Monday, December 12

Good fishing, diving and Mantas!

Activities have been running above and below the water showing the guests all the best Fiji has on offer.. Fishing trips were super successful, once the birds were found the rods started to provide some action. Two of our guests came back with 2 Mahi Mahi and a tuna which made great sashimi. 

Jessica finally got put into the water after much preparation, on her first cruise CJ and Jay witnessed a manta breach just off Paradise’s house reef. The first one seen this season so watch this space.

 Snorkelers were greeted by a hawksbill turtle, napolean wrasse and white tip reef shark whilst swimming in the shallows of the white wall. Snorkelling Nuku reef was like being in our own personal aquarium, we dropped down on a white tip reef shark which hung with us for an hour and in for a closer look. Just before getting on the boat we had an eagle ray swim in the blue what a sight. Pinnacle dive site on vuna reef has been  revisited by one of guests almost every day this week as it has been satisfying both his desires for macro and micro photography - schools of batfish, barracuda, sharks, rays and a quick stop for a manicure by the cleaner shrimps. 

We got some downtime and headed off for some island exploring. It was our first venture past the airport and we were blown away by the picturesque white sandy beaches with palm trees as far as the eye can see and surrounding islands that one can encounter on your way to Bouma village. The ten minute walk to the first waterfall literally feels like you’ve landed yourself in a Jurrasic park set you almost waiting for a teradectile to appear at any moment. We climbed a few rocks and took a run up to jump into the coldest waters you will probably find on the island but is welcomed after the walk in the sun and humidity. There is definitely something majestic about the falls and you can just sit and watch the water crashing down for hours. 

Thursday, December 1

The Sun Is Back!

After a few weeks of rain, rain and more rain the sun finally decided to start showing its face again. For us divers, this makes a magnificent change in the diving and its great! Finally the corral’s colors are on display again and it is stunning.

The beginning of the week was very quiet but finally the dive center is buzzing with new faces very excited about the diving. One of the guests in particular has reminded me what it is like being a new diver again. I’m not talking about being low on air really early on dive no. I’m talking about the excitement of discovering a new world! In all my years of diving I have never seen an open water diver get such a high from just one dive. Literally shaking from the excitement just after his first check out dive on our house reef. He never even stopped smiling till the following dive on the next day till the nerves started kicking in to do his fist adventure deep dive. After a good briefing and some reassuring that the deep dive will even be better, we hopped into the water for his fist peek at the world below 20meters. Even though his dive was a bit shorter than the rest, he loved it! Now his excitement levels matches those of a 10year old the day before Christmas.
This is why I became a diving instructor, to share my passion for our underwater world with others and teach them how to protect it.

Even though sunlight has been limited, one dive that stood out from the rest was a dive on Vuna Reef at a site called Orgasm. With a small group we went down, arriving on the reef there was a small Hawksbill Turtle to welcome us, not fazed about us at all he just lifted his head, had a look and went back to sleep, a perfect photo opportunity. Continuing down the reef onto the drop off we saw a massive school of Batfish making their way below us coming up for a quick look, then making way again into the deep. The reef it self was zooming with life! Loads of Anthias, Goldies, and Damzels all hovering over their own plot of coral. Just keeping their distance in front of us was something I have never seen before, schooling Red Snappers. I personally think it was something to do with mating season but it was great to see. As they moved into the shallows a massive school of Blue and Yellow Fusiliers took their space coming straight for us. They school swallowed us and just like the turtle they very not fazed. Swooping around and in between the divers flashing their bright colors whilst feeding on the plankton drifting in the current. With no warning they all dashed down low onto the reef for at first no reason, but very soon it was made clear by the school of Barracudas that made their way over to us. Very curious of the divers they started circling us creating a whirlpool of Barracudas with divers stuck at the bottom. Moments like this make me want to cry! Not because of the beauty. Because I cant bring my camera down on dives that I’m leading and this would have been a photo to be framed and put onto the wall of favorites!  Once the Barracudas moved off to the side the Fusiliers came up, the Snappers came back from the shallows AND the school of Batfish came back up from the deep for a second peak at the divers. Barracudas behind me, Fusiliers all around me, Batfish underneath me and the Snappers in front of me. 

