Fiji is an archipelago nation comprised of more than 330 islands, of which only one third are permanently inhabited. The country sits in the South Pacific Ocean about 2,000 km (1,300 mi) north east of New Zealand, between Vanuatu to the west and Tonga to the east. The majority of the Fijian population is concentrated on the island of Viti Levu, either in the capital city of Savu or in one of the coastal towns. As most of the islands were formed millions of years ago by volcanoes, the area is quite mountainous and with dramatic underwater topography. The reefs systems are vast barriers which surround the islands, making most of the best diving drift along the outer walls, or through channels.
The best diving in Fiji is found around the central island group of Gau, Makongi, Namena, and Wakaya Islands. Liveaboards are by far the most preferred way to dive the reefs around these islands because of the distances involved between the mainland and the dive sites. Liveaboards also give guests the flexibility needed to dive these sites in the optimal tidal and current conditions possible. As many of the best sites are very current affected, it is important to be at the right place at the right time in order to take advantage of the tides, instead of have to work against them.
Sites like North Save-a-Tack Passage, Nigali Passage, Cat's Meow, and E-6 showcase the amazing soft coral reefs and fish life which Fiji is renowned for. Seasoned divers know these sites as the soft coral capital of the world for a reason. The fantastic fish life constantly impresses divers; from the massive schools of jacks, barracudas, and snappers to the encounters with grey reef, tiger, bull and hammerhead sharks, or the manta rays found in numbers at Jim's Alley; Fiji has nearly everything a diver is looking for.
Liveaboard trips depart either directly from Savu or Lautoka, just north of Nadi where the International airport is. Most trips are 7 days long, but some extended trips range up to 10 days. The climate in Fiji is tropical marine and warm year round with minimal extremes. The warm season is from November to April and the cooler season lasts from May to October. Temperatures in the cool season still averages 22 ∞C. Rainfall is variable, with the warm season experiencing heavier rainfall, especially inland, and winds are moderate throughout the year.