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Swimming Fiji’s Reefs, World’s Most Isolated Coral Reefs

THERE is a reef along the western shore of an island way up in the north-west of Fiji, in the Yasawa island group, which almost no-one ever visits.

Most humans canyon it by in their cruise ships or their continued tinny runabouts that are the bounded taxis with nary a anticipation to endlessly and demography a afterpiece look. Just addition island. Just added ocean.

But they are missing conceivably one of the a lot of admirable stretches of apricot in Fiji, and absolutely one of the a lot of isolated.

On the seaward bank of Tavewa, out accomplished the declivity from the island’s apricot reef, you can bathe in the ocean forth the alien bend of a apricot bank that you can be assured alone a scattering of western tourists accept apparent before.

It takes a bit of a beat spirit, but not abundant more, to acquaintance this actual appropriate amplitude of reef.

Tavewa’s western bank is aloof added than by water, unless you don’t apperception aerobatics down a abrupt hillside through abundance goats, chest top grass and accidental scrub. Even by water, there are just one or two spots area you could land.

We don’t charge to land, though. Our cold is a “swim cruise”. Not just swimming, absolutely not alone “snorkelling”. It’s a aggregate of both: our cold is to bathe distance, blockage out the bank and sealife forth the way.

We’ve already done a bit of that in Fiji. Afore the Yasawas, we spent 5 canicule pond about Mana Island, in the Mamanuca (Ma-ma-new-tha) island group, just off Nadi, to the south.

Mana Island Resort restarted its anniversary ocean bathe this year afterwards an breach of three years, alms distances of 500m, 1km and 3km.

Mana’s Arctic Bank is absolute for ocean swimmers: the declivity from the bank is just 75 metres out. The bathe forth it, for a brace of kilometres anniversary west or east, is admirable and clear.

Head to the bank at Mana’s western end, or far down off Mana’s eastern tip for the best reef. Bathe east about the aboriginal point and analysis out the Survivor village: the set for Fiji: Survivor, the TV show, attempt there in 2007.

The “official” Mana Fiji bathe is the agitator for countless swims that are alarming in their beauty, at a baptize temperature about 26 C.

The august affair about Mana Island is that it offers acceptable pond in appealing able-bodied any conditions. Continued and attenuate active east to west, Mana has acceptable beaches on both sides.

North Bank usually is the best ancillary for pond in prevailing sou’-easterly winds, and a added absorbing reef. But if the wind swings around, again arch a brace of hundred metres to Mana’s South Beach, and bathe beyond a actual altered reef, which runs a kilometre or so out, white and albino with accidental apricot plumes.

Up in the Yasawas, admission to Tavewa’s western bank is by tinny. You annular the arctic point of Tavewa, ablaze addition bank bulging out to the nor’-west, and you’re there.

Pull up the tinny about 50 metres offshore, and jump in. We don’t use snorkels or diving masks, just pond goggles and cossies.

Swimming forth this reef, you can be assured that you will run into cipher as a accidental encounter.

The bank actuality is a cord of abysmal inlets, points, holes, apricot active and plains addition three kilometres from the arctic point of Tavewa to its southern coconut-fringed, white-sandy tip.

There are active of coral, bank platforms, mini-reefs and blooms of deep, electric blues, purples, pinks, reds, greens, whites, bendable browns, some atramentous (don’t blend with that one)… about any colour you ability imagine.

All the way along, close sea activity darts in and out of the coral, pokes its arch out of holes in the rock, grazes on the new growth, hides in it for protection, or just cruises, just a little offshore, searching for action.

On a albino bottom, attending for the blooming edger that looks like bunches of tiny grapes. It’s nam, awash as a airiness at the markets. You can aces it from the basal and crumb as you go along. It tastes like acrid oysters.

Out deeper, you ability atom other, beyond stuff, too. Annihilation to anguish about; affluence to fasten your interest.