Now I understand why they call this site Orgasm.

Long exposure photo of divers come back from their night dive

Kimi doing her briefing for the shore entry dive.

Thursday, November 24

It's a tough job, but some one has to do it!

Diving in paradise has been somewhat quiet this week and divers have been loving the serenity of being the only ones on the dive.

Barracuda hole has definitely been a highlight dive. We dropped on the sight and it was literally beaming with life in all directions. As soon as we dropped we saw two white tips followed by a ridiculously big Spanish mackeral and schooling barracuda. A black ribbon eel, popcorn shrimp, nudibranch, giant moray and garden eels were some of the many macro life to be seen. 

I'm sure everybody has been to a dive site that they will never get sick of diving. That one you will never forget, the one where you saw your first and your biggest. Or the one that will always keep you amazed! The Great White Wall is doing just that. This week we had our best dive yet on the wall and it was amazing. With the new moon around the corner currents have been acting a bit strange but our timing was perfect and so was the dive. As we were the only dive center on the reef at the time and hardly any current, we could really take our time on the wall. The best part was not just being able to have a closer look at the soft corrals, but to be able to to swim back into the blue, back away from the wall to bring it all into sight and just stare and appreciate. As I mentioned in previous blogs, never ever have I ever seen any thing like this before. It really is spectacular!

Night dives done off the shore at paradise impressed us all as the creatures of the night came out to play. - ribbon eel, cleaner banded boxer shrimp, octopus displaying their colour change escape tactics, juvenile lionfish bouncing around, massive puffer not phased by us what so ever, scorpion fish stalking his pray and loads of shrimps crawling from their hide outs. Towards the end of the dive we had a lights out and enjoyed the view of the luminescence surround us.   

CJ has been needing his pizza fix so we headed down to a local restaurant and enjoyed a few Fiji Bitters, pizzas oozing with cheese and good company whilst taking in the beautiful sight of Taveuni's coastline and watching some local kids surfing the small reef brake right in front of the restaurant. During downtime a deep tissue massage at the spa was just what was needed after a tough weeks work.
 Its a tough life... 

Wednesday, November 16

The Underwater Realm

After two weeks of diving and snorkelling in Taveuni and we still cant get enough. Divers have been really impressed by the divesite ‘the stairs’. Its main attractions are the two swim throughs. The first starts at 24m and as you enter you are mesmerized by the beautiful white soft coral surrounding you, similar to that found on the famous great white wall.

On our last dive there we had a grey reef shark waiting for us at the exit of the shallow swim through and a few decent sized white tips were doing their rounds. Fish factory has definitely been living up to its name by giving us the opportunity to see loads of white tips, turtles, giant moray eels and tuna. Jerrys Jelly was busy as always with antheas surrounding us in great numbers and shooting off into all directions as the trevellie hunt them down. We were greeted by a napoleon wrasse and a sandy patch with loads of garden eels bobbing about.

Our snorkelers have also been in for a treat. Snorkelling on rainbow reef was amazing, we had 2 white tips coming in for a closer look, so close we could almost touch them, black tip, moray eels, oriental sweetlip as well as turtles and we still had some time in between to explore the picturesque waitatavi beach. Vuna reef snorkelling was just as good- dolphins putting on a show for guests, a huge napoleon wrasse, giant moray swimming under us as well as some barracuda in open water. It’s a real hard life for us here at paradise Taveuni. 

Tuesday, November 8

New faces @ Paradise!!

Welcome to our 1st blog as the new Dive Instructors at Paradise and Taveuni Dive.  Our names are Kim and CJ. We are from South Africa and have travelled extensively before arriving here in Fiji.

