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Abyss Scuba Diving
VoliVoli Fiji New Years Dive Trip
Up until the Covid pandemic, Abyss has always led a group of divers to an overseas dive destination to bring in the New Year with a great group of people and some sensational warm, tropical diving. This year we got to restart this tradition after 2 years of no overseas trips - and what a blast we had!
It is definitely a different world travelling overseas during a pandemic. There were covid tests, additional paperwork and airport logistics but once in Fiji, covid had minimal impact. ,. While the check-in line at the airport in Sydney did take a bit longer than I remember it taking, the process was still fairly straight forward and we were well prepared with vaccine certificates, test results, insurance and itinerary details. Definitely reassuring that post-pandemic travel is definitely manageable.We made it on the plane and we were on our way to the Volivoli Resort at the northernmost tip of Fiji’s main island Getting into Fiji and transport to the resort was a very simple process as well. The resort even arranged for our required tests (RAT 48hrs after arrival, and PCR test 72hrs before departure) to be done at the resort and helped us print up and email us the results for our flight home. Coming back into Australia, would have been simple if we had known in advance to download the Australia Travel Declaration app and pre-fill in, rather than relying on slow airport wifi. Once completed, we checked in, boarded our flights and came home, same as before. All in all, definitely not put off with the new requirements of travelling in a pandemic. In fact, having been through it now and seeing how easy it is, I’m even more excited now for my next trip (Beqa Lagoon to dive with bull sharks, in case you’re keen to join me!)
From the moment we arrived in Fiji, the Volivoli resort staff did an incredible job looking after us. We were welcomed to the resort with our bags brought to our rooms and dinner in our rooms despite the late hour.
The next day is when the adventure really began when we hit the dive boat and kicked off the diving. Over the next few days we completed up to 15 dives, including drift dives, night dives, and house reef shore dives.
There is a reason why Fiji is called the soft coral capital of the world. Most dive sites were filled with an amazing array of colours and soft corals and sponges swaying in the current. Marine life was varied, from lots of playful clown fish, to big schools of fish, Spanish Mackerel, reef sharks, schooling barracuda, some of the smallest microscopic bobtail squid, horseshoe crabs, orangutan crabs and heaps more!
The local dive team did a great job looking after us, especially considering the range of different dive experience and certification levels. Unless you wanted to do a shore dive on their house reef, you didn’t need to lift any tanks, or even your dive gear. The staff looked after us, fed us on triple dive days, sketched out maps of the dive sites and worked with each group to give everyone a great diving experience. They even did a phenomenal job in finding a lost dive computer on the last dive of the trip as well, saving the day!
Not only was the diving amazing, we had a great group of people on the trip that made for fun afternoons on the beach, in the pool, or around the pool playing games. And of course we all brought our A-game for our New Year’s Eve party and Aussie Beach BBQ themed costumes!
New Year’s Day also brought us to a beautiful waterfall, Fiji’s largest waterfall, that provided some beautiful scenery and swimming holes. We often do some sort of outing or excursion on New Year’s day for the super keen, or those with superhuman resilience to hangovers. This was the best New Year’s Day excursion I’ve done in 7 years of taking New Year’s dive trips! Absolutely stunning waterfall, lots of water movement off the cliff and even little raindrop like falls from some green growth on a part of the surrounding hillside next to the waterfall. For the more adventurous, we were actually led behind the waterfall by the local teenage girls. The water was coming down so strong right next to you, leaving only a slim gap to fit behind the water, which you had to walk backwards so you didn’t get belted by the waterfall spray, but once you got behind it, you were rewarded with an amazing view. The girls continued to lead us through to a spot I never would’ve seen on my own where you could duck around the edge and dive into the waterhole from the other side. Definitely a great way to spend the first day of a much better year than 2021, and a highlight of the trip.
We were all so excited to get to explore overseas, and this was a great trip to do post-covid or not. I loved having a wonderful New Year’s with everyone. Hope to see you all on our next one - bring on a happy diving year in 2022!
By Andria Payne