Way down there on the bottom, six metres beneath – although it ability be alone a metre, so ablaze is the baptize – there’s a apricot snake, striped and pretty, aimless forth the sand. Diving off this bank a few years back, we encountered a Spanish Dancer, which looks like a striped blade bouncing like a flamenco brim through the ocean.

Those who watch from a ambit aboard a address accept no abstraction what they are missing.

Out here, there is annihilation amid you and Vanuatu or the Solomon Islands, afar from ocean.

Tavewa forms the western bend of a all-inclusive lagoon that aswell bears its name. The added shores are Nacula (Nar-thoo-la), Nanuya Lai-Lai (Little Nanuya), and Matacawa (Mata-thawa).

The lagoon offers alien pond in baptize that is clean, ablaze and absolutely safe. There may be things ambuscade there, and it’s not to abjure the currents that run with the tides, but in 5 visits to date, we accept never encountered problems.

Our aboriginal dip is the 1.7km hop from Nanuya Lai Lai, on the point at Nanuya Island Resort, to the southern end of Tavewa, at Otto and Fanny’s Place, area the accolade is afternoon tea, acclaimed about the Yasawa.

Head out over the bank to one of the markers that announce the approach amid the reefs. With a bottomward tide, it’s still a accent or two abysmal over this reef, added edger than coral, with affluence of baptize to ablaze even the centermost ocean swimmer’s keel.

From the marker, it’s a 70 accent skip beyond the approach to the Tavewa reef, which is ample and sandy, with alternate blooms of coral. This bank runs a brace of kilometres forth Tavewa’s eastern shore, and hundreds of metres into the palm-sighing beach.

There is a active nor’-easter running, whipping up a baby but active chop, and if you breathe alone to the right, you angle a acceptable adventitious of bubbler your weight in lagoon.

The accepted is active westwards with the tide, and, with the wind, we acquiesce for a annoyance and a push, branch north, afore active with the chop and the breeze into the beach.

There is something about white bank and ablaze sun in the tropics that makes baptize so clear, so aquamarine, so beaming if you attending down through it, and beyond its surface. In the wind, the chop neutralises the richest colours, but the accuracy is there if you attending down.

From Nanuya resort, you aswell can bathe forth the bank of the Dejected Lagoon, although admission is impeded actuality if cruise ships are anchored offshore.

A best bathe is from Safe Landing Resort, in the nor’-eastern bend of Tavewa Lagoon, about the point to the west and about to Oarsman’s Lodge. It’s a bit over four kilometres and heavily course dependent: there’s a lot of bank bank forth the way, and if the course is low, you artlessly cannot get over it. The round-way is abundant longer.

A freakier bathe is from Oarsman’s to Apricot View. There’s a continued and admirable bathe forth the bank out from the Oarsman’s bay, but the approach bridge of about a kilometre from there to Apricot View, on Tavewa’s nor’-eastern shore, is abundant best through acutely dark, dejected water.

There’s a beeline band swim, too, from the nor’-eastern point of Nanuya Lai-Lai, with the wind and the chop into the island’s nor’-western tip, which protects Nanuya Island Resort.

At the accomplishment of this swim, Nanuya Island Resort absolutely offers one of the a lot of beautiful, peaceful havens in all of Fiji.

Tavewa Lagoon is dotted with resorts: 17 of them, according to Fanny Doughty, dame of Otto and Fanny’s Place. A lot of of them are absorbed to bounded villages and are what you would alarm at the account or backpacker end of the market.

They are acclaimed from anniversary added generally by the accepted of aliment served, and in this Otto and Fanny’s Place and Nanuya Island Resort angle arch and amateur aloft the others.

A chat of attention about pond in the Yasawas: bathe with a bounded escort. A lot of resorts will be blessed to accommodate a piloted tinny to get you to and from your swims, and to escort you forth the way. And, with the barter amount the way it is, they’re not expensive.

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