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World | Fiji | Diving Yadua:

Yadua overview


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Yadua dive site map


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Scuba Diving in Yadua and Yaduataba Island


Water temperature:

25°C (77°F) in winter to 29°C (84°F) in summer

Suit:

3mm in summer, 5mm wetsuit in winter

Visibility:

25 - 50 metres (80 - 165 feet), visibility is best during the winter months (May to October)

Type of diving:

Mostly reef dives

Marine life:

Dolphins, sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, turtles, barracuda, trevally, cuttlefish, surgeonfish, fusiliers, antheas, flashlight fish

When to go:

Any time of year

How to get there:

From the UK - Air New Zealand fly to Fiji form London Heathrow on Thursday and Saturday afternoons via Los Angeles.
Worldwide - from Los Angeles flights take 10 hours, from Honolulu they take 6.5 hours, from Melbourne 4.5 hours, from Sydney 3 hours 50 mins, from Brisbane 3.5 hours, from Auckland 3 hours, from Tokyo 9 hours and from Seoul 11 hours.


Yadua - Courtesy of Carina Hall

Reader Review:

Yadua is a small remote island that has a population of approximately 160 people, with only one village called Denimanu on the North of the island. Yaduataba is totally uninhabited by man and this reflects the quality of the surrounding coral reefs. It is impossible to describe in words the beauty of this island, let alone what diving is like here. I spent three months on Yadua conducting coral and fish ID surveys on these reefs for the non-profit organisation Greenforce. This is the only way you can get to visit Yadua and dive there.

The twelve-hour journey to Yadua from Suva by bus, ferry, truck and boat was incredibly long and tiring, but there were awesome views of the Fijian land and seascapes along the way. I first caught a glimpse of Yadua from the boat and not only was I relieved to have finally arrived, but felt quite overwhelmed by its beauty.

Yadua's reefs are some of the most pristine, abundant and fascinating that I have ever dived. For example, a one minute boat ride from Waterfall Bay is Manta Ray Point where mantas are seen repeatedly. On average I saw white tip reef sharks on one out of every three dives at a variety of different sites as well as seeing green and hawksbill turtles. The best fish ever in my opinion is the bumphead parrotfish and these are seen in large numbers frequently. The diversity of reef fish is never ending, and on the reefs you will find many species of butterflyfish and parrotfish munching on the coral, convict surgeonfish frolicking around in groups, also black spotted pufferfish, humphead wrasse, Spanish mackerels and an assortment of groupers and snappers.

Getting so close to nature is brilliant! When relaxing between dives I was just paddling in the bay and a baby black tip reef shark meandered past my feet. There were lots of sightings of up to fifty spinner dolphins on the way to dive sites. I experienced an earthquake underwater that reached 4.6 on the Richter scale, which was incredibly exhilarating. The Vokai - Fijian green crested iguana is indigenous to Yaduataba and this is the only place in the world where it is found. This, along with the dive surveys, will hopefully enable the islands to become a World Heritage Site in the near future.

Yadua - Courtesy of Dave

Participating in the day-to-day island life on Yadua is an important part of the expedition as well as carrying out the fish and coral surveys. It is a very basic way of life that included making our own food by cooking bread and fish on fires, going to the toilet in a hole in the ground and living in huts called burees. A favourite new way of life was island showering; in the open air whilst looking up at the coconut trees and hilly landscape of Yadua. It was revitalizing to shower by pouring fresh cold water from a bucket with a scoop after being in the sea all day long. In the burees we slept on the floor under mosquito nets. Keeping sand out of your bed is most important but very difficult because we are barefoot all of the time. Frequent night visitors such as crabs and spiders can be found in your bed as well! I soon got used to this and enjoyed the fresh night air coming in off the ocean through the buree door and falling asleep was easy. Awakening every morning to the sound of the ocean waves breaking on the beach only four metres away from my buree signalled my reason to get up and enjoy the day.

Everyday we were each allocated chores such as collecting firewood, cooking or doing odd jobs around camp. Fish gutting is one of my newly acquired skills! I gutted and prepared a giant barracuda. I did this in the shallow water's edge with a sharp knife and then fed its guts to the scavenger fish called grunters that lurk in the shallow waters. This sounds like a pretty disgusting job but it is not that bad, and whilst I was in the gutting process I was more worried about the grunters biting me than anything else. Their small size doesn't stop them nipping your legs and feet! Finally I chopped the barracudas head off and took it back to the camp as a treat for the three island cats that are kept primarily to keep rats at bay. All of this provided us with a different dinner menu that evening whilst ensuring that none of the fish not even its guts, went to waste.

Carina Hall, PADI Divemaster



Just adding to what a fellow Greenforce volunteer has already written. Yadua is fabulous, the diving is unreal and the marine life hugely diverse with large populations of rare species flourishing! I recommend anyone interested in diving and marine life to do this, although the project ends in December and is moving elsewhere. A research Center is being set up on the present campsite if anyone is still interested in going. I loved my time on the Fijian island and I expect others to love it too.

Joanna Hudson, qualification gained whilst in Yadua



Another ex-Greenforce volunteer. While lacking the spectacular soft coral found in some parts of Fiji, Yadua Island offers an incredible amount of biodiversity, especially among reef fish, as well as regular and sometimes spectacular encounters with larger pelagic species. Add bath-warm water and some great tunnels/swim throughs and you have some really amazing diving!

Oli Lazarus



Yet another Greenforce volunteer having been to Yadua island in Fiji - wanting to reiterate the fact that the diving here (and the general life!) is the best I have EVER experienced ... by a mile.

Dave


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