Our 1st week has been mind blowing! We have never experience an underwater realm like we have here in Taveuni. The amounts of life and the healthiest reefs are only but two things to top the diving lists.  Visibility has only been the clearest of blues! Conditions are easy comfortable diving with some currents around for those interested in a drift dive.  After a week of diving we haven’t even seen half of the reefs to offer here but we have been fortunate enough to go and have a peek at the one and only Great White Wall. Never ever have we ever seen anything like this before. In our travels we have been to places where we have dived untouched reefs with beautiful collections of hard and soft corrals and yet none of these compare to the White wall of Rainbow Reef!

Rainbow Reef is a rather long stretch of reef with many dive sites and the White wall is only one of them.  On our next update we will be able to tell you more about our experiences in the blues of Rainbow Reef.

Of course Rainbow Reef is not the only reef we visit. On the south end of Taveuni not even 10mins from the resort we have a reef known as Vuna Reef named after the local village at the waters edge of Vuna.  The great thing about Vuna Reef is not just the fact that we are the only dive operator diving here but that it is just as great as diving at Rainbow Reef. We have experienced some of the walls that Vuna has to offer like Fish Factory and Orgasm. It has been just that, an orgasm at what you can call a fish factory! Countless amounts of species, corals hard and soft, fish, sharks like White tip Reef sharks and the staunch Grey Reef coming past to have a look at the new faces visiting their reefs.  Doing safety stops after a deep dive are usually done in the open blue, well that’s what we were use to. Not here! Your safety stop is done with the most amazing corrals right next to you as the reef comes right up to a couple of inches from the surface.  When the sun is out and all you can see is life, life, and more life with the flickering of the sun beams chasing the reef fish in and between the many different plate corrals the size of your king size bed! It is something you will have to experience for yourself!

We leave you with a few of CJ's photos from our first week of living in our new home, Paradise.

Tuesday, July 19

Food for Divers

Hungry Fiji Divers in Paradise require plenty of great quality food and they get nothing less in Paradise Taveuni.

Allan Gortan is the owner of Paradise and just happens to be an award winning international Chef with over 30 years experience as a chef.

Allan's passion is using the local, mostly organic Taveuni produce combined with his knowledge of traditional European fare.

One of the most popular dishes on the Paradise Taveuni Lunch menu is Fish in Lolo' (Fish in a Coconut Soup).

Try it at home.....

Fish in Lolo Ingredients: 
Fish pieces – best to use white, fleshy fish such as Wahoo or Mahi Mahi 
100 gms Plain Flour
Pinch salt
Virgin Coconut Oil

Dust fish in flour and salt and shallow pan fry in virgin Coconut oil
Place to one side and prepare Lolo Sauce

Lolo Sauce Ingredients: 
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 Birds Eye Chilli, chopped
500 ml Coconut Milk – freshly squeezed is best
Dash of oil for cooking
Optional – chopped fresh Indian Coriander

Sautee in a little oil - onion, tomato and chilli until onion is translucent
Add coconut to the boil
Add pre cooked Fish
Reduce heat to a slow simmer
Cook for 15-20 minutes

Serve with small bowl with a sprinkle of fresh Indian Coriander and Jasmine or Basmati Rice on the side.

Enjoy poolside with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Thursday, July 7

Paradise Taveuni recently received a write up in Time Magazine, featuring the legendary Rainbow Reef….
“Consistently rated as one of the world’s best dive sites, the wall is reached via a tubular swim-through and starts at a depth of 20 m. Between a tangle of flexible, treelike soft coral are explosions of the harder stuff, home to millions of beautifully colored anthias and other pelagic fish. Larger species of marine life lurk there too, including manta rays, barracuda and harmless reef sharks.”
Rainbow Reef is only a 20 minute scenic boat ride from Paradise Taveuni and our divers visit this spectacular reef every second day, or on request according to water conditions.
With our own Dive Shop at the Resort, Paradise divers experience ‘Luxury Diving’ with full service from our Dive Team who are ready to assist and introduce our Guests to some of the BEST diving in Fiji.
Click here to read the full Time Magazine article.
Experience awe inspiring dive sites! Experience Paradise!

