim throughs. It is definitely worth a trip.
Websites Wananavu Beach Resort   [same]

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Throughout the Caribbean and Central America, Micronesia, Indonesia, Philippines, Maldives, Tanzania, Australia, Fiji.
Closest Airport Nadi (NAM) Getting There Direct flight from LAX on Fiji Airways

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 83-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Not much in restrictions, no deco diving and stay with your buddy.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments They took great care of large cameras placing them away from everyone and delivered them to you in the water and retrieved them after the dive, but no bucket on the board for them. Small cameras there was a bucket.
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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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