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High Sierra Divers

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(530) 823-6757

******** High Sierra Divers is planning a trip to FIJI in October of 2015! ********

To view a photo gallery of Beqa Lagoon resort, including it's facilities

and underwater photos click here.


To return to the trip information page, click here.

Fiji with HSD
Memories of Fiji

"Everyone has a secret dream,
of where their life might be,

Mine is a lovely, lonely isle,
Kissed by the KORO Sea"

Lose yourself in Paradise..... FIJI


OVERVIEW of FIJI

Visions of vibrantly-colored soft corals covered by dense schools of fairy basslets are just one of the mesmerizing effects that this dream destination has on divers. Prime diving areas abound all through this country of over 300 islands from Kadavu in the south to Vanualevu and Taveuni in the north. The resorts are saturated in South Pacific ambience with strong cultural undertones that make this destination as exotic as they come. Fed by the nutrient rich waters of the Tonga Trench, the Fiji Islands have an amazing bio-diversity of marine life from macro creatures to large pelagics. Fiji's cultural presence is also strong throughout the country and exists in perfect harmony with its nature. Visit local villages, rainforests and waterfalls - go white-water rafting, sea kayaking or hop on a live-aboard or adventure cruise to explore remote reefs and outlying islands.

Diving in Fiji
Fiji consists of over 300 islands scattered over 42,000 square miles of ocean. Known as "The soft coral capital of the world", Fiji's variety of soft coral is astounding. Fed by the rich nutrients streaming up from the Tonga Trench and influenced by several major rivers, the reef eco-system in the Fiji Islands is noted for its complex nature: you'll see any number of hard and soft corals, sea fans, dense schools of fairy basslets, and schools of barracuda.

The diving is varied as well: drift dives, night dives, an action-packed shark encounter, wreck dives and more. Great diving is everywhere in Fiji... whether you choose to go north to Taveuni to dive the Somosomo Strait or Vanua Levu to dive Savusavu Bay or the Great Sea Reef, south to dive Beqa Lagoon or the Astrolabe of Kadavu Island, west to dive the Yasawa or Mamanuca Islands or a liveaboard to explore Bligh Waters in the midst of them all, the diving will amaze even the most seasoned and well-traveled diver.

There are two distinct seasons for diving: Summer (November - April) and Winter (May - October). During the summer months, water temperature lies in the 80F - 85F range (27C - 30C) and a "skin" or lycra divesuit or shortie is recommended. During winter, the water temperatures are in the 75F - 80F range (24C - 27C), and a 3 mm or 5 mm wetsuit is recommended.

Topside Attractions
Partake in a traditional Kava Kava Ceremony - Sea kayaking - Island hopping by sea or air

Culture and Customs
Fijians are known as the friendliest people in the world, and you will be instantly welcomed into their country. Fiji is a country rich in traditional culture and uses a native language that defines happiness. "Bula!" is one of the most common greetings in the Fijian language and it means "health" or "life." In Fiji, "Bula" is as common as "Hello".

As a guest in Fiji, you will frequently be invited to participate in one of the most common ceremonial and social customs in the islands, the Kava Ceremony. The drinking of kava, or Yaqona, is quite common on social occasions. It is regarded in Fiji as "the National Drink". Kava is made from the bare root of a pepper tree, pounded into a fine powder and then mixed with fresh water. Turning down an offer to drink a bowl of Yagona is considered insulting in Fijian society.

Electricity, Telephone and Internet Access
The electrical current in Fiji is 240 volts AC 50 Hz. Fiji has three pin power outlets identical to Australia and New Zealand. Leading hotels and resorts offer universal outlets for 240v or 110v shavers, hair dryers, etc. Most hotels have direct dial telephones. There are over 1,500 public phone booths (Drua) around the country and can be used by purchasing a TeleCard. TeleCard can also be used on any land line phone to make calls. There are over 2,000 outlets from where TeleCard can be purchased in denominations of $50, $20, $10, $5 & $3.

Most hotels and resorts are equipped with Internet services as well as other private Internet cafes, which can be readily found in most towns and cities. Dial-up connection is common in Fiji, but the use of high speed Broadband has increased.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements
A valid passport for at least three months beyond the intended period of stay and a ticket for return or onward travel to another country is required. Entry visas are granted upon arrival for a stay of 4 months or less for nationals of the USA. Fiji's international departure tax of $30 Fijian dollars (US$18) is now included in the price of most airline tickets, so you should not have to pay it at the check-in counter. There is no departure tax for domestic flights.

Water Quality
Except during periods of continuous heavy rain, the tap water in the main towns and at the resorts is safe to drink. Bottled "Fiji" spring water is widely available at shops and hotels.

Language & Currency
Fiji has three official languages: Fijian, English and Hindi (a Fijian form of Hindi is spoken by the Indian population). There are also many Fijian dialects which are spoken by the indigenous Fijians (Bauan is the most common).

The Fijian dollar is the basic unit of currency, available in denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, $50. Coins: 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c and $1. Major credit cards are welcomed by hotels, restaurants, shops, rental car agencies, cruises and travel agents.

Time
Local time in Fiji is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time from March 1 to October 31. Daylight saving time is in effect from November 1 to February 28, when local time is 13 hours ahead of GMT. Although the 180° meridian passes through Taveuni, all of Fiji is west of the international date line, so it's one day ahead of the United States and shares the same day with Australia and New Zealand. Translated: When it's 5am on Tuesday in Fiji, it's noon on Monday in New York and 9am on Monday in Los Angeles.

History, Art, and Culture
The European discoveries of the Fiji island group were accidental. The first of these discoveries was made in 1643 by the Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman and English navigators, including Captain James Cook who sailed through in 1774, and made further explorations in the 18th century. Major credit for the discovery and recording of the islands went to Captain William Bligh who sailed through Fiji after the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789. The first Europeans to land and live among the Fijians were shipwrecked sailors and runaway convicts from the Australian penal settlements. Sandalwood traders and missionaries came by the mid 19th century.

Cannibalism (which was practiced in Fiji at that time) and tribal warfare quickly disappeared when Ratu Seru Cakobau accepted Christianity in 1854. From 1879 to 1916 Indians came as indentured laborers to work on the sugar plantations. After the indentured system was abolished, many stayed on as independent farmers and businessmen, and today they comprise 47 percent of the population.

Location and Size
Fiji is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Vanuatu, west of Tonga and south of Tuvalu. The country occupies an archipelago of about 322 islands, of which 106 are permanently inhabited. The two major island, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for approximately 87% of the total population.

Population
Fiji's population of around 800,000 people is made up of indigenous Fijians (50%), Indians (47%) with Europeans, Chinese and South Pacific Islanders making up the remaining 3%.