Saturday, July 2


Love to dive? Well, you are going to love the 
in Paradise

5 nights in Paradise in a Tropical Bure with outdoor shower and Jacuzzi 
All meals
 10 boat dives + 1 night dive + FREE shore dives 
Return airport road transfers
Just FJ$2285 pp

(based on 2 adults in couple / twin share Bure)

The diving in Paradise is spectacular. Here's what one of our Guests say...

The dive staff were very knowledgeable, polite and accommodating. We loved the variety of coral and fish life. We found sharks and 1 manta ray on our first dive (!). Most of our diving has been in the Caribbean, so diving in Fiji was very different and we really enjoyed it. On the days that we dove Rainbow Reef, they took us to a private beach for our surface intervals where we had fresh fruit and homemade cookies and bread.  We really felt spoiled. Another highlight was the pilot whales and dolphins we saw on the boat rides out to Rainbow Reef!  Some folks even got out and snorkeled with the whales one morning!

The resort has a house reef that is very nice. It is great for a check out dive or just another opportunity to get in the water. We did a night dive (my first) on the house reef and it was very easy.  

Dana Weller - USA

Friday, June 17

With over 40 dive sites accessible from Paradise Taveuni Resort, you will find something for every type of diver – from beginner to advanced.

For your convenience, you will find on arrival that we have classified our dive sites into levels of experience.
Level 1: Beginner diver. Maximum depth 18 metres, gentle with no current
Level 2: Intermediate diver, depths range from 20-25 metres, some current, some surface waves at times
Level 3: Advanced diver, depths up to 30 metres, expect current and exposed surface conditions at times

Whatever level diver you are, we'll get you out and under the water whenever you want to be.

Rainbow Reef diving in Paradise

When you Dive with Paradise Taveuni you will find the Somosomo Strait. It  lies between Vanua Levu and Taveuni and is home to the Great White Wall and Rainbow Reef scuba diving Fiji, which is Fiji's most renowned dive spots.

The Strait's strong currents provide a steady flow of nutrients, perfect for soft coral.

Due to these strong currents, drift dives are the norm. Many Paradise Divers request the Yellow Tunnel, a favorite spot for photographers, as their entry point, diving to 26 feet before dropping another 60 feet past vivid yellow coral. Then head for the White Wall through a different tunnel in the reef, past sea fans and blue ribbon eels, before reaching a 200-foot drop-off. 

The soft coral covering the enormous Great White Wall is, in fact, a light lavender shade. But the depth gives the wall a surreal white glow, as if illuminated by some indiscernible electronic light source. This is a must-dive to experience polyps open to feed and revealing their brilliant colours.

Taveuni and surrounding Islands in the north of the Fiji group, have been developed for eco-touism as well as diving and the regions outstanding mountains, rainforests and waterfalls are all accessible with tours and trails to the major attractions run by Paradise Taveuni. 

Above and below water you will discover the hidden beauty that is Paradise Taveuni

Sunday, March 27

Dive Paradise Taveuni

Paradise Taveuni offers LUXURY DIVING and is a Divers Dream. You will experience some of the best diving in the world in Paradise.

Paradise Taveuni owns and operates Pro Dive Taveuni located on the Paradise oceanfront. We are the only Taveuni Resort with an on site PADI Dive Shop offering luxury diving on over 40 dives sites. We dive both the legendary Rainbow Reef and the pristine Vuna Reef located on the southern tip of the island. 

Paradise Taveuni has 3 dive boats that an take up to 28 divers and crew at one time – perfect for boutique dive groups looking for personalized, full service luxury diving and resort facilities.

When we dive the nearby Vuna Reef we offer a double dive on Vuna with the surface interval back at the resort. We then offer an afternoon boat or shore dive followed by the option of a night dive at dusk from the private marina.

When we dive the Rainbow Reef we offer a double dive with the surface interval on a picturesque white sand beach on Vanua Levu. We then offer an afternoon boat or shore dive followed by the option of a night dive at dusk from the private marina.

Dive in Paradise to discover the beauty of the hidden north.