Thursday, June 21

Diving Coral Gardens

Diving ‘Coral Gardens’ from Paradise Taveuni
with Pro Dive Taveuni

The coastline around Paradise has several dive sites on offer that are sheltered from the prevailing island winds.10 minutes scenic boat ride from the resort, divers arrive at Coral Gardens.

This aptly named dive site is formed by 3 streams, or “fingers”, of lava that once flowed into the Ocean at this spot. The dive starts in the shallow shelter at the top of the first finger and once settled, divers begin their drift downwards. This is a site that can be dived at any depth and during the descent the first glimpses of the many soft corals can be seen. This is a popular feeding station for the larger reef fish and parrot fish. Trigger fish and surgeon fish can be seen in abundant numbers. The first finger also provides a home for the reef’s smaller residents with squirrel fish hiding beneath the overhangs and anemone fish guarding their offspring.

In between the lava fingers are large sandy areas, the first of which is dominated by colonies of garden eels swaying in the current. Coming to rest on the sand in front of the second finger, divers have the chance to pause and appreciate the throngs of fish – anthias are present in their hundreds, schooling banner fish swim past and box fish dart in and out of the hard corals. Hovering above the lava finger also presents the opportunity to watch the schools of pelagic fish that gather here - barracuda, snapper & yellow fin tuna are common visitors. Hammerhead sharks and manta rays have also been spotted by resort divers.

Heading up the third & final lava finger the keen-eyed may spot juvenile blue ribbon eels bobbing in the entrance of their homes, or trigger fish swimming past. As divers reach the top of the finger and the 5m mark, they enter a labyrinth of swim-throughs. Perfect for whiling away a safety stop, this maze of corridors is a fascinating end to the dive.


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