For serious divers this is the ultimate area for world class diving. It’s highly recommended to carry a dive guide as this is “experienced divers only” – See some guideines here…
On the island of Ovalau you will find the Old Capital Levuka, It’s like being in a time warp.
The Royal Hotel reminds me of something out of Somerset Maugham and a visit to the local watering hole, The Ovalau Club, has to be part of life’s rich experiences.
The leading lights,particularly the lower one on the main church spire, are the best in Fiji and are rarely out!
Wakaya Island is strictly a private island and there are no facilities available unless checked in as a guest.
Homestead Bay is now a marine protected area gazetted by government. There is strictly no access to the beaches up to the high water mark and Wakaya property after that. Use of the bay as an anchorage without a survey certificate is not permitted without prior consent from Wakaya Management.
Makogai island has a very good anchorage in the bay which is currently used as the site of a Department of Fisheries clam hatchery and turtle head-start program. The island is state owned (although a sevusevu is still required) and steeped in history, as it was previously a large leprosarium serving the region.
The last patients were taken off the island back in 1969 when a cure for the disease was finally discovered. Prior to this, hundreds of lepers lived on the island and were cared for by a group of nuns and doctors. Over the course of the years that the island was used as a leprosarium, over 1,000 patients died and were buried there.
Aside from the overgrown graveyard, all that remains now is the ancient infrastructure; a generator circa 1906 still used for three hours each evening after it is dark, a few stone structures including that of an outdoor cinema and the stone staircase leading o the women’s dorm.
A walk around the island can lead you through the remains of segregated dormitories, up past the old post office, to the old staff quarters that now house government workers and their families. After 1969, the island was briefly used as a sheep quarantine station.
Later, some Australians came to start a giant clam farm. The idea was to cultivate the giant clams in the bay near the village and then transfer (sell) them to resorts or dive spots to help repopulate the reefs with this otherwise geographically extinct species.
Snorkelling around the site of the old jetty, you will be able to see some old discarded hospital beds from the days of the leprosarium, along with protective cages for the juvenile clams. While you observe these you will also notice the health of the near shore reef and large schools of fish meandering by.
Annual humpback whale surveys around Makogai and Levuka, record sightings of migrating humpack whales, so do keep your eyes open and be sure to complete the sightings form.
There are so many spectacular dive sites in and around the channel, that in order to enjoy some of the finest, it would have to be from the comfort of a yacht and with an experienced local guide.
Famous sites such as E6, Cathedral and Mt Mutiny to name but a few.
Good anchorages and some more world class dive sites such as Jims Alley, and the Nigali Passage for schooling grey reef sharks.
Inside the Lagoon the dives are tide dependant and divers will need a guide with knowledge of the ideal times to dive. On the outer wall however, times to dive are flexible.
Rising from the depths of the Koro Sea, on the fringe of Bligh Waters, lies the mile-long island of Namenalala, surrounded by one of Fiji’s most pristine diving and snorkeling reef ecosystems known as the Namena Marine Reserve.
Namenalala Island is privately owned and as such a small fee applies for landing. The island itself is home to a red-footed booby nesting colony. You can also see fruit bats, lesser frigates, long-tail tropic birds, and multi-hued land birds that will entertain you with their songs.
Hawksbill turtles come ashore to nest here, and critically endangered leatherback turtles and whale sharks have been sighted within the area.
The people of the Kubulau District – had the wisdom to protect the beautiful reefs of Namena for their future generations. As such, they established a fee for those visiting the reserve to meet community and management needs. The fee is essential to the reserve’s success, covering management costs such as patrolling, fuel, and mooring maintenance.
A portion of the fee also funds community development projects such as the Kubulau Education Fund, which provides the children of Kubulau with scholarships for tertiary education.
Koro Island is part of the Lomaiviti archipelago. The Koro Sea is named after this volcanic island, which has a chain of basaltic cinder cones extending from north to south along its crest. With a land area of 108.9 square kilometers, it is the sixth largest island of Fiji. Northern Air flies weekly to Koro, and there are four ferry connections each week to both Suva and Savusavu. Charter flights can also be arranged to the airport situated on the eastern coast.
On the northwestern tip of the island, you will find the Dere Bay Resort and the Koro Beach Resort. The beautiful residential development ‘Koro Seaview Estates’ surrounds Dere Bay, if you decide you cannot tear yourself away from the area. A deep but good anchorage can be found in Dere Bay, and also to the North of the island in southerly winds.
The people of Nacamaki Village believe that turtles represent their sacred ancestral God, and descendents of one particular family perform a special ritual to summon turtles to the ocean surface – a sight that has to be seen, to be believed!