One of the best known scuba destinations in Fiji and once christened "The Mecca of Pacific Diving", Beqa Island (pronounced "Benga") lies just 13 kilometres south of the southern coast of Viti Levu and to the north of Kadavu. The area was famed for its incredibly varied sites which were home to some great bommies and rocky pinnacles as well as some of the best pelagic fish encounters in Fiji.
Nowadays, after El Niño struck at the tail end of the 20th century, the coral reefs are some distance from their former glory but still represent some of the better diving to be had around Viti Levu. There are a number of pretty good sites around Beqa Lagoon and, although there may not be too much in the way of schools of fish or pelagics, there is a good variety of reef life. For less experienced divers or for those who do not wish to take a domestic flight to the outer islands of Fiji, scuba diving at Beqa could be right for you.
The lagoon itself consists of over 100 square miles of clear water surrounded by the protective arms of some 30 solid kilometres of barrier reef. This makes it one of the world's largest barrier reefs. Given this geographical feature you'll experience only gentle currents in Beqa, and the water stays around 26°C for most of the year.
Caesar's Rocks is a striking location for a number of reasons, not least the initial sight that greets you on your descent. Several bommies will come into view beneath you as you slip down through the lagoon water. They are covered in a riot of colour in shades of orange, red and pink.
This ocean colour scene continues through the many caverns, channels and windows where soft corals and gorgonian sea fans shelter many creatures including trumpetfish and longnose hawkfish. Other smaller creatures to look out for are an impressive range of nudibranchs, blennies, and shrimps. Larger creatures can include turtles, schools of tuna and the occasional manta ray soaring majestically by.
E.T. is one of those spots that requires more than 1 visit, such is the size of the pinnacle which forms the centrepiece of this Beqa dive site, which is "out of this world". To dive here is to penetrate a huge tunnel which divides into 2 main chambers. Throughout this exploration, your eyes will be filled with sea fans, cup corals and soft corals galore. Use your torch to see the colours at their most magnificent.
There is an entire network of such impressive tunnels here, some of which can be investigated and some are too narrow for scuba divers to enter. Residents of this warren of rainbow hues include lionfish, moray eels and a good range of nudibranchs and sea slugs. Crustaceans include red rock crabs and various species of shrimp peeping out from every crevice. E.T., which might just as easily stand for 'Extraordinary Tunnels' as 'Extra Terrestrial', is a must-visit site for photographers seeking beautiful and colourful macro shots of Beqa Lagoon's marine life.
The dive sites at Beqa are quite varied and Fantasea is a good example of a site that offers a lot of that variety. Fantasea is home to Sea Fan Alley, an impressive corridor between 2 rocks which is literally filled with huge, sprawling sea fans.
Schools of reef fish and the occasional shark may be around as you investigate the nooks and crannies of this site's varying topography. There are plenty of interesting small things to be seen including garden eels, orangutan crabs and numerous nudibranchs. The dive ends on a colourful pinnacle flat full of life and colour and so typical of diving in Fiji.
The Pinnacle is unlike many other sites in the Beqa region as it lies outside the lagoon and in an area which is not afforded any shelter from nearby islands, and is therefore not suitable for inexperienced divers. Topographically this is a large sea mount in the shape of a mushroom cloud, narrowing at its base at 25m.
Instead of inspecting the pinnacle, you will face out to the blue for possible sightings of large numbers of grey reef sharks and maybe appearances from such as manta rays, eagle rays, tiger sharks, schooling hammerheads and nurse sharks. If lady luck is on your side this can be a stunning experience.
Dive The World Fiji Recommendations: Carpet Cove and Caesar's Rocks
More detailed information available on some of Beqa Lagoon's dive sites (on our www.dive-the-world.com website).
You can dive in the lagoon from either Beqa Island or from the Pacific Harbour area on Viti Levu. The main drawcard for scuba divers to come to this area is the unforgettable shark feed at Pacific Harbour.
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The season for Beqa Island diving runs all the year round. However, November to January sees stronger winds and surface conditions can sometimes be rough during this time. Best visibility is during Fiji's winter months of July to September. Water temperatures are fairly consistent in these shallow waters, ranging between 24 - 28°C.
The majority of international flights into Fiji land in Nadi, some in Suva, both towns on Viti Levu, Fiji's biggest island. Usually your resort will handle airport transfers. There are airport taxis and buses to all parts of the island. Getting to Viti Levu details are contained in our Fiji 'How To Get There' section.
Not so great for: Large animals, walls, drift dives, reef life and health, advanced divers, non-diving activities
Depth: 5 - 30m
Visibility: 10 - 30m
Currents: None or gentle
Surface Conditions: Can be choppy, and can be rough in windy season
Water Temperature: 24 - 28°C
Experience Level: Beginner - intermediate
Number of dive sites: >22
Access: Beqa and Viti Levu resorts
Recommended length of stay: 1 week
Other nearby sites that can be dived together on vacations here: